Dürer's Melancholia at Wikipedia. The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings—and you know how happy kings are.
Notice how low the sun is in the sky. Just now I'm hating the fall equinox, and poor Dürer had to put up with the latitudes of northern Europe!
At the web site of The Textile Museum you can see images of both the permanent collection and current shows. Just now they have some stunning Turkish textiles. The image here is from the permanent collection, an applique panel showing the moon landing, made in the San Blas Islands off Panama.
Be careful -- you might lose track of time -- when you visit Greg Ross's Futility Closet, where you can ponder questions, answers, and fascinating tales gathered from all over. For instance, you can discover that mathematicians have been unable to determine the size of the largest sofa you can get around a corner in a one-meter corridor:
(Image from Wikimedia Commons vie Greg Ross)
The best way to see and hear a clavichord is to know someone who owns one, but the second-best way is probably to use the internet. Here's John Irving demonstrating an instrument owned by Edinburgh University.
Hukuda Teruhisa and Kineya Shiho perform Japanese flute and vocal music from the 18th century to the present.
The Iranian musician Kayhan Kalhor in an extended improvisation on a traditional Persian fiddle.
The ekonting player Ekona Diatta and dancers perform in honor of foreign visitors in an unlit community center at night in southern Senegal. The silhouetted dancers in the flashlight illumination have a dreamlike effect.
In his book Twelve Years A Slave, published in 1853, Northup wrote:
“Alas! had it not been for my beloved violin, I scarcely can conceive how I could have endured the long years of bondage. It introduced me to great houses- relieved me of many days’ labor in the field- supplied me with conveniences for my cabin- with pipes and tobacco, and extra pairs of shoes, and oftentimes led me away from the presence of a hard master, to witness scenes of jollity and mirth. It was my companion- the friend of my bosom triumphing loudly when I was joyful, and uttering its soft, melodious consolations when I was sad. It heralded my name around the country- made me friends, who, otherwise would not have noticed me- gave me an honored seat at the yearly feasts, and secured the loudest and heartiest welcome of them all at the Christmas dance.”
At the LSE Digital Library you can see the entire contents of Street Life in London, published in 1877 with photographs by John Thomson and essays by Adolph Smith. The photographs are very beautiful--it's moving to see these glimpses of the ordinary people who made London work. They are filtered through the photographer's sensibility, to be sure, but seem so much more direct than the amusing or decorative or political or moral figures they too often become in the 19th-century novels (which I love, but still...).
Here's the entire (!) album Tracce della tradizione orale in manoscritti italiani del XIV, XV sec. with some lovely Corsican-style singing, among other pleasures.
Not as much fun as singing and playing the gurdy in the park would have been (we got rained out!), but a nice thing to stumble across over my second cup of coffee.
Here are beautiful images of the Bay Psalm Book, in a Boston edition of 1742. The link is to a page from the collection of tunes bound in at the end. Here you can see Old Hundred (Sacred Harp page 49), arranged in three parts, Cantus (melody), Medius, and Bassus.
There are no shape-notes, but above each part the syllable fa, so, la, or mi is indicated by its first letter. The Medius and Bassus are closely related to the Sacred Harp's treble and bass parts respectively.