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Blog Posts by Subject: Music

Happy Public Domain Day, 2013!

No copyright!

Our markets, our democracy, our science, our traditions of free speech, and our art all depend more heavily on a Public Domain of freely available material than they do on the informational material that is covered by property rights. The Public Domain is not some gummy residue left behind when all the good stuff has been covered by property law. The Public Domain is the place we quarry the building blocks of our culture. It is, in fact, the majority of our culture. —James Boyle, The Public Domain, p.40f, 2008, quoted on the ... Read More ›

Works Created with the Help of the Music Division, 2011-2012

I'm happy to present a review of how the Music Division contributed to knowledge for 2011-2012. Although my information is based on the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, December seems like an appropriate time to post this information.

Today the pervasiveness of the Internet leads some to question the usefulness of libraries. Many try to determine a library's effectiveness by attendance: Surely 50 users in one day is better than 5? (I recall an article from library school that questioned whether it is worth collecting a book if it is consulted only once in 50 

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"It's Great! But Why is it Here?" Musical Revue Research Guide, Part 2

In the Research Guide, Part I, I advised that the easiest way to find information at LPA is by name or title. I advised that the research can benefit by compiling a list of every person in or involved in a production and serendipity can come your way. That third dancer from the left can become a star and/or obsessive collector or just happen to have the right piece of information in a clipping file. Sometimes, however, you can do your research prep and be looking in a 

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Soul Music Tracks from the Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Collection: "I Want You" and "Musical Massage"

I listen to many interesting things in my job, and I love it. As an AV cataloger at NYPL (Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound), I have listened to many archival recordings at the library for the past 8 years. Some of my highlights:

    Sound effects tapes from plays in the New York Shakespeare Festival collection Choral 
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Smoking: A Love Story

I just quit smoking for the fifthJon Hamm in Mad Men time. For me, it's all or nothing. I could never be one of those people — dilettantes! — who are able to smoke socially and then go for indefinite periods of time without a cigarette. I suppose this has to do with physiology, personality, and the times in which I grew up.

In one of my earliest memories, I'm sitting on the living room floor, my dad is smoking a cigar, and sunlight is flooding through the picture window illuminating the variegated blue, gray, and purple layers of smoke. I was mesmerized! 

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The Neil Peart Reading List

I've always been curious about Neil Peart. You could say he's the George Harrison of the band Rush. He's the quiet one, but he is anything but silent. In addition to the complex time keeping duties the drummer extraordinaire is also the band's lyricist. With the song's varied themes ranging from philosophy to fantasy you have to assume he is well read.

As a librarian I am always 

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Great Albums You May Have Missed: Hasu Patel's Gayaki Sitar (1996)

When thou commandest me to sing, It seems that my heart would break with pride; And I look to thy face, And tears come to my eyes.

Rabindranath Tagore*

Hasu Patel’s collection of traditional ragas for sitar are little invitations to the world, invitations to reflect on the deepest concept known to humankind: The Divine — the nature of which we acknowledge, from our various traditions, exists somewhere beyond thought and imagination. They are exquisite examples of the evocative, 

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Musical of the Month: Oh, Boy!

A guest post By Laura Frankos Oh, Boy!: Kern, Bolton, Wodehouse and the Princess Theatre Musicals The Genesis of the Series

Image ID: th-56990In 1913, the Shuberts added another theatre to their empire at 104 West 39th Street, on the edge of the theatre district. Architect William Albert Swaney, who had built the Winter Garden for the brothers, designed an intimate 299-seat house, with an understated Georgian exterior of red brick and limestone and five stories of office space for rental income. The theatre, dubbed the Princess, spent its first seasons as "the Theatre of 

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Advertising Through Marching: Sheet Music at LPA

The Music Division has an amazing amount of sheet music, much of which is not listed in the online catalog. Over the years, some of this sheet music has been compiled into different collections. One of these collections called, P.I. Marches or Popular Instrumental Marches, contains marches that were arranged for the piano.

While compiling a database of these marches I came across several that were written as advertisements. These marches were published between 1897 and 1923. They represent a range of companies whose 

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Who is Harlem Witness?

Who is Harlem Witness? St. George Library Center found out not too long ago when local Staten Island musician Shawn "Harlem Witness" DeBerry performed his Gospel-Rap set to audience full of eager concert goers. Shawn also provided us with a little bit of information about his musical background and the personal aspirations he has for his craft. 

What kind of music do you listen to?

I actually listen to a wide variety of music such as

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Finale, Part I: Curtain Calls

The Great American Revue is coming to the end of its run at the Vincent Astor Gallery, LPA. Don't worry —  all of the artifacts will be returned to the Billy Rose Theatre Division, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, or Music Division, and the 

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Agosto se Agota con el Ritmo que Bota la Pelota, Anota y ¡Alborota!

Vamos a celebrar lo que va del verano ¡al ritmo tropical hispano! Como ya sabemos, muchos de los peloteros mas famosos mundialmente provienen de la República Dominicana, tales como Albert Pujols, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez y muchas otras destacadas personalidades del 

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Dolly Birds and Dandies: Swinging London in Film

Teenagers in London's Carnaby Street. Wikimedia CommonsPost-WWII London, by the mid-to-late 1960s, was reimagining, rebuilding and rearranging. Its economy was strong, and nearly 30% of its population was aged 15-34. With these factors in play, and with that undefinable "something" that brings creativity and zest to a location for however brief a time, London emerged as the style capital of the world, its youth culture arising from the heady influences of new music and street 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties, Part 3 - The Way it Is or Eurydice in the Avenues

Pretend you’re just outside Tompkins Square Park. Enter the park on Avenue A, at 8th Street. Take the windy path through the park towards Avenue B. Okay, now sniff. What do you smell?

You smell dogs.

The Way it Is or Eurydice in the Avenues opens early morning summer in the Park. Three feckless dog walkers stand over the dead body of a girl in a polka-dot dress. Who else is going to find a dead body in Tompkins 

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Audience Participation on the Ziegfeld Roof

At the turn of the last century, as part of their effort to establish Times Square as the new entertainment center, Oscar and William Hammerstein installed a roof garden cabaret on top of their 42nd St. corner theater. Made possible by the invention of elevators and cooled air, roof gardens caught on as a temperate weather late night activity. William Hammerstein’s programming featured vaudeville stars and their imitators. You can see the logo for their Paradise Roof Garden on the Vaudeville Nation site — a young woman sipping an iced drink surrounded by Japanese lanterns. 

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Andre Charlot's Revue of 1924

Impresario Andre Charlot brought London stars and songwriters to Broadway in January 1924. That show forms a neat connection between Noel Coward and the American revue scene, so we developed a small exhibition about it for LPA's 3rd floor reading room.

The Revue, produced in New York by The Selwyns, was a compilation of new material with audience favorites from past London shows. Both Noël Coward and Ivor Novello songs were featured, as well as works by 

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Presley and Melody: Summer Reading Kickoff at Fort Washington Library

Photo by J. ChangI was so excited when I saw that Presley and Melody would be performing at the Fort Washington Library on June 7, 2012. I have been waiting a year since they performed at the opening celebration of the Kingsbridge Library in June 2011. I started blogging last year, and this was definitely a children's program that I wanted to write about. I am somewhat a groupie fan of Presley and Melody, like I am of

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Book Review: Unfair to Genius, by Gary A. Rosen

Did Cole Porter steal the music for some of his most popular songs? Ira B. Arnstein thought so. He took Porter, and several other songwriters, to court for copyright infringement during the 1930s and 1940s.

Unfair to Genius: The Strange and Litigious Career of Ira B. Arnstein, by Gary A. Rosen

"Tin Pan 

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Free and Cheap Concerts and Comedy Shows in NYC!

If you're a fan of live music and comedy, there is no better city to live in than New York City. Every day there is something exciting going on, somewhere in the city. More importantly, a lot of these events are free or very cheap. In the past year, I have seen Foster the People,

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Students Encounter Bach at LPA

First page of Johann Sebastian Bach's manuscript to his Cantata BWV 97, "In allen meinen Taten"I am always excited when I get a chance to host a class in the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  This year, my colleague and friend Fred Fehleisen (faculty member of Mannes College The New School for Music) was teaching a class on Johann Sebastian 

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