Historical music becoming more accessible

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- The Center for Popular Music is working on a project to digitize, catalog and create an online archive of popular vernacular music manuscripts.

The Daily News Journal reports the center at Middle Tennessee State University is collaborating with the American Antiquarian Society in Massachusetts on the initiative, which was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Center Director Dale Cockrell says there are nearly 9,000 manuscripts ranging in age from as early as 1775 to as recent as the 1970s. It includes several types of music, including fiddle tunes, parlor songs and marching band tunes.

Cockrell says the project will focus on cataloging music from the 18th and 19th centuries.

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