Search Site Index MIT libraries MIT Libraries | Site Index | Search

MIT Libraries

MIT Libraries


Lewis Music
Library Home

New Titles:

WHAT'S THE SCORE back issues


Lewis Music Library


Spring 2009
Newsletter of the Lewis Music Library,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Prokopoff Concert | Oral History Transcripts | enChanting Musical Artifacts | Class of 1982 | Oral History | Sacerdotale 1523 | Facebook | Audio and Music Software | Bad Jokes | Online Music Resources | Donations | Library Tours | Address | Staff


Seventh Annual Prokopoff Concert April 17

Jason Wallace

Jason Wallace ’10 playing in the 2008 concert. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

The Lewis Music Library will host the seventh annual Prokopoff concert on April 17 from noon to 1:00 pm. MIT students will perform music chosen from over 2,000 violin scores that were donated to the library by Lois Craig in 2001. Graduate student Sherman Jia helped organize the event again this year and will be joined by fellow violinists Latifah Hamzah, Brian Kardon, Elizabeth Riley, and David Somach. Selections on this year’s concert will include music by J.S. Bach, Gershwin-Heifetz, Tchaikovsky, and Wieniawski.

Join us in the library for this traditional springtime favorite!


Lionel Kinney Funds Oral History Transcripts

In 2006, Lionel Kinney ’53 provided funding to the library’s Music at MIT Oral History Project so that the library could devote more time to this project and provide written transcripts of interviews. Audio recordings produced for this project before 2007, however, do not include written transcripts. In order to improve this situation, Lionel Kinney came forward again, this time providing additional funds to create written transcripts for these earlier interviews. Reserves Assistant Cate Gallivan is taking on this project and will begin to work on these transcripts soon. Once completed, each written transcript will be cataloged, bound, and made available for circulation to the MIT community. Thanks again to Lionel Kinney for his generosity in supporting this project so that we can provide enhanced access to these valuable oral histories.


enChanting Musical Artifacts

On March 3, the Lewis Music Library hosted a talk entitled “enChanting Musical Artifacts in Unlikely Places: Rare Resources in MIT’s Lewis Music Library.” MIT Assistant Professor of Music Michael Scott Cuthbert and MIT Libraries’ Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. Conservator for Special Collections Nancy Schrock demonstrated the value of original sources by examining three items containing medieval and renaissance chant, two of which were acquired during the past year through donations to the Lewis Music Library. Dr. Richard Breed ’73 provided funding that allowed the library to purchase Sacerdotale (1576), a handbook for priests of the Roman Catholic Church that includes music notation. MIT Senior Lecturer in Music Charles Shadle also donated a large manuscript leaf from a choir book, dating probably from early 16th-century Spain.

During the talk, Nancy described the physical characteristics of these items while Michael discussed them from a musicological perspective. The presentation raised and answered many questions about manuscript use, musical context, and the changing role of chant in the church; questions that can only be discussed through a close examination of the physical form of these valuable sources. This discussion also mentioned ways in which technology helps scholars discover secrets of these early materials. Approximately 50 people attended this event which was filmed by MITWorld thanks to the MIT Class of 1982 Music Library Fund. An exhibit of medieval and renaissance music manuscript facsimiles, obtained through the funding of Dr. Breed, was on display for the audience to view. A video of the presentation is available at

Cuthbert   Schrock

Michael Cuthbert (left) and Nancy Schrock (right) show an early music manuscript and books to audience members after the lecture. Photos: Christie Moore

return to top

Class of 1982 Funding Provides Library Enhancements

The Class of 1982 Music Library Fund, mentioned several times in this issue, has recently paid for several terrific projects. In addition to paying for the video of the March 3 event and the Peak LE audio software (see p.3), this helpful fund supplied the library with three new iPods along with the speakers to the LCD screen in our conference room. In almost every corner of the library, the positive influence of the Class of 1982 touches our users and enhances their library experience.


Oral History Update

A total of 23 interviews have now been conducted as part of the Music at MIT Oral History Project. The latest person to be interviewed was Claude Brenner (MIT B.S. Aeronautical Engineering 1947, M.S. 1948), who came to the library for an oral history interview in November. He was active in the MIT Glee Club, singing under three different directors, Henry Jackson Warren, George Dunham and Klaus Liepmann. This was an interesting time in MIT music history. There was already a long history of student-run music groups, often with hired professional leaders, going back as far as 1884. In 1947, Klaus Liepmann was hired as the first Professor of Music and started the initial building of a formal academic music program. Mr. Brenner shared his memories of singing under these three directors and his recollections of other student musical groups. He joined the MIT Logarhythms a cappella group during its first year in 1949. Other topics of discussion included the MIT Tech Show, the All Tech Sing, the MIT ROTC Band, and student Antonio “Tony” de Almeida who revived the MIT Symphony Orchestra in 1946. After finishing his masters degree in 1948, Mr. Brenner worked in aeronautics and later in the energy field, becoming President of Commonwealth Energy Group Ltd.

Written transcripts of interviews after 2007 are now included in the Barton online catalog. Visit the project web page and click on the links to see availability of audio CDs and transcripts for each interview.


Sacerdotale 1523

Sacerdotale 1523. Photo: Nancy Schrock

Sacerdotale 1523 edition

Dr. Richard Breed ’73 has generously contributed funds to the library for the purchase of materials dealing with medieval and renaissance music. Last spring, the library used Dr. Breed’s funding to purchase an original book with music notation, the Sacerdotale published in Venice in 1576 featured in our March 3 event (see page 2). This March, the library obtained an earlier edition of the Sacerdotale published in 1523. MIT Libraries’ Conservator Nancy Schrock assessed the condition of this new acquisition: “At first glance, the earlier edition of the Sacerdotale appears to be in poor condition. It has lost its binding and has water and insect damage. Upon closer inspection, however, we see that the handmade paper is sturdy, the sewing is intact, and we have evidence of the original endbands, which indicates that the book was once bound in vellum like the later edition. Using the facilities of the Libraries’ E. Martin & Ethel Wunsch Conservation Laboratory, we will be able to conserve the Sacerdotale so that it can be used by MIT students and scholars for many years to come.”

As Assistant Professor of Music Michael Scott Cuthbert commented about the two editions, “With one edition we had a valuable document of chant and liturgical performance. But with two, MIT is now in a privileged position to document the artistic and theological changes in Catholic musical practice during the Counter-Reformation. The two books will be invaluable to research by MIT music students and the scholarly community at large.”



This semester, the Lewis Music Library created a Facebook page which announces library events, discuss new acquisitions, and is a place to discuss music and exchange ideas. We encourage MIT alumni, especially our former student assistants, to become fans of our page. See Facebook at: Once you have registered, search "MIT Lewis Music Library." Take a look, and add yourself as a fan!


Audio and Music Software

The library now has a workstation with Peak LE6 audio software so that MIT community users can convert LP records or cassette tapes to digital format. Music faculty will use this equipment to convert some of the library's 10,000 LPs to CD format for classroom use and electronic course reserve. Thanks to the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund for making this software possible.

Sibelius 5 music notation software and a MIDI keyboard are also available in the library. Students working on music class projects or simply composing music on their own now have ready access to this software.

return to top

Bad Jokes

Q. Why are clarinetists like bookworms?
A. They're always looking for a good reed.

Q. What do you call a fish musician?
A. A piano tuna.

Q. What does a Steinway?
A. Oh, about 800 pounds.

Food for thought: Couldn’t a tuba be considered heavy metal?


Online Music Resources

Want to see what streaming audio, full-text journals and books, or music dictionaries and encyclopedias we now provide online to the MIT community?

Visit our Music Research Guide where you will also find “Quick” guides for Classical music, Jazz, and World music.

return to top

Donations (October 2008-March 2009)

Donations to the library help us grow in so many ways. The Lewis Music Library is grateful for the generosity of our donors:

Louis Alexander, Kaoru Aou, Christopher E. Bachmann, Ela Ben-Ur, Claude W. Brenner, Dr. Libby
Cone, Ekta M. Desai, Tracy A. Embree, Dr. Sara P. Gaucher, Dr. Leon B. Groisser, Eileen J. Huang, Sharon Fan Kuo, David and Judy Levick, Peter D. Matthews, Pamela and James McNaughton, MJ Miller, Dr. Sarah L. Minden, Jeffrey A. Morrow, Arnold and Margit Orange, John and Gisele Parker, Paul C. Paternoster, Alan W. Peevers, Lt. Col. Peter T. Rogers, Dr. Susan E. Rushing, Dr. Robert Sprich, Daniel L. Steele, Richard C. Stone III, Peter J. Wender.

Donations to the John N. Pierce (1954) Memorial Fund:
Dr. Thomas G. Evans, Deborah Pierce, Dr. Benjamin J. Woznick, Jr.

Donations to the David M. Epstein Memorial Library Fund:
Jessica Ramirez, Dr. Christina Stanley.

Donations to the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund:
Dr. Andreas S. Bommarius, Cynthia Hale Nicholson, Rhonda E. Peck, Amy Davidson Plummer, Jeffrey B. Sakaguchi, Dr. Mitchell Tasman, Dr. Glenn E. Taylor, Stephanie Wingfield.

Donations to the Lionel Kinney (1953) Music Oral History Fund:
Lionel L. Kinney.

Gifts in Kind:
Ernest I. Alba, Louis Alexander, Robin Fukaya, John Harbison, Ellen T. Harris, Ahmed E. Ismail,
Deborah Levey, Martin Marks, Bohuslav Martinu Society, MIT Music and Theater Arts, MITHAS (MIT Heritage of the Arts of South Asia), Rita Moerschel, United States Marine Band, University of Illinois School of Music, Peter Whincop, Evan Ziporyn.

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

Flight of the Aeronauts

Flight of the Aeronauts, 1907
[Inventions of Note Sheet Music Collection]


Library Tours Available

The Lewis Music Library has added several new features to its physical and virtual space. To stay current with these many changes, please contact Peter Munstedt. Library tours, class instruction, and one-on-one instruction are available to the MIT community. Take full advantage of the services the library has to offer!


To support the Lewis Music Library, please contact the Lewis Music Librarian, Peter Munstedt (617-253-5636, or donate online at (in "Gift Details" indicate fund number 2779800 to specify that your donation should go to the Lewis Music Library, or 3901400 for the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund).


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


Cate Gallivan, Reserves Assistant, 617-253-7389

Forrest Larson, Oral History/Circulation Assistant, 617-253-0982

Christie Moore, Collections & Processing Assistant, 617-253-3974

Peter Munstedt, Music Librarian, 617-253-5636


Questions for the Lewis Music Library?