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D.C. Music Map
D.C. Music Map
Map design by Esri and Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Contribute to a map of the city’s soundtrack

D.C. is a musical city. It has birthed and supported distinct musical movements—from go-go to hardcore punk, blues to bluegrass, hip-hop to moombahton. As people have migrated to the region, they have brought new languages, sounds, and practices—enriching the sonic landscape, carving out new corners across the city not just for performances but for rehearsal and recording.

The city’s varied soundtrack can be heard in formal performance halls, the corner bar, and basement shows. It is produced at backyard barbeques, neighborhood festivals, and on the high school football field. Its contributors include the church choir, Metro station buskers, and the protestors who assemble in civic spaces, such as Lafayette Park or the National Mall. 

The D.C. Music Map is a platform for marking how music animates our communities and experiences. We make visible the places that support these—formal and informal, “permanent” and ephemeral.

We invite you to upload audio recordings and photographs that represents your D.C. sound. It can be a photograph from your favorite live concert in the ’80s or the music you hear as you walk down the street. These moments will be pinned to a specific address and create a patchwork of sound moments that gives form to the ephemeral.

With your help, the D.C. Music Map will go live in the coming months. Thank you for your contributions!

This project is co-produced with Esri Story Maps, with special thanks to Greyson Harris and Jennifer Mendez.

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.