WWI: The Music and the Message

“ReSounding the Archives” is a unique, collaborative project between Mason, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech which delightfully brings the music of World War I to life and opens the door to the power of the message behind America’s most popular songs of the time.

Archivists, librarians, faculty, and students connected through research and recordings of WWI era sheet music, including cover art, musical notations, and lyrics.  Step one brought together archivists and librarians as well as students from various History and English Departments to dissect the scores. Step Two: Performing arts students studied each piece and then provided their artistic take on the music.  Step Three:  Representatives from all three universities worked together to coordinate a special performance in UVA’s historic Colonnade Club’s Garden Room.  That evening, 18 different pieces of music, from “K-K-K Katy” to “Over There” to “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” were delivered to a packed house.  Student engineers were on site to record the performance.

Currently, faculty, archivists and students are building and populating a website to showcase the research, music, and performances.  Through the website, they will be able to share the enlightening and entertaining result with the world. Visit — and enjoy!