The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001 : All Songs Considered As NPR covered the events of Sept. 11, it was music that gave listeners time to reflect; to digest the images and the impact. Hear some of the songs we played 10 years ago in the days following the attacks.

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

Toni Ann Costa mourns the victims of the World Trade Center disaster on Sept. 14, 2001. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As NPR covered the events of Sept. 11, 2001, it was music that gave listeners time to reflect; to digest the images and the impact. So many letters came to NPR telling us how comforted they were by the music. A few days later, we put together some of those songs for an episode of All Songs Considered, in part to answer some of those letters wondering what we'd played (precise record keeping was impossible), and also to create an aural snapshot that in some small way tried to capture the tone of a nation shaken and changed.

At the time, All Songs Considered was a very young show and looked and sounded very different from now. For one thing, we used to do a lot of slideshows with music and text. This was in the day of dial-up connections, so the quality of the images and audio was pretty rough by today's standards, but hopefully no less affecting.

This is the little slideshow we did after Sept. 11, followed by some of the songs that were played during the live coverage.

Songs From Sept. 11

Cover for Begin Sweet World

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289258" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Begin Sweet World

  • by Richard Stoltzman
Cover for Glassworks

Opening

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Opening

  • from Glassworks
  • by Philip Glass
Cover for Fast Cheap and Out of Control

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289331" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Eternal Future

  • from Fast Cheap and Out of Control
  • by Caleb Sampson
Cover for Work in Progress

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289367" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Smiles and Tears

  • from Work in Progress
  • by Edgar Meyer
Cover for 6 Days, 6 Nights

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Broken Glass

  • from 6 Days, 6 Nights
  • by Michael Nyman
Cover for Highlights from "Alternatives": A Series of Performances of Soviet Avant Garde Music

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289406" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Music From Behind The Wall

  • from Highlights from "Alternatives": A Series of Performances of Soviet Avant Garde Music
  • by George Pelecis
Cover for Lamentation

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289483" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Hill of Solitude-Valley of Festivity

  • from Lamentation
  • by Tunde Jegede
Cover for Work in Progress

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289490" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Without Express Intention

  • from Work in Progress
  • by Edgar Meyer
Cover for By the Dawn's Early Light

The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/139746332/140289570" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Boy About 10

  • from By the Dawn's Early Light
  • by Harold Budd