No. 140 March-April, 2005
|Music Library Association
Bonna Boettcher, MLA President
Early March in the flatlands of northwest Ohio stands in stark contrast to Vancouver, where we just met for MLA’s 74th annual meeting. For those who have visited Bowling Green and surrounding areas, you know that flatlands is an apt description, with overpasses serving as hills! Still, there is a beauty to the vistas that stretch for miles, the big sky, and the small signs of approaching spring.
And speaking of topography, I am glad to continue the tradition of zig-zagging presidential heights. Remember 1993, when Michael Ochs began his term as president. Little did he know the pattern he was establishing: Michael Ochs; Jane Gottlieb; Diane Walker; Paula Matthews; Jim Cassaro; Laura Dankner; Bonna Boettcher. Think about it.
Those who were fortunate enough to attend the meeting in Vancouver will, I am sure, agree that this is a gracious city where all guests feel welcome. Our hotel can only be described as superb in every facet: a grand, old hotel that has been carefully restored and modernized with warm and helpful staff, and in an excellent location. We were welcomed by Catherine Quinlan, Director of the University of British Columbia’s Libraries, and also a musician, having studied at Guildhall in London (England, not Ontario). Local arrangements co-chairs Kirsten Walsh and Terry Horner have set a high standard for future meetings.
Attendees enjoyed timely plenary sessions. Our opening session included a discussion of issues and progress in digital audio. Representatives from Alexander Street Press (Classical Music Library) and Naxos Music Library talked about considerations from a vendor perspective, while Amanda Maple (Penn State) described the implementation of Napster and other commercial services at PSU. Later in the day, the second plenary addressed reorganization and music libraries. Jeanette Casey (Northwestern University) moderated the session, while Brenda Muir (Library and Archives Canada), Ned Quist (Brown University), and Paula Elliot (Washington State University) served as panelists. New forums were introduced: the Education Committee sponsored a Continuing Education Forum on collection assessment, while Board members Ruthann McTyre and Renée McBride led an open discussion of current Hot Topics (this session quickly acquired the short name of “Hot”). MLA’s meeting also moved online with the introduction of the Information Sharing Subcommittee’s (John Anderies, chair) meeting blog, providing summaries and impressions of sessions as well as photos by MLA’s many digital photographers.
In addition to new venues, the meeting featured many of the usual, excellent sessions, including presentations sponsored by committees and roundtables, and a variety of business meetings.
To support the ongoing work of the association, a variety of appointments have been made. Holling Smith-Borne (DePauw University) is the new chair of the Education Committee; Michael Rogan (Tufts University) now chairs the Membership Committee, Pauline Bayne (University of Tennessee–Knoxville) chairs the Nominating Committee, Paula Elliot (Washington State University) chairs the Administration Committee, and Paul Cary (Baldwin-Wallace College) chairs the Reference and Public Services Committee. New subcommittee chairs include Laura Gayle Green (University of Missouri–Kansas City), Marketing, Russell Tinkham (University of Akron), Integrated Library Systems, and Laurie Sampsel (University of Colorado–Boulder), Bibliographic Instruction. In addition to committee leadership, new committee members have been and will be appointed.
Five roundtables—American Music, Bibliography, Black Music, Conservatories, and Jewish Music—were renewed. Three lapsed roundtables—Archives, Organ Music, and Sheet Music—received the necessary letters of support and were reinstated.
We have elected three new Members-at-Large to the Board of Directors. Continuing Board members welcome Linda Blair (Eastman School of Music), who will serve as Assistant Fiscal Officer, Paul Cauthen (University of Cincinnati), who will serve as Assistant Parliamentarian, and Amanda Maple (Penn State University), who will serve as Assistant Reports Gatherer. The election of new members, however, has a bittersweet side, and we bid farewell to Pauline Bayne (University of Tennessee–Knoxville), Richard LeSueur (Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Library), and Renée McBride (UCLA), all of whom have served the association well.
In addition to saying goodbye to outgoing Board members, Vancouver also ended Laura Dankner’s term as president of the association. Laura has served the association in many capacities during her years of membership: she served as Placement Officer; she served as a Member-at-Large on the Board; she helped organize the Small Academic Libraries Roundtable; she chaired the Education Committee; she co-chaired the Local Arrangement Committee for the 1997 annual meeting; and she chaired the Development Committee. We are fortunate that Laura will be on the Board for one more year, serving as Past President.
MLA’s awards were announced at the business meeting. The Carol June Bradley Award for Historical Research in Music Librarianship was given to Anita Breckbill and Carole Goebes. The Dena Epstein Award for Archival and library Research in American Music went to Melissa J. deGraaf. The Kevin Freeman Travel Grant was awarded to Romeo Whou and Carlos Peña. The Vincent H. Duckles Award went to Joël-Marie Fouquet for the Dictionnaire de la musique en France au XIXe siècle. The Eva Judd O’Meara Award was given to Ann Morrison Spinney for her review of Writing American Indian Music: Historic Transcriptions, Notations, and Arrangements, edited by Victoria Lindsay Levine. The Richard S. Hill Award was given, posthumously, to Leslie Troutman for “Comprehensiveness of Indexing in Three Music Periodical Index Databases,” published in volume 8 of Music Reference Services Quarterly. Finally, MLA awarded its citation, recognizing distinguished, lifetime achievement, to Joseph Boonin for his years of service to the association and its members. By the time you read this column, Joe will have celebrated his 50th anniversary as an MLA member!
Amy Dankowski (Cleveland State University), our Web Site Editor, is laying the groundwork for a redesigned, more graphically appealing, and accessible web site. The design not only includes the user side of the web site, but also includes a complete reworking of the underlying structure. This will allow future web site developments to be accomplished with a degree of ease. Amy’s current schedule aims for a debut of the new site for our 75th anniversary: more information will be included in future newsletters.
Finally, planning is well underway for the 75th anniversary celebration in Memphis. Program chair, Lois Kuyper-Rushing (Louisiana State University), and her committee have established criteria for program sessions and will begin accepting proposals late in May. 75th Anniversary Committee chair, Roberta Chodacki Ford (Columbus State University), and her committee have great ideas to make this meeting extra special. Local Arrangements chair, Anna Neal (Memphis State University), working with SEMLA members and Fundraising coordinator, Laurel Whisler (Furman University), are developing a variety of plans to make this meeting memorable. One of the many highlights will be the premiere of a composition by Augusta Read Thomas, a joint commission of MLA and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
Although it would be wonderful to sit back and bask in the warm memories of a wonderful annual meeting, MLA is more than an annual meeting. We have all returned to our “day jobs,” yet must continue, throughout the year, to build on the work done at the meeting in order to advance our association and maintain its presence and vitality. I am honored to have taken over one of the many leadership roles of this incredible group of people.
|Plenary Session I
Libraries and Commercial Online Music
Mary Huismann ,
University of Minnesota
The first plenary session of the 2005 annual meeting began with remarks and introductions by moderator Alec McLane (Wesleyan University).
Tim Lloyd (Alexander Street Press) opened with “Bach to the Future: Serving Patrons in a Digital Music Age.” Using a digital music service is “all about utility,” according to Lloyd, who illustrated the point using a chart summarizing the costs and benefits of access (digital music) versus ownership (compact discs). Three major reasons to use a digital music service include driving usage, improving educational value, and more efficient use of budgets.
Issues crop up in several areas in regard to digital music services: technology, authentication, sound quality, cataloging, and electronic audio reserves. Computer hardware, software, and the identification of users (especially remote users) need to be addressed. Sound quality can be affected by imperfections on the master recording, the compression process, inconsistent Internet service, and a poor quality soundcard or speakers. Metadata is structured differently—around musical works rather than physical media. Custom playlists and course folders beg the question of who will provide services: music librarians, faculty, or users themselves?
Looking at the future of digital music, Lloyd predicts access will become a commodity, but with simplified pricing models. Music will be incorporated into non-music disciplines as availability and metadata capability increases. Library catalog searches will need to develop ways to take advantage of deep metadata (e.g., track-level information). An intelligent selection process will be a necessity for larger collections or any benefits are lost. Finally, the next-generation digital music product will not just be about music recordings—materials ranging from spoken word recordings to visual images will be included. Users will be able to perform new kinds of searches with all of the search results organized and integrated into a single result set.
“Saving Recorded Music: The Reluctant Embrace of Online Music by the Music Industry” (Justyn Baker, Naxos Music Library) began with a brief description of Baker’s first experience with digital music at Liquid Audio, encoding content (and trying to avoid those “dreaded” classical music compact discs).
The sound recording companies have been slow to embrace online music, mostly due to a reluctance to change their business models. Fighting digital media is seen as a necessity.
Naxos, however, enjoys a unique position. The company has a global group of record labels that produce at least twenty new albums per month. Naxos is completely repertoire-driven, owns its master recordings and keeps ahead by exploring new technologies and alternate forms of digital distribution. Licensing revenue for Naxos has tripled in the past two years due to their willingness to license content to publishers, television, and movie productions.
Baker made several observations about the changing landscape of the music industry. The back catalog is becoming “king.” Digital distribution keeps older or unprofitable music available. Digital files are increasingly preferred for efficiency and functionality. Classical music listeners have embraced digital music as well, since Naxos has seen exponential growth in downloads and digital sales over the past year.
With new distribution options available, consumers can choose a method appropriate to their use of the music—choosing to listen locally (streamed music), lease for a listening device (“tethered” download), or purchase. Music libraries should set an ethical precedent for students by showing that libraries value artistic intellectual property and are willing to pay for it, suggested Baker.
Baker ended his presentation with an enigmatic quote from Apple CEO Steve Jobs: “Buying music online legally is good karma.”
Amanda Maple (Penn State University) gave the final presentation, “Online Music at Penn State: Integrating Audio from Commercial Online Vendors into Teaching and Learning.” Penn State made news in November 2003 when it announced an agreement with Napster to provide access to Napster’s online music service for its students.
The Napster agreement was the culmination of activity that began in 2002, when a committee was formed to examine ways to reduce the growing problem of file sharing. A Napster pilot was tested in spring semester 2004, with full service rolled out the following fall. The university provides students Napster access with unlimited usage of files as long as the subscription is paid. The service is also available to faculty and staff for a small monthly fee. Access for the Napster client is currently limited to users of Microsoft Windows.
During the past summer several issues related to incorporating Napster into teaching were examined. A comparison was made between the reserve lists and the various online music services. Napster does not yet fully provide content for several categories of music. Napster also has issues regarding metadata and searching; for example, search terms may not be combined, and there is a lack of consistency in indexing terms. Several pilots integrating online music and instruction are currently underway.
Many questions still surround the digital future. Issues include accessibility to current and future collections (lease versus purchase), the ability to locally tailor collections to fit the curriculum, fair use, sustainable economic models for music libraries, and how to facilitate teaching and learning using digital media.
Following the presentations, the speakers addressed several audience questions.
| Annual Meeting|
Hot Topics Session a Resounding Success |
Antonio M. Calvo,
California State University, Northridge
On yet another bright and sunny Canadian morning, this time a Saturday, a crowd of over one hundred music librarians assembled in the Columbia room of the Hotel Vancouver. The purpose of the gathering was the first ever “Hot Topics” session held at an MLA meeting. This experimental time slot was designed to allow space for discussion of late-breaking issues in the music library world. The format of the hour-and-a-half session was a moderated open forum. Ruthann McTyre (University of Iowa) planned the event and served as moderator. Renée McBride (University of California, Los Angeles) was co-planner and also in attendance. What follows are some (but not all) of the topics discussed by the spirited and good-natured group in attendance.
It took little effort to get the ball rolling; attendees openly shared their innovations, issues and concerns. Sha Towers (Baylor University) described his library’s use of iPods for course listening reserves. Required listening tracks are loaded onto the digital audio players and checked out to students. According to Sha, the advantages of this direct approach to providing fair-use digital copies of listening reserves are that it’s simple (no streaming server) and that it makes it so easy for students to listen, they are less likely to make illegal copies from compact discs.
The digitization of public domain scores sparked comments from a number of attendees who felt this was a fertile opportunity for the music library community. Various projects were mentioned, and both Constance Mayer (Harvard) and Jenn Riley (Indiana University) spoke of the importance of digitization best practices, persistent URLs, metadata, and efforts to coordinate work among institutions to reduce duplication of effort. While there seemed to be general agreement of the benefits of a coordinated effort, how this could be achieved is still in question.
It was a pleasure to hear from two librarians from the Library and Archives Canada (Bibliothéque et Archive Canada) about music projects at Canada’s recently merged national library and archives. Two excellent web-accessible digital projects were described. The first, The Virtual Gramophone, is “a growing multimedia website devoted to the early days of Canadian recorded sound. With a database of images and digital audio recordings, as well as biographies of musicians and histories of music and recorded sound in Canada.”
The Virtual Gramophone: Canadian Historical Sound Recordings can be found at:
A second Web site, “Sheet Music from Canada’s Past” features digitized sheet music including colorful covers. The site is located at:
One last Canadian music Web site to watch is the Canadian Music Centre (Centre de musique canadienne.) The Canadian Music Centre holds Canada's largest collection of Canadian concert music. The Web site allows searching of over 15,000 scores available for loan and more than 700 CD titles for sale. It also a great place to find out what’s happening with contemporary music in Canada. This site may be found at:
By all accounts, the Hot Topics session was a success. Although much of the discussion focused on technology, the underlying theme of providing access to music collections came through loud and clear. Participants were excited about sharing information with colleagues in the less structured setting offered by the session. A show of hands at the end indicated that there was a consensus that similar events should be included at future MLA meetings.
Plenary Session II|
Reorganization and the Music Librarian
The second plenary session of the 2005 meeting of the Music Library Association was moderated by Jeannette Casey of Northwestern University. She provided an overview of the issues facing music librarians as part of larger organizations, and introduced the three speakers.
Brenda Muir from Library and Archives Canada was the first speaker. Her talk was entitled, “Transformation at Library and Archives Canada.” The Canadian Parliament originally established two institutions: the National Archives of Canada in 1872, and the National Library of Canada in 1952. In 2002, the transformation of these two organizations began with the discussion of their integration. On May 21, 2004, by an act of the Canadian Parliament the two organizations ceased to exist separately but were merged into Library and Archives Canada. The merger legislation introduced a concept of “documentary heritage” and recognized the similar mandates of the two institutions. The transformation team is to be formally disbanded in 2006.
The overarching structure of Library and Archives Canada is function-oriented rather than subject-oriented. This means that cataloging operations for music are located about two miles from the main building. The music materials are housed and retrieved by staff in a different branch. This separation of materials and staff has raised questions of security and care: with more material being transported from place to place, there is a greater likelihood of damage.
The music reference staff has also relocated. Among the challenges Muir mentioned was that of materials and patrons being on different floors. Although there are beepers to alert librarians of questions, locating the information needed when it’s on a different floor has proved to be more time consuming. On the positive side, the merger will allow the Music Division to work more closely with Music Cataloging and Acquisitions, and there is a provision for more staff to work with archival materials. Also, some of the collections will be better housed with the move. Many questions about the merger still remain unanswered, but Muir is hoping for a harmonious resolution to these problems.
The second speaker Ned Quist, music librarian at Brown University, related a cautionary tale of a plan for library reorganization that began in 1995 and ultimately failed to be implemented. The plan called for eleven newly designed service groups within the University Library. Some units were to remain unchanged, and others such as the music library called for staff no longer to report to a single head. Instead, each person within the music branch would report to a different supervisor.
There were two events that spurred the failure of the plan. The first was Sept. 11. Before 9/11, Brown’s President, Ruth Simmons unveiled an ambitious plan that included adding 100 more faculty and building several new buildings. But both the level of giving and the university’s endowment declined after 9/11, causing a financial downturn. The second was the expiration of the staff’s union contract at Brown in 2002. The library’s reorganization plan was not rolled out until after the contract had expired. The union negotiations lasted for twenty-six months, and this stalemate doomed the reorganization plan.
Quist closed his talk with three principles to creating a successful reorganization plan. First, involve the faculty. They will agree to be included in the process if they think that they may lose service. Second, talk to your colleagues, and discern common concerns. Third, get involved in the process. Those outside the process may be viewed as obstructionists.
The third speaker was Paula Elliot of Washington State University. She began her talk by reading a quote from Dilbert, “By embracing change, does change embrace you back?” Change can take on epic proportions, with texts on the rise and fall of organizations written in disappearing ink. The 1980s and 1990s were full of admonitions to restructure and blur the lines of organizations, giving larger roles to support staff and flattening the hierarchical structure. Another trend was to merge and separate technical services and acquisitions. Of the various models, including TQM (Total Quality Management), how many of those teams are still in place?
Most change is social. It’s the internal relationships within an organization that make it work. Sometimes, one has the feeling of being “forever in the middle of reorganization.” But often change within an organization is less than an extreme makeover. Rather, it is a striving for balance in the system. As in ecology, it is important to recognize the relationships at all levels, and the interconnecting systems. As change can be seen as being somewhat circular—what goes round comes round—“let’s face the music and dance.”
Continuing Education Forum: |
Collection Development and Assessment
Moderated by Nancy Zavac (University of Miami)
Panel members: Monika Krieg (Otto Harrassowitz); Christine Clark (Theodore Front);
Dana Jaunzemis (Music Library Services Company); Jean Morrow and Maria Jane Loizou (New England Conservatory of Music); Joe Boonin (New York Public Library, retired); Darwin Scott (Brandeis University)
This lively session began with an introduction of the panelists and a reminder of the three important resources concerning this topic: Writing Collection Development Policies (Maple, Morrow; MLA Technical Report no. 26), Library Acquisition of Music (Fling; MLA Basic Manual Series no. 4), and Collection Assessment in Music Libraries (Gottlieb; Technical Report no. 22).
The session began with questions about the availability of compact discs and how to find out what is currently available since the demise of Schwann. Jaunzemis responded that searching CD vendor sites is the best method. The American Music Guide was mentioned as an alternative resource that is not as complete, but is at least impartial. Boonin responded that Schwann was not great anyway because it was not kept up to date and unavailable compact discs were not removed from the resource. Scott mentioned that he used the Music Library Service Company’s Web site and Amazon to locate currently available CDs. Phonolog was mentioned as a resource but Jaunzemis noted that you must have a license in order to access it.
The exchanges among the attendees then moved on to the topic of recordings released by small record labels and how music librarians can keep up with this collection development activity. Loizou mentioned that reviews are beneficial. Boonin commented that after a compact disc’s release date, there is a sharp curve in availability so librarians need to purchase items when they are first issued. Scott added that it is easy to get behind on ordering CDs produced by small record companies and ironically these are the labels that have the most interesting repertoire.
The conversation turned to the frequency of database updates. The panelists representing vendors noted that updates are immediate and they try to perform updates in a timely fashion. An attendee asked about the acquisition of out of print materials and how this process could be made easier for music librarians. Clark responded that vendors should purchase these materials and make them available. An attendee responded that Amazon now carries out of print materials, but some librarians are unable to purchase materials from Amazon affiliated vendors. It was noted that some libraries do not purchase materials using an institutional credit card. Attendees affirmed that it was important to be able to purchase materials using a credit card and that students frequently bring in printouts of materials that they’ve found on an online vendor site. One attendee commented that it was a good idea for an acquisitions department to work with an intermediate dealer who can track down an item, buy it, and then re-sell it to a library. Another respondent indicated that faculty can purchase materials during their travels and then be reimbursed by their institution. Jaunzemis indicated that her company can purchase CDs through Amazon and then bill the library, alleviating the need for a library to use the “scary” sellers on Amazon. Scott added that credit cards are particularly useful for international orders as they can streamline the process.
Several attendees had questions about score publishing and why prices were so high, especially for complete works of composers. A question was asked of the vendors on why there are five editions of the same piece and if publishers communicate with each other on their publishing plans. Boonin expressed frustration that a library cannot buy just one volume of a complete edition; publishers have a captive audience. An attendee indicated that it was difficult to start new subscriptions to standing orders of complete works due to the high prices. Krieg responded that most publishers are allowing the individual purchase of volumes in Gesamtausgabe and that publishers find it beneficial to know how many volumes they can sell before they publish a series. She added that there is a realization that it is not profitable to publish the same works as their competitors. Clark commented that in order for a publisher to be respected, they must carry certain works and that often a publisher is not aware that someone else is working on an edition. Boonin then added that CD publishers have been repackaging the past with “coffee table CDs” that do not work for libraries, especially public libraries. The large compact disc sets are difficult to circulate; it is better to have separate, discrete items to circulate individually.
The remainder of the session focused on assessment of collections and cooperative collection development efforts. An attendee remarked that it would helpful to see what our peers are purchasing and inquired as to whether this information could be made available and what tools already exist that would provide this information. A lively discussion ensued on how this is a delicate issue and how dealers do not disclose who buys what materials. Jaunzemis added that she would only disclose this information with the permission of the buyer. An attendee suggested that perhaps vendors could provide a list of materials that no library had purchased. Scott commented that it would be nice to know if an item was available in your area and wondered if there was a simple way to do this by region or state. Boonin added that one would have to survey multiple vendors. Scott commended the vendors for working with libraries to predict inflation for budgeting purposes and that this information is tremendously helpful when it is available.
Lastly, an attendee asked Clark about the accreditation process and if there should be a master list of items that music libraries should own. She indicated that accrediting organizations realize that only the personnel at a specific institution are qualified to judge whether or not the collection is meeting the needs of their patrons and there should not be a master list of resources that all music libraries should own. Scott added that circulation records and statistical analysis is not always accurate because materials can be used but not circulated outside the library. Rebecca Littman responded that she is using a system that accounts for in-house use of items using a Palm Pilot. She offered to post the product information on MLA-L. As the continuing education forum came to a close, Scott had a lasting concern as to whether archival copies of JSTOR titles were being kept and it was noted that CIC was doing this in the Midwest.
As We Approach MLA's 75th Anniversary
MLA’s 75th to Feature World Premier|
MLA Publicity Officer
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will join the celebration of MLA’s 75th Anniversary annual meeting in Memphis next year by presenting the world premiere of a work by composer Augusta Read Thomas. MLA and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra commissioned the new work together.
Thomas is a professor on the composition faculty of Northwestern University and Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A joint MLA-MSO committee considered a number of potential composers before choosing Thomas for the commission. It marks the first time the MSO has commissioned an original work.
Recent commissions and premieres for Ms. Thomas have included Galaxy Dances for the National Symphony Orchestra, Tangle for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Canticle Weaving for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her works have also been performed by the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra, among others.
“The Memphis Symphony is excited by the prospect of presenting a new work by a composer as talented as Augusta Read Thomas,” said Ryan Fleur, executive director of the MSO. “We are honored that the Music Library Association chose our city and our orchestra for this event. It is a tribute to the high quality of our musicians.”
The premiere will be presented at a special MLA concert at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on North Main in Memphis at 8 p.m. on Friday February 24, 2006. The concert, “Rock like Bach,” celebrates new music written by modern composers. Most of the music featured on the program will be inspired by rock and roll. This special concert will be open to the public.
“We wanted to present other modern composers on our program for the MLA,” said Fleur. “Most of all we want to remind music lovers that revered composers such as Bach and Beethoven were considered radicals in their day. We hope that today and 100 years from now the new Augusta Read Thomas composition will be a classical favorite too.”
MLA President Bonna J. Boettcher said the city was a natural choice.
“Memphis’s rich and diverse musical heritage and its central location prompted us to come here,” said Boettcher. “We were attracted by the magnificent Cannon Center as a concert hall and performance space as a perfect setting to unveil a new composition. Finally, we are certain that musicians as talented as those in the Memphis Symphony under Maestro David Loebel will give an excellent performance of our newly commissioned work.”
Since 1952, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra has been an economic, artistic, and educational force in the Mid-South. Today more than 850 musicians, staff, and volunteers in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Chorus, the four orchestras within the Memphis Youth Symphony Program, and the Memphis Symphony League operate with a $3.8 million budget to present symphonic music to radio, television and live audiences of more than half a million people annually. Under the direction of Maestro David Loebel, the orchestra has won national awards for adventuresome programming.
Why I Give to MLA|
Brad Short, Washington University in St. Louis, on why he gives to the Freeman Travel Fund:
In 1987 several of us youngsters were making the rounds visiting anyone who would talk to us about the possibility of a job. Yes, I was soon to finish my degree and was doing the job interview thing at my first conference. Being new to MLA I had no idea who these other kindred souls were, but we all had the same nervous, deer-caught-in-the-headlights kind of stare as we moved from room to room. Seeking employment is a humbling experience as one worries about whether or not one’s resume will be as good as the next person’s and in my case, whether or not I removed all of the apple peel from between my front teeth. It’s also one of those life experiences during which one usually prefers a bit of privacy.
Well, hopes for such confidentiality were completely dashed as I kept bumping into—literally—the same tall dark stranger either on his way out of the room or on his way in as I was leaving. After the third or fourth bump, it became comical and we began coaching one another on what questions would be asked. After a very LONG afternoon we decided to take the opportunity to become better acquainted and decided to go out to dinner together to decompress and swap stories about our interviews. While walking around looking for a suitable restaurant I remember we had only one criterion: white tablecloths. It was as silly as that. From that afternoon on, Kevin Freeman and I were somehow weirdly connected to each other’s careers. In the years to follow we celebrated that we each had found jobs and found a nurturing professional community in MLA by scouting out the nearby restaurants.
I’m pleased to continue celebrating what Kevin and I both found way back then and honor his memory by giving to the Freeman Travel Fund to support each year’s new crop of young librarians who are just beginning in their careers. Who knows, maybe they too will find a restaurant with white tablecloths worthy of sharing with their colleagues.
Andrew Leach, Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago, on what the Freeman Travel Fund did for him:
Being a recipient of the Kevin Freeman Travel Grant made it possible for me to attend my first MLA annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2000. At that conference, I made the first of many important professional and personal connections that have become essential to my development as a music librarian. It was an honor to receive the award, and it’s wonderful that MLA offers it as a means of promoting and supporting the participation of new professionals in our organization.
Look for more “Why I Give to MLA” stories in forthcoming MLA Newsletters.
As we approach MLA’s 75th Anniversary, we will celebrate our past by looking back at items of interest in past newsletters.
The first issue of the MLA Newsletter as we know it appeared in February 1969. The lead article of that hand-typed issue was a report from the meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Even in those days, the computer figured prominently:
“The sessions on Thursday (Jan. 30) were devoted to the computer and its functioning. In the morning, explanations of its inner mysteries on a layman’s level, but technical enough to be meaningful, achieved much to quiet a non-initiate’s anxiety over the machine. The afternoon session explicated the application of computer techniques to library processes. Observation of automated circulation, cataloging and information retrieval further clarified the computer’s capacities. Particularly impressive was its ability to pinch-hit for the reference librarian in his more humdrum assignments. Its additional roles as musicologist’s My-Man-Friday and extension of the composer’s creative mechanisms were not touched upon.”
The Friday morning session in Albuquerque “was devoted to the topic “Public Relations and the Music Library.” The potential of film was admirably demonstrated by a production of the Detroit Public Library starring Kurtz Myers.” The afternoon’s topic was “Problems in the application of the LC classification scheme to music collections”:
“James Pruett chaired the panel. Clara Steuermann and Geraldine Ostrove outlined the conversion to LC in their respective institutions. Virginia Cunningham, with her usual grace and forebearance, brought the group up-to-date on cataloging developments and responded patiently to questions and complaints without number.”
The quick summary of the Saturday business meeting included this report:
“Emerging from the facts and figures presented was the image of a flourishing organization. Witness the…Treasurer’s report that the budget has leapt from $20,000 to about 3 times more since 1964.”
Of course, there was plenty of music, food and fun at the meeting, such as the final activities of the conference:
“While transportation exigencies thinned the conclave’s ranks after [the last] session, still many of us took delighted advantage of the restaurants in Albuquerque’s “Old Town,” a restored section of the city redolent of the pioneer days, where many of us discovered Mexican cuisine.”
Sunday morning’s trip to the San Felipe Indian Reservation to witness a native religious ceremony provided a fitting finish for the bracing experience of a few days spent in the open-horizoned grandeur of New Mexico.”
That first, four-page newsletter included many brief chapter reports as well as a report from President Walter Gerboth. It was a busy time for MLA, as the opening of his report indicates:
“The activities of MLA are so extensive and varied that one of the president’s chief duties is to arrange for the involvement of MLAers in those activities. Under the revised constitution all committee memberships expired at the end of the Albuquerque meeting. I am now in the throes of re- and new appointments...”
A message from the Publicity Committee in the inaugural newsletter is as pertinent today as it was in 1969:
”MLAers submitting news copy to the Publicity Committee will not only lighten our task, but will lend a personal tone to the Newsletter desired but lacking in this [first] issue. After all, MLA is people, not merely committees and officers. HELP US HUMANIZE OUR JOURNALESE!”
In the Next Issue
The next issue of the newsletter will include more reports from the Vancouver meeting, a gallery of Vancouver photos, the Annual Reports of the MLA chapters, and more!!
Recommendations Sought for Positions/Award|
The MLA Nominating Committee for 2005 is starting its work a bit early in hopes of gathering as much input as possible before summer. We welcome recommendations for nominations for:
The Vice President/President-Elect serves a four-year term on the Board of Directors in significant leadership roles: the first year as Vice President, followed by two years as President, concluding with one year as Past President.
- Vice President/ President-Elect, to begin serving in 2006
- Recording Secretary
- three Members-at-Large to serve on the Board of Directors for a two-year term, 2006-2008
- the MLA Citation
The Recording Secretary is elected by the membership for a term of two years, and incumbents may succeed themselves.
Board members represent the membership as they carry out the Association's work, so it is very important that all of the membership is reflected in the Board's composition. MLA can achieve this goal only if members forward recommendations to the Committee that represent every chapter, type of institution, and work within our ranks.
Elected Officers to the Board may serve up to a maximum of six consecutive years.
The MLA Citation, the Association's tribute for lifetime achievement, is awarded in recognition of contributions to the profession over a career.
Please send your recommendations to one of the Nominating Committee members listed below. Please include the institutional affiliation for each proposed candidate as well as a very brief justification for your recommendation. Also please let us know if you have discussed your nomination with the individual obtaining her/his approval in advance.
Please send your nominations by Friday May 13, 2005 to be guaranteed full consideration. Thank you for participating in this important process!
- John Anderies
Haverford College, Music Librarian
Kansas State University, Original Cataloger
Robert (Bob) Kosovsky
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Music Division, Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts
University of California, Los Angeles, Humanities & Music Cataloger
Pauline Bayne, MLA Nominating Committee Chair
University of Tennessee, Head, Music & Media Services
Joseph Boonin Awarded the MLA Citation|
Ken Calkins, MLA Publicity Officer
At its 2005 Annual Meeting, the Music Library Association awarded the MLA Citation to Joseph Boonin, in recognition of his distinguished career. MLA awards the Citation on the recommendation of its Nominating Committee, with the approval of the Board of Directors. Mr. Boonin’s achievements were summarized at the award presentation ceremony:
"As a stalwart supporter of both music and libraries for over fifty years, as a publisher and music distributor, and finally as one who always felt most at home as a music librarian, he will be remembered always as MLA's unofficial voice-of-common-sense. His humanity, his kindness, and his steady, logical approach to problems great and small have inspired generations of music librarians. He has fostered much good will between librarians and publishers. His advocacy of music libraries, of MLA and public libraries in particular, and his service for two terms as a Board Member-at-Large, have made MLA a better organization.”
Joseph Boonin accepting the Citation from Laura Dankner
Mr. Boonin also served on the Board of the Music Publishers’ Association. He was president of the Jerona Music Corporation and Joseph Boonin, Inc., and a sales director and library consultant for Alexander Broude, Inc. His publications include The Ordering and Supply of Sheet Music (Broude, 1968), An Index to the Solo Songs of Robert Franz (Boonin, 1970), “Music Price Indexes” in Notes (with George R. Hill, 1979-1987) and reviews in Library Journal (1962-1969) and Notes (1980-1996).
Mr. Boonin's M.L.S. is from Drexel University and his B.A. in Music History is from the University of Pennsylvania. He also studied conducting with Pierre Monteux at the Ecole Monteux in Hancock, Maine.
All of Mr. Boonin’s career as a music librarian was at the New York Public Library, where he has retired as their Head of the Recorded Sound and Moving Image Circulating Collection. His award marks the sixth Citation to a New York Public Library staff member or former member since the award’s inception in 1965. Citation recipients become Honorary Members of MLA.
New Board Members Announced|
Ken Calkins, MLA Publicity Officer
The Music Library Association is pleased to announce the election of three new Board of Directors members. Linda W. Blair, Paul Cauthen, and Amanda Maple join returning members Pamela Bristah, Michael Colby, Laura Dankner, Ruthann Boles McTyre, Nancy B. Nuzzo, Matthew Wise, and MLA President Bonna J. Boettcher to comprise the current Board.
Linda W. Blair is Head of Cataloging at the Sibley Music Library of the Eastman School of Music. She has an M.S. in Adult, Continuing and Extension Education/Educational Psychology from Cornell University and the M.L.S. from Southern Connecticut State University. Her B.S. is in Music Education, from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA. Ms. Blair has served MLA as a member of the Notes staff, among other service, and the New York State/Ontario Chapter as Chair and as Newsletter Editor. She recently co-edited and contributed an article to Careers in Music Librarianship II: Traditions and Transitions, MLA Technical Report No. 29 (2004).
Paul Cauthen is Assistant Music Librarian at the University of Cincinnati, where he was previously the Music Cataloger. He received the M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, the M.A. in Musicology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the B.M. in Music History from Oberlin College. He has served MLA on various committees and in the Midwest Chapter. Mr. Cauthen is also an abstractor for RILM and a member of the Music OCLC Users Group, the NACO Music Project, and the American Musicological Society. His publications include articles in Grove Music Online.
Amanda Maple is Head of the Arts and Humanities Library and Music Librarian at Penn State University. She holds the M.M. in Organ Performance from Florida State University and the M.S. from the School of Library Service of Columbia University. Her focus in publication and MLA service has been collection analysis and development, reference performance evaluation, and networking audio. Most recently, for a plenary session at the 2005 MLA Annual Meeting, she presented “Online Music at Penn State: Integrating Audio from Commercial Online Vendors into Teaching and Learning.”
Peña and Whou Awarded Travel Grant|
Ken Calkins, MLA Publicity Officer
Carlos Peña and Romeo Whou were awarded the 2005 Kevin Freeman Travel Grant to attend the Music Library Association’s national meeting in Vancouver, B.C. This is the ninth year MLA has awarded the Freeman Travel Grant to students, recent graduates, or other colleagues who are new to the profession.
Carlos Peña is in the M.L.I.S. program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is a Technical Services Assistant in the Theodore M. Finney Music Library. He is also employed as a Library Assistant in the Music and Art Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. His music studies include classical and jazz piano, jazz guitar, and jazz percussion. In 1992 he was selected as the only guitarist for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. He has a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in Physical Anthropology.
Romeo Whou is a student in both the M.L.S. and M.A. programs at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a graduate assistant in their Music Library and a practicum student for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Library. His B.M. with a Violin Performance concentration is from the Crane School of Music, State University of New York College at Potsdam, where he received a Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, among other honors.
New Index Provides Access to Scores in “The Etude”|
The Etude magazine was established in 1883 by Theodore Presser with $250 saved from his income as a music teacher, and remains one of the longest-lived music magazines in American history.
In the early years, each issue published roughly five or six musical scores, but by the 1930's there were upwards of twenty compositions published each month. The resulting list of repertoire comprises well over 10,000 musical compositions in an eclectic range of styles and difficulty levels. The major composers of Western art music appear side by side with a broad range of popular composers, including a strong representation of American and female composers.
E. Douglas Bomberger’s An Index to Music Published in “The Etude” Magazine, 1883-1957 now provides access to the music in this periodical. Published by Scarecrow Press (0-8108-5283-7 : $125), scholars and performers will use this 610 page index to find scores in the magazine that were virtually inaccessible before.
An Index to Music Published in “The Etude” Magazine, 1883-1957 is no. 31 in the MLA Index and Bibliography Series, which recently has also published Music Inspired by Art: A Guide to Recordings by Gary Evans.
MOUG Presents Distinguished Service Award |
The Executive Board of the Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) is honored to name A. Ralph Papakhian and Sue Ellen Stancu as the fourth, joint recipients of MOUG’s Distinguished Service Award.
This award has been established to recognize and honor a librarian who has made significant professional contributions to music users of OCLC. The MOUG Executive Board selects a recipient based on nominations received from the MOUG membership.
Ralph Papakhian’s involvement with MOUG goes back to its infancy, first documented in the mimeographed issue 3 of the MOUG Newsletter (January 1979), when Olga Buth announced his appointment as Vice-Chair with this prescient, if understated, introduction: “Ralph is an excellent candidate for this position. He is the music cataloger at Indiana University and is presently using the OCLC database for cataloging. Undoubtedly he will bring valuable experience to this position.” By the next issue, he was a co-editor of the Newsletter. Some highlights of Ralph’s accomplishments within MOUG include his work on committees, becoming the NACO Music Project Coordinator in 1987 and moving the project forward from its tentative beginnings to be the largest funnel project in the PCC, and service as MOUG Chair from 1994-1996. The MOUG Board recognized Ralph’s contributions in other quarters, too—service as Executive Secretary of the Music Library Association (MLA) Board from 1988-1992; receipt of an MLA Special Achievement Award in 1992 for his role in creating and shepherding the MLA-L electronic discussion list, a tool that has had a profound impact on that association; creator of the MLA Clearinghouse; and recipient of the Richard S. Hill publishing award in 2002. MOUG Chair Mark Scharff also noted, when presenting the award to Ralph, “You’ve carried the torch for music cataloging into the generalist world through active participation in discussions on the AUTOCAT electronic discussion list.”
Sue Ellen Stancu’s involvement with MOUG goes back to its infancy, first documented in the mimeographed, 5-page issue 4 of the MOUG Newsletter (September 1979), where her name appears as co-editor of the Newsletter with Ralph Papakhian. In issue 11 or 12, the Newsletter logo, a roughly-drawn terminal emitting the theme from the Haydn Surprise Symphony, gave way to a sleeker rendering putting forth the far-more-esoteric Canon in augmentationem in contrario motu from Bach’s Kunst der Fuge. Sue became sole editor (and MOUG Secretary) in issue 14, and kept the title until the 30-page issue 28. In subsequent years, she remained active in MOUG through serving on committees and task forces and making presentations, the latest at the 2005 meeting in Vancouver, B.C. where she received this award. She was one of the earliest independent contributors in the NACO Music Project, and continues to serve as a reviewer for new participants. She has also been very active in MLA, with service on several Bibliographic Control Committee subcommittees and the Nominating Committee, and in the MLA Midwest Chapter, serving as Secretary-Treasurer from 1991-1993. She has numerous service activities within the Indiana University Libraries and the School of Music to her credit as well.
While these achievements are worthy of gratitude and praise, Ralph and Sue's chief claim to the Distinguished Service Award is their immense contribution to educating and inspiring music catalogers. Much of that has been a team effort. As faculty members in the Music Librarianship program in the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, in spearheading the Title II-C retrospective conversion project, and in serving as co-coordinators and instructors in the summer Music Cataloging Workshop at IU since 1996, they have shaped the development of myriad people, among them leaders in music librarianship and the larger library world. Ralph has conditioned them to approach work with rigor, curiosity, and creativity, and they have benefited from Sue's penchant for (and expectation of) critical thinking, her attention to detail, and the example of her unflinching perseverance in the face of challenges.
To echo the letter nominating both recipients, “Those persons [who have benefited from their guidance] have come to know that what they do and how they do it matters, whatever signals to the contrary may appear. Ralph and Sue strive to preserve the best aspects of cataloging while adapting to new rules, new needs, and new technologies.” Sue and Ralph’s colleagues and students also know that they have the lifelong support of two wonderful friends and mentors.
The following are new or returning members of MLA. We welcome them!
Jonathan T. Bradsher, North Greenville College
Candace Ren Burnham, Suffolk University
Sarah E. Diamant, New York, NY
Carole A. Goldsmith, Simon Fraser University
Liam Patrick Harty, Lakewood, CO
Jessica Leigh Hudson, Lexington, KY
Catherine R. Jennings, Oakland Public Library
Lee Hyo Jin, Seoul
Beryl Winsome Johnson, University of Michigan
Kumiko Katoh, Rutgers University
Michael Kopitman, Los Angeles, CA
Myrna June Layton, Brigham Young University
Anne LePage, University of British Columbia
Terry S. Lewis, California State University-Fresno
Gary Wayne Markham, Portland State University
Margaret Anne Mars, Stetson University
James Mason, Jersey City, NJ
Holly Sue Matthews, Robesonia Community Library
Reshima Tamu Mead-Richmond, Bloomfield, CT
Steven Scott Nordstrom, Brigham Young University
Stephen Zenks Perisho, Seattle Pacific University
Philip C. Ponella, Indiana University
Marea E. Rankin, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Alyssa G. Resnick, Brand Library and Art Center
Timothy J. Smolko, Allegheny General Hospital Credit Union
Tracey Lynn Snyder, Bloomington, IN
Claire Michelle Viola, New York Public Library
David John Wagstaff, University of Illinois - Urbana
|Images of Vancouver|
Several MLA members have shared their photos of Vancouver and the annual meeting, so that we may enjoy the meeting all over again (or vicariously, if you could not attend in person!). Thanks to Tom Caw, Rebecca Littman, Judy Pinnolis, Gerry Szymanski and Marlene Wong for their generosity and photographic skills. Leonard Bertrand, whose camera work is familiar to SEMLA members, submitted a compact disc of photos.
Gerry Szymanski graciously agreed this year to be the “official” MLA photographer at the meeting, an unpaid position which, beyond allowing us to impose upon him for specific photos, is also recognition of all his past photographic contributions to the newsletter. Gerry studied photography in high school (with a real working darkroom), and his photographs have appeared in the Cuba Free Press and Patriot, The Empty Closet, ImageOUT Takes, NYS/O Newsletter, the MLA Newsletter, and American Libraries; and have been exhibited at the George Eastman House's International Museum of Photography.
See photos from these members in this and future newsletter issues, as well as on the MLA Web site with the HTML version of the current newsletter.
Subcommittee on Descriptive
Subcommittee on MARC Formats
Subcommittee on Subject
Electronic Reference Services
Information Sharing Subcommittee
Resource Sharing and Collection Development Committee
Bibliographic Control Committee|
Kathy Glennan (substituting for Nancy Lorimer, Chair)
The Bibliographic Control Committee held two business meetings and an open meeting during the Vancouver conference. Kathy Glennan substituted for Nancy Lorimer, current BCC chair, as she was unable to attend the conference.
BCC’s open meeting on Friday morning, February 18th, had an audience of more than 80 attendees. Announcements included the application process and deadlines for BCC subcommittee vacancies, the locations and times of the subcommittees’ open meetings, and Mickey Koth’s upcoming book, Music Uniform Titles, which should be published by fall 2005.
Stephen Davison (UCLA) reported on the progress of the Music Metadata Requirements Working Group, and Charlotte Wolfe (University of Michigan) and Karen Spicher (Yale) brought the group up-to-date on the activities of the Joint RBMS/MLA Task Group for Developing Rules for Rare Music Cataloging. The draft rules for DCRM(Music) are available at:
The focus of the open meeting was Kathy Glennan’s (USC) presentation on the development of AACR3. She commenced with an explanation of the groups involved in creating and revising the cataloging rules and emphasizing MLA’s place within that hierarchy. She then summarized the reasons for undertaking a new edition of AACR, including the vision, purpose, principles and development goals behind this effort. Finally, she highlighted the changes in the review process for this draft and shared the ambitious timeline for the completion of the new edition, which is scheduled for publication in June 2007. See the BCC Web site for slides from the presentation.
During the business meetings, BCC discussed the draft of the Integrated Library System Requirements for Music Materials, the Authorities Subcommittee’s 680 proposal, and the impact of the new Program Committee charge and structure on BCC meetings in Memphis and beyond.
BCC liaisons actively represent MLA throughout the year in their work with several ALA groups, as nationally recognized as experts in their fields. Visit the BCC Web site at
http://www.musiclibraryassoc.org/BCC/bcc.html to read their reports, as well as those from OCLC and the Library of Congress. They include highlights from the meetings of ACIG, MRC, CC:DA, MARBI, and SAC.
The business meeting of the Authorities Subcommittee was held on Feb. 17, 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Two members, Margaret Kaus (2002) and Ralph Papakhian (2001) are rotating off of the subcommittee this year. The chair acknowledged their contributions and suggested that Ralph Papakhian remain on the subcommittee for one more year to oversee his 680 field proposal as it continues through the process of approval and implementation.
The agenda of the business meeting included highlights of the ACIG meeting at the ALA Annual Meeting in Orlando and Midwinter Meeting in Boston, and discussion of issues of current interest, such as the following items.
The 680 draft proposal on lifting the LC restrictions on including public notes in name authority records, which would perform an informational role similar to 680 explanatory notes in subject authority records. Ralph Papakhian prepared a draft that was distributed prior to the Vancouver conference to members of the Authorities Subcommittee and BCC for comments.
Discussion during the business meeting centered on the relative merits of proposing the 678 versus the 680 field for displaying clarifying information. The consensus was to proceed with the 680 field, in part because it would not require additional layers of changes in the MARC format, unlike the 678 field that needs to be transformed into a public note; the 680 will only need removal of an LC instruction “Do not use this field.” It was further decided that the parenthetical phrase “perhaps with a brief indication of a person’s vocation” would stand, and the indication of a vocation will be removed from the Bob Hope examples instead, to illustrate addition of a death date alone.
(Recommendations were later presented during the BCC business meeting that decided that after some “beefing-up” of the justification for using the 680 instead of the 678 field, the proposal should be presented to BCC for final approval, and forwarded to the CPSO by the BCC Chair).
The subcommittee discussed also its role in cooperating with the MARC Formats Subcommittee project on finding a solution and possibly formulating recommendations for elevating annoying problems of inadequate automatic processing (flipping) of heading containing collective titles. The subcommittee suggested coding the fixed field of an authority record in order to “flag” the record as not suitable for automatic processing. The work in conjunction with the MARC Formats Subcommittee will be carried on after the meeting.
The open meeting was held as part of a joint Authorities/MARC Subcommittee meeting on February 18, 2005. The Authorities portion of the meeting included the chair’s report on the status of the 680 proposal (see above), and the liaison report on ACIG (Authority Control Interest Group) activities at the ALA 2004 Annual and the 2005 Midwinter meetings in Boston. The liaison reported also on the MRC (Media Resources Committee) dissolution as result of its inability and/or unwillingness to transform itself into an ALCTS Interest Group. In addition, Mickey Koth reported on the Types of Composition Document updates, and Joe Bartl on the progress of the Library of Congress 053 pilot project.
Subcommittee on Descriptive Cataloging|
Kathy Glennan, Chair
The Subcommittee on Descriptive Cataloging held a joint open meeting with the Subcommittee on Subject Access during the Vancouver, BC conference. This report addresses only the Descriptive Cataloging portion of the joint meeting.
Kathy Glennan gave a presentation about the current draft of AACR3, Part I, highlighting the organization of the rules, new and revised concepts, and areas of significant discussion within CC:DA. The Joint Steering Committee permits only limited distribution of draft documents, which is just as well, since many specifics may change prior to publication. See the
BCC Web site for slides from the presentation.
The subcommittee also focused on AACR3 issues during its business meeting, where we discussed the importance of transcription vs. identification, whether or not we should comment specifically on the AACR3 publication timetable, and how we might assist the JSC AACR3 Examples Group, whose members include David Sommerfield and Jay Weitz.
Two members rotated off the subcommittee at the close of the 2005 conference, with thanks for their service: Dennis Davies-Wilson and J. Bradford Young.
Web site contains information about the subcommittee, its activities, and the semi-annual CC:DA reports. We welcome comments and questions about descriptive cataloging at any time.
Subcommittee on MARC Formats|
Paul Cauthen, Chair
The Subcommittee on MARC Formats held a joint open meeting with the Subcommittee on Authorities. This report addresses the MARC-related aspects of that joint meeting.
Paul Cauthen summarized the work of the subcommittee for the past year. The subcommittee’s proposal to MARBI for a new MARC21 field to accommodate music incipits was accepted with minor revisions at the ALA annual meeting in June. New field 031 was included in the 2004 updates to the bibliographic and authority formats, which were announced the previous week. An implementation timetable for the Library of Congress and the major utilities is not yet established. Paul briefly outlined two other issues being considered by MARBI of possible interest to the music library community. After lengthy discussion at MARBI, the Library of Congress is working to clarify the instructions on how to record an ISBN that appears on an item, but that does not apply to the item (field 020). The MLA representative requested that whatever instructions are developed for field 020 also be applied to field 024, which contains the ISMN. There was an extended discussion of how to make clearer the distinctions between “ofness” and “aboutness” in subject headings and other added entries. No change in current music cataloging practice is anticipated.
The subcommittee also briefly revisited the coding of types of composition in field 047. Although no revision or expansion of MARC codes is planned, an extensive list of codes being developed by IAML for the Unimarc format may provide an alternative in the future.
The other major topic of discussion for the subcommittee was the exploration of ways to make the MARC21 authority record a more effective tool for automated authority processing. In consort with the Subcommittee on Authorities, the MARC Subcommittee determined that the most effective approach would be to use a single code to an existing fixed field to flag records containing collective uniform titles. The subcommittee may develop a discussion paper for presentation at the MARBI meeting in June.
Subcommittee on Subject Access|
Mark McKnight, Chair
Mark McKnight, chair, gave a brief report from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Boston. We discussed the success of the pre- and post-conference workshops on LC Subject Headings and Music, which were given last year in Washington, D.C. It was reported that some of the information from these sessions will be included in an article to be published as part of a collection of essays. A report was given by Geraldine Ostrove of the Library of Congress. She discussed a project on which she is working to include LC biography cutters in 053 fields for name-authority headings for composers. She reported that she is now working on “B.” Other relevant items from LC included the news that Music Cataloging Decisions will now be incorporated as part of Library of Congress Rule Interpretations. A revised edition of the LC Classification schedule for class M will include more scope notes and removal of obsolete terminology.
Subcommittee member Wendy Sistrunk gave a brief report on the status of the Faceted Access to Subject Terminology (FAST) project, which is being headed by a group at OCLC. Currently approximately 1.3 million FAST records have been created. Thus far little effort has been made to address music headings in FAST, most of which seem to be identical with headings in the LCSH. It was decided that for now our subcommittee will continue to monitor developments within FAST and the chair will report on the progress of the project periodically as it is reported via the ALA Subject Analysis Committee, which now has a FAST Subcommittee.
The subcommittee next discussed program ideas for future meetings. MLA’s new program planning structure was explained. Wendy Sistrunk introduced the idea of a presentation on form/genre headings and the use of the 655 field. She had attended an OLAC conference in October that included a presentation on forms/genres by Robert L. Maxwell of Brigham Young University, who has done a lot of work in this area. The idea of teaming with other MLA groups, such as the Technical Services Roundtable where Wendy will be serving as co-chair, to present a program on this topic was discussed and will be pursued.
Finally, three members, Ray Heigemeir, Patricia Thomson, and Wendy Sistrunk, completed their terms with this meeting and their contributions to the subcommittee were gratefully acknowledged.
Outreach Subcommittee |
Carolyn Dow, Chair
Do you know of any outreach activities being undertaken by MLA committees, task forces, or chapters? If so, let the Outreach Subcommittee know.
The Outreach Subcommittee has chosen to act as a clearinghouse for outreach activities and initiatives. As such, subcommittee members will again be contacting MLA committees and chapters. But we would also appreciate information from individual members, so let us know. E-mail the chair of the Outreach Subcommittee at: email@example.com.
Preservation Committee |
Mary Prendergast, University of Virginia
Although the ANSI/NISO/LBI Standard for Library Binding (Bethesda, Md. : NISO Press, 1999) provides specific guidance for commercial binderies regarding a wide range of materials, the document doesn’t specifically address the peculiar challenges of binding printed music, which include spiral and comb bindings, scores and parts, the requirement that the finished product lie open on a music stand (“openability”) and the need for a durable product that can withstand repeated page turns. Looking ahead to the planned revision of the Standard in 2010, the Preservation Committee has been investigating potential means of closing this information gap between music librarians, music publishers, and commercial binderies. The committee reported on progress at a panel discussion during the Vancouver meeting entitled “Library Binding Standards for Music.” Moderator Lisa Lazar opened the session with an overview of the ANSI/NISO/LBI Standard, which provides terms definitions, material qualifications, technical specifications for different bindings, and performance standards for binderies. She shared the committee’s three-pronged approach: discussion and feedback from music librarians, communication with binders and standard setters, and producing the necessary texts and documents. Panelists reported on their various work in each of these areas.
In the late 1990’s, Edie Tibbits began work on incorporating language for printed scores and parts into the ANSI/NISO/LBI Standard, which was initially planned for revision in 2005. Marcelyn D’Avis reported on her continuation of this work, which now focuses on the drafting of an addendum, in lieu of updates that would be scattered throughout the text. The current draft includes recommendations on specific methods of preferred leaf attachment and those that are not desirable, recommended methods of spine treatment to promote openability, and definitions of terms, including an interpretation of openability for scores and parts.
Sandi-Jo Malmon reported on her meeting with NISO (National Information Standards Organization) and LBI (Library Binding Institute) representatives during the ALA midwinter meeting in Boston. Patricia Harris, Executive Director of NISO, Deb Nolan, Executive Director of LBI, and Paul Parisi from Acme Bookbinding all expressed interest in the committee’s work and offered feedback on the proposed addendum. Since a revision of the Guide to the Library Binding Institute Standard for Library Binding by Jan Merrill-Oldham and Paul Parisi (Chicago: American Library Association, 1990) is in the planning stages, Parisi encouraged the committee to collaborate in some way on this publication. The Guide could include exceptions, which are not covered in the Standard, and an earlier publication date would ensure the availability of information sooner than the 2010 publication of the Standard. Furthermore, the Guide is not subject to the rigorous voting process that the Standard undergoes. After deliberation, the committee agreed it would be beneficial to pursue both avenues.
Committee Chair Alice Carli mentioned the various contributions of other groups to the issue, including publishing companies and self-publishers. The self-publishing sector will continue to grow and communication with them is essential to guarantee that libraries receive material in a form that is useful to them, for example, with sufficient margins for binding, and without comb or spiral bindings. The Music Publisher’s Association has expressed interest in promulgating guidelines for music publishers.
One of the committee’s projects during the past year has involved gathering feedback from music librarians about specific binding issues. Donna Arnold reported on the results from Alice Carli’s Questions of the Week, distributed via MLA-L. Responses to four questions have also been distributed through MLA-L, so will not be reproduced here. The committee’s analysis of the data suggests a number of avenues for investigation. Firstly, distributors as well as publishers must be included in any solution for binding new purchases. For approval plans, for example, an unbound or perhaps a “library bound” option could be provided. Factoring binding decisions into the selection process, where it is possible to do so, is another possibility for increased attention to the needs of music collections.
A review of the twenty-nine responses received thus far to the Preservation Survey provided in attendee’s registration packets mirrored in part concerns that surfaced in the Questions of the Week. The primary challenges expressed by librarians are: spiral bindings, which are increasing in number; comb bindings; items with inadequate inner margins; oversized materials; scores poorly engraved by self-publishing composers; and scores published as individual leaves for performance purchases, requiring pockets or boxes. While the majority of libraries handle pamphlet binding, 22% send them to commercial binderies. There was general agreement on the other categories of materials routinely sent out for binding, including adhesive binds; anything not stapled; multi-signature scores; spiral bindings; oversize and landscape formats; “square spines” and “thick” scores (i.e., more than 60 pages).
During the question and answer session following the reports, discussion centered on the respective role of distributors and publishers, and brainstorming about possibilities for establishing better communication and collaboration between music librarians, music publishers, distributors, and standards setters to help music libraries receive scores in the manner most acceptable to them and useful to their communities. The committee encourages further feedback by those who have not yet had an opportunity to respond via the online version of the Preservation Survey, which will appear in the near future on the Preservation Committee’s website and be announced on MLA-L.
Bibliographic Instruction Subcommittee |
Karen M. Burke, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The public meeting of the Bibliographic Instruction Subcommittee, on the topic “Information Literacy Objectives for Undergraduate Music Students,” began with a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation from Chair Paul Cary. Paul’s presentation began with a brief overview of how the subcommittee decided to take on this endeavor and how we came to where we are today. He also introduced and reviewed the objectives. According to Paul, the objectives have been submitted and approved by the MLA Board. They will be published in Notes in 2005.
Other members of the BI Subcommittee, Beth Christensen, Laurie Sampsel, and Cheryl Taranto also presented, speaking about implementation of these objectives in context.
Beth Christensen, of St. Olaf College, entitled her presentation, “Implementation with Course Integrated Sequential Instruction at St. Olaf College.” She spoke about working these objectives into the music history sequence by mapping information literacy (IL) into courses themselves. Since IL is no longer seen as an exclusive purview of the library, faculty and librarians need to act as real partners. By working IL objectives into sequential music history courses the students can learn by reinforcement and repetition of these objectives in each class they attend.
Laurie Sampsel, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, spoke about how these objectives can be used in a semester-long credit music information literacy course. There seems to be a trend toward subject specific or subject-cluster classes in IL instruction. The benefits of a semester-long class include the following: IL is the class's primary purpose; the librarian has control over the class content, assignments, and so on; and the librarian is able to develop a rapport with the students over a longer time period. Sampsel recommended using long term cumulative research and writing assignments to achieve the IL objectives.
Cheryl Taranto, from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, presented on how to work with faculty and get buy-in for integrated course instruction in IL. It is a time consuming team effort to get faculty to buy into IL objectives and work them into music history courses. For performance majors it is even more difficult. Cheryl was able to convince faculty to work these IL objectives into their courses because they were already required to write program notes for recitals. They are still working on how far they should go on this: what objectives would be important to teach. It could be presented as “professional development” to the performance majors. One way to convince faculty that IL is important is to compare the quality of papers of students who took the IL courses vs. students who have not taken the courses. A classroom approach to IL seems to be more abstract to the students and faculty than working it into the curriculum.
Electronic Reference Services Subcommittee |
Stephen Luttmann, Chair
This year's ERSS public session capitalized on the interest in streamed audio issues by presenting up-to-the-minute product reviews of Alexander Street Press's
Classical Music Library and
Naxos Music Library. The presenters were Paul Cary (Baldwin-Wallace College), Darwin Scott (Brandeis University), and Alec McLane (Wesleyan University), familiar to readers of Notes for their reviews of these products during the past year.
Paul Cary's discussion of Classical Music Library (CML) concentrated on the functionality and comprehensiveness of the service. He noted generally good results in searching, with some quirks in searching by key, results lists, and the searchable metadata. His comparison of coverage between the CML and Naxos products demonstrated that although Naxos still has a considerably larger collection, CML has made substantial progress recently in filling gaps; the presence of big-name artists and ensembles has increased as well.
Darwin Scott and Alec McLane shared an evaluation of the Naxos product. Darwin gave an overview of its functionality, noting that it still has elements of the work-in-progress about it: busy layouts, occasionally difficult navigation (e.g. between a recording and its notes), and phrase indexing that includes punctuation. Alec concentrated on the variations in functionality according to platform and browser types, as well as issues of off-campus access at his institution.
Late-breaking announcements included the upcoming availability from Alexander Street Press of Smithsonian Global Sound, an online music collection with the entire Smithsonian Folkways catalog at its core, and online current scores (not public domain) from Sheet Music Now in Naxos. Additionally, Naxos announced the recent formation of an advisory board of music librarians, and the availability of MARC records for many (and eventually all) of its offerings.
Representatives of both products were in attendance, and would be delighted to entertain questions and user feedback at any time. Contact Tim Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org) for CML, and Heather Buettner (HBuettner@NaxosUSA.com) for Naxos.
Finally, ERSS had a hand in the “Electronic Resources on Parade” session, which was presented with the Reference Performance Subcommittee. ERSS member Jennifer Oates (Queens College, CUNY) and Reference Performance member Alisa Rata (Southern Methodist University) gave a presentation on the topic “Revisiting New Grove Online.”
Information Sharing Subcommittee |
John Anderies, Chair
The Information Sharing Subcommittee of the Reference and Public Services Committee (RAPS) presented a public session at MLA Vancouver titled “Social Media and the Music Librarian: Teaching an Old Blog New Tricks.” Standing in for chair John Anderies, who was not able to make it to Vancouver because of illness, committee member Gerry Szymanski introduced the session and provided an introduction to the world of blogging along with a pitch for a list of recommended library- and music-related blogs that the committee has assembled (available on the committee's blog—see below). Speaker Brian Lamb, Project Coordinator with the Office of Learning Technology at the University of British Columbia, presented an overview of the world of social software and its many uses. MLA's own Ned Quist, Music Librarian at Brown University, followed up with a talk about RSS and current awareness for music librarians. About 75 people attended the session and there was a lively discussion following the presentations that kept bringing both speakers back up to the stage.
In addition to the public session, the committee also engaged in real-time blogging of the MLA conference on the committee Web site known as “infoshare”
Along with several guest bloggers, the committee reported and provided commentary on conference sessions, receptions, and other events during the week of the conference. The infoshare blog was a great success, having a total of 940 visits during MLA and another 1117 the following week.
Resource Sharing and Collection Development Committee|
Brian Doherty, Chair
The committee met in Vancouver to discuss plans for an open session at the 2006 Memphis meeting and to review the progress of the Task Force on American Music and the Music Resources for Libraries Task Force. Robin Rausch, coordinator for the Women in Music Roundtable, solicited ideas for a possible joint program between the roundtable and the committee. The committee worked on formulating a proposal for an open session for the 2006 annual meeting in Memphis. The session will focus on collection development in the twenty-first century and feature discussions, resources and techniques for developing music collections.
The Task Force on American Music Archives did not formally meet in Vancouver. The group has been discussing the possibilities for MLA involvement with Deane Root in a new edition of Resources in American Music History. The Task Force will be working to define MLA’s role as the project proceeds. Additionally, the potential of an American Music Archive component of the International Registry of Music Archives, an IAML project under the direction of David Day at Brigham Young University, is being investigated by the Task Force.
The Music Resources for Libraries Task Force enjoyed a very productive meeting during the annual conference in Vancouver. Having collected input regarding collection development tools for music, the Task Force is formulating proposals for a successor to the 3rd edition of A Basic Music Library to submit to the MLA Board of Directors.
Please send citations for items published or premiered in the past calendar year to the column editor, Gary Boye, via e-mail or snail mail at the address below. The deadline for submissions for issue no. 141 is April 20. Please follow the citation style employed below. You must be a current MLA member to submit citations.
Dr. Gary R. Boye
Appalachian State University
Music Library, Box 32026
Boone, NC 28608-2026
Girsberger, Russ (New England Conservatory).
Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. 2 vols. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music, 2004. [xx, 349 p. ISBN: 157463030x (vol. 1); 1574630318 (vol. 2), $24.95 ea.]
Huismann, Mary (University of Minnesota).
Frederick Delius: A Guide to Research. New York, NY: Routledge, 2004. [xiii, 273 p. ISBN: 0415941067, $85.00]
Luttmann, Stephen (University of Northern Colorado).
Paul Hindemith: A Guide to Research. New York, NY: Routledge, 2005. [xv, 429 p. ISBN: 0415937035, $95.00]
Duffy IV, Michael J. (Northern Illinois University)
“Selected Research and Writings on Instruction for Music Librarians: An Annotated Bibliography.” Music Reference Services Quarterly 8:3 (2004): 37-61.
Hoek, D.J. (Northwestern University)
“Documenting the International Avant Garde: Earle Brown and the Time-Mainstream Contemporary Sound Series,” Notes 61:2 (Dec. 2004): 350-60.
McMorrow, Kathleen (University of Toronto)
“The Writings of Luigi von Kunits in The Canadian Journal of Music,” Institute for Canadian Music Newsletter 3:1 (January 2005): 2-7, 16.
Moore, Tom (University of Rio de Janeiro)
“Cheap Rio: The Cidade Maravilhosa on a Budget,” Brazilmax, published on February 09, 2005.
Ostrove, Geraldine (Library of Congress)
“Recent Publications in Music.” Fontes artis musicae 50/2-4 (April-December, 2003): 197-290.
Pinnolis, Judith (Brandeis University)
“The Turn of the Millenium in Jewish Music: A Bibliography of Selected Items 1999-2002,” Musica Judaica 16 (2001-2002): 118-150.
“A Conversation with Miriam Gideon (1906-1996): Sunday, June 19, 1977,” Musica Judaica 17 (2003-2004): 106-141.
Performing Arts and Video Roundtables
Small Academic Libraries Roundtable
Technical Services Roundtable
Women in Music Roundtable and Contemporary Music Roundtables
World Music Roundtable
Bibliography Roundtable |
D.J. Hoek, Northwestern University
The Bibliography Roundtable met in Vancouver on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005, and featured a program of three presentations. Approximately twenty-five attended.
In “The Bibliography of the Lotus: The Larger Context of Cyril Scott’s Lotus Land,” Laurie Sampsel (University of Colorado–Boulder) surveyed the many versions, transcriptions, and arrangements of Scott’s Lotus Land that have been produced in the century since the work’s composition. In addition to Scott’s original work for piano, the presentation highlighted a disparate handful of later renditions, including recordings by Tito Puente, Martha Raye, the rock group Skinner Box, and others. In addition, the image of the lotus in the broader context of history, literature, and popular culture was considered.
John Druesedow’s (Duke University) presentation, “Colonial Era Music from Latin America: A Spate of New Recordings,” covered a lesser known niche of Latin Americana. Inspired by the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage, interest in this repertoire has stimulated many fine recordings since 1990, and specific examples were discussed and heard. Additionally, a selective list of outstanding recordings of colonial Latin American music was distributed.
In “‘That Rings a Bell . . .’: An Overview and Assessment of the Sound Healing Literature,” Alan Karass (College of the Holy Cross) presented an overview of writings and recordings that address the therapeutic use of sound to promote overall health or to heal specific ailments. This literature, which spans music therapy and ethnomusicology, draws on practices from throughout the world, and a list of essential books, articles, web sites, and recordings was provided to assist academic and public libraries in developing collections of sound healing resources.
Performing Arts & Video Roundtables |
Betty Woerner, (Reed College) and Liza Vick, (UC Irvine)
The joint session of the Performing Arts and Video roundtables featured a presentation, “The Art of Creating Primary Resources in Building Performing Arts Research Collections,” by Mary Elizabeth Edsall. Ms. Edsall is dance librarian and curator of the Philadelphia Dance Collection at Temple University, and an adjunct faculty member at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science. The presentation included a discussion of Ms. Edsall’s recent Pew-funded projects involving video documentation in dance, “The Art of Creating Primary Resources in Dance,” and “The Reconstruction of Artistic Memory and Vision in Dance.” In these projects, she and her staff worked with Philadelphia modern dance legends Manfred Fischbeck, Brigitta Herrmann, Hellmut Gottschild and others to reconstruct choreographic works. They created primary resources through videotaped interviews with the dancers, musicians, designers, and others connected with these performances. The project also included performances, festivals, master classes, archival collections and other forms of dance documentation. Ms. Edsall framed her discussion within the context of building performing arts library and archival collections.
The most exciting part of the session was a live oral history project. Ms. Edsall carried out a live, videotaped interview with Grant Strate, who is a professional ballet dancer, charter member, dancer, choreographer, and director of the National Ballet of Canada, founder of the dance department at York University (Toronto), and professor emeritus and former head of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for the Arts. Retired at present, he resides in Vancouver and is active as a guest artist, choreographer and president of World Dance Alliance/Americas. He has received the Order of Canada and the Governor General's Performing Arts Award. Strate’s talk with Edsall focused on his work with collage dance (reflecting the multi-cultural heritage of Vancouver) and the ScotiaBank Dance Centre (Granville Island) which he founded. His new memoir (Grant Strate: A Memoir, published by Dance Collection Danse Press) is available and another is in progress (Dancing Eye).
Small Academic Libraries Roundtable|
Barbara R. Walzer, Sarah Lawrence College
This year the Small Academic Libraries Roundtable met on Thursday, 17 February 2005. Our session featured John Wagstaff, Music Librarian at Oxford University Music Faculty Library, UK, 1988-2004. On January 20, 2005, John moved to the States and became Head Music Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In his presentation, “Small Academic Libraries in the U.K.: Some Comparisons and Observations,” John explained that his study structure was based on the MLA Annual Survey of Music Collections in the United States using comparisons by institution description, facilities, services, staff, resources, and expenditures. However, statistical information gathering for UK libraries was not as comprehensive or current, largely due to the fact that IAML had discontinued its Annual Survey of Music Libraries in 1999. Instead, John chose 12 UK academic libraries for an informal survey. Two music departments, namely Reading and Exeter, had closed in the past 12 months. Aberystwyth and Leicester closed in the 1980s.
The UK does not have a network of private universities. Virtually all UK academic institutions rely on government funding. During the 1980s the government required universities to double the number of undergraduates while halving the funding. Thus, research income has become important for institutional survival. Acquisitions at most music libraries has significantly diminished (compared to the U.S. and Canada), the exceptions being Royal Holloway, University of London, Southampton University and Leeds which have expanded with large enrollments and strong research.
The UK government’s “Research Assessment Exercise” process was initiated in 1992, whereby research is submitted to a panel for evaluation and graded 1-5. The higher the score the more funding is provided. However, the monies received are not necessarily channeled to music library acquisitions. It is interesting and surprising that Royal Holloway, a flagship music research institution, holds only 800 CDs. Large libraries such as The Bodleian Library at Oxford have legal deposit status for print materials but not sound recordings. Several smaller library collections, such as The Royal College of Music, have grown largely through gifts. The Bodleian Music Library has a budget of about 17,000 pounds for non-legal-deposit materials, which is a miniscule amount for such a prestigious library. John then added his personal experience as Music Librarian at both King’s College Library and Oxford University Music Faculty Library, including his challenges with budget, facilities, staffing and technical services. In his final comments John noted that most academic music libraries in the UK are small unless the library is a legal deposit library. In my opinion, UK academic music libraries actually have more similarities than differences to our small music library U.S. counterparts.
I was happy to announce that the Small Academic Libraries Roundtable has been renewed for another four years and I wish to express a sincere thanks to those who wrote letters of support for its continuance. The business meeting portion focused on clarifying the process for roundtable renewals and the new changes for programming future sessions. Linda Mack, Music Librarian Andrews University, was invited to discuss developing her poster session topic: “Beyond BI, Making Campus Connections” into a full program at next year’s SALRT meeting. I am interested in creating an updated distribution list of SALRT members. It is not important that you regularly attend MLA. We are interested in you and your Small Academic Music Library. Feel free to e-mail me (email@example.com), if you wish to participate and become a member of our roundtable and thus be included in future mailings and studies.
Technical Services Roundtable|
Patty Falk, Bowling Green State University
The Technical Services Roundtable met on Saturday, February 19th from 10:30 am-12:00 pm in Vancouver. The program was made up of two speakers explaining their experiences of cataloging music materials for libraries at home. Kathy Glennan described her situation as a university employee of the University of Southern California working across the country in the Baltimore area. She addressed specific issues of communication, equipment, software, access to reference sources, the shipping of materials, and making visits to campus. Other personal issues such as time management skills, professional development opportunities, and being able to work alone with little interaction among her colleagues were also presented. Kathy experiences benefits and challenges in working at home as a cataloger for USC. She has the benefits of flexible hours, uninterrupted work time and space, and does not have to supervise anyone. The challenges are not being able to participate in organizational meetings on campus, updating her own equipment and software when necessary, not being able to set cataloging priorities, and having access to reference sources.
Lynne Jaffe described her own contract cataloging services and her experience in cataloging music materials from home. She acquired a business license, bought her own equipment and software, and creates and negotiates her own contracts. Lynn has similar experiences with Kathy in that she has a flexible work schedule and uninterrupted work time and space. Lynn can also use the institutional log-ins to OCLC to do her work once she has a contract arranged. She also experiences similar challenges to Kathy, including shipping and handling of materials, access to reference sources, updating and maintaining her own equipment and software, and little interaction with professional colleagues. An additional issue is the time of payments thirty days after the work is completed.
The meeting continued with a brief discussion of a potential topic for next year’s meeting in Memphis. There were also some comments regarding reorganization in the technical service areas of various institutions.
Women in Music & Contemporary Music Roundtables|
Robin Rausch, Library of Congress
The Women in Music and Contemporary Music Roundtables joined forces this year to present a fascinating program that featured the work of several contemporary Canadian composers and American-born composer Gloria Coates.
Canadian composer Janet Henshaw Danielson spoke about her recently completed opera in her talk entitled “The Marvelous History of Mariken of Nimmegen: Bringing the Nonmodern into Focus.” The libretto is based on a 15th century Dutch morality play by an unknown author and was lost for centuries among the forbidden books of the Catholic Church. Rediscovered in the late 19th century, it is believed to be the first known instance of a play within a play as well as the first appearance of the Faust legend. Satan tempts the heroine of the story, Mariken, in three different disguises: an academic, a politician, and a lawyer. Danielson translated the medieval Dutch text herself, retaining the meter and rhyme structure of the original. She described the musical language as a “tangle of styles,” including plainsong, minimalist repetition, elements of rap, and an aria for Mary that “nods towards Schubert’s Ave Maria,” all of which she networked into the overall design. Danielson teaches composition at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and is currently a Director of the Canadian League of Composers and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.
William Bruneau of the University of British Columbia, and David Gordon Duke of Vancouver Community College spoke on the work of three Canadian composers in their talk titled “Creative Politics and High Art: Insights from the Musical Archives of Jean Coulthard, Violet Archer, and Barbara Pentland.” Coincidentally, all three composers died within weeks of each other in early 2000, and subsequently came to be referred to as the “Three Ladies.” Archer derived her style from her teacher Paul Hindemith, while Coulthard was influenced by Debussy and the early French Modernists, and, later, by Bartok and others. Pentland was the more radical of the three; her music study in Darmstadt and the discovery of Anton Webern were significant factors in her development. All three women held teaching posts at Canadian universities with varying degrees of satisfaction and success. Bruneau suggested that biographers examine the institutional histories of the schools where each woman taught for an interesting study of the gender issues in their respective lives. They also all left extensive archives that hold great research potential. Information on these archival collections may be found online as follows: the Jean Coulthard Fonds:
http://www.library.ubc.ca./archives/u_arch/coulth.html; the Violet Archer Fonds:
http://archive1.lse.ualberta.ca/FindingAids/VioletArcher/VioletArcher.html ; the Barbara Pentland Fonds:
Ralph Hartsock, University of North Texas, presented “Piercing the Curtain: One Composer's Penetration into an East German Music Festival,” on American-born composer Gloria Coates. Coates promoted the music of women, contemporary composers, and Americans in Europe, hosted a radio program in Germany, and in 1978 attracted attention with the premiere of her Music on Open Strings (Symphony No. 1) at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. Her compositions reveal her interest in extending the timbre of instruments. Several examples from her work were played including: Symphony no. 1 (Classic Produktion Osnabrück cpo 999 392-2, available from Amazon.com), String Quartet no. 8 (Naxos 8.559152), Lunar Loops for 2 guitars (available from Stephan Stiens,
http://www.stephan-stiens.de/Guitar_Future.htm), and Ecology 2 (tape from the composer).
The Contemporary Music Roundtable was not renewed this year, but Ralph Hartsock has assumed responsibilities as chair and hopes to get it reinstated in the future. The Women in Music Roundtable will be up for renewal in 2006.
World Music Roundtable|
The World Music Roundtable met on Thursday, February 17. More than fifty people heard presentations by Laurel Sercombe, Norman Stanfield and Spiro Shetuni.
Laurel Sercombe, the Archivist for the Ethnomusicology Program at the University of Washington, spoke about “The Song of Dirty Face: Locating a History in the Pacific Northwest.” She described the Pacific Northwest area in terms of the indigenous people of the area. The Coast Salish lived in the area from Vancouver down to Puget Sound. The story of Dirty Face belongs to a time before human beings existed, when animals were people. The sometimes humorous narrative discloses cultural differences and expresses a strong spiritual power. Laurel told the story of the song and played and discussed a recording of a version sung by Annie Daniels in 1954. These stories are now being relearned from recordings and maintained in areas where the stories are no longer being shared.
Norman Stanfield, adjunct professor and Ph.D. candidate at the School of Music at the University of British Columbia, spoke on “Zen Buddhism and its Flute Music.” By background he informed us that the Vancouver area is a large Asian multi-cultural environment with a deep spiritual awareness particularly in Eastern-style meditation. There is an intense interest in Asian philosophies. The purpose of the shakuhachi flute is for meditation and its performance practice is inspired by Zen Buddhism. The Buddhist monks originally used the flute in a modest way for alms gathering. Any offerings to a holy man would go towards his rebirth in another life. Norman described the two main processes in meditation as breath and concentration as this opens the way to enlightenment. The shakuhachi player controls his breath by playing a single note that emulates a bell. The bell is a symbol of impermanence. The sound itself is initiated by finger action. Tones are separated or repeated in the same manner. The structure of the music is through-composed with no beat but meter is indicated. Video examples accompanied his presentation.
The third presenter, Spiro Shetuni, music librarian at the University of Miami, Weeks Music Library, spoke on “Albanian Traditional Music: Gege Music.” He discussed its structural aspects, fundamental features, metric structure and accompaniment. Gege music is a monophonic vocal genre practised in rural northern Albania. This area is inhabited by highlanders engaged in ranching with agriculture as a secondary profession. The music is monophonic whether performed by one or more persons or may follow a call and response pattern. It has both diatonic and chromatic structure and is noted for its mixed metrical patterns. Performers sing a cappella or with instrumental accompaniment whether accompanying themselves, singing with other instrumentalists or with an orchestra. A video performance highlighted his presentation.
Free Library of Philadelphia
The fall meeting of the Atlantic Chapter of MLA was held on October 22-23, 2004 in Morgantown, West Virginia at two different campuses of West Virginia University. MLA member Beth Royall hosted the first meeting of music librarians (so far as we could determine) ever held in the state of West Virginia. Not long after arriving we found that while a small state, and short on music librarians, West Virginia is not short on musical history and culture.
Dr. Christopher Wilkinson, of the WVU Division of Music, gave a talk on an area of particular interest of his, entitled, “Hot and Sweet: Big Band Music in Black West Virginia before the Swing Era.” He described the considerable scene for the territory bands which performed in the towns where the black coal miners of West Virginia lived. He prefaced his talk with remarks about Richard Strauss’ relationship with WVU. The composer visited the then-tiny college town and campus 100 years earlier in 1904, for a performance of his works by conductor Victor Herbert with the Pittsburgh Orchestra. The composer also accompanied his wife Pauline in a recital of his lieder in another concert.
Outgoing chapter chair Carl Rahkonen spoke on the traditional music scene in West Virginia, highlighting many of the state’s significant music festivals devoted to folk music. Carl has attended many of these festivals and is passionate on the subject. He mentioned that even within the small state, the northern part features piano accompanying the fiddle, while the southern part predominantly features the banjo instead of the piano. Our final speaker was another chapter member, Anne Harlow of Temple University, who delivered a presentation on helping performing arts faculty members quantify the worth of their scholarly credentials for salary or tenure purposes. She has done this a number of times and has a creative and thoroughgoing approach to this evaluation process. At the end of our sessions we heard a steel drum ensemble as we socialized at lovely reception provided by the university.
Friday’s meetings were held on the Evansdale campus, in the north end of town, but connected to the downtown campus by a nifty monorail line. After our breakfast and business meeting on Saturday morning at the main library on the downtown campus, we heard from Dr. John Cuthbert about some of the music-related special collections in the WV and Regional History Collection. This was followed by a tour of the collection, which also serves as the state archive for West Virginia.
Many of us were struck by the beauty of the foliage as we drove through the mountains of northern West Virginia. Coupled with the lovely hospitality we received from our hosts, we hope that the first MLA meeting held in West Virginia will not be the last.
Photo credits: Laura Gayle Green: “Why I Give to MLA” photos. Gerry Szymanski: Vancouver skyline; Brenda Muir; travel grant winners; Boonin/Dankner. Library and Archives Canada: Canadian Girl sheet music cover. Editor’s archive: Presidential Photo.
25 April 2005
Deadline for Submissions
MLA Newsletter no. 141
29 April 2005
MLA New England Chapter
19-21 May 2005
MLA Mountain-Plains Chapter