Cornell University

By Coral, Lenore | Notes, December 2000 | Go to article overview

Cornell University


Coral, Lenore, Notes


Cornell University has announced the opening of the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance on 1 August 2000. Music Librarian Lenore Coral reports:

We have now completed a planning and building cycle that at times seemed to mimic the protagonist in Beckett's Waiting for Godot. The library is housed in a part of the new addition plus a substantial portion of the old, but totally remodelled, section of Lincoln Hall, a building it shares with the Cornell Music Department. The original building was constructed in 1888. Sidney Cox, our benefactor, is a Cornell music alumnus.

Since 1961, when Harold Samuel oversaw the move of the collection to Lincoln Hall, much of the collection has been in closed stacks. Now the full printed collection is housed in open stacks. The library includes a modern listening facility with fifteen streamed sound stations for reserves, plus a full complement of audio and video equipment; an Internet-accessible computer lab with MIDI keyboards and music writing software available to all students on the campus; ample reading spaces, many with Internet connection ports; and comfortable offices for the library staff.

Although located in centrally isolated upstate New York, we welcome visitors.

The University of Iowa's Rita Benton Music Library (Ruthann McTyre, Head) has established The Joan O. Falconer Graduate Assistantship in honor of their friend and colleague, Jody Falconer, on the occasion of her retirement as head of the Rita Benton Music Library (1985--2000). The assistantship has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Dr. Arthur Benton, husband of the late Rita Benton, Music Librarian and Professor of Music, 1957--1980. The purpose of the Joan O. Falconer Graduate Assistantship is to provide a graduate student with experience in the area of music librarianship. The assistantship, as designated by the Head of the Rita Benton Music Library, will be offered on an annual basis during the summer session.

The Northwestern University Music Library (Don Roberts, Head Music Librarian) has become the permanent home of Notations: Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Music Manuscript Collection. Assembled in the 1960s by John Cage to benefit the Foundation, the collection consists of nearly 400 manuscripts by 272 composers. Cage's book Notations (New York: Something Else Press, 1969) lists the holdings and provides facsimiles representing each composer.

The collection documents the dramatic changes taking place in musical notation during the mid-twentieth century. Among the more important manuscripts are the Pierre Boulez 2eme Sonate pour Piano (including preliminary drafts), Gage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra and Music of Changes, Erratum musical by Marcel Duchamp, Gyorgy Ligeti's Volumina, Witold Lutoslawski's Jeux venitiens, six Beatles songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Igor Stravinsky's Fanfare. There is also an extensive file of correspondence Cage exchanged with the composers included in the collection.

The Northwestern University Music Library specializes in documenting music composed after World War II. The Notations: Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Music Manuscript Collection is a significant addition to the library's holdings of primary source materials.

The A. Guy Crouch Music and Fine Arts Library at Baylor University (Sha Towers, Public Services Supervisor) has acquired two rare items from the sixteenth century. The first, a small guide to the rudiments of music entitled Brevissime Rvdimenta Mvsicae Pro Incipientibus, was printed in Bratislava (now part of Slovakia) ca. 1578. The second is a fine copy of an illustrated Missal for use in Utrecht, printed by Wolfgang Hopyl in Paris, 1515.

The Crouch Library received the highest rating from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission on its TexTreasures 2000 grant proposal for the digital imaging and cataloging of a 1,000-piece collection of American popular sheet music from around 1840-1925. …

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