Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Youth and Music Exhibit

From November through the end of December 2011, the Music Library is featuring special collections items in an exhibit titled "Youth and Music." Throughout the history of classical music, composers have written works to be performed by children, for young audiences' enjoyment, or inspired by memories of youth. Furthermore, much of music history has been distilled for young audiences into educational books about famous composers' lives.

"Youth and Music" features composers Debussy, Bartók, and Handel, child prodigy violinist Camilla Urso, and instructional books about music history and performing in church choirs. The exhibit is located in the upstairs exhibit case in the Music Library, which is located on the second and third floors of the University of South Carolina School of Music.

[Photographs by Kathy Dowell]

Monday, October 17, 2011

Music Publishers Association Exhibit

The Music Library is proud to announce the arrival of prizewinning music from the Music Publishers Association. Each year, the MPA's Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence honor the year's best published sheet music and books about music. This exhibit travels around the country, and has already been featured at Old Dominion University. For two weeks only, October 10 to October 31, 2011, select first prize recipients will be on display in the upstairs exhibit case.

The Paul Revere Awards honor outstanding achievement in cover design, book design, publications for electronic distribution, and notesetting. There are further subdivisions of these categories, with awards for specific types of cover design (e.g. featuring graphic elements or featuring photography) and notesetting, featuring different instruments or orchestrations. So check out our exhibit upstairs to see diverse prizewinning music from John Corigliano, Richard Danielpour, Pablo Casals, and Children of Bodom. You can check out the complete list of winners here:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Franz Liszt Bicentennial

October 22, 2011 will be the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor Franz Liszt (1811-1886). To celebrate his birthday, the Music Library has mounted an exhibit featuring materials from our special collections. On the second floor of the Music Library, you can see early editions of Liszt's compositions and arrangements, as well as a 19th-Century biography and an "artistic portrait" that imagines his daily life.

Additionally, there is a mini-exhibit of a recently-published graphic novel, Late Romantics, that features Lizst in historical fiction, along with vignettes about Saint-Saëns, Wagner, Berlioz, and Mussorgsky. Late Romantics was written and illustrated by Jack Phinney, Latham Luepke, and Ryan Duderstadt, who comprise Bearskunk Productions in Minneapolis. You can read the whole graphic novel here:

Finally, the Library of Congress is celebrating Liszt's 200th birthday in a big way. Check out their Liszt site to look at some of his music manuscripts and listen to performances of his works in the National Jukebox:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Updated Music Subject Guide

One of our other summer projects here at the Music Library was updating our Music Subject Guide:

Besides using this link, you can get to the Subject Guide from our "About the Music Library" page, or from the general list of LibGuides on the Thomas Cooper Library home page. We hope that you like what we've done.

The Music Subject Guide provides lots of helpful information about how to find anything and  everything in the Music Library, whether you are looking for books, scores, sheet music, journal articles, or audiovisual materials. Additionally, there is helpful information about copyright and proper citation techniques. We have also included a few links to some interesting music Web sites that you might want to check out. Of course, you are always welcome to contact us or visit us if you need help finding what you need.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

About the Muselar Virginal

If you have been upstairs in the Music Library recently, you might have noticed a new addition to our flock of early keyboard instruments. The Music Library is the current home of the School of Music’s muselar virginal.

Our muselar virginal was built in 1995 by Berkeley harpsichord maker John Phillips ( The decorations on the soundboard, outside marbling, and lid lettering were hand painted by Janine Elizabeth Johnson, who also made the keyboard out of bone, black oak, and parchment. Phillips has made instruments for Indiana University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of North Texas, and the San Francisco Symphony, and they have been featured on many early music recordings. Although he primarily makes harpsichords, he has made a few muselar virginals like ours, all based on one instrument built in 1650.

I contacted Mr. Phillips, who remembered our instrument:

“Your muselar virginal is indeed based on the 1650 Ioannes Couchet, preserved in the Vleeshuis in Antwerp. I have added two split accidentals in the bass to allow for both the original C/E short octave and the F# and G# occasionally necessary for Elizabethan music. This is the last surviving virginal of any sort built by a member of the Ruckers family. The muselar design was mostly solidified by Couchet's uncle, Ioannes Ruckers, by the 1620's, so this is an extremely conservative instrument for 1650.”

Here is the digital catalog of early instruments at the Vleeshuis; the 1650 Ioannes Couchet muselar virginal can be found on digital page 152 (print page 149): The Dutch catalog description mentions the various decorations and inscriptions on the instrument, noting that the interior of the lid is decorated with views of the city of Antwerp.

Our muselar lid has the phrase: Musica disparium dulcis concordia vocum (I, music, the sweet harmony of different voices). This motto was originally on a 1568 virginal currently at the Victoria and Albert museum in London:

If you are interested in music for a muselar virginal like ours, check out the following titles in the Music Library’s catalog:
Nederlandse klaviermuziek uit de 16e en 17e eeuw. Dutch keyboard music of the 16th and 17th centuries.
My Ladye Nevells booke of virginal music / Edited, with historical and analytical notes, by Hilda Andrews ; preface by Sir Richard Terry, with a new introduction by Blanche Winogron.
Early keyboard music : a collection of pieces written for the virginal, spinet, harpsichord, and clavichord / [edited by Louis] Oesterle.

Also, if you are on campus or logged in to our proxy server, you can click this link to hear some great William Byrd virginal music on Naxos (tracks 4, 8, 11, and 14):

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Books and Scores

We have moved the new books and scores downstairs, conveniently located to the left of the circulation desk. So, next time you are in the Music Library, be sure to check out what's new. You can also see all of our new materials by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hello, World

Hi! My name is Nick Homenda and I have taken over this blog. I am the new Music Librarian for Audio and Digital Services at the University of South Carolina Music Library. You can read more about me here. I am excited to be here, and hope to blog about what's going on in the Music Library on a regular basis. We have been very busy over the summer, so the next few posts will feature some of the great things we have done to make the Music Library a better place.

New Collaborative Study Space

We have been busy improving the Music Library this summer, and we hope you like what we have done! One thing we are especially excited about is our new collaborative study space on the ground floor. Where there were previously a lot of listening carrels, now we have an open, inviting space with lots of seating for group study, collaborative work, and space to spread out a lot of music.

We left a few carrels in place for anyone who wants to listen to a CD, watch a DVD or VHS tape, or look at some microfilm in the library. If you are wondering what happened to the other carrels, we decided to move them upstairs to provide a lot more space for quiet, individual study.

Look for more posts in the coming weeks about other exciting things that happened over the summer!