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Music and Performing Arts

The Music and Performing Arts Collection at the National Museum of African American History and Culture represents African American artistic and cultural expression through music, dance, theater, radio, film and television along with other forms of popular entertainment. Through a collection of objects, costumes, musical instruments, photographs, films, business correspondence, sheet music and other memorabilia, the museum will tell the story of African American artistic achievement, innovation and creativity. It also will use arts and entertainment to explore social and cultural change as played out regionally, nationally and around the world.

Sheet Music, The Leadbelly Songbook, 1962, A collection of musical transcriptions of the ballads, blues and folksongs of Huddie Lead Belly Ledbetter (1888-1949), nationally renowned folk and blues musician known for his extensive song catalog and virtuosity on the 12-string guitar.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture