It is hard to believe that we are approaching the tenth anniversary of the Lewis Music Library renovation. A great deal has happened during those ten years. For example, people have entered the library over 500,000 times; approximately 330,000 items were circulated from the library; more than 26,000 books, scores, and recordings were added to the collection; and over 20 concerts and events were hosted here. The library has served to educate and inspire students about music. It has also been a place of solace where one could escape the pressures of school in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
To honor this anniversary, the library will be hosting a celebration on Wednesday, November 15th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Please join us for music, refreshments, an iPod raffle, and remarks by Ann Wolpert, Director of the MIT Libraries. We hope to see you then.
Photo: L. Barry Hetherington
Vilma and Lionel ('53) Kinney have made another significant donation. This gift will support the library’s Music at MIT Oral History Project and allow Forrest Larson to interview five to six subjects per year for the next five years. A part-time staff person will be hired to assist with Forrest’s regular duties so that he can focus on this project. These oral histories will be placed on CD and then cataloged and listed in Barton in order to provide convenient access. Written transcripts will also be provided for each interview.
The library will capture a great amount of information about MIT’s music history that otherwise would have been lost. Forrest plans to interview retired faculty members and alumni/ae. Thanks to the Kinneys for their continued generosity and vision in making this project possible.
The David Epstein MIT Symphony Orchestra (MITSO) reformatting project is nearing completion. A total of 71 MITSO concerts, dating from 1966-1998, will be made available on CD for listening in the library. Each disc will be accompanied by copies of the original programs and the notes written by David Epstein for each concert.This work was made possible through generous contributions from MITSO alumni/ae and other friends of the orchestra.
This past summer, Anne Epstein visited the library with her family to see the progress being made with her late husband’s recordings. James Heeger ’78, a former member of MITSO and a major contributor to the project, was here as well. We are pleased that the library will be able to preserve this important chapter in MIT music history.
The Lewis Music Library hosted "An Evening with Chris Abani" on Monday, September 18th. Nigerian poet, writer, musician, and activist Chris Abani read selections from published and forthcoming poetry and fiction and played his saxophone for an enthusiastic audience of 60 which included MIT students, faculty, and staff as well as others from the Boston area. His presentation covered many topics including family dynamics, world politics, human rights and tyranny, and concluded with a beautiful and evocative saxophone piece. A question-and-answer session followed. Abani teaches creative writing at the University of California, Riverside and in the MFA Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. He was artist-in-residence at MIT from September 18-22, sponsored by the Office of the Arts.
Photo: UCR/Carlos Puma
The Music at MIT Oral History Project has been conducting interviews since it began in 1999. These interviews have been produced on DAT tape (Digital Audio Tape) and remained inaccessible to library users. A grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT was awarded to the library this past spring to reformat these tapes onto CD and make them available for listening in the library. A total of 25 tapes representing 15 interviews were reformatted. The library will be working to label and package the CDs so that our users can listen to these fascinating interviews in the near future.
John Bavicchi, an MIT student from 1940-1942 in Course 15 (Business and Engineering), was interviewed this summer. He is currently an emeritus professor at the Berklee College of Music. While at MIT, he was active in the glee club before a formal music program at MIT was started in 1947. After serving in the Navy in WWII and working in engineering, he studied composition at the New England Conservatory with Francis Judd Cooke, and at Harvard University with Walter Piston. He has composed in a wide variety of genres, including orchestral, chamber, choral, piano music, and solo songs. His works for band were written for the MIT Concert Band when John Corley was conductor. Some of the topics discussed in the interviews include: ideas and values learned from Walter Piston; Arnold Schoenberg and serialism; his core ideas about writing music; and the influence of Béla Bartók's music and Robert Schumann's choral music on his own composition.
The Class of 1982 has again come to the rescue. The library owns several LP phonograph recordings of the Tech Show, dating from 1949-1963. Because of the interest in these recordings shown by our users, we have reformatted the LPs to CD. The Class of 1982 made the entire project possible and has made this entertaining and humorous music — an MIT tradition for many years — more accessible.
In February 2006 Michèle Oshima, Director of Student and Artist-in-Residence Programs of the MIT Office of the Arts, gave the library over 100 compact discs of global pop music with an emphasis on Latin American pop, hip-hop, and jazz. These discs are now appearing in Barton and are listed under subject headings such as Rap (Music) -- Latin America; Rap (Music) -- Brazil; Folk dance music -- Argentina; Popular music -- Brazil -- 2001-2010; Popular music -- Venezuela -- 2001-2010; and Reggaetón.
In view of our 10th anniversary, here are the top 10 CDs that have circulated most over the past 10 years:
1st place tie (226 loans):
2nd place tie (215 loans):
3rd place (213 loans):
4th place (209 loans):
5th place (204 loans):
6th place (202 loans):
7th place (198 loans):
8th place tie (196 loans):
9th place (193 loans):
10th place (191 loans):
Printable (pdf) lists of TopTen CDs and scores are available on the library's Activities web page.
The Lewis Music Library is grateful for the generosity of our donors:
Donations through Honor with Books:
Donations to the David M. Epstein Memorial Library Fund:
Donations to the John N. Pierce Memorial Fund:
Donations to the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund:
Gifts in Kind:
If we have inadvertently omitted your name from this list, please contact us.
Q. How many music librarians does it take to change a light bulb?
Q. What do you call a game that ends in a 0-0 tie?
Q. What do you call a football player who never gets to play?
Q. How did the librarian reduce the serials budget?
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.
Library tours or library for classes or individuals can be arranged by contacting Peter Munstedt (email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 617-253-5636). Peter is also happy to visit faculty in their offices to help with research and teaching needs.
Special thanks to student assistant Augusta Dibbell '07 for her work on the layout and editing of "What's the Score?"
Larson, Circulation & Reserves Assistant, (617) 253-0982
Moore, Collections & Processing Assistant, (617) 253-3974
Music Librarian, (617) 253-5636
Questions for the Lewis Music Library?