Editors' Picks A selection of stories handpicked by NPR Music editors.

Editors' Picks

What Wild Up unearths on Julius Eastman, Vol. 2: Joy Boy is more than just music, it's a set of relations and modes of comporting in the world that risk trading fleeting, worldly praise to regain the eternal soul. Ron Hammond hide caption

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Ron Hammond

A generation of contemporary artists are drawing on the lessons of the past to reimagine the classic bolero. Left to right: Olga Guillot, La Lupe, and Doris Anahí Victor Bizar Gomez for NPR hide caption

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Victor Bizar Gomez for NPR

Renaissance, Beyoncé's seventh full-length solo album, mines a liberating history of dance music, from Donna Summer-sampling disco to modern Chicago house. Carlijn Jacobs/Via Parkwood Entertainment hide caption

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Carlijn Jacobs/Via Parkwood Entertainment

UC Berkeley Professor Richard Taruskin, whose 4000-page book The Oxford History of Western Music set a benchmark for writing about the history of classical music. San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst N/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty hide caption

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San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst N/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty

"That's where our story starts, but that's not where music starts."

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Left-handed, Elizabeth Cotten turned the guitar so the bass strings were at the bottom, therefore "backwards." She used her thumb to play the melody and her fingers for the low notes. John Cohen, courtesy Deborah Bell, New York/National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution hide caption

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John Cohen, courtesy Deborah Bell, New York/National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

How Elizabeth Cotten's music fueled the folk revival

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Norah Jones in a 2002 portrait to promote Come Away With Me. Lourdes Delgado hide caption

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Lourdes Delgado

Norah Jones reflects on 20 years of 'Come Away With Me'

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Composer Carlos Simon's Requiem for the Enslaved, commissioned by Georgetown University, is a reckoning with the school's troubled history. Toko Shiik/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Toko Shiik/Courtesy of the artist

'Requiem for the Enslaved' holds a major university's truths up to the light

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USA. Mississippi. Tunica. 1985. © Eli Reed/Magnum Photos hide caption

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© Eli Reed/Magnum Photos

Songs to believe in: A Juneteenth playlist

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The Japanese psych-rock band Les Rallizes Dénudés were after a visceral — sometimes violent — impact, borne from unimaginable loudness. M. Tezuka and OZ Press/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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M. Tezuka and OZ Press/Courtesy of the artist

In the metal bands Sleep and High on Fire, Matt Pike has always looked to esoteric sources. Over the last decade, however, he's found inspiration in the conspiracy theories of David Icke. Photo Illustration by Estefania Mitre/NPR; Getty Images hide caption

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Photo Illustration by Estefania Mitre/NPR; Getty Images