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Blog Posts by Subject: Music

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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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties, Part 2: Jarmusch's Permanent Vacation

Permanent Vacation opens with a moving crowd of New Yorkers, still dressed '70s groovy. It might be a camera trick, but no one appears to be rushing. The music is slow, diffuse horn and bells. We meet 16-year-old Aloysious Christopher Parker, already dressed '80s rockabilly cool. His body is like a marionette's — all long limbs and loose joints. His voice is like an oboe, and his delivery is like slow air out of a tire. He dances to

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A Room with a ?: Noël Coward Parodies

The topical revues of 1907 – 1938 satirized performance, society and politics. Everything happening in and around New York was fair game. So, it should not be surprising that Noël Coward came in for his share of parodies. Since LPA's current exhibition in the Donald & Mary Oenslager Gallery is Star Quality: The World of Noël Coward and our neighbors, Film Society of Lincoln Center, will dedicate next weekend to

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Harlem Library Cinema Series at George Bruce: June 2012

Calypso, the traditional carnival music of Trinidad, is so infectious with its driving beat, upbeat rhythms and colorful lyrics, that it defies you not to get up and dance or sing or both.

NBPC (National Black Programming Consortium) and The Harlem Library Cinema Series return to the George Bruce Branch this Spring with a sparkling documentary, Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle, about the queen of this music: Calypso Rose. Born McArtha Sandy Lewis on the tiny 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties - "Smithereens" (1982)

I went to high school in the EastVillage from 1983 to 1987. This might sound kind of punk rock. Unfortunately, I totally missed out on CBGB in the late Seventies (see also: Punking Out) and early Eighties. And let's face it, I didn't go inside any real club for most of the Eighties either — I was underage, and too busy studying for the SATs. But I remember how the outsides looked. The streets and 

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Best of Patron Requests: Music (April 2012 Edition)

This list is a monthly compilation of my own personal favorite patron requests for music. I hope you will check out some of the great music that Library users have suggested we acquire!

Provided are some great preview tracks for each. Just click on the titles to be taken to the catalog.

The Music of Vladimir Martynov by Kronos Quartet

FIND OF THE MONTH! I have this friend, and he orders CDs 

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¡Toda la música 'hits' está aquí tan solo para ti!

Una selección de discos musicales recientemente adquiridos de varios artistas ganadores de los premios Latin Grammy, incluyendo bolero, merengue, salsa, cumbia, mambo, reggae, reguetón, ranchera, bachata y más, además de otras canciones para recordar para ¡llevar y reservar!

1 es Juan Gabriel

Por

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The Music of the Titanic

An oft-reproduced sheet music cover, memorializing the Titanic and the StrausesThere will probably be more written about the RMS Titanic this month than in the past 100 years. This blog entry is my contribution to the literature of the steamship and its connection to music.

The sheet music cover above (from The New York Public Library’s

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Best of Patron Requests: Music (March 2012 Edition)

This list is a monthly compilation of my own personal favorite patron requests for music. I hope you will check out some of the great music that Library users have suggested we acquire!

Provided are some great preview tracks for each. Just click on the titles to be taken to the catalog.

El Duque de la Bachata by Joan Soriano FIND OF THE MONTH!!! If you live in New 

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Brahms Manuscripts on Display in NYPL's Music Division

Brahms manuscripts on display in the Music DivisionBeginning March 21, 2012, the American Brahms Society, in conjunction with the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will present Brahms in the New Century. This three-day conference will bring some of the most important Brahms scholars to New York to share their latest research and analytical insights.

In conjunction with this conference, the Music Division at 

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I Love Rock & Roll: Current Bands Worthy of Attention Part 4: The Raconteurs

I hear the phrase uttered often, "There are no good Rock & Roll Bands anymore" and there has been recent talk about the death of mainstream rock and roll. Over the next few weeks I will highlight 4 modern day groups that deserve attention from young and old fans of mainstream Rock and Roll.

If there were still great rock and roll radio channels for free out there these bands would be getting much 

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I Love Rock & Roll: Current Bands Worthy of Attention Part 3: Band of Horses

I hear the phrase uttered often, "There are no good Rock & Roll Bands any more" and there has been recent talk about the death of mainstream rock and roll. Over the next few weeks I will highlight 4 modern day groups that deserve attention from young and old fans of mainstream Rock and Roll.

If there were still great rock and roll radio channels for free out there these bands would be getting much bigger 

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I Love Rock & Roll: Current Bands Worthy of Attention Part 2: Dr. Dog

I hear the phrase uttered often, "There are no good Rock & Roll Bands any more" and there has been recent talk about the death of mainstream rock and roll. Over the next few weeks I will highlight 4 modern day groups that deserve attention from young and old fans of mainstream Rock and Roll.

If there was still great rock and roll radio channels for free out there these bands would be getting much bigger 

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A Century of Music at The New York Public Library

As the centennial year of The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building comes to a close and the next 100 years begin, it's a good opportunity to journey through the history, collections, and people behind the scenes of one of the world's premiere music collections. 

This engraving by Paul Revere serves as the frontispiece of William Billings New England Psalm Singer published in 1770The music holdings of The New York Public Library were brought together as part of the merger in 1895 of the library of John Jacob Astor (about 4,000 music items) and 

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