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New Harmonies

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music

In March 2008, Humanities Tennessee's fifth Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition opened in Tennessee. New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music presents the story of music and music traditions, exploring the sounds and songs that evolved into American music alongside the nation itself. With instruments, photographs, artifacts, and audio components, New Harmonies explores the regional and social history of America as expressed by the diverse origins and transformations of music traditions. Host communities presented related programs, such as exhibits, photo essays, oral histories, or book and film discussions, based on local history research. From string bands to blues traditions to shape note singing to instrument making, the New Harmonies hosts' topics illuminated one of the most original and celebrated sources of Tennessee identity — our music.

The exhibition was hosted in Tennessee by five organizations across the state, including:

Campbell Co. Historical Society & Museum/Campbell Co. Cultural Coalition, LaFollette
March 15–April 27, 2008

Green McAdoo Cultural Organization, Clinton
May 3–June 15, 2008

Hardeman County Chapter, APTA, Bolivar
August 9–September 21, 2008

Smith County Heritage Museum, Carthage
September 27–November 9, 2008

West Tennessee Discovery Museum, Jackson
November 15–December 28, 2008

Click here for a .pdf of the New Harmonies Program Bureau, a series of lecture/discussion programs related to local history made available in conjunction with the exhibits.