Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Compact disc 7806 Discs 1-4
On a personal note, this CD set is my absolute favorite. When it is checked out around the holidays, I'll even settle for Compact Disc 1344, "On Yoolis night" which is an earlier release of one of the discs in the Noël set. I don't think I would've made it through finals week in my last Master's degree without this CD set. Please check it out when you get the chance!

Compact disc 8621
A holiday note from home
If you like your Christmas to have some swing, this CD is a must!

Compact Disc 3530
A rose in winter
If you like to stick to traditional sacred music for the holidays, this CD is perfect!

Compact Disc 2780
Winter pages ; Bright music
If chamber music, or to be more specific, 20th century quintet music is your genre of choice, check out Ned Rorem's Winter Pages on this CD. It's all composed around winter-themed poetry. The liner notes go into detail, and make for a very interesting read.

Compact disc 4165
A mind of winter
Another piece in a similar vein is George Benjamin's A Mind of Winter on this CD. It is a setting of Wallace Stevens's "The Snow Man," for soprano and chamber orchestra. If you like 20th century music, you'll find this a nice piece!

Compact disc 2445

In a cold winter's night
If you like more traditional (and by traditional, I mean Renaissance period/sounding music), then you'll like this CD. There are some 20th century pieces, and even some pieces of North and South American origin. This is a can't miss CD.

Compact Disc 9645
The winter trombone
Something old, something new, something trombone....something blue. This CD starts off with Vivaldi's "Winter" from The Four Seasons, Op. 8 No. 4, which fills the "old" category. Something new (and blue) would be Roland's Blue Winter. As you can guess, the entirety of the CD is trombone music, and for a non-brass player, I found it quite enjoyable!

Compact disc 9124
Merry : a holiday journey
If you like your Christmas music to be more intimate or slightly "folky," then you'll like this CD. I swear I've heard this playing in the background of a Starbucks before.

Compact disc 7752 Discs 1-2
Essential carols : the very best of King's College Choir, Cambridge.
If you like your Christmas carols sung by a large choir and preferably in a large hall, this two-CD set is for you! It contains well-known classics and some songs you might discover for the first time! Some of these songs have a chant-like quality that would make them perfect for relaxing around finals week.

Compact Disc 2942
Christmas Star
This CD is filled with the tried and true Christmas classic carols like "Silent Night," and some that may be new to you, such as "Lo, How a Rose e'er Blooming."

Happy Holidays from the Music Library!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jason's favorite

Our good friend Jason B. has worked at the Music Library for a year now. He's graduating at the end of this semester with his Master's degree in Library Science. Most of the students that work at the Music Library are music people--they're working towards their first music degree. Jason's undergrad degrees are in English and history, making him our resident music enthusiast! Regardless of degrees, everyone at the Music Library is thankful we've had Jason around this year and will be sad to see him go.

So for fun, I asked him to do a blog entry on his favorite CD in the Music Library. Here's what he had to say:

"Ok, I was asked to write a little something about my favorite CD here at the USC Music Library. That’s like asking a particle physicist which type of quark is his favorite! How can one decide? They’re all so awesome! Hmmm, well, charm type quarks are pretty cool… Anyway, for today I’ve decided that my favorite CD is Apostrophe (‘) by Frank Zappa.

The first side (keep in mind this CD was originally released as a record, you know, those flat, round, and black plastic things) follows our Inuit hero Nanook as he battles the evil Fur Trapper. Each track segways into the next, and Zappa really gets to put out some of his favorite tricks: timing and mood changes, sound effects, and unique instrumentation. And of course, we’re treated to some of Frank’s incredible guitar work and fantastic composition. See, you can still rock if you know how to read and write music!

The last half of the album is individual songs, but don’t fret, the rockin’ don’t stop! Zappa never does simple, straight-forward rock, but these compositions are a little more foot-tapping. “Cosmik Debris” and “Stink-Foot” are great, and the album’s title track, “Apostrophe (‘),” features Jack Bruce from Cream in a blistering bass solo. All-in-all, one of my favorite Zappa albums. Check it out! And if you really like it, try it’s companion album, Over-Nite Sensation."

Monday, November 17, 2008


Thanksgiving is almost here! Whether you're cooking, eating, or just partaking in a lot of football, it's nice to relax and visit with family and friends.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to present you with some selections of music from the Music Library. To be honest, however, I found them all a little somber. So if you're in the mood for somber Thanksgiving music, try these selections:

Compact Disc 2479
Family Circle -- celebration! [sound recording] : music for holidays year-round.
(Tracks 16 & 17)

Compact Disc 5066
Music of the Americas, 1492-1992
(Disc 1, Track 5)

Compact Disc 3469
Akathist of thanksgiving

If you have an LP player and children, you might try this one:

Columbia Music Sound Recordings 17824
Thanksgiving songs that tickle your funny bone.

For those of you who want a more historic feel to your Thanksgiving tunes, check out the streaming audio clips of Native American music on our World Music pages.

No matter what music you listen to, everyone here at the Music Library hopes you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Music to keep you motivated

On most of the students that work here at the Music Library, the look of happiness and excitement for the fall semester has turned into a look of questioning, tiredness, and wishing that fall break would hurry up and get here. It's sort of that mid-way lull that happens in every semester. So, I thought I'd survey the student employees to see what music keeps them motivated or helps them to stay focused when studying. Check some of these out and see if they help you too!

Chanticleer "Out of this World"
CD 1390

American Variations
CD 1956

New Century Saxophone Quartet "Art of the Fugue"
CD 7175

Brahms' Symphony no.4 (First and Last Movements)
CD 5044

Carmina Burana
CD 4952

Dvorak Stabat Mater
CD 3597

Bach "French Suites" performed by Glenn Gould
CD 4153

If you have specific CDs that you like to help you study or that motivate you, let me know! Click here to email Ashlie!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome to Fall Semester!

It's that time again! Everyone's busy scurrying about campus, worried about homework, scheduling in enough practice time and time to socialize. Don't stress yourself---check out our LibGuides! We now have two music guides and more on the way.

New to both guides is the Fall Seminar schedule. Now you have no reason to miss! The LibGuides have lots of sources for homework help and even ideas that might start you researching something new.

Know of a good source, website or something else that would be helpful to include in one of the Music LibGuides? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More news from us

This summer has absolutely flown by!

It seems so hard to believe that Welcome Week and Move-in Day are just around the corner.

Before you pack up your computer and head to campus, I wanted to share some neat things with you!

1)We're still constantly looking for new ways to improve our webpages. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please email me or use our handy online suggestion box!

2)We've added new electronic resources to make your life easier.


The Music Library is on facebook. You should become a fan! We hope you'll use this page to stay up-to-date with our hours, events and other need to know info.

4)This fall we're going to have some AMAZING exhibits and events in the library. Stay tuned or you'll really miss out!

As always, we're here for you. Whenever you have a suggestion, comment, or other thought, we'd love to hear it. If you get to campus before August 21st, please stop by the library and introduce yourself (if you're new) or say hi (if you're not new)!

Best wishes for an excellent fall!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

School's out!

Gosh where did the spring semester go??

While you've been out sunning yourself or working hard at your summer job, we've been here making changes to improve the Music Library!

Here are some things we've been working on:
*USC's library catalog has a new look! We hope you'll find it more user friendly.
*The Music Library home page also has a new look. We've given you easier access to the best research databases for music, added a "New" box to keep you up-to-date, and also added a suggestion box. Feel free to leave us a comment!
*We've added a video tour of the Music Library.
*Our student workers are currently busy cleaning, scanning, organizing, digitizing and updating lots of things around the library.

We're all working hard to give you the best Music Library possible!!
Please have a wonderful and safe summer!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


It's that time of year....birds chirping, flowers blooming, and campus starts perking up with the changes that come with spring and summer.

Speaking of changes, we've made some changes to the Music Library Homepage. We've added a suggestion box because we want to hear from you! It only takes a minute, and your input will help us improve the library.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, February 11, 2008

How to tell that the following isn't a cd...

[Click to enlarge]
The above is a record from the catalog of an LP.
Note the date, size/rpm, and catalog number.

When looking for a compact disc, carefully read the online catalog record. If the call number is higher than 9500, or has a date earlier than 1980, it's not going to be a CD.

Compact Discs ALWAYS have the word "Compact Disc" just before the call number. For instance, "Compact Disc 3015" is the call number for the "[Percy] Grainger Plays Grainger" CD.

Note the date, size and catalog number of the item below.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Copyright Fair Use

If you haven't seen our video on copyright, it's just a few posts down. At the time we filmed it, I really couldn't find a clear example to use to talk about "fair use."

Fair use is a buzzword often used in libraries and educational settings. This buzzword is often used in a context to make copyright-questionable actions seem not so questionable. Since the actual laws are not clear, any challenges to copyright claimed as fair use must be tested on a case by case basis.

However, today I was looking at the older entries on (This blog is written by six technology journalists, experts, authors, contributors and editors of major information sources such as Wired, Popular Science, MSNBC, New York Times,
the Washington Post, New Scientist, Business 2.0, and so many more.)

On boingboing, they link a New York Times debate between a lawyer of NBC Universal and a professor at Columbia Law School on fair use in the 21st century.

The Lawyer's stance:
...Fair use is not a “right,” a misconception and misstatement frequently made these days. Fair use permits use of portions of a work under limited circumstances.... Because fairness cannot be reduced to a set of bright line rules, whether a use is fair is determined on a case by case basis.... The Copyright Act sets out a four factor test (although other factors can be considered). The factors include the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the original work, the amount taken from the existing work and the importance of what is taken and the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Thus, as a legal matter, a case-by-case analysis remains the standard."

The Professor's take:
"... a simpler principle for fair use: work that adds to the value of the original, as opposed to substituting for the original, is fair use. In my view that’s a principle already behind the traditional lines: no one (well, nearly no one) would watch Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” as a substitute for “Star Wars”; a book review is no substitute for reading [a book]. They are complements to the original work, not substitutes.... Fan guides like the Harry Potter Lexicon or Lostpedia are not substitutes for reading the book or watching the show.... On the other hand, its obviously not fair use to scan a book and put it online, or distribute copyrighted films using BitTorent."

So, things still aren't 100% clear to the common person, but again, "it's better to be safe than sorry" when it comes to copyright laws.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Welcome to Spring Semester!

Happy first day of classes!

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the nice weather.

I just wanted to check in to say we've got some exciting things in the works at the music library. I can't say much now about it, but stay tuned for more details!