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Lewis Music Library


Fall 2008
Newsletter of the Lewis Music Library,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



New Endowment | Framed Manuscript | Online Music Resources | Paper vs. Online | Oral History | PDF Delivery | Bad Jokes | Bluegrass Music | LCD Screen | Donations | Library Tours | Address | Staff


New Endowment to be Established

Michael Good and JoAnn Close are establishing a collection endowment for the Lewis Music Library. The Michael D. Good (1979) and JoAnn P. Close (1982) Music Library Fund will help the library keep up with MIT's expanding music curriculum and the various print and electronic formats available today. This music fund will be unrestricted in scope, and will include opera and contemporary music. Generations of students, faculty and staff will benefit from the generosity of Michael and JoAnn.

Framed Manuscript Donated

Dr. Charles Shadle, Senior Lecturer in Music, has donated a framed leaf (single two-sided sheet) from an early 16th-century Spanish music manuscript said to come from Jaén Cathedral. This vellum manuscript, consisting of music notation written on both sides, is contained in a frame measuring approximately 24 inches by 33 inches. Music faculty will enjoy showing the manuscript to their classes when discussing medieval music. Thanks to Dr. Shadle for donating this music and sharing these fascinating pages of music history with the MIT community.


Early 16th-century Spanish manuscript leaf. Photo: Nancy Schrock

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Online Music Resources

The library continues to subscribe to new online music subscriptions for the MIT community. Access is available both on and off campus. We recently added the following products:

Streaming audio:

American Song includes over 900 albums (over 16,000 tracks) in genres such as folk, blues, bluegrass, gospel, and more.

Contemporary World Music contains over 900 albums (over 13,000 tracks) of reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres.

Full-text books:

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (published in 2001) covers many musical genres with entries by distinguished specialists, including articles by Nicholas Slonimsky.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online includes over 9,000 pages of material on world music with entries by more than 700 contributors.

The Oxford Dictionary of Music lists 12,500 entries that define topics such as musical terms, forms, instruments, and more.

The Oxford Companion to Music contains more than 8,000 articles with concise definitions of musical ideas and terms, and extended discussions of musical forms and styles.

To view all of our online music resources, see the Music Research Guide.

Paper vs. Online

We are pleased to have many new online products which make it easier to get streaming audio and to conduct research. But can users get everything they need online? Not exactly... The following conversation is offered (with apologies to Mac and PC):

Online: Hi. I'm Online.
Paper: And I'm Paper.

Online: So, Paper, I'm really popular in the Lewis Music Library these days. Many students get reserves readings and listening assignments through the Stellar e-reserves system, and there are online journals, books, and lots of streaming audio. I'll bet you're lonely being Paper in a quiet library!

Paper: Well, people do like your convenience. But we're talking about a MUSIC library. Ever think how many of our 36,000 music scores and 15,000 books are available online?

Online: Probably 99%?

Paper: No, practically none! These are copyrighted materials that are not available online. Users come into the library to check them out.

Online: Sounds so 1990s!

Paper: Nah, musicians often prefer a nicely-bound paper score. Every try printing out a Wagner opera and stapling it together?

Online: Okay, okay. But you're going to see more and more of me in the future.

Paper: Fine, we can get along together. By the way, watch out for that nasty virus that's going around.

Online: Very funny.

Oral History Update

Two new individuals were interviewed for the Music at MIT Oral History Project. Lionel Kinney (MIT B.S. Civil Engineering 1953), benefactor of the project, came for two sessions on June 5 and 6, 2008. He spoke about playing trumpet in the orchestra (Klaus Liepmann, conductor), concert band (John Corley, conductor), and in the little-known ROTC band. Besides performing, he held various leadership and administrative positions, including president of the "Combined Musical Clubs." Mr. Kinney attended MIT before Kresge Auditorium was built, and often his responsibilities included finding rehearsal spaces and performance venues for musicians. His recollections of these early years of the MIT Music Section are particularly valuable.

Leo Beranek (MIT Associate Professor of Communications Engineering 1947-1958, founding partner of Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., internationally respected acoustical design consultant), recently came for two interviews on September 30 and October 10. He spoke at length about concert hall acoustics and of the acoustical challenges with the unorthodox shape of Kresge Auditorium designed by Eero Saarinen in 1955. Other topics discussed were the formative years of the MIT Council for the Arts and the role of music and the arts at MIT. He also spoke of his own musical background as a dance band drummer in the late 1930s and as an orchestral timpanist.

The Music at MIT Oral History Project is made possible through the generous funding of Lionel Kinney '53.

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Sacerdotale: Venetiis: Apud Guerraeos fratres, & socios., MDLXXVI [1576]
[BX2036.A2 1576 Special Collections]
This book was recently purchased thanks to a donation from Dr. Richard Breed '73. Photo: Nancy Schrock

PDF Delivery from the Library Storage Annex

Looking for a music journal article, conference proceeding, technical report or book chapter that's in the Library Storage Annex? Use the "Request PDF" button in the Barton catalog record to get PDF delivery to your desktop. You'll receive documents via your ILLiad account. This service is available to members of the MIT community.

For more information, see PDF Delivery via ILLiad and ILLiad@MIT.

Prokopoff concert

Sherman Jia and Albert Chow performing Handel-Halvorsen in the Lewis Music Library at the
6th Annual Prokopoff Violin Music Concert, April 18, 2008. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

Bad Jokes

Q. What's the definition of perfect pitch?
A. When you toss a clarinet in the toilet and it doesn't hit the sides.

Q. Why is a bass clarinet like a baseball?
A. People cheer when you hit them with a bat.

Q. What did the Rolling Stones sing after walking sideways into a spice rack?
A. Thyme........ is on my side!

Q. What's the difference between the violin section and the viola section of an orchestra?
A. About half a measure.

Bluegrass Music

Thanks to the John N. Pierce (1954) Memorial Fund, the library's holdings of bluegrass music are expanding. The library has acquired several historic and contemporary bluegrass recordings. This music will be used in conjunction with music courses dealing with folk and popular music. In the past, the Pierce Fund has supported blues and early music. In order to broaden the scope of this fund, new areas of collecting were added recently, including bluegrass, jazz, and gospel music.

New LCD Screen

A 42-inch LCD screen was installed this summer in the Lewis Music Library Conference Room. This screen will be used primarily for library instruction,
but it will also be available for our library users.

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Donations (March - September 2008)

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

Dr. Yuan Cheng, Sharon S. Chern, Carol Choi, Daniel P. Cunningham, Ekta M. Desai, David M. Foxe, Stephanie C. Hsu, Frank J. Klein, Sharon Fan Kuo, Robert R. Mitchell, Chadwyck T. Musser, Jocelyn Nee and Chien-Ning Yu, Beth Opishinski and Jos Wanschers, Alan W. Peevers, Dr. Timothy J. Resch, Mrs. Aparna Rolfe, David M. J. Saslav, Dr. Alfred C. Switendick, Kevin B. Theobald, Dr. Bonnie Van Der Pers.

Donations through Honor with Books:
Tze-Yu Hsieh (in honor of Jon C. Chu ‘08), Judy and David Levick (in honor of Benjamin R. Levick '08), Sr. and Sra. Alberto N. Sanchez-Abuelitos (in honor of Alexander A. Sanchez '08).

Donations to the David M. Epstein Memorial Library Fund:
Luis Fernando Cardenas, John P. Ito, Joe Pacheco.

Donations to the John N. Pierce (1954) Memorial Fund:
Dr. Julian J. Bussgang, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold S. Orange, Mrs. John N. Pierce, Steven and Judy Richman, Dr. Herman O. Stekler, Dr. Brian E. White.

Donations to the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund:
Bruce Kiernan, J. Patrick Kinney, Roger J. Pellegrini.

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

Gifts in Kind:
Ernest Alba, Adam Boyles, William C. Cutter, Robin Fukaya, Mark Harvey, Dugan Hayes, E. Kausel, Lowell Lindgren, Fiorella Liotto, Martin Marks, Kaffe Matthews, Julia McLellan, MITHAS (MIT Heritage of the Arts of SouthAsia), Michèle Oshima, Charles Shadle.

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

He'd Have to Get Under

He’d Have to Get Under - Get Out and Get Under, c.1913.
[Inventions of Note sheet music collection]

Library Tours Available

Music libraries of today have changed drastically from those of 20 or even 2 years ago. A wealth of online resources have altered the ways in which we use a library. To catch up on some of the latest innovations, please contact Peter Munstedt. Library tours, class instruction, and one-on-one instruction are available to the MIT community.


If you would like 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?