1940 in music
This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1940.
- January 30 – Soprano Sophie Wyss gives the first complete performance of Benjamin Britten's Les Illuminations, with Boyd Neel conducting his Orchestra at the Wigmore Hall, London.
- March 28 – Antonio Brosa gives the first performance of Britten's Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Barbirolli in Carnegie Hall, New York.
- April 26 – Woody Guthrie records most of his Dust Bowl Ballads at RCA Victor studios in Camden, New Jersey.
- May 27 – Quartetto Egie perform in public for the first time.
- July 20 – Billboard magazine publishes its first "Music Popularity Chart".
- August – Edmundo Ros forms his own rumba band.
- November 9 – Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez is premièred in Barcelona.
- November 13 – Première of the Walt Disney animated film Fantasia in the United States set to classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski.
- November 23 – Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Quintet is premièred at the Moscow Conservatory with the composer at the piano.
- December 6 – Arnold Schoenberg's Violin Concerto is premièred.
- December 19 – Bandleader Hal Kemp's car is involved in a head-on collision. Kemp suffers a broken leg and multiple broken ribs, one of which eventually punctures a lung, causing his death a few days later.
- Quartetto Egie becomes Quartetto Ritmo after a line-up change.
- Heino Eller becomes professor of composition at the Tallinn Conservatory.
- Alfredo Antonini and John Serry, Sr. appear at the CBS network in Viva America for Voice of America.
- 16-year-old Doris Day joins Les Brown's band.
- Gesang Martohartono, the legendary Kroncong musician from Indonesia, releases his most popular composition, "Bengawan Solo".
Biggest hit songs
The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the limited set of charts available for 1940.
|1||Glenn Miller||In the Mood||1940||Europe 1 of the 1940s, US BB 2 of 1940, POP 2 of 1940, RYM 4 of 1939, Scrobulate 4 of swing, RIAA 11, UK 13 – Jan 1976, Netherlands 15 – Aug 1972, Party 45 of 1999, Acclaimed 477|
|2||Artie Shaw||Frenesi||1940||US 1940s 1 – Aug 1940, US 1 for 13 weeks Dec 1940, US BB 6 of 1940, POP 6 of 1940, Scrobulate 48 of swing, Europe 71 of the 1940s|
|3||Bing Crosby||Only Forever||1940||US 1940s 1 – Sep 1940, US 1 for 9 weeks Oct 1940, US BB 15 of 1940, POP 15 of 1940, Europe 24 of the 1940s, RYM 87 of 1940|
|4||Tommy Dorsey||I'll Never Smile Again||1940||US 1940s 1 – Jul 1940, US 1 for 12 weeks Jul 1940, US BB 8 of 1940, POP 8 of 1940, Europe 17 of the 1940s|
|5||Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike)||When You Wish Upon a Star||1940||Oscar in 1940, AFI 7, RYM 20 of 1940, RIAA 55, Acclaimed 1090|
Top hit records
- "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" – Glenn Miller
- "The Breeze and I" – Jimmy Dorsey
- "Bengawan Solo" – Gesang Martohartono
- "Careless" – Glenn Miller
- "Darn That Dream" – Benny Goodman
- "Do You Care?" – Bob Crosby with Johnny Desmond
- "Ferryboat Serenade" – The Andrews Sisters
- "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)" – Glenn Miller
- "Frenesi" – Artie Shaw
- "I'll Never Smile Again" – Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra
- "I'm Nobody's Baby – Benny Goodman
- "It's the Same Old Shillelagh" – Billy Murray With Harry's Tavern Band
- "Imagination" – Glenn Miller
- "Indian Summer" – Tommy Dorsey
- "In the Mood" – Glenn Miller
- "It's A Blue World" – Glenn Miller
- "Make Believe Island" – Mitchell Ayres
- "Maybe" – Bing Crosby
- "Maybe" – The Ink Spots
- "New San Antonio Rose" – Bob Wills
- "Only Forever" – Bing Crosby
- "Playmates", recorded by
- "Practice Makes Perfect" – Billie Holiday
- "Say It" – Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra
- "Sierra Sue" – Bing Crosby
- "The Starlit Hour" – Ella Fitzgerald
- "Trade Winds" – Bing Crosby
- "Tuxedo Junction" – Glenn Miller
- "With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair" – Stan Kenton
- "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" – The Ink Spots
- "We Three" – The Ink Spots
- "When You Wish Upon a Star", recorded by
- "Where Was I? – Charlie Barnet
- "The Woodpecker Song", recorded by
- "You Are My Sunshine" – Jimmie Davis
- "You Forgot About Me" – Bob Crosby with Johnny Desmond
Published popular music
- "Ain't It A Shame About Mame" w. Johnny Burke m. James V. Monaco
- "All Over The Place" w. Frank Eyton m. Noel Gay. Introduced by Tommy Trinder in the film Sailors Three
- "All This And Heaven Too" w. Eddie De Lange m. Jimmy Van Heusen
- "Along The Santa Fe Trail" w. Al Dubin & Edwina Coolidge m. Will Grosz
- "April Played The Fiddle" w. Johnny Burke m. James V. Monaco
- "Arm In Arm" Church, Bradbury
- "The Bad Humour Man" w. Johnny Mercer m. Jimmy McHugh
- "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" w.m. Don Raye, Hughie Prince & Eleanore Sheehy
- "Because Of You" w. Arthur Hammerstein m. Dudley Wilkinson
- "Beneath The Lights Of Home" Grossman, Jurmann
- "Bengawan Solo" – Gesang Martohartono
- "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" w. Lorenz Hart m. Richard Rodgers
- "Bless 'Em All" w.m. Jimmie Hughes, Frank Lake & Fred Godfrey
- "Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind" Arthur Young, William Shakespeare, Evans
- "Blueberry Hill" w.m. Al Lewis, Larry Stock & Vincent Rose
- "Boog It" w.m. Jack Palmer, Cab Calloway & R. "Buck" Ram
- "The Breeze And I" w. Al Stillman m. Ernesto Lecuona
- "Buds Won't Bud" w. E. Y. Harburg m. Harold Arlen
- "Cabin In The Sky" w. John Latouche m. Vernon Duke
- "The Call Of The Canyon" w.m. Billy Hill
- "Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind" w. Robert De Leon m. Hoagy Carmichael
- "Celery Stalks At Midnight" m. Will Bradley & George Harris
- "Concerto For Cootie" m. Duke Ellington
- "Contrasts" m. Jimmy Dorsey
- "Cotton Tail" m. Duke Ellington
- "Den Of Iniquity" w. Lorenz Hart m. Richard Rodgers
- "Devil May Care" w. Johnny Burke m. Harry Warren
- "Do I Worry?" w.m. Stanley Cowan & Bobby Worth
- "Do It the Hard Way" w. Lorenz Hart m. Richard Rodgers. Introduced by June Havoc, Claire Anderson and Jack Durant in the musical Pal Joey
- "Dolores" w. Frank Loesser m. Louis Alter
- "Down the Road a Piece" w.m. Don Raye
- "Falling Leaves" w. Mack David m. Frankie Carle
- "Ferry Boat Serenade" w. (Eng) Harold Adamson (Ital) Mario Panzeri m. Eldo di Lazzaro
- "The Five O'Clock Whistle" w.m. Josef Myrow, Kim Gannon & Gene Irwin
- "Flamingo" w. Edmund Anderson m. Ted Grouya
- "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)" w. Johnny Mercer m. Rube Bloom
- "Friendship" w.m. Cole Porter
- "Give a Little Whistle" w.m. Ned Washington & Leigh Harline, from the film Pinocchio
- "Good For Nothin' Joe" Ted Koehler, Rube Bloom
- "Harlem Nocturne" w. Dick Rogers m. Earle Hagen
- "Hear My Song, Violetta" w. (Ger) Ermenegildo Carosio & Othmar Klose (Eng) Buddy Bernier & Bob Emmerich m. Rudolf Luckesch & Othmar Klose
- "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee" w.m. Ned Washington & Leigh Harline, from the film Pinocchio
- "High On A Windy Hill" w.m. Joan Whitney & Alex Kramer
- "Honey in the Honeycomb" w. John Latouche m. Vernon Duke. Introduced by Katherine Dunham in the musical Cabin in the Sky. Performed in the 1943 film version by Ethel Waters and Lena Horne.
- "How High the Moon" w. Nancy Hamilton m. Morgan Lewis. Introduced by Alfred Drake and Frances Comstock in the revue Two for the Show.
- "I Concentrate on You" w.m. Cole Porter. Introduced by Douglas McPhail (and danced to by Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire) in the film Broadway Melody of 1940
- "I Could Make You Care" w. Sammy Cahn m. Saul Chaplin. Introduced by Rosemary Lane in the film Ladies Must Live.
- "I Haven't Time To Be A Millionaire" w. Johnny Burke m. James V. Monaco
- "I Hear A Rhapsody" w.m. George Fragos, Jack Baker & Dick Gasparre
- "I Hear Music" w. Frank Loesser m. Burton Lane
- "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town" w.m. William Weldon & Andy Razaf
- "I'm Looking For A Guy Who Plays Alto And Baritone And Doubles On A Clarinet And Wears A Size 37 Suit" w.m. Ozzie Nelson
- "I'm Stepping Out With A Memory Tonight" w. Herb Magidson m. Allie Wrubel
- "Imagination" w. Johnny Burke m. Jimmy Van Heusen
- "Intermezzo" w. Robert Henning m. Heinz Provost
- "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?" w.m. Billy Austin & Louis Jordan
- "It Never Entered My Mind" w. Lorenz Hart m. Richard Rodgers
- "It Shows You What Love Can Do" w. Sammy Cahn m. Saul Chaplin. Introduced by Rosemary Lane in the film Ladies Must Live.
- "It Was A Lover And His Lass" w. William Shakespeare m. Arthur Young
- "It's a Great Day for the Irish" w.m. Roger Edens
- "It's A Lovely Day Tomorrow" w.m. Irving Berlin
- "It's Always You" w. Johnny Burke m. Jimmy Van Heusen
- "It's The Same Old Shillelagh" w.m. Pat White
- "I've Got No Strings" w.m. Ned Washington & Leigh Harline, from the film Pinocchio
- "Java Jive" w. Milton Drake m. Ben Oakland
- "Just A Little Bit South Of North Carolina" w.m. Sunny Skylar, Bette Cannon & Arthur Shaftel
- "The Last Time I Saw Paris" w. Oscar Hammerstein II m. Jerome Kern
- "Let The People Sing" w.m. Noel Gay, Ian Grant & Frank Eyton
- "Let There Be Love" w. Ian Grant m. Lionel Rand
- "Let's Be Buddies" w.m. Cole Porter
- "Louisiana Purchase" w.m. Irving Berlin
- "Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please" w.m. Cole Porter. Introduced by Ethel Merman in the musical Panama Hattie
- "Make-Believe Island" w. Charles Kenny & Nick Kenny m. Will Grosz & Sam Coslow
- "Mamma" w. B. Cherubini m. C. A. Bixio
- "Mister Meadowlark" w. Johnny Mercer m. Walter Donaldson
- "Never No Lament" m. Duke Ellington
- "New San Antonio Rose" w.m. Bob Wills
- "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" w. Eric Maschwitz m. Manning Sherwin. Introduced in the revue New Faces by Judy Campbell.
- "On Behalf Of The Visiting Firemen" w. Johnny Mercer m. Walter Donaldson
- "Only Forever" w. Johnny Burke m. James V. Monaco
- "Our Love Affair" w. Arthur Freed m. Roger Edens
- "Outside Of That, I Love You" Irving Berlin
- "The Pessimistic Character" w. Johnny Burke m. James V. Monaco
- "Playmates" w.m. Saxie Dowell
- "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" w. Johnny Burke m. Jimmy Van Heusen
- "Pompton Turnpike" w.m. Will Osborne & Dick Rogers
- "Practice Makes Perfect" w.m. Don Roberts & Ernest Gold
- "Remind Me" w. Dorothy Fields m. Jerome Kern. Introduced by Allan Jones in the film One Night in the Tropics
- "Rhumboogie" w.m. Don Raye & Hughie Prince
- "Room 504" w.m. Erich Maschwitz & George Posford
- "Say It (Over And Over Again)" w. Frank Loesser m. Jimmy McHugh
- "Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat" w.m. Don Raye
- "The Singing Hills" w.m. Mack David, Sammy Mysels & Dick Sanford
- "Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga" w. Charles Newman m. James V. Monaco
- "Sometime" m. Glenn Miller & Chummy MacGregor w. Mitchell Parish
- "The Stars Remain" w. Henry Myers m. Jay Gorney. From the musical Meet the People.
- "Summit Ridge Drive" m. Artie Shaw
- "Taking A Chance On Love" w. John Latouche & Ted Fetter m. Vernon Duke
- "There I Go" w. Hy Zaret m. Irving Weiser
- "There'll Always Be an England" w.m. Ross Parker & Hughie Charles
- "There's A Boy Coming Home On Leave" w.m. Jimmy Kennedy
- "Tonight Be Tender To Me" w. Gloria Parker
- "Trade Winds" w. Charles Tobias m. Cliff Friend
- "Two Dreams Met" w. Mack Gordon m. Harry Warren
- "Wabash Cannon Ball" w.m. A. P. Carter
- "Walkin' Through Mockin' Bird Lane" Lowell Peters, Clarence Jones, John Turner
- "Waltzing In The Clouds" w. Gus Kahn m. Robert Stolz
- "We Could Make Such Beautiful Music" w. Robert Sour m. Henry Manners
- "We Three" w.m. Nelson Cogane, Sammy Mysels & Dick Robertson
- "Well, Did You Evah?" w.m. Cole Porter
- "When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano" w.m. Leon René
- "When You Wish Upon a Star" w.m. Ned Washington & Leigh Harline. Introduced by Cliff Edwards in the animated film Pinocchio
- "Whispering Grass" w. Fred Fisher m. Doris Fisher
- "The Woodpecker Song" w. (Eng) Harold Adamson (Ital) C. Bruno m. Eldo di Lazzaro
- "Worried Mind" w.m. Jimmie Davis & Ted Daffan
- "Yes, Indeed!" w.m. Sy Oliver
- "Yes, My Darling Daughter" w.m. Jack Lawrence
- "You and Your Kiss" w. Dorothy Fields m. Jerome Kern. Introduced by Allan Jones in the film One Night in the Tropics.
- "You Are My Sunshine" w.m. Jimmie Davis & Charles Mitchell
- "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" w. Gus Kahn m. Nacio Herb Brown
- "Zip" w. Lorenz Hart m. Richard Rodgers. In the role of reporter Melba Snyder in the Broadway production of Pal Joey, Jean Casto explained that the musings of a striptease artiste may be on a somewhat higher intellectual plane than those of her devotees.
|Britten, Benjamin||Les Illuminations||1940-01-30||Wyss / Neel String Orchestra – Neel|
|Britten, Benjamin||Violin Concerto||1940-03-29||Brosa / New York Philharmonic – Barbirolli|
|Carpenter, John Alden||Symphony No. 1 (2nd version)||1940-10-24||Chicago Symphony – Stock|
|Chávez, Carlos||Xochipilli-Macuilxóchitl||1940-05-16||Ensemble – Chávez|
|Creston, Paul||Symphony No. 1||1940-02-22||NYA Symphony – Mahler|
|Ginastera, Alberto||Malambo for piano||1940-09-11||Balzo|
|Ginastera, Alberto||Three Pieces for Piano||1940-10-16||Balzo|
|Hartmann, Karl Amadeus||Concerto funebre||1940-02-29||Neracher / St. Gallen Chamber Orchestra – Klug|
|Hindemith, Paul||Violin Concerto (1939)||1940-03-14||Concertgebouw Orchestra|
|Khachaturian, Aram||Violin Concerto||1940-11-16||Oistrakh / USSR State Symphony – Gauk|
|Krenek, Ernst||Little Concerto for Piano, Organ and Chamber Orchestra||1940-05-23||Williams, Geer / Vassar Orchestra – Krenek|
|Krenek, Ernst||Symphonisches Stück||1940-06-11||Basel Chamber Orchestra – Sacher|
|Larsson, Lars-Erik||God in Disguise||1940-04-01||Torlind, Hasslo, Molander / Swedish Radio Symphony – Larsson|
|Lilburn, Douglas||Aotearoa, overture||1940-04-15||Sadler's Welles Orchestra – Braithwaite|
|Milhaud, Darius||Symphony No. 1||1940-10-17||Chicago Symphony – Milhaud|
|Myaskovsky, Nikolai||Symphony No. 20||1940-11-28||USSR Radio Symphony – Golovanov|
|Piston, Walter||Violin Concerto No. 1||1940-03-18||Posselt / National Orchestral Association – Barzin|
|Price, Florence||Symphony No. 3 (Price)||1940-11-06||Detroit Civic Orchestra – Valter Poole|
|Prokofiev, Sergei||Piano Sonata No. 6||1940-04-08||Prokofiev|
|Rodrigo, Joaquín||Concierto de Aranjuez||1940-11-09||Saenz de la Maza / Barcelona Philharmonic – Mendoza-Lasalle|
|Schoenberg, Arnold||Chamber Symphony No. 2||1940-12-15||Friends of New Music Orchestra – Stiedry|
|Schoenberg, Arnold||Violin Concerto (finished 1936)||1940-12-06||Krasner / Philadelphia Orchestra – Stokowski|
|Shostakovich, Dmitri||Piano Quintet||1940-11-23||Shostakovich, Beethoven Quartet|
|Shostakovich, Dmitri||Four Romances on Verses by Pushkin||1940-12-08||Baturin, Shostakovich|
|Strauss, Richard||Japanese Festival Music||1940-12-14||Tokyo Broadcast Orchestra – Fellmer|
|Stravinsky, Igor||Symphony in C||1940-11-07||Chicago Symphony – Stravinsky|
|Tippett, Michael||Concerto for Double String Orchestra||1940-04-21||South London Orchestra – Tippett|
|Webern, Anton||Fünf Lieder, Op. 4 (1909)||1940-02-10||Gradmann-Lüscher, Schmid|
- Granville Bantock – Celtic Symphony
- Samuel Barber – Violin Concerto
- Lennox Berkeley – Symphony No. 1
- Benjamin Britten – Sinfonia da Requiem
- Carlos Chávez –
- Aaron Copland – Episode, Music for Our Town
- Paul Creston – Symphony No. 1
- David Diamond – Concerto for Small Orchestra, String Quartet No. 1
- Hanns Eisler – Chamber Symphony
- George Enescu – Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 29
- Evaristo Fernández Blanco – Dramatic Overture
- John Fernström – Cello Concerto
- Vivian Fine – Suite in E Flat
- Jakov Gotovac – Guslar, Op. 22
- Roy Harris – Folksong Symphony
- Paul Hindemith – Cello Concerto, Symphony in E-flat
- Aram Khachaturian – Violin Concerto
- Gideon Klein – String Quartet, Op. 2
- László Lajtha – Cello Concerto
- Igor Markevitch – Lorenzo il Magnifico
- Frank Martin – Ballade for Trombone and Piano
- Olivier Messiaen – Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time)
- Darius Milhaud – String Quartet No. 10
- Gosta Nystroem – Viola Concerto
- Willem Pijper – Six Adagios, for orchestra
- Walter Piston – Suite from The Incredible Flutist
- Sergei Rachmaninoff – Symphonic Dances
- Roger Sessions – From My Diary, for piano
- Igor Stravinsky – Symphony in C
- Eduard Tubin – Prelude Solennel
- William Walton – The Wise Virgins (ballet)
- Heitor Villa-Lobos – Five Preludes for guitar
- Apple Sauce (Music and Lyrics: Michael Carr & Jack Strachey). London production opened at the Holborn Empire on August 27 and moved to the London Palladium on March 5, 1941, when the Holburn Empire was destroyed in the blitz. Total run 462 performances.
- The Beggar's Opera (Music and Lyrics: John Gay adapted by Frederic Austin). London revival opened at the Haymarket Theatre on March 5.
- Cabin in the Sky (Music: Vernon Duke Lyrics: John Latouche Book: Lynn Root). Broadway production opened on October 25 at the Martin Beck Theatre and ran for 156 perofrmances
- Higher and Higher (Music: Richard Rodgers Lyrics: Lorenz Hart Book: Gladys Hurlbut and Joshua Logan) opened at the Shubert Theatre on April 4 and ran for 84 performances. It returned to the same theatre on August 5 for a further 24 performances.
- Hold On To Your Hats (Music: Burton Lane Lyrics: E. Y. Harburg Book: Eddie Davis, Guy Bolton and Matt Brooks). Broadway production opened at the Shubert Theatre on September 11 and ran for 158 performances
- Keep Off The Grass (Music: Jimmy McHugh Lyrics: Al Dubin and Howard Dietz). Broadway revue opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on May 23 and ran for 44 performances
- Louisiana Purchase (Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin Book: Morrie Ryskind). Broadway production opened on May 28 at the Imperial Theatre and ran for 444 performances
- Meet the People Broadway production opened at the Mansfield Theatre on December 25 and ran for 160 performances.
- New Faces London revue opened at the Comedy Theatre on April 11 and moved to the Apollo Theatre on March 14, 1941.
- Pal Joey (Music: Richard Rodgers Lyrics: Lorenz Hart Book: John O'Hara) – Broadway production opened on December 25 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and ran for 374 performances
- Panama Hattie (Music and Lyrics: Cole Porter Book: Herbert Fields and B. G. DeSylva). Broadway production opened on October 30 at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 501 performances
- Two for the Show Broadway revue opened at the Booth Theatre on February 11 and ran for 124 performances
- Walk With Music (Music: Hoagy Carmichael Lyrics: Johnny Mercer Book: Guy Bolton, Parke Levy and Alan Lipscott). Broadway production opened on June 4 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and ran for 55 performances
- White Horse Inn (Music: Ralph Benatzky Lyrics and Book: Harry Graham). London revival opened on March 20 at the London Coliseum and ran for 268 performances until ended by bombing raids.
- The Boys From Syracuse, based on the 1938 Broadway play, starring Allan Jones, Irene Hervey, Martha Raye and Rosemary Lane
- Broadway Melody of 1940, starring Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell
- Canto de amor, Argentine musical directed by Julio Irigoyen
- El Cantor de Buenos Aires, Argentine musical
- Gül Baba, Hungarian musical starring Sándor Kömíves and Zita Szeleczky
- If I Had My Way, starring Bing Crosby and Gloria Jean
- Irene, starring Anna Neagle, Ray Milland and Billie Burke
- It All Came True starring Ann Sheridan and Humphrey Bogart
- La canción del milagro, Mexican musical drama starring José Mojica
- Lillian Russell (film), starring Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda and Eddie Foy Jr.
- Little Nellie Kelly, starring Judy Garland, George Murphy and Charles Winninger. Directed by Norman Taurog.
- New Moon, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard.
- A Night at Earl Carroll's, released December 6
- No, No, Nanette, starring Anna Neagle, Richard Carlson, Victor Mature, Roland Young, Helen Broderick, Zasu Pitts and Eve Arden
- One Night in the Tropics, starring Allan Jones, Nancy Kelly, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Directed by A. Edward Sutherland.
- Pinocchio Walt Disney animated film
- Sailors Three, British musical comedy starring Tommy Trinder.
- Spring Parade, starring Deanna Durbin remake of 1934 film
- Too Many Girls, based on 1939 Broadway musical, starring Lucille Ball, Richard Carlson, Frances Langford, Ann Miller, Eddie Bracken and Desi Arnaz.
- Two Girls on Broadway, remake of 1929 film Broadway Melody, starring Lana Turner, Joan Blondell and George Murphy.
- Young People, starring Shirley Temple. Directed by Allan Dwan.
- January 8 – Anthony Gourdine, American R&B vocalist (Little Anthony & the Imperials)
- January 9 – Al Downing, American singer-songwriter and pianist (died 2005)
- January 22 – Addie "Micki" Harris, American R&B vocalist (The Shirelles)
- January 23
- January 28 – Trebor Jay Tichenor, American pianist and composer (died 2014)
- January 30 – David C. Johnson, American composer, flautist and live-electronic performer
- January 31 – Sandy Yaguda (Jay and the Americans)
- February 2 – Alan Caddy (The Tornados) (d. 2000)
- February 3 – Angelo D'Aleo (Dion and the Belmonts)
- February 10
- February 11 – Bobby 'Boris' Pickett, singer (d. 2007)
- February 19 – Smokey Robinson, soul singer (The Miracles)
- February 20 – Barbara Ellis, pop singer (The Fleetwoods)
- February 25 – Jesús López Cobos, conductor (d. 2018)
- February 28
- February 29 – Gretchen Christopher, pop singer (The Fleetwoods)
- March 2 – Juraj Beneš, composer (d. 2004)
- March 10 – Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean)
- March 12 – Al Jarreau, singer (d. 2017)
- March 13 – Daniel Bennie (The Reflections)
- March 15 – Phil Lesh, (Grateful Dead)
- March 16 – Rock-Olga (Birgit Jacobsson), rock singer (d. 2010)
- March 17 – Vito Picone, doo-wop singer (The Elegants)
- March 25 – Mina, singer
- March 27 – Derrick Morgan, ska musician
- March 29
- April 1 – Annie Nightingale, radio music presenter
- April 12 – Herbie Hancock, jazz pianist and composer
- April 13 – Lester Chambers (The Chambers Brothers)
- April 17 – Billy Fury, singer (d. 1983)
- April 24 – George Tomsco, rock guitarist (The Fireballs)
- April 26 – Giorgio Moroder, record producer
- May 3
- May 8
- May 15 – Lainie Kazan, American actress and singer
- May 19 – Mickey Newbury, songwriter (d. 2002)
- May 21 – Tony Sheridan, singer-songwriter (d. 2013)
- May 26 – Levon Helm, American musician (The Band) (d. 2012)
- June 7 – Tom Jones, singer
- June 8
- June 11 – Joey Dee, leader of Joey Dee and the Starliters
- June 13 – Bobby Freeman, soul singer (d. 2017)
- June 23
- July 4 – Helen Quach, Vietnamese-born orchestral conductor (d. 2013)
- July 6 – Jeannie Seely, American singer-songwriter and actress
- July 7 – Ringo Starr, drummer of The Beatles
- July 16 – Tony Jackson, singer and bass guitarist (The Searchers) (d. 2003)
- July 22 – Thomas Wayne, American singer (d. 1971)
- August 10 – Bobby Hatfield, singer (The Righteous Brothers) (d. 2003)
- August 12 – Tony Allen, drummer
- August 14 – Dash Crofts, Seals and Crofts
- August 19
- August 20 – John Lantree (The Honeycombs)
- August 31 – Wilton Felder, jazz saxophonist (The Crusaders) (d. 2015)
- September 2 – Jimmy Clanton, singer
- September 6 – Jackie Trent, born Yvonne Burgess, songwriter (d. 2015)
- September 9 – Joe Negroni (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers) (d. 1978)
- September 10 – Dickie Rock, singer
- September 11 – Bernie Dwyer (Freddie & The Dreamers)
- September 17 – Lamonte McLemore (The 5th Dimension)
- September 19 – Bill Medley, singer (The Righteous Brothers)
- September 30 – Dewey Martin (Buffalo Springfield) (d. 2009)
- October 8 – Fred Cash (The Impressions)
- October 9 – John Lennon, singer and songwriter (d. 1980)
- October 14 – Cliff Richard, singer
- October 17 – Stephen Kovacevich, pianist
- October 19 – Larry Chance (The Earls)
- October 21 – Jimmy Beaumont (The Skyliners) (d. 2017)
- October 23
- November 2 – Hugo Raspoet, folk singer (d. 2018).
- November 4 – Delbert McClinton, singer-songwriter
- November 16 – John Ryanes (The Monotones)
- November 17 – Luke Kelly, folk musician (The Dubliners) (d. 1984)
- November 21 – Dr. John, pianist, singer and songwriter
- November 25 – Percy Sledge, singer (d. 2015)
- November 28 – Bruce Channel, singer
- November 29
- December 3 – Jim Freeman (The Five Satins)
- December 9 – Clancy Eccles, ska/reggae singer (d. 2005)
- December 11 – David Gates, singer-songwriter (Bread)
- December 12 – Dionne Warwick, singer
- December 19 – Phil Ochs, protest singer (d. 1976)
- December 21
- December 23
- December 28 – Lonnie Liston Smith, Jazz, Funk musician
- January 7 – Effie Crockett, composer of "Rock-a-Bye Baby", 82
- January 17 – Carl Boberg, hymn-writer, 80
- February 2 – Nikolay Kedrov, Sr., composer, 68
- February 17 – Gus Elen, music hall singer, 77
- February 28 – Arnold Dolmetsch, musical instrument maker, 82
- March 18 – Lola Beeth, operatic soprano, 78
- March 25 – Nonna Otescu, composer, 51
- April 9 – Rosa Newmarch, music writer, 82
- April 18 – Florrie Forde, Australian-born English music hall singer, 64
- April 28 – Luisa Tetrazzini, soprano, 68
- May 23 – Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov, musicologist, 61
- May 29 – Mathilda Grabow, operatic soprano, 88
- June 8 – Frederick Converse, composer, 69
- June 19 – Albert Reiss, operatic tenor, 70
- June 20
- July 10 – Sir Donald Francis Tovey, musicologist and composer, 64
- August 8
- August 10 – Alessandro Bonci, lyric tenor, 70
- August 16 – Eduard Sõrmus, Estonian violinist, 62
- August 21 – Paul Juon, composer and teacher, 68
- August 29 – Arthur De Greef, pianist and composer, 77
- September 2 – Giulio Gatti-Casazza, director of the Metropolitan Opera, 71
- September 30 – Walter Kollo, operetta composer, 62
- October 5 – Silvestre Revueltas, composer, 40 (pneumonia)
- November 6 – Ivar F. Andresen, operatic bass, 44
- November 12 – Alejandro García Caturla, composer, 34
- November 22 – Jorge Bravo de Rueda, pianist and composer, 45
- November 23 – Billy Jones, US singer, 51
- December 3 – Walborg Lagerwall, Swedish violinist, 89
- December 5 – Jan Kubelik, violinist, 60
- December 11 – J. Harold Murray, baritone, 49 (nephritis)
- December 15 – Blanche Marchesi, mezzo-soprano and voice teacher, 77
- December 16 – William Wallace, composer, 80
- December 21 – Hal Kemp, jazz musician and bandleader, 36 (complications following car accident)
- December 24 – Billy Hill, songwriter, 41
- date unknown – Marguerite Ugalde, operatic mezzo-soprano (born 1862)
- Mitchell, Donald (ed) (1991). Letters From A Life: Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten, Vol. 2 1939–45. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-160581. pp. 628, 657
- Mitchell (1991): p. 629
- "Les Illuminations, Benjamin Britten". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Violin Concerto, Benjamin Britten". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "CARPENTER: Adventures in a Perambulator / Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2". www.naxos.com.
- "Paul Creston: A Bio-bibliography". Greenwood Publishing Group. February 9, 1994 – via Google Books.
- "Malambo, Alberto Evaristo Ginastera". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Tres Piezas, Alberto Evaristo Ginastera". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Hartmann: Concerto funebre". Hyperion Records.
- "Los Angeles Philharmonic".
- "Little Concerto, Ernst Krenek". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Symphonisches Stück, Ernst Krenek". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Norlands Operan". Archived from the original on July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "Chicago Symphony Orchestra" (PDF).
- "N. Myaskovsky » Works". www.myaskovsky.ru.
- "PISTON, W.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Fantasia for Violin and Orchestra (Buswell, Ukraine National Symphony, T. Kuchar)". www.naxos.com.
- Price, Florence (January 1, 2008) . Brown, Rae Linda; Shirley, Wayne D. (eds.). Symphonies nos. 1 and 3. A-R Editions. pp. xlvi–lii. ISBN 0895796384.
- Espinosa, Olivia. "An Evening with Yefim Bronfman – La Jolla Music Society".
- Joaquín Rodrigo official website
- "Zweite Kammersymphonie op. 38, Arnold Schoenberg". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Concerto pour violon et orchestre op. 36, Arnold Schoenberg". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Quintette avec piano, Dimitri Chostakovitch". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Quatre romances sur des vers de Pouchkine, Dimitri Chostakovitch". brahms.ircam.fr.
- Jones, Barrie (June 3, 2014). "The Hutchinson Concise Dictionary of Music". Routledge – via Google Books.
- "Chicago Symphony Orchestra" (PDF).
- "Concerto pour double orchestre à cordes, Sir Michael Tippett". brahms.ircam.fr.
- "Fünf Lieder Op. 4, Anton Webern". brahms.ircam.fr.