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Lewis Music Library

Spring 2004
Newsletter of the Lewis Music Library,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



New E-Journals Available | Journal Storage | 2nd Prokopoff Concert | Libby Larsen to Visit | Preservation of Tapes | David Epstein Collection | Book/Score Restoration | Global Pop Grant | Did You Know...? | New Faculty Books | Donations | Bad Jokes | Library Tours | Address | Staff


New E-Journals Available

Many music journals have become available electronically during the past year. These e-journals contain the full text of each issue, making it easy to view and print articles from the convenience of a home or office computer. Our library pays yearly subscription fees so that members of the MIT community can take advantage of this service. We currently subscribe to approximately 75 full-text music e-journals. Many of these e-journals start with a journal’s first volume and end within the past 3-5 years. Current issues are not usually covered in the electronic version.

To find our music e-journals, go to VERA (Virtual Electronic Resource Access) at <>. Enter the title of the journal you want to search.

For a list of music e-journals, do a VERA subject search on the term music. Please remember that most of these e-journals are licensed for the MIT community only.

Older Journal Issues to be Stored

Believe it or not, the Lewis Music Library is starting to run out of shelf space. Since the renovation in 1996, the collection has been growing rapidly, thanks in large part to generous gifts from donors. While this growth is great news for our users, it also means that space must be made on the shelves in order to accommodate new materials. Later this spring, the library plans to send most of the older bound journals to storage.

The latest five years of titles being stored will remain in the library. Fortunately, most of these journals are also available to MIT users through full-text e-journals. The older volumes sent to storage will be accessible by recall and made available usually within one business day. Please consult the library staff if you need assistance in finding any back issues of journals or their electronic equivalents online. This move will allow us to house hundreds of new books and scores in the library!

Second Annual Prokopoff Concert

The Lewis Music Library will host the second annual Prokopoff concert of violin music on Thursday, April 22 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. During the past two years, approximately 1700 scores from the Prokopoff donation (given to the library by Lois Craig in 2001) have been cataloged, bound, and added to the library’s collection. This processing was made possible by a generous donation from Bradford ’49 and Dorothea Endicott.

Because MIT students have enjoyed playing this music, they have again offered to perform some of the gems from this donation. Nine MIT undergraduate students will perform pieces including: Fratres by Arvo Pärt; Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano by Bohuslav Martinu; Sonata for Violin and Violoncello (1st movement) by Zoltán Kodály; Caprice No. 17 by Nicolò Paganini; and Tango en La by Astor Piazzolla.

Libby Larsen to Visit

Composer Libby Larsen will visit MIT April 5-9 as part of the celebration of the 2003 Eugene McDermott Award from the Council for the Arts at MIT. Libby Larsen is one of three living composers that the Lewis Music Library has chosen to collect comprehensively through a cooperative collection development agreement with the Boston Library Consortium (BLC).

During her time here, Ms. Larsen will meet with composition students, coach her works at wind ensemble and chamber music rehearsals, attend chamber chorus rehearsals, visit various music classes, and tour the library. On Thursday, April 8 at 2:00 pm, Ms. Larsen will discuss her music and answer questions in the Lewis Music Library. This session will be free and open to the public.

On May 8 at 8:00 pm, Ms. Larsen’s composition The Nothing That Is for chamber chorus and instrumental ensemble, commissioned by Music and Theater Arts with funding from Bradford ’49 and Dorothea Endicott, will be premiered in Kresge Auditorium by the MIT Chamber Chorus with William Cutter conducting.

Class of 1982 Funds Preservation Tapes

The Music at MIT Oral History Project has produced interviews with 11 individuals since it was created in 1999. Many hours of unique information have been captured on Digital Audio Tape [DAT]. While these tapes produced excellent sound quality, DAT tape is not appropriate for long-term storage. These tapes are gradually deteriorating. The solution is to re-record them and make preservation copies. Unfortunately, there has been no funding available to re-record these fascinating interviews.

Once again, the Class of 1982 Fund has come to the rescue. This fund was established by MIT’s 1982 graduates for the purpose of helping the Lewis Music Library to pay for services or materials not otherwise available. Many improvements have been made to the library through this funding. The Class of 1982’s most recent contribution to the library was the framing and mounting of a large (6 feet by 8 feet) photograph of the MIT Banjo Club from 1893.

Now this fund is being used to hire former music library assistant Pravin Kularajah ’03 to re-record the entire collection of oral history tapes onto audio CD. Pravin’s expertise in both music and sound engineering have already proven invaluable in accomplishing this work. With these interviews on CD, library users will finally have access to this rich history. The library is proud to preserve MIT’s music history, and looks forward to more of these interviews in the future. The Class of 1982 is again helping to make the library a better place!

David Epstein Donation Received

The late David Epstein, MIT Symphony Orchestra (MITSO) conductor from 1965-1998, donated about 500 recordings and 25 videos to MIT when he retired in 1998. Consisting mostly of reel-to-reel tapes, these recordings include MITSO recordings beginning in the 1960s. In addition, David had collected recordings of other MIT performing groups such as the MIT Choral Society, MIT Concert Band, MIT Jazz Band, and MIT Chamber Music Society.

Recently, the Lewis Music Library has been exploring the possibility of recording two or three compact discs to highlight music from some MITSO concerts. The high quality of these performances makes the selection process difficult, but we expect to have the CDs ready for listening in the library soon. Many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boehm and to Marie Tavla for their support of this recording project.

This March, David's widow Anne generously donated over 50 books, 1,100 scores, and 50 recordings (again, mostly reel-to-reel tapes) to MIT. Simmons Library & Information Science student Jennifer Winslow is sorting, organizing, and making an inventory of the tape recordings as part of a music librarianship class project. This will give us an accurate account of the size, condition, and variety of music in the collection. The ultimate goal is to re-record all of the tapes to capture and preserve the sound before it deteriorates.

It will take additional private funding to re-record a collection of this size. Donations to the library will allow us to pursue this work. If anyone would like to sponsor the preservation of a particular year or specific concert, please contact Peter Munstedt.

Restoration of Books and Scores

The MIT Libraries has recently expanded its Preservation Services Department by renovating space in the basement of Hayden Library and hiring new staff. This upgrade has provided our library with the restoration of several music items that were in need of repair. Some of the music scores that were treated include Aaron Copland’s Canticle of Freedom (a piece commissioned by MIT in 1955); David Epstein’s Symphony no.1; John Harbison’s Amazing Grace; and others. Such restoration work will lengthen the life of this material and allow researchers greater access to some of MIT’s most precious musical documents.

One item currently being treated is an 1869 commemorative booklet describing the National Peace Jubilee held in Boston in 1869. This festival, which celebrated the end of the Civil War, included mammoth concerts and thousands of performing musicians. The booklet is printed on extremely brittle paper that contains some wonderful engravings of musical activities and scenes of Boston during the festival. If left untreated, the document would quickly disintegrate even with the most careful handling. We look forward to seeing the restored version and future work that the Preservation Services staff will accomplish with other paper items in need of restoration.

Council for the Arts Funds Global Pop

The Council for the Arts at MIT has awarded the Lewis Music Library a grant of $2,000 to purchase materials supporting the Popular Musics of the World (21M.294) class taught by Assistant Professor Patricia Tang. The library has not collected much global pop music in the past. However, this class has made it necessary for the library to provide resources that support such a significant addition to the curriculum.

The grant will provide funding to obtain CDs, DVDs, and books in specific areas that are emphasized in the class, such as Jamaican reggae, bhangra, Afro-pop, electronic dance music, Hindi film music and global hip-hop. We expect these items to receive considerable use both by students enrolled in the class and by the rest of the MIT community. Thanks to the Council for the Arts for helping the library to expand this important part of its world music materials.

Did You Know?

The Lewis Music Library now owns more than 275 DVDs!

New and Forthcoming Faculty Books

The library recently acquired the title Music in North India: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture by George Ruckert, Senior Lecturer in Music and Theater Arts. This title is published by Oxford University Press as part of their Global Music Series.

MIT Professor Peter Child was recently awarded the 2004 Levitan Prize in the Humanities to support his forthcoming book, tentatively entitled Tonal Music: An Introduction to Analysis. The library congratulates Professor Child and looks forward to adding his new book to its collection.

Donations: November 2003 - February 2004

The Lewis Music Library is grateful for the generosity of our donors:


Council for the Arts at MIT, Louis Alexander, Dr. Libby Cone, Jennifer Griffin, Dr. Morton Grosser, Mrs. Janet Grosser, J. Patrick Kinney, Peter D. Matthews, Jonathan D. Miller, Gerald Nykolak, Susan E. Rushing, Marie Tavla, Dr. Glenn E. Taylor, Jason Weller, Dr. Brian E. White.

Gifts in kind:

Anne Epstein, Stephen Erdely, Martin A. Gilman, G. Fredrick Guzasky, Lowell Lindgren, Martin Marks, Peter Marmorek, MIT Music and Theater Arts, MITHAS (MIT Heritage of the Arts of South Asia), Margaret O’Keefe, Jean Rife, Robert Sprich, U.S. Marine Band, Sarah Wenzel.

If we have inadvertently omitted your name from this list, please contact us.
Many Thanks!

Bad Jokes

Q. Why are viola jokes so short?
A. So that violinists can understand them.

Q. What do you get when you combine a diminished chord with an augmented chord?
A. A demented chord.

Q. How do you get your viola section to sound like the horn section?
A. Have them miss every other note.

Q. What do you call two guitars playing in unison?
A. Counterpoint.

Q. How do you improve the aerodynamics of a trombonist’s car?
A. Take the Domino’s Pizza sign off the roof.

"Wagner's music has beautiful moments but some bad quarters of an hour."

Library Tours, Instruction Available

Anyone interested in a library tour or library instruction should contact Peter Munstedt. Both tours and instruction can be arranged for classes or individuals. Peter is also happy to visit faculty in their offices for help with research and teaching needs. With the rapid advances in libraries during recent years, a refresher session is highly recommended so that faculty and students can take advantage of the many resources available both in print and electronically.


Special thanks to student assistant Jacqueline O'Connor '06 for her work on the layout and editing of "What's the Score?"

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Printable version of this donation form


Lewis Music Library
Building 14E-109
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
(617) 253-5689
(617) 253-3109 FAX


Forrest Larson, Circulation & Reserves Assistant, (617) 253-0982

Christina Moore, Collections & Processing Assistant, (617) 253-3974

Peter Munstedt, Music Librarian, (617) 253-5636


Questions for the Lewis Music Library?