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Lewis Music Library

Spring 2005
Newsletter of the Lewis Music Library,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Naxos Online Service | Brian Robison Performance | IAP Hip Hop Event | MITSO Alums Honor Musical Mentor | Third Prokopoff Concert |New E-Journals | New Titles | Donations | Bad Jokes | Library Tours & Instruction | Address | Staff


Naxos Online Service Receives Enthusiastic Response

This past semester, the Naxos Music Library was provided to the MIT community through a cooperative agreement with the Boston Library Consortium (BLC). This online audio service provides access to over 85,000 tracks of music (5,500 CDs)—the entire Naxos, Marco Polo and Da Capo catalogs—plus other licensed independent labels. The majority of this music consists of classical pieces, although an increasing number of selections include jazz, blues, world and Chinese music. Naxos is available both on and off campus (MIT certificates required) to all MIT students, faculty, and staff.

The Naxos service appeals to a variety of listeners at MIT. The wide selection of repertoire has been helpful for teaching, and several music faculty have sent their students to Naxos for course listening assignments. Others listen to Naxos for enjoyment or to independently expand their knowledge of music literature.

According to statistics, this service is being used frequently. From September to December 2004, the Naxos site was accessed nearly 1400 times by MIT users, who listened to over 17,000 tracks of music.

Instructions for accessing Naxos are available on the Lewis Music Library's web site at We welcome your comments concerning this service. Any difficulties in accessing Naxos should be directed to the library.

Brian Robison to Perform in Library April 15

Assistant Professor of Music Brian Robison has composed several pieces of music since his arrival at MIT in 2002, including I Got Isorhythm; The Congress of the Insomniacs; Cockeyed; The Bonfire of the Civil Liberties; and Our Space.

In addition to composing, Brian has a strong affinity to libraries. He worked various jobs in music libraries as an undergraduate and graduate student. At Cornell University, he was commissioned to write a fanfare ("Unending Search") to celebrate the music library's newly renovated and expanded space. Brian is also a member of the MIT Music and Theater Arts' Library Committee.

With this library background in mind, Brian has decided to create a composition that can only be performed in a music library. Entitled Music in Stacks, this piece will debut in the Lewis Music Library at noon on Friday, April 15, 2005. Audience members will be invited to select scores from the shelves of the Lewis Music Library; Professor Robison will immediately incorporate elements of that music within a polyphonic mosaic, performed in real time via electric guitar and phrase sampler. The audience will be treated to a recombination of musical materials that could range from Bach to the Beatles. It will certainly be a unique listening experience that will never be repeated the same way again!

IAP Hip Hop Event Hosted

On January 25, the Lewis Music Library hosted a spirited discussion of hip hop entitled "Hip Hop: Real World Music." The speakers for this session were MIT faculty members and hip hop scholars Thomas DeFrantz (Music and Theater Arts) and Ian Condry (Foreign Languages and Literatures). The origins of hip hop and its various personifications were described, followed by a look at hip hop in Japan. Recordings and video clips were played to illustrate this discussion. A question and answer period followed.

Co-sponsored by the Humanities Library and the Lewis Music Library, this discussion highlighted the overlapping materials on hip hop held by both these libraries. The music holdings include a growing number of books, CDs, and DVDs obtained to support three courses taught on campus: Hip Hop, 21M.775; Popular Musics of the World, 21M.294; and American Music, 21M.215.


MITSO Alums Honor a Musical Mentor

The library received several hundred reel-to-reel tapes of MIT Symphony Orchestra (MITSO) and other MIT music performances from longtime MITSO conductor David Epstein (1930-2002) upon his retirement. In 2003, his widow Anne donated more MITSO recordings to the library along with over 1,100 books and scores from David's personal collection. In listening to these tapes, it was clear that David Epstein and MITSO had created something special. The tape collection contained some remarkable performances. Unfortunately, nearly all of these recordings, dating from the 1960s to the 1990s, were on reel-to-reel tape, which slowly deteriorates over time. For the library to store the recordings indefinitely would mean that these performances—some of them unique copies—would eventually lose their sound fidelity and could ultimately become unplayable.

Clearly, the entire collection of tapes needed to be reformatted so that this significant part of MIT's music history could be preserved and made accessible for future generations. In addition to the tapes, the library wanted to bind and catalog most of the Epstein books and scores for its circulating collection. Private funding would be necessary to accomplish this work, so it was decided to go directly to those who knew David Epstein best: the MITSO alums. Led by an initial donation from Anne Epstein and with the assistance of MIT Recording Secretary Bonny Kellermann '72 (herself a former MITSO member), the MITSO alums were made aware of the project. Not surprisingly, they came through in a big way. Within three months, over $50,000 had been raised, enough to cover expenses for the entire project! An especially generous donation was received from James Heeger '78.

The library plans to reformat the MITSO tapes, producing three CDs of each concert: an archival copy, duplicating copy, and use copy. The CDs will be cataloged and listed in Barton, the MIT Libraries' online catalog. Anyone entering the library will be able to listen to three decades of MITSO performances under David Epstein's inspired leadership. In addition, a large number of books and scores will be cataloged, bound, and added to the library's circulating collection. This project is expected to be completed within two years.

mitso logo

Third Annual Prokopoff Concert to be Held April 22

In 2001, Lois Craig, former Associate Dean of MIT's School of Architecture and Planning, donated her late husband's collection of 2,680 pieces of violin music to the library. Thanks to generous funding from Dorothea and Bradford '49 Endicott, approximately 2,000 of the scores have been cataloged, bound, and added to the library's collection. Many of these scores have already circulated to the large number of violinists at MIT.

Three years ago, a group of MIT students were invited to perform some of these wonderful pieces at a concert in the library. The first concert was organized by David Foxe '03 and held in April of 2003. The success of this concert led to a repeat performance last year, organized by Jacqueline O'Connor '06. At noon on April 22 the library will host the third annual Prokopoff concert. Jackie will again help to plan and organize this event. Performers in the concert will include Andrew McPherson G, Jacqueline O'Connor, Sophie Rapoport 07, Daniel Steele 06, and Sunny Wicks 07.


New E-Journals Added

The library now subscribes to approximately 60 online electronic journal titles from publishers, the J-STOR subscription service, and other packages. A recent addition to J-STOR is the Arts & Sciences III Collection which includes Film Studies, Folklore, and Performing Arts as well as Music. For a listing of music e-journals, see the web page at

New Titles of Special Interest

With each newsletter, we publish a web-only list of new titles that may be of particular interest to our readers. The lists include recently-received materials in all formats that have been published within the last year or two. Be sure to take a look at our Selected New Acquisitions web pages at the URLs listed below.




Compact Discs:


music notes

Donations: October 2004 — February 2005

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

Louis Alexander, Carol Choi, Dr. Libby Cone, Heather M. Denny, Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Kinney, Dr. Jennifer A. Lloyd, Lillian F. Lutz (in memory of Dr. John H. Lutz '43), Peter D. Matthews, MJ Miller, Marie-Louise A. Murville, Gerald Nykolak, Paul C. Paternoster, Alan W. Peevers, Paul Peng, Dr. Robert Sprich, Dr. and Mrs. Sheng-Huey and Alice Wang (in honor of Frederick D. Wang), Peter J. Wender, Susan V. Wood (in memory of Thomas Clagett Wood III '55).

Donations in memory of Janet Grosser:
John D. Chisholm, Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Howie, Jr.

Donations to the David M. Epstein Memorial Library Fund:
Robert C. Briselli, Richard M. Eskin, Andrew C. Goldstein, Dr. Alan J. Grodzinsky, James J. Heeger, Joannah L. Hinz, Dr. and Mrs. Henry H. Houh, Dr. Barbara J. Hughey, Jonathan L. Kass, Bonny S. Kellermann, Dr. Dean E. Kross, Dr. Stan Y. Liao, Robert P. Lidral, Dr. Joan T. Muellerleile, Martin C. Offutt, Susan K. Paulos, Seth A. Perlman, Kevin S. Robison, Linda Sax Crossland, Dr. Leonard Sherman, Dr. Christina Stanley, Maria Tavla, Dr. Stephen D. Umans, Howard R. and Helen M. Webber, R. Daniel Witschey, Jr.

Donations to the John N. Pierce Memorial Fund:
Arnold S. Orange, Mrs. John N. Pierce, Dr. Brian E. White.

Donations to the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund:
Amy Davidson Plummer, Dr. Robert Grill, Allegra D. Hakim, J. Patrick Kinney, Cynthia Hale Nicholson, Rhonda E. Peck, Linda A. Sigman, Dr. Glenn E. Taylor, Jason Weller, Stephanie Wingfield.

Gifts in Kind:
Accademia Bizantina, Jeanne Bamberger, William Cutter, Morton Grosser, Jarvis Conservatory, Charles Kiefer, Libby Larsen, Lowell Lindgren, Martin Marks, McKnight Foundation, MITHAS (MIT Heritage of the Arts of South Asia), MIT Music and Theater Arts, Edward B. Roberts.

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

Bad Jokes

Q. What do a two-year-old child and a violist have in common?
A. Neither has learned to count!

Q. What do a New England winter and a viola recital have in common?
A. Both seem eternal.

Q. Which rock group has been together the longest?
A. Stonehenge.

A B-flat, a d-flat, and an F walk into a bar. The bartender says to them, "I'm sorry, we don't serve minors here." So the d-flat leaves, and the B-flat and the F have a fifth between them and go home.

music notes

Library Tours and Instruction Available

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 electronic formats.

Anyone interested in a library tour or library instruction should contact Peter Munstedt (email, phone 617-253-5636). 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.


Special thanks to student assistants Augusta Dibbell '07 and Eric Grebing '08 for their work on the layout and editing of "What's the Score?"


Printable (PDF) 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?