MLA in Washington, DC
February 11-15, 2004
By Lisa Rae Philpott
Music Library, University of Western Ontario
Choosing to fly into Reagan National Airport seemed like a good idea as I filled out my MLA conference registration form and booked my flight: the fact that the hotel offered a free shuttle service was a decided plus. Planning ahead, I booked a morning flight to take advantage of an afternoon tour of the Library of Congress. Well, the "best laid plans" often go awry. Over Christmas, Air Canada cancelled the morning flight to DC (so I had to ask them to re-book my early-morning flight out of London)-and scheduled me on the afternoon flight-so I missed the LC tour. My decision to fly into Reagan National necessitated three trips through airport security: London, Toronto (after clearing U.S. customs), and again at the departure lounge! Flying into Toronto necessitates doing the "terminal tango" and, by virtue of flying to Reagan National, one then has to hike to the furthest reaches of Terminal Two ("walking times" are posted at the various gates, and mine turned out to be the absolute furthest from everything except the 401!). An adventure. In the aftermath of 9/11, all travellers on flights to Reagan National are prohibited from leaving their seats during the half-hour prior to landing or following takeoff. However, the shuttle to the Crystal Gateway Marriott (Arlington) was indeed free, and a mere ten-minute ride from the airport.
Logistics aside, the reception at the registration desk was warm, and the weather offered a taste of what spring may one day bring.... My compatriots and I opted to find dinner prior to the opening reception, and returned to find that event in full swing: the MLA shop, silent auction and exhibits were all open for business and/or conversation, offering both freebies and potential purchases.
Welcome to the 73rd MLA Annual Meeting
The seventy-third annual MLA conference opened with a Musical Prelude by the U.S. Marine Band Brass Quintet. We were treated to a spectacular half-hour mini-recital (a fabulous arrangement of "America the Beautiful," among other tunes) and the assemblage rose to join in "The Star Spangled Banner." The presentation of the Colors by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard provided a visual treat.
Laura Dankner, MLA President, welcomed all, and introduced Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services, Library of Congress. Marcum welcomed us, and expressed her delight-that not only do we have music at our conferences, but that we also sing on key! She invited attendees to the evening's concert at the Library of Congress (Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Auditorium) and the new Churchill Exhibit. She commented on the challenges facing libraries: technology sharing, preservation concerns, and increased responsibility for identifying and obtaining our own funding. The challenges of music librarianship include improving accessibility with music retrieval systems, standards for bibliographic records, and the chaos of property rights. As the National Library, LC has an enormous responsibility to the nation, yet must also deal with rising subscription costs, retirements, training the young, and preservation issues, especially digital ones.
Dankner thanked Gordon Rowley and Annie Thompson (conference co-ordinators), and Rick McRae and Jane Edmister Penner for their work on local arrangements. She reminded attendees to bring their name tags for the evening's concert at LC, and warned us that we should depart the hotel by 6:15 in order to clear security at LC in time for the 7:30 concert.
Plenary Session 1: Music at the Library of Congress
Kresh is the Director for Public Service Collections at LC. She offered the pertinent dates for the establishment of various areas of the library:
- 1897 Music Division is established
- 1925 Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation
- 1928 Archives of Folk Culture
- 1936 Gertrude Clark Whittall Foundation Collection
- 1949 Serge Koussevitsky Foundation
- 1976 American Folklife Center
- 1978 Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound
The Library of Congress serves Congress, scholars and average citizens. Each day thousands visit the twenty-two public reading rooms, four of which are devoted to music and the performing arts. She recommended that we peruse LC's new site, I Hear America Singing, and commented that no matter how much material is mounted on the Web site, researchers always want more! LC believes in education and outreach, and offers dance and music programs to local school children to demystify the library. The three C's-Concerts (Coolidge), Commissions and Collections-are one of the library's great resources.
American Folklife Center
Founded in 1976 by an Act of Congress, the Center holds three million items and is "growing fast!" Thousands of unique recordings can be found in the collected field recordings (e.g., Passamaquoddy Indians recordings made in the eighteen nineties): 10,000 wax cylinders were produced and collected by the Smithsonian's Bureau of Ethnology alone between 1890 and 1920. Many artists were invited to record at the Library's recording lab, including Woody Guthrie (Jan. 4, 1941), a practice that continues to the present.
In 1939, John and Ruby Lomax travelled the southern states in a refitted station wagon containing a 500-pound portable (!) acetate disc cutter for a historical field recordings expedition (see http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/lohtml/lohome.html). Bulger played a recording of W.T. Stepp performing "Bonaparte's Retreat," that was obviously the genesis of Copland's "Hoedown" from Rodeo. We were also treated to a rendition of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" in Pennsylvania Dutch, originally recorded onto wire in the late nineteen forties by Don Yoder. World music is also well represented, including the last pre-World War II recording of gamelan music (1941) and Moroccan music as collected by Paul Bowles in the nineteen forties. The Save Our Sounds project, a collaboration between LC and the Smithsonian (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/lohtml/lohome.html) is well worth perusing. Spoken word and narrative recordings have also been collected-four tons' worth-and include the International Storytelling Collection (Ray Hicks' "Jack Tales" from the Appalachias) and a wide variety of oral histories, veterans' histories being a recent addition.
Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound
Lukow, Chief of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, offered a preview of the renovations of the federal reserve bunker in Culpeper, VA, which will become the National Audio Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC). Construction began last August, with a proposed completion of June 2005. Phase II is scheduled for April 2006, and will entail the move of staff and collections to the new facility. (At present, the collections are located in seven facilities spread throughout DC, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland.) Contained within the facility will be a new conservation center devoted to the preservation of nitrate film.
The NAVCC will be a national service and is presently developing a public policy framework. Preservation of recorded sound in controlled storage will be a major focus, with the goal of preserving of sixty percent of its holdings by 2015 (at present, a mere five percent have received preservation treatment). NAVCC aims to be an innovator by being a "digital test-bed," devising standards and service innovations; its business and operations models have already been written. Partnerships with satellite locations will be one means of providing access. Fees-for-service are planned, and there will be a sale of surplus items. The NAVCC also plans to capture both broadcast and streamed audio content. The legislative mandate of the National Recording Preservation Act (2000) is tied to the Culpeper location, with an expectation of ongoing research, preservation and access. As a corollary, the second annual list of fifty recordings identified as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" for inclusion to the National Recordings Registry has been released: http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2004/04-061.html.
I Hear America Singing
Jon Newsom (Chief, Music Division)
Oscar Sonneck "worked magic" by making the study of American music respectable. He studied musicology in Germany in the eighteen nineties and examined newspapers of the eastern seaboard, making a study of early concert life (pre-1800) in the United States. Invited by Herbert Putnam to head the new Music Division in 1902 (and deal with the rampant and burgeoning collection of sheet music-the result of legal deposit) Sonneck chose to collect something different from other libraries, and selected opera. He commissioned scholars to hand-copy opera scores, and collected standard reference works, rare prints and manuscripts of great composers during his fifteen-year tenure.
For the Music Division, 1925 was an important year: Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge became a patron of the library. A visionary, she trusted in the integrity of musicians and composers and believed in bringing music to life through performance. She commissioned many important works (underwriting the concert costs), and provided not only a place for new works to be performed, but also a means of collecting the manuscripts. Her generosity changed the library in a radical way, and caused it to become a commissioning and performing organization. Her main focus was chamber music and, to that end, the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation exists to promote and advance of chamber music through commissions, public concerts, and festivals. An additional gift from her (in 1925) funded the construction of the 511-seat Coolidge Auditorium. The tradition of commissioning and receiving manuscript scores is also followed by the two foundations bearing Koussevitsky's name.
In 1936, Gertrude Clarke Whittall, a rival of Coolidge's, established a foundation in her own name at the library. She presented a set of five Stradivari instruments to the library (a violoncello, a viola and three violins) for use by guest string quartets. Eventually, this arrangement evolved into the tradition of a resident string quartet, which, from 1962 to the present has been the Juilliard String Quartet (preceded by the Budapest String Quartet from 1940-62). Whittall's endowment ensures in-house music-making with the instruments and also provided for the purchase Tourte bows for each instrument. While Coolidge opted for new music, Whittall supported the classics and her instruments were heard in national broadcasts of chamber music. She also acquired several important music manuscripts for the Library, including Bach's Cantata No. 5 ("Meine Seel"), Mozart, Weber, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Beethoven's Piano Sonata, Opus 109.
The all-embracing flute collection of Dayton C. Miller came to the Library in 1941. Miller collected flutes plus books: his 1,600 instruments represent the history of instrument-making from the late Renaissance to the present day (from a one-keyed model to Miller's own twenty-two karat gold instrument).
If there is a downside to the Music Division, it lies in its immense amount of miscellany and the lack of a coherent profile. How does one create an impression of the true picture of a division that collects film music, jazz, motown, and American musical theatre, and which commissions new works and offers concerts? I Hear America Singing will not improve the order and vision of the division: it's up to the user to create his or her own order. Ideally, there will one day be a comprehensive map of the United States with historical time lines, so that one will be able to find out what happened anywhere at a particular time. The division's success will be measured against the goal of inspiring scholarship in the style of Oscar Sonneck. "We must make our own connections-but people still have to be shown the riches available to them-and that is our job."
I Hear America Singing
Karen Lund, Digital Project Coordinator
Lund described this soon-to-be-released digital project as putting a public face on the collections, and offering a portal to research and scholarship. This involved outreach and collaboration with other institutions, and much R and D. The project is a prototype of cross-cutting technologies, employing reusable digital object models and behaviours, and interoperability of open-source software and standards. In terms of practical standards, it uses METS, MODS and XML. "Under the hood" is metadata, XML software and tools, plus open-source software. The Web presentation is user-centred, and undergoes usability-testing before, during and after. The advantage of "behaviours" (which combine cascading style sheets with HTML components) is that they offer greater flexibility in content and presentation, so Web site development is much easier.
The first release of IHAS will present Patriotic Melodies, Gerry Mulligan, Life in Nineteenth-Century Ohio, and Walt Whitman. Future offerings will include: cyber-cast concerts from LC, Civil War Sheet Music, Lost Chords, and American Musical Theatre from 1890.
A project of this nature and magnitude brings special challenges. Permission was obtained to use a twenty-year-old sound recording for the Ohio Life pages. Gerry Mulligan and his widow Franca offered enthusiastic support for the project-LC is permitted to mount sheet music (scores and parts)-in FINALE (PDF is under development), as long as LC does not make any money from the project. Boosey & Hawkes gave permission to mount images of the manuscript of a complete Irving Fine string quartet. There will be jazz photos taken by Bill Gottlieb of 52nd Street, New York (1938-48). In order to mount anything, rights must be considered: anything prior to 1923 is okay, while post-1923 is not. Sheet music rights are easier to deal with than sound recording rights, and LC scored a huge coup by getting permission to mount 300 Victor early records on the planned American Musical Theater pages. Alas, BMG would not grant LC permission for similar usage of its recordings
Electronic Reference Services Subcommittee
Comparison of RILM Interfaces: CSA, Ebsco, NISC, OCLC, and Ovid
Donna Arnold, University of North Texas
Judy Clarence, California State University, Hayward
Stephen Luttmann, University of Northern Colorado
Holling Smith Borne, Depauw University
The news that RILM was discontinuing its paper index provided a topic for this session, since one now has a further incentive to purchase the online product (it is also far more convenient).
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts is a new entry into the RILM arena. Unfortunately, CSA chose to use frames with the left-hand frame being the "search execution area." CSA does give good, concise hints. The default is "exact search" and a keyword search does not index authors (keyword anywhere will find authors); defaults are "sticky" (i.e., when you change a search-strategy parameter such as "limit," it "sticks" until it is removed manually). There is little hyperlinking in this product, but it does employ the RILM Thesaurus; and it passes the "Tchaikovsky" test by offering the preferred term which one can then cut-and-paste into the search strategy. The rotated index has a few bugs. One cannot find "reviewed by Boulez, P" despite its presence in the database. One can revise previous searches, save searches, and set-up an alerts service (alerts are sent weekly). CSA-RILM has a very busy appearance and the index has some rough edges.
EBSCOHOST-RILM is another new vendor, offering RILM with a deceptively simple appearance and requiring much scrolling. It doesn't work like "google" and it does not index authors of reviews. Inputting "Taruskin" retrieves only fifty-two items until you try a basic keyword search and retrieve 170 items. Extensive hyperlinking is used, with links to reviews of a work or offering the option to "check for full-text" if your institution subscribes to the Serials Solutions product. EBSCOHOST-RILM offers three separate indexes (basic and advanced are browsable), relevancy-ranking, the option to save searches and the ability to set-up an alerts service. In general, there is good hyperlinking and indexing.
NISC-RILM offers four searching options, with frames, and navigation in the right-hand window. Features include an index, a thesaurus, automatic plural and international spelling, which can be turned-off by putting the desired term in quotation marks. Boolean operators are available with an automatic "and" in effect (to turn this feature off, use quotation marks around the terms). The advanced keyword search does not search authors, and the "basic" search is too basic. The expert search is intense, and is for sophisticated users who are willing to use field-tags. The index is a word-wheel and there is a thesaurus. When searching for Tchaikovsky, one is required to click on the preferred spelling followed by the "go" button. There is a "sounds like" feature, so that users can let the system find and offer possible matches. There is little hyper-linking available, and the Quick Guides are very busy. "The good:" NISC is small, friendly attentive and socially conscious. "The bad:" There are no usage statistics available, it is pricey, and while there are good x-refs, there are no hyperlinks from same. "And the ugly:" There are no reviewer keywords. You must remember to log-out of NISC. You must use its navigation system, and you are stuck with its annoying survey pop-ups.
OCLC-RILM is like FirstSearch: if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all! "Advanced" searching is the default, and the "expert" search is best for complex searches. There are drop-down menus. Remember: the keyword does not include authors. In fact, if you choose "author phrase," you must enter the exact form of the author's name. Many of us are familiar with the RILM accession number (e.g., 82-xxxx, where 82 refers to 1982), but not all entries are hot-linked to this number, nor are there hyperlinks to reviews (within a bibliographic record). Beware of over-specifying, which can doom your search to failure.
RILM-SilverPlatter offers cut-and-paste capabilities, but the use of hyphens creates a barrier (one must "remove" the hyphens to execute a search). One uses "check boxes" to show marked records in a full-screen display. There are hyperlinks from journal titles (when one uses SerialsFX) which will take to Clarence's catalog (HAYSTAC at CSU- Hayward). There is an index function, but no thesaurus (one has to devise alternative spellings).
Barbara Dobbs MacKenzie (RILM Editor) explained the differences in terminology between the products and usage of RILM/Accession numbers. The paper version is self-explanatory; the databases often use an accession number, as opposed to a RILM number. (To further confuse the issue, RILM often attaches provisional numbers to new items.)
CSA only uses accession numbers;
FirstSearch uses "classic" RILM numbers only, but labels it as an accession number!
EBSCO uses both;
SilverPlatter uses both;
NISC uses one or the other (the RILM number, where possible).
Sondheim on Music
Mark Horowitz (Library of Congress)
Horowitz is an archivist at LC. He first met Sondheim during a 1989 production of Merrily We Roll Along (Horowitz was the Assistant Music Director). Sondheim borrowed Horowitz's rhyming dictionary, and added a few entries of his own!
LC's collection of American musical theater holdings is particularly rich. Horowitz had written a letter to Sondheim, inquiring about his plans his papers. The impetus for Sondheim to visit LC was his being given the Helen Hayes Award for Lifetime Achievement (1993). Knowing that Sondheim had once made a "desert island discs" list, Horowitz did his homework, and was able to display something by each composer on Sondheim's list including two of the cited works! Sondheim was moved to tears at the sight of the autograph score of Porgy and Bess, and Horowitz's selection of pieces resonated with him. He agreed to give his papers to LC as a bequest, and Horowitz visited Sondheim in 1995 to get preliminary ideas of the size of the collection, just before the fire in Sondheim's apartment. Luckily, all of the music manuscripts were saved, as was the record collection (13,000 LPs, twentieth century and classical music, South American, Norwegian, and Scandinavian music). However, all the LP jackets were in storage (no liner notes!), and Sondheim had catalogued his collection by composer in six shoe boxes!
In 1996, LC offered a grant program for specialists, and Horowitz submitted a broadly-worded proposal for a special project to interview a living composer (Sondheim) regarding the marginalia interest of his manuscripts. Sondheim agreed to the project and Horowitz's successful application gave him a budget of $11,000 to fund two trips to New York City. He spent three days with Sondheim's manuscripts, collating and deciding upon questions. He tried to solicit input from scholars, but received none; he did receive some questions from musical directors. He hired a video company to film three days of interviews, and armed himself with several pages of notes and questions. (While Horowitz doesn't consider himself to be a great speaker, he is a good listener.) The interview proved to be a wide-ranging discussion and Routledge publishing expressed interest in the project, which was agreed to by Sondheim. Horowitz prepared two sets of transcriptions: literal and coherent, which were edited for clarity by Sondheim himself. Following the project, Horowitz had an opportunity to dine with Sondheim, Marsha Norman ('Night, Mother) and Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy), who were visiting DC for a Congress session on copyright law...upon hearing the names of his dining companions, Horowitz's wife commented, "How did it feel being the only person at the table who hadn't won a Pulitzer prize?!"
For the most part, Horowitz feels that the book is mostly better than the videos, as it contains better photographs of the manuscripts. He played several clips from the videotapes illustrating the loss of vocal inflections in the printed text. In one clip, Sondheim discussed his use of motifs and the series of themes that he used for Into the Woods. Each character has a theme, and there is a "bean" theme for the magic beans. Each theme is linked to the others by a motif and interwoven with the others. Doing so gave Sondheim a bank to draw on. For instance, the repressed girl simply cannot sing the interval of a third or a fourth since that is too wide for someone who is repressed. The act of wishing is also like a character, and every character in this work has a wish.
Horowitz related one story that didn't make it into the book. Late one evening, Sondheim was in the midst of a rousing rendition of "I'll Drink to That!" (from The Ladies Who Lunch) when there was a knock on his door. It was minus-forty, and standing outside, barefoot and in her housecoat, was his next-door-neighbour Katharine Hepburn, complaining about the noise. Sondheim curtailed his late-night serenading for the duration of her run, and learned years later that Hepburn had used him ("that dreadful young man is keeping me awake!") as an ongoing excuse for not being on top of her lines!
Sondheim is particularly good at musical dramatization or how to characterize musically without relying upon lyrics. As a character's moods vary by scene, so with the colour of his music. Sondheim is wedded to his texts, and is very articulate about his treatment of same: he never wants a melody to become boring, yet refuses to set run-on sentences-nor will he stand for improper grammatical clauses! While studying with Babbitt, he studied the structure of Mozart, Beethoven, Kern and Gershwin-and says he learned how to write extended pieces by studying Brahms and Ravel. He considers himself to be a musical dramatist. According to Horowitz, Sondheim's reputed next project is a musical based on the movie Groundhog Day.
Reference Refresher: From Manuscripts to Microforms: Collecting and Using Primary Sources for Musical Research
Sarah Adams, Isham Memorial Library, Harvard
Adams defined primary sources as: manuscripts, holographs, prints, journals, reviews, correspondence, catalogues and reproductions of manuscripts.
The Isham Library (pronounced "eye-sham") was established in 1933, with organ music as its focus, specifically pre-1600 sources. Since then, the mandate has expanded to collect complete sources of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. The Isham currently holds 30,000 sources on microfilm. The sources include early prints, periodicals, theoretical treatises, texts and reference sources. Essentially all required tools are at hand. This makes it possible to compare multiple versions of a work (be they authoritative versions or not) and its dissemination and reception history. At the Isham Library, graduate students and scholars can compare differing versions side-by-side. And, although cumbersome, microfilm is still the next best thing to an original, certainly in terms of its preservation properties. Many items held in microform by the Isham Library are of originals lost during World War II.
The Isham Library welcomes faculty, graduate students, upper-level undergraduates and visitors. Its collections policy supports both broad repertories and individual research projects. The manuscripts of European libraries have been painstakingly ordered, item by item, by writing individual letters to the holding libraries. Tools for accessing the Isham Library's holdings include HOLLIS, OCLC, and RLIN. A microfilm cataloguing re-con project was undertaken in 1998. Multiple MARC 710 fields offer access to individual items contained in sources such as the recently published Bach collection from the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. Access permits "source" scholarship and allows one to evaluate a work in terms of the particular context, such as performing practice.
Primary sources illuminate how much work needs to be done! We have only seen the beginnings of the first complete critical edition of the works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. A production class of Seraglio can examine manuscripts pre- and post-1781 to examine the changes in Mozart's score. This allows us to form our own opinions and sheds new light on familiar repertoire. One can examine subscription lists in early prints: who were these people, and what was the nature of their interest in this work?
John Shepard NYPL
NYPL is rich in primary sources, but many music scores pre-1972 have not yet received "re-con" treatment.
Joseph W. Drexel played three musical instruments and was a colleague of J. P. Morgan. Drexel bequeathed his library to the Lenox Library in 1888 (which later merged with the Astor Library, to become NYPL in 1895), including holograph manuscripts (or fragments) by Mozart, Liszt, Paganini, Beethoven, Haydn and the outstanding Edward F. Rimbault Library of twelfth- to sixteenth-century English music. Occasionally, important manuscripts such as the Sambrooke MS were bound with other items, and have yet to be mined for their contents.
Otto Kinkeldy, Carleton Sprague Smith, and Philip Lieson Miller each made important contributions to NYPL's primary sources. Kinkeldy attended the auction of Dr. Werner Wolffheim's library, noting the dispersal (locations) of those items for which NYPL did not bid. Miller's association with Paul Wittgenstein led to the acquisition of the holograph of Brahms's arrangement of Bach's Chaconne. The Bruno Walter papers contain rich primary source material of Gustav Mahler. The Toscanini Memorial Archives contains microfilms of music manuscripts which formed Toscanini's core repertory. Additional primary source materials at NYPL include Britten and Panufnik manuscripts.
Finding Beethoven sketches in CATNYP necessitates a subject search: Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770 1827-Manuscripts -Facsimiles. Shepard cautioned researchers that the various indexing sources do not name manuscripts and facsimiles in a consistent fashion. RILM uses "facsimile" to discuss a single item; but "facs." to denote examples found within an article. IIMP uses "musical notation" to describe facsimiles, while one is obliged to select The Music Index's "expert" search and choose "special feature-facsimile". Often early periodicals, such as Die Musik, included loose facsimile leaves in an issue. And, dealers' auction catalogues contain many single-page facsimiles, but escape indexing entirely! NYPL maintains an Incomplete Facsimile File which indexes auction catalogues' music facsimiles. These are held in folders in alphabetical order by composer to provide reference service.
A class study of the manuscript parts for Mozart's Piano Concerto K. 453 offered justification for manuscript-study to a group of performance majors, as the use of the solo piano varies markedly between versions.
NYPL uses a permission form to track publication of its sources in scholarly editions, and charges $20 for each high-resolution image. Shepard also recommended the UBC Web site http://www.interpares.org, which offers a model for digital watermarking.
Small Academic Libraries Roundtable/Musical Theater Roundtable:
The Larry Taylor Billy Matthews Musical Theater Archive at the University of Miami
Nancy Zavac, Music Library, University of Miami
Larry Taylor (1946-1991) ran Chelsea Music Service and was a lifetime collector of paper-based materials pertaining to musical theatre. At the time of his death, Taylor bequeathed his collection to Billy Matthews (1920-1997), a director and stage manager who collected sound recordings. An offer to give the collections to the University prompted a visit: picture a small, NYC apartment filled with 10,000 LPs! The collection contained LPs, cassettes, seventy-eights, forty-fives, ten-inch LPs and 1,000 CDs. In addition to the audio formats were videos, vocal scores, sheet music, piano-conductor scores, vocal anthologies, scripts, books, playbills and autographs, many of which were inscribed to Larry Taylor. One can read more about the collection at http://www.library.miami.edu/music/mustheat.html and search the various databases. Or, one can search the U Miami Library catalogue via a keyword search for "larry taylor," which will retrieve in excess of 12,000 titles: http://ibisweb.miami.edu/search/
One can search for items by Irving Berlin and then limit the result to scores. One can find recordings of My Fair Lady in Swedish and Yiddish, plus Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian and Spanish, as well as English. Recordings from the collection have been used by a local radio show to help advertise the presence of the collection at U-Miami.
The Larry Taylor Billy Matthews Musical Theater Archive supports the course, Singing for the Stage, offered to BFA and BMus students at U-Miami. They must choose to research songs by a composer and then write program notes. Whenever a guest composer teaches at the institution, the opportunity is taken to add his or her music to the archive (e.g., Bob Ost). Requests from outside the institution are subject to fees, as is the case with all Special Collections requests. Many donors have contributed to the project: Lawrence Jay Taylor, Terry Miller, Footlight Records, Dress Circle (London), DRG Records, Fynsworth Alley, and LML.
There's a Manuscript I'm Longing to See: the George and Ira Gershwin Collection at the Library of Congress
Raymond A. White, Curator, Library of Congress
The Gershwin Collection was established at LC in 1998, and contains both antiquarian and archival holdings. It is the pre-eminent source of information on the Gershwin brothers, although serious archivists denigrate it as an "artificial" collection! In 1939, LC's Harold Spivak approached Ira Gershwin seeking some manuscripts to represent his late brother George: the "Crap Shooters Song" from Porgy and Bess was one of the items given at that time. In 1948, George and Ira's mother died: George's large scores were offered to LC, and became the core of the collection. The acquisition of quantities of material created a need for reprocessing and a final editing of the finding aid, once a critical mass had been reached. The discovery of Gershwin material in the Warner Brothers warehouse (Secaucus, NJ) yielded an exciting cache of manuscripts, autographs and copyists manuscripts.
The Gershwin Collection is divided into several sections: shows, concert music, song file (unfinished songs by George), music notebooks and composition exercises, lyric sheets, music owned by George and letters. (When one tallies the number requests for access received by LC, there is a three-way tie between Gershwin, Bernstein and Copland.)
George Gershwin's personality comes to light through his letters and autograph manuscripts. Although he quit school at age fifteen, he writes very well, belying his early exit from formal education. He talks about life on the road-accompanying a well-known singer of the day and the prevailing practice of interpolating other composers' songs into contemporary shows-revealing a very different Broadway from today. He assiduously answers fan letters and offers suggestions to "wannabe" composers; he talks of nearly being finished the two-piano score for An American in Paris, with the orchestration remaining to be written, while in the midst of work on Gertrude Lawrence's Treasure Girl. On May 19, 1929, he writes that Showgirl is in rehearsal with seventy-five percent of the music still to be written-which puts him miles ahead of the book's writer! In another letter, George writes of working on a Movietone (film score) and his engagement to play Rhapsody in Blue with the Whiteman Orchestra-thirty-two performances in one week followed by a week of performing his Concerto in F-and of having sore arms and a lame back for "the first money I ever really earned!"
White gave a wonderful performance reading excerpts of George Gershwin's letters, the most poignant being the ones written in the last several months of Gershwin's life. Within three months of his death, George relates his efforts wearing an electro-magnetic device on his head, purveyed as a "positive grower of hair!" Later, he described his "slight dizziness" to his mother and the fact that Dr. Siegal had reassured him there was no serious problem. Within weeks of sending this letter, George was dead. White noted that today (Feb. 12) was the eightieth anniversary of the premiere of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Here is the link to an LC Information Bulletin regarding the Collection: http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9809/gershwin.html.
I had an opportunity to visit "Here to Stay: The Legacy of George and Ira Gershwin" in the George and Ira Gershwin Room. I was awed not only by the beauty of George Gershwin's autograph score for Porgy and Bess, but also by the artistic talent exhibited in his self-portraits. I also couldn't resist taking a photo of Ira's fountain pen...a Sheaffer!
Local Arrangements Committee Concert, Library of Congress: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building
The Ensemble da Camera of Washington (Anna Balakerskaia, piano; Claire Eichhorn, clarinet; and Ricardo Cyncynates, violin and viola) presented a program of works from the special collections of the Music Division of the Library of Congress, including Carl Maria von Weber's Grand Duo Concertante, Amy Beach's Sonata for Violin and Piano, and Ned Rorem's The End of Summer. The superb ensemble returned for an encore; autograph scores of the works performed were on display in the foyer of the Coolidge Auditorium. In addition, attendees were welcome to wander around the public areas of the magnificent edifice which is LC's Jefferson Building.
Bibliographic Control Committee: FRBR and Chapter 25
Jennifer Bowen, Eastman School of Music
FRBR stands for Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Bowen, armed with a PowerPoint presentation, illuminated the relationship between FRBR and Chapter 25 of AACR. Visit: http://docushare.lib.rochester.edu/docushare/dsweb/HomePage, search for FRBR and scroll down to the document by "jbowen."
FRBR changes not only how we catalogue, but also how our catalogues work. The concept of an "entity" and its "expression" is both interesting and problematic. FRBR was proposed at IFLA in 1998. It is an attempt to address the ways in which users use bibliographic information, how they find, identify, select and obtain a desired item. What is good about FRBR? It puts a new light on current practices and standards, and offers a clearer way to communicate about how catalogues should function.
There are several entities attached to a work, and each entity has attributes which FRBR "maps" to the user's tasks to find/identify/select/obtain any item:
Group 1 Work
Group 2 Creator
Group 3 Concept, Object, Event, Place
For our purposes, "expressions" are the problem. They are not "editions" as we know them. When the same set of plates is used to republish an item (by Dover or Hal Leonard), the re-published item is the same "expression" as the original, republication notwithstanding. The purpose is to show relationships between records in our catalogues. Music cataloguers will be thinking, "What's the big deal? You're right where you should be." (Especially when one considers uniform titles!) But what defines a new expression? A new preface? A new re-mastering of a recording? Needs will vary from library to library: those who have dozens of performances of a recorded work will care about FRBR; those who have but one, will not.
Information Sharing Subcommittee:
Knowledge-bases for the Music Reference Librarian
Music Plagiarism Digital Archive Charles Cronin, Columbia University Law School Library
Even though he was a law student, Cronin spent most of his "university waking hours" at the Music Library! He described the U.S. as having a diverse and litigious population with a rich body of case law, including on music plagiarism.
How does one get to court? There is no crime of plagiarism, rather it is a moral law. The court of copyright infringement, being a federal statute, is a federal court. You must register your claim at the Copyright Office, LC. Will your case be accepted? You must establish both access and copying, and be able to prove them. There must be "substantial similarities" with protected elements of the plaintiff's work, and this is determined by the ears of the general public. While expert testimony may be brought in for analysis of the works, melody is deemed to be the important element, both musically and economically.
Cronin discussed a couple of cases, including Heim vs. the Universal Pictures' film, Nice Girl, featuring Deanna Durbin. While the tunes sound like ersatz Beethoven, it was decided that both were derived from Dvorak's Humoreske! (And, in 1951, Dvorak's works were not in the public domain!) Cronin directed us to these Web sites: http://www.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/law/library/ (Columbia University's Music Plagiarism Project)
http://www.ccarh.org (Stanford U's "theme-finder" which contains 35,000 melodies).
Music Information Retrieval Bibliography
J. Stephen Downie, University of Illinois
Downie, a UWO graduate, solicited the input of music librarians for his project, and alerted us to the availability of New Zealand's Greenstone digital library software, ideal for building and distributing digital library collections. http://www.greenstone.org/cgi-bin/library
The problem with MIR is that it has no home discipline, and therefore one must mine the literature of fields like computer science, library and information science, and audio engineering. The multi-disciplinary nature of the topic means that each discipline brings its own vocabulary, jargon and citation style. Research is published in conference proceedings, journal and book literature, and on the Internet.
Downie showed the work-in-progress, http://music-ir.org, a two-level Web-based annotated bibliography. Core-resources are directly-related to the field of MIR, while the supplementary resources are discipline-specific. For example, audio engineers interested in MIR often take a holistic view- sound files rule!-but being interested in algorithms and the analysis of wave-forms, they often don't know much about music. He recommended the research of CCARH (http://www.ccarh.org) at Stanford, specifically that of Eleanor Selfridge-Field and David Huron (Ohio State U). The issues have not changed much in the thirty years they have dealt with this area, except that they began their research during the era of "steam-driven computing!"
In future, Downie plans to increase the size of the bibliography -by adding older material and by increasing the list of supplementary material. There are plans to include an end-user CGI-based record-entry system to the site. He encouraged members to attend the ISMIR Conference in Barcelona (October 2004), and demonstrated some of the features of the Greenstone software: the ability to create an on-the-fly index, free-text searching, access to any metadata that has been input, and the "auto-magical" ability to alphabetize anywhere. Greenstone gathers similar information together, although it may be necessary to "tweak" for uniform titles, as does the Chicago Chopin Project.
Mining the MLA L Archives
Mary Alice Fields, Head, Gorgas Information Services & Music Librarian, The University of Alabama Libraries
Fields presentation was shoe-horned into a very few minutes. She encouraged members to use the MLA-L-Archives as a resource. Given the amount of expertise that is represented in the replies, it is an oft-forgotten but valuable source of information on a wide variety of subjects.
Women in Music Roundtable
Researching Women and Music at LC Robin Rausch
Rauch's research interest is the MacDowell Colony. She prefaced her presentation with Carl Seashore's question, "Why no women in music?" Prevailing attitudes of the day included George Upton's, who said there was little hope that women could create music as it was their duty to "be beautiful." During Amy Fay's lifetime, a woman's duty was to be a support to men. Ethel Smythe (1933) wrote that there were no women with a musical education. Despite the prevailing attitudes, women have had a presence in music throughout the ages.
LC has some 500 "named" collections, and many of these are connected to women: Arsis Press Collection (since 1974, and rich in scores by women composers), the Carrie Jacobs Bond Collection (personal and business papers, mss, photos), Helen Hopekirk Collection, the Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Collection, the Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger Collection, the Arthur P. Schmidt Co. Archive (publisher of Mrs. H. A. Beach, Marian Bauer, et. al.), the Vivian Fine Collection. Performers' collections include: Geraldine Ferrar (includes her compositions), Beverley Sills, Alma Gluck, National Negro Opera Company (the company ceased in 1964 with the death of its founder), the McKim Fund Collection (McKim was a violinist whose career ended with her marriage-the fund commissions works for violin and piano), Maud Powell, Charles Jahant (opera photos, songs, photos). When researching women in music, it is wise to cast one's net widely in the LC collections. Given the diverse nature and holdings, there may well be treasures in the most unexpected places. A shortlist of the named collections is given: http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/perform/guide/spclist.html.
A Web Based Thematic Catalog of Recorder Music
David Lasocki, Indiana University
Lasocki is presently on sabbatical, so Mary Wallace Davidson read his paper. Lasocki originally catalogued his personal collection of Baroque recorder music on index cards. In the mid-nineteen nineties, he moved to WordPerfect and collaborated with Dick Griscom. Much of his index has been published in various recorder education journals, but he is aiming for a complete bibliography. He has a rival in the Netherlands, but that subscription database is flawed, in Lasocki's opinion. The Digital Music Library at Indiana University has both the space and technical expertise to mount the project, and Griscom has agreed to assist with the input of the data. There will be incipits (thanks to Variations-I) which will be both playable and searchable. And, thanks to FRBR, the "work, instantiation, and container" will all be included-and include notes regarding marginalia, etc. Because early recorder music exists in a multitude of formats and is often part of a larger work, it will be necessary to discriminate between four types of variants: early manuscripts, early prints, modern editions and facsimiles. Many items will be available in several (early) sources, or in a multitude of modern editions. And, in metadata terms, one will need to be able to differentiate between the whole or the parts of any particular item. Lasocki expects to begin data-input by May 2004.
Lasocki attended the Stimu Symposium 2003 in Utrecht last August. In addition to his recorder music bibliography, he is also tracing the lives of players and makers, and studying instrument inventories in Europe and Latin America (as well as reference works). (Lasocki believes in CBC-Complete Bibliographic Control!) Often inventories of instruments will include references to flutes and recorders -and the totals are often staggering-why did they want so many instruments? References to purchases of instruments are equally valuable.
Index to Printed Music: Collections & Series
George R. Hill, Baruch College, City University of New York and Elizabeth Davis, Columbia University
Readers will be familiar with Hill's Collected Editions, Historical Series & Sets & Monuments Of Music: A Bibliography (1997, with Norris Stephens), the precursor of which was Heyer's Historical Sets, Collected Editions, And Monuments Of Music: A Guide To Their Contents (1980). Hill's exposure to the indexing of collected editions began with a review in The Music Review (1970) of the 1969 edition of Heyer.
In the nineteen eighties, Hill received NEH funding, which led to the publication of the Hill's and Stephens' volume, which Hill described as being "half done," with some 9,300 entries. At present, he has 135,000 index records (half of the bibliography) in ASCII code flat files. By the second quarter of 2004, Hill expects this product to be commercially-available via NISC, both online and in a CD-ROM format. It will enable users to find quick and easy answers to questions such as: "Who has edited "Der Hirt auf dem Felsen?" Or, "Where can I find examples of three-voice organum?" A search for uses of the chant text "Benedicamus Domine" yields 136 citations. Name authorities have been derived from LC, New Grove 2, and the Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana. One can input any form of a name, and retrieve a cross-reference; there is also "sounds like" functionality. Titles can be input as either commonly known or as the uniform title (the former being desirable for performers, in particular).
System User Group Meetings Innovative
Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III) was represented by Claudia Conrad (cataloguing), who gave a presentation on FRBR and an overview of III's efforts in this area. Many items will not receive FRBR-ization, but others will eventually become "FRBR-izable," such as the Harry Potter series! III's version is planned for 2005, and the aim to make its use as easy as possible: requiring a minimum of effort (table-driven) and adjustable over time (customizable by library).
Improvement of MILL-CAT has been a priority over the past few years, as it must become fully functional. The next upgrade, MILLENNIUM SILVER, will bring many improvements. Improvement of staff-browsing is still in the works - with a display of sixty records at a time (not likely to be ready for SILVER release), as is the revamp of label-printing. (Eventually one will be able to choose font sizes and styles and be able to print previews.)
I inquired about the variety of quirks which seem to appear when using older browsers. III is designed for the newest Web browsers, and one must encourage one's clientele to upgrade their browsers. Dinah, one of III's Web designers, is designing with the Opera browser.
I also inquired about my ongoing peeve regarding the display of numerals during keyword searches. (Prior to the last release, numerals retrieved during a keyword search would display in red, a decided plus when looking for an elusive opus number in a long contents note.) Claudia had searched her sources and found nothing, so recommended "opening a call" to address this anomaly.
Highlights of the MLA Annual General Meeting
President Laura Dankner called the meeting to order. Nancy Nuzzo, Treasurer-Executive Secretary gave her report. The 2004 Membership Directory will be mailed very soon: there are 1,029 MLA members/ subscribers. The vote on changing the membership year (to July 1-June 30) was passed: there was a fifty-two percent rate of returned ballots.
Danker gave her report, and noted that MLA's contract with A-R Editions has been renewed for a further three years. Future meetings are as follow:
2005 Vancouver, BC
2006 Memphis, TN (seventy-fifth anniversary)
2007 Pittsburgh, PA
2008 Newport, RI
2009 Chicago, IL
Membership dues will increase for the coming year, including a $15 increase for individual memberships.
Next year, Gordon Rowley will be Assistant Convention Manager; Annie Thompson, Convention Manager. James Cassaro is the incoming Notes editor.
Rowley reported that there were 460 individual registrations for the conference, with exhibitors, the total was 500. The hotel was at 100 percent capacity, and the hotel staff were thanked for their assistance. Rowley also thanked Rick McRae (Program Chair), Jane Edmister Penner and Catherine Dixon (Local Arrangements), Debbie Pierce, Marty Jenkins, and Linda Blair.
Linda Solow Blotner made her final Notes report as outgoing editor. The table of contents for the March issue is posted on the MLA site: upcoming issues will feature a twenty-year retrospective by Don Krummel, and an essay on the Viñes Piano Collection at the University of Colorado (Boulder). She commented on the changes noted during her tenure, from articles on practical music librarianship to discographic essays, and, most music publishers' addresses now include their links. With the her last issue of Notes, she has accumulated 185 pounds of paper occupying seventy-two linear inches of shelf space.
Lenore Coral, U.S. RILM Office, offered her thanks to the abstractors; over 400 were written last year. Patricia Stroh, Program Chair for the 2005 Conference, announced that there are plans for two plenary sessions on the first day, with a presentation by the National Library of Canada regarding its amalgamation with the Public Archives of Canada. Additional sessions will address music downloading. She asked that roundtables again consider offering joint sessions to help alleviate scheduling challenges.
Paul Cauthen offered his remembrances of Leslie Troutman. Linda Fidler, Jud Herman (JHR Media) and Theodore Front were also remembered. A choral tribute was offered by a choir of some twenty-five attendees of Randall Thompson's Alleluia.
Danker thanked outgoing Board members: Joe Boonin, Virginia Danielson, Alan Green and Jim Cassaro. She welcomed three new members-at-large: Pam Bristah, Matt Wise and Ruthann McTyre. Bonna Boettcher has been elected Vice-President.
2005 Conference: Vancouver, BC
Kirsten Walsh and the Pacific Northwest Chapter offered their enticements to visit Vancouver for the next MLA Conference with a rendition of "When I'm Calling Yo-ooo-u (to Vancou-ooo-ver!)" from Rose Marie; Betty Woerner and Terry Horner (the latter resplendent in an RCMP dress uniform) were accompanied by an enthusiastic chorus. MLA last met in Canada in 1970 in Toronto. Among the many temptations are the mildest climate in Canada, an organ crawl, sightseeing (totems and the Museum of Anthropology), the Vancouver Public Library and skiing at Whistler Mountain, in addition to the always-fabulous program.
It was a special treat to visit the U.S. capitol and to have even the briefest look at the Library of Congress. It was obvious that all who work there are justifiably proud and honoured to have been selected to serve in their positions. Lisa Emberson (NLC) and I returned for a public tour and visit on the Friday afternoon, and decided to register for our Library of Congress Readers' Cards. Of course, we entered the Madison Building and circumnavigated the entire second floor prior to finding the correct door! Despite our arriving a mere five minutes before closing on a Friday-before-a-holiday, the staff was gracious and accommodating, and we exited (some ten minutes after the official closing time) with cards in hand! Lisa E. returned to LC on Saturday to plumb the double-bass resources of the pre 1980 LC Music card file, none of which appears online.
As is always the case, despite MLA's mandate to offer fewer roundtable sessions (achieved by having several roundtables share a single timeslot with a shared topic), one finds several concurrent sessions appealing and it's difficult to choose from the abundance of riches! Next year, with both MLA and CAML meeting together in Vancouver, I expect all of you will experience this difficulty (and perhaps share in the writing of this report)! Mind you, I suspect our services will be required to help "man" the registration desk, too. So, be sure to be well-rested before next year's conference: it promises to be a busy and exciting time!