Oral History of American Music

OHAM 50th Anniversary


Oral History of American Music celebrates 50 years

Oral History of American Music (OHAM) originated in 1969, when Vivian Perlis, a reference librarian in the Yale School of Music, began recording interviews with friends and colleagues of Charles Ives. Today the collection comprises more than 2,900 audio and video interviews with composers, jazz musicians, and other major musical figures.

The collection resides in Gilmore Music Library and is a key resource for the School of Music as well as for musicians, students, scholars, arts organizations, and the media worldwide. OHAM staff continue to record and preserve new interviews with emerging talents as well as established artists.

The 50th anniversary events are free and open to the public:


reVox, a multimedia installation in which composers revisit and remix OHAM interviews
Center for Collaborative Arts and Media,
149 York Street Jan. 29 – Feb. 13, 2020

reVox opening reception and performance:
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 5 - 7 pm 6 pm:
Premier performance of Tanner Porter’s “The Making of a Memory”,
commissioned for the 50th anniversary by the Gilmore Music Library

Voices of American Music Exhibition,
curated by Richard Boursy Gilmore Music Library
120 High Street April 17 – July 31, 2020

Voices of American Music Interview with Composer Julia Wolfe and OHAM Director Libby Van Cleve, followed by OHAM birthday party
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall
120 High Street
Thursday, April 23, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Follow OHAM on Instagram @americanmusichistory for special 50th anniversary content. Learn more about the collection.

Last modified: 
Friday, January 3, 2020 - 11:32am