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  • Why Music? events to be broadcast live by BBC Radio 3

    09/09/2015

    BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting live from Wellcome Collection throughout the last weekend in September. From Friday 25 September – Sunday 27 September there will be live music, discussion and one-off programmes and events taking place throughout the venue.… Continue reading

  • Lazaretto: an Adventure in Music and Film

    23/07/2014

    How an unusual request regarding one of our digitised films led to a mystery night out for our moving image curator: The US musician Jack White (formerly of the White Stripes) recently launched a new album, ‘Lazaretto’. Lazaretto is also… Continue reading

  • Tarantella: listen to the dance of the spider’s bite

    11/04/2014

    Following on from the phenomenal success of our YouTube channel, the Library now has a new outlet on SoundCloud, an audio distribution platform that allows users to listen, share, and download audio recordings. Each track is visualised as a waveform;… Continue reading

  • Shiny shiny, shiny boots of leather

    07/12/2012

    Forty-five years ago, a New York rock band under Andy Warhol’s patronage released their debut LP. The Velvet Underground and Nico crept out under the radar compared to some of 1967’s other releases – The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts… Continue reading

  • Ballad to Blues

    20/06/2012

    “I went down to the St. James Infirmary I saw my baby there, She’s laid out on a cold white table, So so cold, so white, so fair” So runs the chorus of St James Infirmary: a Blues standard which… Continue reading

  • Music of the blind

    28/11/2011

    Blind musicians in Paris. Detail of lithograph by Martin Sylvestre Baptiste, 1828. Wellcome Library no. 16519i   An article by Ingrid Sykes in the latest issue of Medical History considers the blind in Paris from an unusual angle: their sound.… Continue reading

  • Make a joyful noise

    10/06/2011

    This week is National Music Therapy week in the UK: running from June 6th toJune 11th, and organised by the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT). Music therapy harnesses the ability of music to express things in a non-verbal way,… Continue reading

  • A Jersey connection: Arthur Mourant and Jacqueline du Pré

    01/03/2011

    The Wellcome Library is not known particularly for its holdings of musical celebrities but the archives often reveal some unexpected items. The fate that struck the talented cellist, Jacqueline du Pré does fall within the Wellcome Library’s remit however, given… Continue reading

  • Vital Mental Medicine

    11/12/2010

    A BBC Radio 4 documentary which aired today, Vital Mental Medicine: Shackleton’s Banjo, offers an indirect insight into an aspect of Henry Wellcome’s life. The documentary tells the story of the instrument shown above: a banjo belonging to Leonard Hussey,… Continue reading

  • In the mood for surgery

    11/11/2010

    Hot on the heels of this week’s Classic Rock Awards in London comes the revelation that surgeons use music to promote an atmosphere of calm during operations, including songs by the Eagles (truly ‘Classic’) and David Bowie. This was never… Continue reading