Music Library Association Northern California Chapter
Vol. 14, no. 2 (Spring 2000)

Northern California & Southern California Joint Chapters Meeting

Nancy Lorimer, Chapter Chair
Stanford University

Last November 5th, MLA/NCC was invited by the Southern California chapter to the University of California, San Diego for the bi-annual joint chapter meeting. Alas, only two of us, myself and Ray Heigemeir (the new music cataloger at Stanford) were able to attend. The trip south was of the nightmare type. What with cancellations and reroutings, we could have driven there nearly as fast!

The meeting began with coffee in the Seuss Room of the Geisel Library (yes, Dr. Seuss), with about 24 people in attendance. We were officially welcomed by Jacqueline Hanson, Associate University Librarian - Social Sciences and Humanities and Head, Social Sciences and Humanities Library.

After a few announcements, Peter Mueller gave us a tour of the Geisel Library. The first stop was the music listening room, home of the Digital Audio Reserves Project (DARP). Sound files of reserve materials are produced by the Music Library's recording e ngineer, Dave Kesner and can be accessed by any of the sixteen computers in the listening room (soon from any campus computer) through web-browsers running Liquid Audio software. The sound quality of the reserves was very high, accompanying material is ea sily provided, and as sound files are only streamable, not downloadable, copyright protection is assured.

From the listening room, we proceeded through the rest of library, pausing at the sixth floor to look out over the winding snake path / sculpture laid out below, leading from Paradise (represented by Dante's book, correctly classified) through Eden, and u p to the library. Perhaps many of you have seen this before, but it was new to us and I thought it a wonderful creation. We then climbed to the carillon on the roof of the library. While not a spectacular object in itself, the carillonneur Scott Paulson puts the instrument to innovative use, commissioning new scores from the UCSD community. Thirty-eight pieces have now been composed specifically for the UCSD carillon and two copies of each score, one circulating and one in Special Collections are held b y the library. Another innovative project of the music library staff is the summer 15-minute chamber music series. Staff members perform a short piece or section of a piece and then explain to the audience how to get more information about the composer o r how to look up and listen to recordings of similar music, highlighting items and services of the Music Library. The series has proved very popular, with people driving to campus especially to attend the concert.

Our tour completed, we returned to the Seuss Room for a talk by Leslie Anderson of the Los Angeles County Library on her work on Ann Ronell, the film and song composer. Ronell studied with Walter Piston at Radcliffe College and gained her entry into the film music world came when she interviewed George Gershwin as a news editor for the Radcliffe College newspaper. He gave her a job as his rehearsal pianist. Ronell's best known songs were "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" and "Willow, Weep for Me" (sung by Irving Berlin), but she also composed original film scores such as The Story of G.I. Joe, which she co-composed with Louis Appelbaum and adapted Broadway music scores to films in One Touch of Venus. Leslie Anderson's research has brought the importanc e of Ronell's work to light.

After lunch at the UCSD Faculty Club, the SCC members then presented a panel on "20th Century Music and the Library: Issues of Collections and Use", the panel members being Garrett Bowles (music librarian, UCSD), Steve Fry (music librarian, UCLA) and Rene e Coulombe (composer, performer and UCSD music library staff member). This was a lively discussion, centering primarily on how to keep current about contemporary composers and the contemporary music scene and on the difficulties of collecting music that might have no real score, as in computer music, or is a unique performance interpretation of an existing score (We are all dying to hear Renee's punk version of The Erlkonig!). All panel members stressed the importance of reading publications about the c ontemporary music scene, such as The Wire, keeping track of the local music scene (both of "art" and "popular" music) and of encouraging (demanding?) input from composers on faculty. Renee, in particular, pointed to the internet as a burgeoning source of information about contemporary composers, many of whom maintain their own web pages and sell their compositions directly.

The day ended with wine and cheese in the beautiful backyard of Garrett's house and then, of course, the plane trip home. I would like to extend thanks to Rhonelle Rider, chair of SCC, who planned a most interesting and lively meeting and to all members o f the southern chapter who extended hospitality to us.

MLA/NCC Spring Meeting

Friday, May 5, 2000

San Jose Public Main Library (Martin Luther King Jr. Library) and the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

10:30-11:00 a.m. Meet for coffee at the McDaniel Room, SJPL.
11:00-11:30 a.m. Program TBA at SJPL.
11:30-noon Business meeting.
Noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch.
1:30-2:15 p.m. Presentation by Maribeth Back, sound designer for Xerox PARC.
2:15-2:30 p.m. Walk to Tech Museum.
2:30-3:30 p.m. Tour of "Experiments in the Future of Reading" guided by Maribeth Back.
3:30-on Tour of other Tech Museum exhibits on our own.

UC Davis Center for the Arts

Michael Colby - UC Davis

UC Davis plans to break ground this year for the new Center for the Arts. This will comprise an 1800 seat performance hall and a 250 seat studio theater. The project is designed by the Portland, Oregon-based architectural firm of BOORA Architects. The per formance hall is estimated to cost $52.4 million. A fund-raising campaign with a goal of $30 million has been launched; UC Davis is committed to match every dollar raised from private gifts.

Currently the UCD Symphony Orchestra performs in Freeborn Hall, a multi-purpose facility on campus. Many of the national and international artists brought to the area by UCDavis Presents now perform in this facility or the Sacramento Community Center Thea ter. With the opening of the Center for the Arts, these performances will have a state of the art venue on the UCD campus.

UC Davis Center for the Arts (Artist's rendition)

Future plans for the center include the addition of a high-technology recital hall and classroom and a 30,000 square foot visual arts museum. For further information on the project, or to make a donation, call (530) 757-3391. The grand opening of the performance hall is anticipated for 2002.

California Sheet Music Project

The California Sheet Music Project received funding to complete cataloging images of 19th-century California sheet music. Approximately 1400 items are now available on RLIN and work has again begun on the rest of the approximately 2000 items. Thanks to the California State Library for enabling the cataloging by two part-time music catalogers to continue into 2000.

George Antheil Centenary Exhibit

The San Francisco Public Library will present an exhibit on George Antheil, "The Bad Boy of Music," from May 15-June 30 2000. This exhibit is being held to coincide with a June 11, 2000 performance of Antheil's music at Davies Symphony Hall, sponsored by Other Minds, as part of the Symphony's American Mavericks festival (June 7-24, 2000).

The performance will feature the the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio and Antheil's 1924 Ballet Mécanique, written for 16 player pianos, now realized through computer synchronization. The exhibit will be in the Steve Silver / Beach Blanket Babylon room located on the fourth floor of the Main Library. It will include a manuscript of Antheil's 1926 Piano Concerto and some of Antheil's correspondence with music critic Alfred Frankenstein.

Dorothy Starr Collection Update

Jason Gibbs
San Francisco Public Library

In the Fall 1993 Chapter Newsletter I wrote a short article about the Dorothy Starr primarily describing its size (enormous) and breadth (extensive). The collection is basically the stock of Ms. Starr's Hayes Street store, The Music Stand, at the time sh e passed away. While she was best known to her customers for her ability to miraculously produce obscure, hard-to-find popular songs or show tunes, her collection included music of nearly every imaginable kind.

At the time of my 1993 article, none of this music had been added to our collection. In the ensuing years, sheet music of popular songs was scanned, given partial cataloging and presented on a multi-media system, viewable only in-house. Owing to both so ftware and copyright issues, this system was shut down last year. While the scanned images are no longer available, the cataloging is available to department staff. We continue to add records to this database of abbreviated MARC records.

At the same time, I have been gradually sending scores from the collection to our music cataloger. As a result of this we've been able to further expand our collection of Broadway musicals and popular song collections. I have also found replacement copi es for classical works missing from our circulating collection.

Members of the public sometimes ask: "Is the Dorothy Starr Collection available?" The answer is: as a collection it is not available. But it is being slowly indexed and added to our existing collection. Every item gets stamped to show that it comes fr om the Dorothy Starr collection. This collection has especially enhanced our broadway and popular song materials -- areas that have been a strength of our collection and will continue to improve with the addition of this material. If you or your patrons are looking for hard-to-find songs, go ahead and send them our way.

News of Members

Mary Kay Duggan's article "The Psalter on the Way to the Reformation: The Fifteenth-Century Printed Psalter in the North," was recently published in The Place of the Psalms in the Intellectual Culture of the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy Van Deusen (Alban y: State University of New York Press, 1999), 153-89. It includes several illustrations that show various ways music was incorporated in these early printed books and an appendix of known editions.

Jason Gibbs presented a paper entitled "Music and Nationhood in Pre- and Post-Colonial Vietnam" at the March 4, 2000 meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Northern California Chapter in Berkeley. His recent paper, "Tan Da: Vietnam's First Modern Poet," can be read at the Destination Vietnam website.

MLA/Y2K in the Derby City

Judy Clarence, Media/Music Library California State University Hayward

Around 430 music librarians (give or take a few) gathered in Louisville, KY February 23-26 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel just three blocks from the (then flooded) Ohio River for the 69th Annual Conference of the Music Library Association. Despite the constr uction in the hotel lobby (treacherous flooring and yellow "caution" ribbons everywhere) the conference was enjoyable and instructive. Here are some of the highlights:

During the First Plenary Session...

* Ron Penn (University of Kentucky) enlightened us about Appalachian "old time music".
* Paul Brink (University of Louisville) gave us a detailed history of the Grawemeyer Award for Contemporary Music, a $150,000 grant with a fascinating and complex procedure for selecting the recipients.
* Jack Ashworth (University of Louisville) described the growth and development of music in Louisville.

The Second Plenary Session featured Dwayne K. Butler, J.D., a law professor from Indiana University who spoke eloquently about "Copyright in the Digital Age--Electronic Reserves, Distance Learning, and Fair Use". He covered such gray areas as streaming au dio for listening reserves, replacing LPs and CDs with digitized copies, and the latest amendments to Section 108 of the Copyright Act.

Plenary Session Three, entitled "Music Reference at the Millennium," featured Stanley Sadie, editor of the New Grove , soon to emerge as "Revised New Grove" or "Grove 7." He informed us that the upcoming edition will cover more and varied countries, will include a greater coverage of pop and jazz, and that the electronic version will be updateable (though archived). Sadie was followed by Neil Zaslaw of Cornell, who is compiling a new version of the Kochel catalog of Mozart's works.

Notable programs I attended included...

* Electronic Reference Subcommittee's program which compared web-based music periodical indexes (International Index of Music Periodicals, Music Index, and RILM)

* Small Academic Libraries Roundtable with Ruth Solie (current president of AMS) and Paula Matthews (Bates College) who talked about "Doing Musicology in the Small Music Library"

* Bibliographic Instruction Subcommittee's excellent presentation by Judy Marley (Univ. of Arizona), Hunt Dunlap and Allie Goudy (Western Illinois University) on "Library Instruction Through Web Tutorials"

* Reference Refresher: a stimulating session on Music Business Resources by Claudia McCain, a professor in the School of Business at Western Illinois University.

* Jewish Music Roundtable: Cantor David Lipp spoke about cantorial and choral collaboration -- a Louisville effort in which several small synagogue choirs joined forces with a semi-professional (but mostly non-Jewish) chorus to present a concert highlight ing Jewish music. And Judy Pinnolis of Brandeis gave an excellent presentation on Jewish music web resources.

Throughout the conference, the major buzzwords were "MP3" (a web music-listening technology with which our students are more familiar than we are!) and "metadata", all the rage these days among catalogers.

Next year, New York City!

Northern California Music Websites

The website "Bay Area Women in Creative Music: Composers, Songwriters, Improvisers, and Sound Artists" arose of Pauline Oliveros' Mills College Music 16 class, "Women and Creative Music." This site includes biographies, interviews, and links to Bay Area women composers and performers.

The "History of Experimental Music in Northern California" was created by the late composer Jim Horton. Horton entered and organized sundry information from books and magazines that related to the origins and development of experimental music in the Bay Area.