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Welcome to one of the nation's leading research and programming centers devoted to the full study of popular and folk music in the United States and beyond.

Dr. Birgitta Johnson on Gospel Music, Beyoncé, and more!

JohnsonheaderTo help us celebrate Women's History Month, ethnomusicologist and gospel music expert Dr. Birgitta  Johnson of the University of South Carolina will visit MTSU on Thursday, March 29 for two tantalizing presentations:

“Mountain Highs, Valley Lows: Institutional Archiving of Gospel Music in the 21st Century” (CPM Reading Room, 11:30 am)

“Meeting Jesus at Beyoncé’s Partition: Gospel Covers and Convergence Culture in the Social Media Age” (MTSU Student Union, Parliamentary Room, 2:40 pm)

These events are free and open to all. If you require accommodation to participate in this event, please contact the CPM in advance by phone at 615-898-2449 or by email at popular.music@mtsu.edu.

La Tercera Raíz: In Search of the Origins of Son Jarocho -- Film Screening and Concert with Mexican Musician Camilo Nu

Camilo Nu poster

On Monday, April 2 at 7:00 pm, Mexican guitarist Camilo Nu will be on campus for a showing of the documentary La Tercera Raíz (The Third Root), followed by a live performance. In the acclaimed film, Nu seeks the roots of son jarocho, a traditional music of Veracruz that has Spanish and African origins. He travels through Southern Spain and North Africa to collaborate with local musicians. As his journey gets farther from home he is unexpectedly confronted with his own fragmented African heritage that he inherited through his absent father.

Join Us for Our Spring Popular Music Studies Brown Bag Series!

Schedule for 2018 Brown Bags

Bring your lunch and join us in the CPM reading room (BRAGG 140) for our spring brown bags. All events take place at 11:30 am. Dessert provided!

  • Wednesday, February 21 - Trump and Music / Dr. Joe Morgan
  • Tuesday, March 20 - Elliott Smith's Ballads of Being and Nothingness: Indie Rock and the Existential Tradition / Dr. Shaun Cullen
  • Tuesday, April 10 - 20 Feet from the Stacks: An Archivist's Perspective on Research / Donna Baker

Opera and Musical Theater Exhibit from the Gene Jones Collection

Visit the CPM reading room to see our newest exhbit, which features items from the Gene Jones Collection! 

Gene Jones Exhibit

A prolific collector and researcher of all forms of musical theater, as well as ragtime and jazz music, Mr. Jones boasts an impressive career as a successful music historian and actor. This exhibit, created by CPM Archivist Rachel Morris, is offered in conjunction with the MTSU School of Music's conference, "Opera and Musical Theater in the United States," March 23-25, 2018.

To learn more about the Gene Jones Collection: http://popmusic.mtsu.edu/archives/inventory/GeneJones.htm

 To learn more about the Opera and Musical Theater conference: https://www.mtsu.edu/music/operaconference.php 

Marvin Hedrick Audio Collection

Brown County JamboreeThe MTSU Center for Popular Music announces the completion of the Marvin Hedrick Audio Collection website, a digitization and cataloging project funded by the GRAMMY Foundation (now part of the GRAMMY Museum). The collection includes historically significant recordings of bluegrass and country music made by influential documentarian Marvin Hedrick in Brown County, Indiana between 1954 and 1973. The Hedrick Collection was donated to the Center for Popular Music by Marvin’s sons, Gary Hedrick and David Hedrick in 2015.

Each item in the collection was evaluated, preserved, and digitized in the Center’s state-of-the-art audio preservation lab, then catalogued with essential data such as song titles, performers, and dates, using CONTENTdm archival management software. A Finding Aid was also created, giving an overview of the collection and its contents. The Marvin Hedrick Audio Collection is searchable through its dedicated website. One audio sample from each tape is provided as streaming audio for educational purposes. The entirety of the collection’s digitized contents is available to researchers on-site at the Center for Popular Music.

2016-2017 Annual Report

The Center for Popular Music's Annual Report is now available for your reading pleasure! Catch up with the staff of the CPM and read about our recent acquisitions and events. The report is available here or if you go to About CPM and click on Annual Reports. Happy reading!


Want to keep up with all of our news and events? Sign up for the Center for Popular Music's monthly newsletter! 

The Center for Popular Music is rolling out a monthly newsletter in April. This newsletter will keep you up-to-date with everything happening at the Center, including new events, exhibits, collections, books, projects, Spring Fed Records releases, and more. Sign up today to be entered to win an album of your choice from the Spring Fed Records catalog! To sign up, please follow this link or click the subscribe button on the sidebar.

Have you been to the Center recently? Please take a moment to fill out our User Experience Survey here


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American Vernacular Music Manuscripts

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MTSU Box 41
1301 E. Main Street
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Room 140
Bragg Media & Entertainment Bldg.

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