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Lewis Music Library


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



Class of 1982 Revitalizes Library Space | Endowed Funds | Oral History | Online Music Resources | Music Journals | Gift of Facsimiles | Bad Jokes | Harvard Cards | Facebook | Recent Additions | Donations | Reserves/Stellar | Library Tours | Address | Staff


Class of 1982 Revitalizes Library Space

When the library was renovated in 1996, its large audio carrels on the second floor provided a state-of-the-art listening facility. Students flocked to the library for this equipment. It was often the only way that students could listen to music, especially for class assignments. In recent years, however, students have traded in CD players and turntables for iPods and laptops. In response to their needs, the library removed several listening carrels and replaced them with four attractive tables. These tables, which feature maple veneer to match the tables on the library’s first floor, were generously funded by members of the Class of 1982. Architect Melanie Brothers, who designed the library in 1996, returned to oversee the table and space design.

To enhance these tables, the Music and Theater Arts Section provided two iMac computers with Finale music notation software. Additional music software, including Transcribe! and MacGamut Ear Training, will be added soon. It did not take students long to discover these tables and take advantage of them as a comfortable place to study. Once more, the library’s second floor is an active and thriving location. Thanks to the Class of 1982 for making this revitalization possible.


New study tables and computers with music software. Photo: Christie Moore

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Endowed Funds

While the library receives a yearly budget for the acquisition of books, scores, and recordings, it also relies upon donations to supplement this funding. One type of donation that keeps giving over time is an endowed fund. Here is a brief update concerning the library’s two most recent endowed funds:

Vilma and Lionel Kinney (1953) Fund

Vilma and Lionel Kinney created an endowed collection fund in 2005. This fund has recently improved the collection by obtaining piano-vocal editions of J.S. Bach cantatas along with new Henle editions of standard repertoire. Our active community of performers will be thrilled to check out these fine editions.

Michael D. Good (1979) and JoAnn P. Close (1982) Music Library Fund

Michael D. Good and JoAnn P. Close established a collection endowment in 2008. While this fund is unrestricted in collecting scope, it emphasizes opera and classical contemporary music. In its first year, the fund provided the library with much-needed new editions of opera scores by Handel, Donizetti, and Verdi as well as orchestral scores of such contemporary composers as Argento, Rautavaara, and Zwilich.

Our endowed funds improve and expand the library’s collection each year in perpetuity.  Endowments can establish a lasting memorial to an individual or simply express thanks to MIT for the musical experiences enjoyed here. Generations of MIT students will benefit from endowments.  If you are interested in establishing an endowed fund for the library, please contact Peter Munstedt.

Oral History Update

During an interview conducted in 2008, Lionel Kinney (’53) mentioned the MIT music librarian, Duscha (Scott) Weisskopf whom he knew as a student. It turns out that Mrs. Weisskopf was the first music librarian at MIT from 1949 to 1952. She worked with MIT’s first music professor, Klaus Liepmann, and other founding members of the music faculty. While verifying the spelling of her name at the MIT Archives, the staff remarked that Mrs. Weisskopf had recently visited there. Much to our delight, Mrs. Weisskopf was contacted and she came to the library for an interview with Forrest Larson. She spoke at length about her work at MIT and the new Music Library. In addition, she discussed her father Wilhelm “Willy” Schmid, an important figure in the early music movement in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, who played cello and viola da gamba and who founded the Munich Viol Quintet. Mrs. Weisskopf also shared reflections on her husband Victor Weisskopf who was a distinguished physicist and professor at MIT as well as an accomplished pianist. She even recounted Professor Weisskopf’s experiences playing chamber music with fellow physicist and violinist Albert Einstein. It was wonderful to reconnect with Mrs. Weisskopf and to express our appreciation for her role in helping to establish the Music Library.

Duscha and Forrest

Duscha Weisskopf and Forrest Larson, May 29, 2009. Photo: Christie Moore

On May 1, Claude Brenner (’47) returned for a second interview. Among the topics discussed were his work on the Council for the Arts at MIT, serving on the Visiting Committee for the MIT Music and Theater Arts Section, his views on the role of music and the arts at MIT, work with David Epstein on the Board of Directors of the New Orchestra of Boston, and his professional engineering career. Thanks to Mr. Brenner for two far-reaching and enlightening interviews.

In order to assist Forrest Larson in his work, two people joined the oral history project this past year. Lois Beattie was hired to edit written transcripts for interviews conducted 1999-2006. Recently retired, Lois brings a wealth of experience from her many years at the MIT Archives. David Brown, an experienced audio engineer, was hired to assist with processing the original interview recordings and to produce the CDs as well as the audio files which will eventually go into a digital repository.

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

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Online Music Resources

The library continues to expand its online music resources. In order to improve access to them, a guide to these materials was recently updated. Included in this guide are links to bibliographic databases, streaming audio, music meta-sites, and full-text articles, books, and music scores. Most of these resources are subscription services available only to the MIT community, but a few others are free web sites. Also listed in this guide are bibliographies to specific musical topics, such as jazz, world music, piano music, song, etc. Electronic resources are becoming more and more important to MIT's music community.

Music Journals

E-journals provide researchers with convenient, instant access to articles while also reducing the library’s costs associated with print journals such as binding, labeling, and shelf space. The MIT Libraries are therefore working to obtain journals in electronic format and eliminate paper journals when possible. Many of the music library's current print journals will be cancelled in favor of the electronic version. If a music journal is available only in print format, it will still be received.

Gift of Facsimiles, Early Editions

David J. Littleboy ’76 donated several fine books and facsimile scores of Mozart’s music and a few other composers. Some of these facsimiles are new to the library while others are contained in the library’s special collection. Duplicate copies will be placed in the library’s circulating collection so that users will have the luxury of studying this music outside the library. Also included in the gift are early 19th-century editions of Mozart’s Overture to the Magic Flute and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. All of these items will broaden the library’s holdings and give our users new opportunities for study and research.

Bad Jokes

Q. Two guys are standing on the curb when a taxi pulls up. One is holding a pair of drumsticks, and the other is carrying a guitar. Who is the professional musician?
A. The taxi driver.

Q. What's the difference between 1st and 2nd Clarinet?
A. A half-step.
Q. And between the 1st and 3rd?
A. A minute and a half.

Q. How does a conductor define misery?
A. Knowing that his hard drive has more gigs than he will ever have.

Q. Why is a viola like a lottery ticket?
A. Both are scratched, and rarely do they produce any money.


Music software

Sibelius music software on an iMac computer. Photo: Christie Moore

Harvard Library Cards

Applications for Harvard library cards can be obtained through an online
. Users are still welcome to visit a service desk, should they prefer to apply in person. This service is open to MIT faculty and graduate students.


Check out the library’s Facebook page. New updates are posted frequently. Become a fan of the Lewis Music Library!

Recent Additions

Would you like lists of the newest music books, scores, CDs, and DVDs? See Recent Additions to the Collections

Want the lists as email updates? See the RSS help page

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Donations (April-September 2009)

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

Yuan Cheng, David G. Greenhouse, Robert Grill, Morton Grosser, Janice J. Kim, Justin H. Lo, Jared W. Lynem, Robert R. Mitchell, Mollusca Fund, Chadwyck T. Musser, Jocelyn Nee and Chien-Ning Yu, John F. Olson, Frances O. Roberts, Aparna Rolfe, Robert Sprich, Alfred C. Switendick, Bonnie Van Der Pers.

Donations to the John N. Pierce (1954) Memorial Fund:
Arnold and Margit Orange, Daniel L. Orange, Alice Pierce.

Donations to the David M. Epstein Memorial Library Fund:
Joe Pacheco and Anita Ariel Villanueva.

Donations to the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund:
Bruce Kiernan, Rhonda E. Peck, Roger J. Pellegrini.

Gifts in Kind:
Nicholas Altenbernd, Christopher Ariza, Peter Child, Michael Cuthbert, James Dashow, Mary Beth DiGenova, Fundación BBVA, Morton Grosser, John Harbison, Ellen Harris, Peter Lamb, Deborah Levey, Lowell Lindgren, David J. Littleboy (in memory of Henry S. Littleboy), Martin Marks, Christie Moore, Michael Ouellette, Teresa and Steve Peters, Chi-Sang Poon, Elena Ruehr, U. S. Army Field Band, Evan Ziporyn.

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



Reserves Assistant Cate Gallivan is adding more scores and recordings to Stellar (MIT’s online reserve service) for course reserves than ever before. Students love this service. With Stellar, course reserves may be obtained only by MIT students enrolled in a particular class. Last year, music items on Stellar were accessed over 40,000 times! Some classes are replacing all or most of their in-library reserve items with Stellar access. Students learn their assignments better through the convenience of Stellar which can be accessed wherever students’ laptops take them.


Come Josephine

Come, Josephine in my flying machine, 1910
[Inventions of Note Sheet Music Collection]

Library Tours Available

Library tours are available to alumni/ae visiting the campus. Contact Peter Munstedt who will be happy to show you the library’s facilities and collections. If you have not visited the library since its renovation in 1996, you will be surprised to see the library's transformation.

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Make a Donation: 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?