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Lewis Music Library

Fall 2003
Newsletter of the Lewis Music Library,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Expanding E-Journals | CD/DVD Circulation | Violin Music Ready for Shelves | Preserving MIT Music History | Library Violin Concert | Libby Larsen Honored | Did You Know...? | Music at MIT Oral History | Donations | Bad Jokes | Library Tours | Address | Staff


Expanding E-Journal Collection

Recent acquisitions have greatly improved the library collection. Such expansion of the collection, however, has resulted in the library’s shelves filling up quickly. In order to make room for more music books, the library plans to send several back issues of journals to remote storage. In doing so, the library will provide electronic access to back issues of music journals through a service called JSTOR. The following 31 journals will be included in JSTOR:

19th-Century Music (1977-1998); Acta Musicologica (1928-1997); American Music (1983-2000); Archiv für Musikwissenschaft (1899-1998); Asian Music (1968-1999); Black Music Research Journal (1980-1999); British Journal of Ethnomusicology (1992-1997); Cambridge Opera Journal (1989-1997); Early Music History (1981-1997); Ethnomusicology (1953-1998); The Galpin Society Journal (1948-1997); International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music (1970-1995); The Journal of Music Theory (1957-1997); The Journal of Musicology (1982-1998); Journal of the American Musicological Society (1948-1997); Journal of the Royal Musical Association (1874-1997); Latin American Music Review / Revista de Música Latinoamericana (1965-1999); Lied und populäre Kultur (formerly Jahrbuch für Volksliedforschung) (1928-1998); Music Analysis (1982-1998); Music and Letters (1920-1997); Music Theory Spectrum (1979-1998); The Musical Quarterly (1915-1997); The Musical Times (1844-1999); Notes (1934-1997); Perspectives of New Music (1962-1995); Popular Music (1981-1997); Revue de Musicologie (1917-1995); Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae (1961-1997); Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis (1869-1997); Tempo (1939-1997); Yearbook for Traditional Music (1949-1998).

As of November 1, 2003, the full text of these journals is now available electronically. Members of the MIT community will have access through the Lewis Music Library’s web site (click on "E-Journals for Music" and scroll down to JSTOR). A few titles will be new to the library, but many of the journals on this list are already held by the library in paper format. Back issues from most of these journals will be sent from the library’s shelves to remote storage this spring, with the most recent five years remaining in the library. By obtaining these e-journals, the library will create considerable shelf space while providing convenient electronic access to many years of scholarly periodical literature.

CDs/DVDs Now Circulate for 3 Days!

Compact discs and DVDs now circulate for 3 days to members of the MIT community. With the CD collection growing to over 11,000 discs and DVDs presently at more than 250 discs, the library has been considering this change for some time. It was put into effect July 1, 2003 and user response has been very favorable!

Violin Music Ready for Shelves

This past summer two student assistants, Jason Loy '03 and Andrew Wong '04, worked with MIT Libraries' Music Cataloger Ray Schmidt to catalog 700 scores from the Prokopoff violin music donation. Over 1700 scores from this donation have now been cataloged, with the remaining scores being either duplicate copies or brittle copies in need of conservation work.

Once cataloged, these scores must be placed in binders. This past spring, Eunice Rhiew began binding this music as part of a practicum course that she used toward her Simmons College Library Science degree. Upon graduation, she continued to work in the library, and hopes to have all 1700 violin scores available for circulation this semester. Thanks to Bradford and Dorothea Endicott for their assistance in making it possible for this violin music to be cataloged, bound, and made ready for performance. MIT’s many string players and pianists are benefiting from the Endicotts' vision and generosity.

A special Prokopoff bookplate (below) is placed in each score to recognize the donation.

  Prokopoff Music Bookplate
Prokopoff Music Bookplate

Preserving a Piece of MIT Music History

The library received a donation from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boehm in order to re-record some of the reel-to-reel tapes of the late David Epstein, conductor of the MIT Symphony Orchestra from 1965-1998. David created a true legacy during his conducting career at MIT. Upon retirement, he donated many recordings of his performances (mostly on reel-to-reel tape) to the Lewis Music Library. Because these are older tapes, they need to be re-recorded for preservation purposes and to allow convenient access for library users.

The Boehm donation will allow the library to make CD copies along with preservation copies of selected performances of David conducting the MIT Symphony Orchestra. These recordings will allow future generations to appreciate the high standards that David established at MIT. Anyone interested in contributing to the re-recording of any other David Epstein performance tapes should contact Peter Munstedt.

Prokopoff Concert Returns to Library

The Lewis Music Library hosted a concert with music selected from the Prokopoff violin music donation last semester. Because of the enthusiastic response, the library plans to hold another concert this April. Library Student Assistant Jacqueline O’Connor ’06, a performer in the first concert, will be planning and organizing this event.

Some familiar faces will be returning to this year's concert, joined by new talent from within the MIT music community. A variety of pieces will be showcased this year including works by Martinu, Ysaye, Piazzolla and others. The Lewis Music Library hopes that this concert will become a yearly tradition to honor the extensive gift from Lois Craig.

Libby Larsen Wins McDermott Award

Composer Libby Larsen has been awarded MIT's Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts. This award was established in 1974 by MIT's Council for the Arts to honor the memory of Eugene McDermott, benefactor to the Institute in education and the arts. The award recognizes an artist for the highest degree of creative achievement at the national level.

Libby Larsen was one of three composers chosen by the Lewis Music Library in 2000 when the library participated in a cooperative collection project of the Boston Library Consortium (BLC). At that time, several BLC music libraries agreed to purchase the scores of significant contemporary composers. Each library selected composers whose music would be collected on a comprehensive level and made available to other BLC members. In March 2000, Larsen visited MIT where she met students and participated in a concert of her music in the library. That visit sparked considerable interest, and the enthusiasm shown for her music has continued. Libby Larsen will return to MIT in Spring 2004 to work with students as part of the McDermott Award. The Lewis Music Library hopes to participate in some of those activities.

Did You Know...?

  • The Lewis Music Library circulates an average of over 1,000 CDs per month.
  • The Lewis Music Library door count has consistently exceeded 50,000 per year and has sometimes gone over 60,000.
  • Last year, the Lewis Music Library circulation exceeded 34,000 items.

Music at MIT Oral History Update

The Music at MIT Oral History Project was established in 1999. People interviewed for this project have been primarily retired/former music faculty and former students who have distinguished themselves professionally in music. These individuals will continue to be the main subjects. Some MIT students also lead remarkably creative lives during their time here. It seems valuable to capture a few of these individuals’ perspectives while they are still students and before they enter the professional world.

One such student to catch the library’s attention was David Foxe, who graduated in June 2003 with degrees in music and architecture. David is perpetually curious, willing to tackle complex problems, and has an instinct to look for practical, useful aspects of intellectual inquiry. And his sense of humor, including many bad puns, will not be forgotten. At MIT, David distinguished himself as a composer, writing orchestral, chamber and vocal music. Besides his primary field of architecture, he is also accomplished in various other visual media. The Lewis Music Library was fortunate to have him work as a student assistant for four years. Along with displays and many other projects, he helped to catalog a substantial portion of the Stephen Prokopoff violin music gift and organized the inaugural concert from this collection, which was held April 2003 in the Lewis Music Library.

In August, David graciously agreed to come in and talk about his work in music composition, and the fascinating relationship between music and architecture. Forrest Larson conducted the interview in which David expressed his ideas about the unique musical and artistic culture here at MIT and its impact on his creative development. For the next two years, David will be at Cambridge University in England on a Marshall Scholarship. One area he will be investigating is the way in which people perceive architectural space through the language and media of other disciplines, particularly music.

It is hoped that the younger subjects of these interviews, such as David, will be invited back for later interviews after a period of time, perhaps every ten years. It would be enlightening to obtain these more seasoned perspectives as the individuals move through their careers. The library will seek to continue and expand this oral history project by obtaining funding for its support. Anyone interested in sponsoring this work is encouraged to contact the library.

Donations: April - October 2003

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


Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boehm, Kelly M. Clifford, Amy Davidson Plummer, David M. Foxe, Sara P. Gaucher, Bernard A. Grand, Mrs. Janet Grosser, Dr. Morton Grosser, Allegra D. Hakim, Bruce Kiernan, Dr. Christopher Y. Kim, Jeffrey A. Morrow, Rhonda E. Peck, Lt. Col. Peter T. Rogers, Linda A. Sigman, Dr. C. Robert Sprich.

Gifts in kind:

Larry Appleman, Jeffrey Babcock, Council for the Arts at MIT, Anne Epstein, Janet and Morton Grosser, John Harbison, Jarvis Conservatory, Lowell Lindgren, Martin Marks, McGill University/Marvin Duchow Music Library, MITHAS (MIT Heritage of the Arts of South Asia), MIT Music and Theater Arts, Narada Productions, Richard Orr, Ruth Perry, George Ruckert, Mary Smith, V.T. Srikar, Patty Tang, U.S. Air Force Band, Garry Ziegler, Evan Ziporyn.

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

Bad Jokes

Q. What's the best recording of the Walton Viola Concerto?
A. "Music Minus One."

Q. What is the difference between a drummer and a tub of yogurt?
A. The tub of yogurt has culture.

Q. What do you throw a drowning guitarist?
A. His amplifier.

Q. What is the definition of a cluster chord?
A. A viola section playing on the C string.

Q. What happens if you sing country music backwards?
A. You get back your job, your wife, your dog and your truck.

Misery is knowing that your hard drive has more gigs than you do.

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 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?"

donation form image

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?

This page was last updated on 07/16/09