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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.

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

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!

CPM Items on Display

Communities in Time and SpaceThe Center currently has several different exhibits and displays located on campus for your viewing pleasure. Each display features items from our collection in many different formats so that you can get an idea of the variety and scope of items found within the stacks. 

In the CPM reading room, we have an exhibit curated by Katie Rainge-Briggs. "Communities through time and place tellin' their stories" captures local music that was made by ordinary people expressing their life experiences.  Thus, these diverse music communities gifted a larger audience with an extraordinary sonic experience through a process of commercialization. 

Also in the reading room, we have two exhibits curated by graduate assistant, Sam Shaefer: 

High Water Everywhere They Paved Paradise

"High Water Everywhere: Floods and Hurricanes in Popular Song" uses materials from the Center for Popular Music's archives to showcase records, reproductions of advertisements, lyric sheets and CDs relating to songs about the human aftermath of hurricanes and floods in American history. Songs reacting to these events from over 100 years of American popular music are featured, from the Johnstown Flood of 1889 to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"'They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot': Environmentalism and Popular Music" tracks music made out of concern for America's natural environment from the 1830s through the 1980s. Using examples of sheet music, poet Carl Sandburg's popular "American Songbag," and several records from CPM's archives, songs representing a variety of contexts are represented, including deforestation in the 19th century, mass farming issues of the early 20th century, and the modern environmental movement that coalesced in the 1960s.

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.

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.


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Hedrick Collection Link

American Vernacular Music Manuscripts

Kenneth S. Goldstein

My Homeland Tennessee

Charles K. Wolfe

Sam T Lucas



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

Room 140
Bragg Media & Entertainment Bldg.

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