U.S. musical history takes a bow in Maysville

MAYSVILLE — A historical music exhibit with Bluegrass state connections has made a stop in northeastern Kentucky.

The traveling New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music exhibit shows the cultural history of America through music and features familiar standards, a glimpse into the history of instruments, and the roles of religion and technology.

The display, which is at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center in Maysville, also shows the historical connections between musical styles dating from colonial times to punk and hip-hop. ”This is a chance for people to do a lot of remembering with the music that they grew up with,“ museum spokeswoman Lynn David said.

Visitors to the Museum Center can listen to and sing along with the music at the interactive display. Influential instruments such as the banjo, harmonica, diddley bow and accordion are also on display. Plates used to print sheet music in Maysville in 1908 are a highlight with a local connection.

And the museum is saving space for local memorabilia to go on display. ”We are hoping that local residents will bring in pictures they may have so that we can scan them and add them to the displays,“ said KGMC director Dawn Browning. Events including a ”Hootenanny,“ featuring Lewis County fiddler Roger Cooper, the Clack Mountain String Band, and the Broadway Six gospel singers are scheduled through July.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will be in Maysville until Aug. 3. It is then scheduled for Shepherdsville at the Bullitt County Public Library from Aug. 9 to Sept. 20; the Bluegrass Heritage Museum in Winchester from Sept. 27 to Nov. 8; and the Behringer Crawford Museum in Covington from Nov. 15 to Dec. 27.

New Harmonies is part of Museums on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State Humanities Councils.