September 17, 1179 - Composer Hildegard von Bingen died in Rupertsberg, near Bingen. Although she hasn't been formally canonized, she is often referred to as St. Hildegard. In Germany, her feast day is celebrated on September 17.
September 18, 1587 - Francesca Caccini was born in Florence, Italy. Aside from being a composer, she was also a poet, vocalist and musician.
September 19, 1974 - Eric Clapton received a gold record for his cover of the Bob Marley written song "I Shot the Sheriff."
September 20, 1957 - Composer Jean Sibelius died in Ainola. He composed "Finlandia" in 1899; a very powerful composition that made him a national figure.
September 21, 1874 - Composer Gustav Holst was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. His most famous work is "The Planets," an orchestral suite consisting of seven movements,
September 22, 1989 - Songwriter Irving Berlin died in New York. It was in 1911 with his song "Alexander's Ragtime Band" that he became well-known. The song sold over a million copies and became a huge influence on American pop music.
September 23 - On this day in 1835, composer Vincenzo Bellini died in Puteaux (near Paris) due to gastroenteritis. His specialty was writing bel canto operas. Also on this day in 1926, John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina. He is known as the leading tenor saxophonist in jazz during his time. And on this day in 1930, Ray Charles was born in Albany, Georgia. He was an inspiring pianist and singer who fused the elements of gospel music and blues then stamped it with his unique style.
September 24 - On this day in 1892, bandleader Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore died in St. Louis, Missouri due to heart attack. He was known as the "Father of the American Band" and "Father of Military Bands." Also on this day in 1978, singer Ruth Etting died in Colorado Springs. She made her stage debut on the production of Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 which opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York.
September 25 - On this day in 1683, Jean-Philippe Rameau was born in Dijon, Burgundy. He is known as one of the notable composers of pre-Revolutionary French opera, along with Gluck and Lully. Also on this day in 1906, composer Dmitry Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. His "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" initially received acceptance but was later denounced due to Stalin's disapproval of the said opera.
September 26 - On this day in 1892, John Philip Sousa's band had its first concert performance at the Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield, New Jersey. Also on this day in 1898, composer George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, New York. "Porgy and Bess" premiered in 1935 with mixed reactions but is now considered one of Gershwin's greatest works. And on this day in 1937, blues singer Bessie Smith died in Clarksdale, Mississippi due to a car accident.
September 27, 1986 - Bob Dylan performed "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" for Pope John Paul II during the World Eucharistic Congress in Bologna, Italy.
September 28, 1913 - Composer Vivian Fine was born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1979 she received an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. This was followed by a Guggenheim Fellowship award in 1980.
September 29, 1947 - Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie made his Carnegie Hall debut. Among his hits are "Groovin' High," "A Night in Tunisia," "Manteca" and "Two Bass Hit."
September 30, 1954 - Singer Patsy Cline signed a contract with Four Star Music Sales.
Special Celebrations in September
National Piano Month - whole month of September (see Different Types of Pianos)
National One-Hit Wonder Day - September 25