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Lewis Music Library


Fall 2010
Newsletter of the Lewis Music Library,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



New Technologies | Upcoming Events | Bad Jokes | So Many Recordings | Sacerdotale 1523 | Recent Additions | Donors Visit Library | Oral History Update | Donations | E-Reserves Use | Library Tours | Address | Staff


New Technologies Arrive

iPad Purchased

Lewis Music Library’s iPad. Image: Karl Munstedt

Within a week of the iPad release this past April, the Lewis Music Library made one available to the MIT community. It became the first iPad to circulate from a library at MIT. Library staff installed over 100 music apps on the iPad and added information about the library. It includes approximately 3,000 short audio clips taken from the new CDs that the library has received (the same sample clips provided on our circulating iPods). This music iPad circulates for four hours to anyone in the MIT community. Response has been enthusiastic: “Very cool. Thanks for having this tool available.” ”The apps are amazing.” “It’s awesome.”

This iPad was purchased through the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund, which allows the library to expand and improve its services in many ways. To see the variety of additions to the library provided by the Class of 1982, see

Digital Conversion of LPs, Cassette Tapes, & Videocassettes

The library now owns three digital conversion machines that are available to the MIT community.  The most recently obtained machine is extremely simple to use: push a few buttons and it digitizes an LP record or cassette tape. Bring a blank audio CD-R disc and try it out. Other equipment provides more sophisticated editing and mastering capabilities — perfect for our users who love certain performances on analog recordings, especially the library’s 12,000 LPs.

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Upcoming Events in the Library

Lecture on Early Music, Monday, November 15, 2010, 5:00 pm:
“Quill and Pixel: Chansonniers and their Modern Readers”

Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts were often beautiful, exceptionally crafted, and extraordinarily expensive items, and the modern facsimiles that seek to reproduce the originals can have the same qualities and drawbacks. By contrast, the Internet has brought images of many of these amazing artifacts to a wide audience at no cost. Yet the expensive, physical publications are still in wide demand by collectors and libraries. Dr. Jane Alden, Associate Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, will discuss this seeming paradox in her lecture, “Quill and Pixel: Chansonniers and their Modern Readers.” Dr. Alden will discuss ways in which today’s technology has changed our relationship to original manuscripts (especially 15th-century French songbooks) and what role published facsimiles may play in the future.

Harpsichord Lecture/Recitals, Friday, January 28, noon-1:00 pm
and Friday, February 25, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm

MIT Music Lecturers Jean Rife and Teresa Neff will present a series of two lecture/recitals that highlight French baroque harpsichord music. Jean Rife will be performing this music. After retiring from a high-profile career as a horn player, Jean re-ignited her love for keyboard playing by studying harpsichord with Peter Sykes, performing several full-length recitals, and playing with other professionals as well as MIT students whenever possible. Teresa Neff is currently the Research Fellow for the Handel & Haydn Society and gives preconcert talks for Boston Lyric Opera. She teaches at MIT and Boston Conservatory.


Bad Jokes

Q. What if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were clawed to death by a giant parrot?
A. That would be killing two Stones with one bird.

Q. Why was the string bass player mad at the timpanist?
A. He’d turned a tuning peg and wouldn’t tell him which one.

Q. What’s half of a tuba?
A. A one-ba!

Q. What happens if the Lewis Music Library runs out of bad music jokes?
A. We ask our readers for help! Got any good (bad) music jokes to share? Please contact us!


So Many Recordings, So Little Time...

Ever wonder how many music recordings are available to the MIT community? A whole lot:

LP records: 12,000 Request from storage
Compact discs: 22,000 Request at Lewis Music Library service desk
Streaming audio: 876,000 tracks See


Sacerdotale 1523 Edition

The 1523 edition of the Sacerdotale arrived in 2009 without its binding, torn, dirty, and with insect holes (see Nancy Schrock, Thomas F. Peterson Conservator, worked with Advanced Conservation Intern Marie Oedel on a treatment protocol that would make it possible for students to handle and use the volume in their research for Professor Michael Cuthbert’s Early Music class.

Sewing 1523 edition

Sewing the pages of the 1523 edition of the Sacerdotale after the pages had been washed, deacidified, resized, and mended.
Photo: Nancy Schrock

Purchase of the volume was made possible by a gift from Dr. Richard Breed ’73.


Recent Additions

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

Want the lists as email updates? See

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Donors Visit Library

The Lewis Music Library is supported by many faithful and generous donors. A few of them visited recently:

Vilma and Lionel Kinney

This September, we welcomed Vilma and Lionel Kinney ’53 back to MIT and the Lewis Music Library. The Kinneys have been major supporters of our library over the years by establishing a collections endowment fund and by providing substantial funding for the Music at MIT Oral History Project.


Lionel and  Vilma Kinney. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

Michael Good

We were pleased to see Michael Good who visited the library this past May. Here is Michael with a few of the books, scores, CDs and DVDs purchased on the Michael D. Good (1979) and JoAnn P. Close (1982) Music Library Fund.

Michael Good

Michael Good, May 7, 2010. Photo: Cate Gallivan


Oral History Update

Any history of music at MIT includes the important role played by the Music Library. In documenting this history, Duscha Weisskopf, MIT’s first Music Librarian from 1949-1952, returned to the library for an interview in May 2009. Linda Solow Blotner, who was MIT Music Librarian from 1972-1984, also came back for an interview on May 17, 2010. She left a significant legacy in developing the Music Library collection to meet the needs of MIT’s growing music program. Linda took special care to build the chamber music scores, scholarly editions of scores, and books for research. She was editor of the Boston Composers Project (1983), an extensive bibliography of contemporary music by Boston-area composers. Nationally, she is active in the Music Library Association, and served as editor of its journal Notes. From 1987-2007 she was head of the Allen Memorial Library, Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. At the beginning of June, Duscha, Linda, and Nina Davis-Millis (MIT Music Librarian 1985-1991) gathered for a lunch attended by four MIT Music Librarians, representing the past 60 years.

Staff generations

Four MIT Music Librarians with two current staff members: Forrest Larson, Peter Munstedt, Nina Davis-Millis, Linda Solow Blotner, Duscha Weisskopf, Christie Moore.  June 1, 2010. Photo: Cate Gallivan

There are MIT faculty who do not teach music, but who have contributed to the musical life of the Institute and are well regarded as musicians beyond MIT. One such professor is Samuel Jay Keyser, MIT Professor Emeritus, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. A poet and well-respected jazz trombonist, Professor Keyser was interviewed on September 22, 2010. Well-known within the MIT community, he has often played Dixieland jazz at MIT post-Commencement celebrations. Professor Keyser currently plays with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, the New Liberty Jazz Band, and the Dave Whitney Orchestra. He also performed with the late MIT Professor Roy Lamson, a jazz clarinetist. In the interview, Professor Keyser talks about his musical experiences from childhood through his college years. He also discusses how the field of linguistics has become a scientific discipline, due in large part to his colleague Noam Chomsky.

The interview with Professor Keyser was the Music at MIT Oral History Project’s first video interview. In this new format, a running transcript will appear on the screen along with the interview. It will also be possible to search for terms and names. The library hopes to make these video interviews available for viewing on the internet.

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

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Donations (April - October 2010)

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

Molly G. Bright, Carol Choi, Dr. Sara P. Gaucher, David G. Greenhouse, Dr. Robert Grill, Dr. Morton Grosser, Dr. John G. King, Justin H. Lo, Isabel P. Mattos, Michael R. Miller, Chadwyck T. Musser, Jocelyn Nee and Chien-Ning Yu, Thomas J. Nesbitt, Dr. John F. Olson, Beth Opishinski and Jos Wanschers, Mrs. Aparna Rolfe, David M. J. Saslav, Dr. C. Robert Sprich, Dr. Alfred C. Switendick, Dr. Bonnie Van Der Pers.

Donations to the Michael D. Good (1979) and JoAnn P. Close (1982) Music Library Fund:
Michael D. Good and JoAnn P. Close.

Donations to the John N. Pierce (1954) Memorial Fund:
Dr. Julian J. Bussgang, Arnold S. and Margit B. Orange, Daniel L. Orange, Mrs. John N. Pierce.

Donations to the Class of 1982 Music Library Fund:
Dr. Hugh A. Barton, Bruce Kiernan, Roger J. Pellegrini, Kimberly A. Vermeer, Jason Weller.

Gifts in Kind:
Fred Harris, Lowell Lindgren, Martin Marks, Teresa Neff, Michèle Oshima, Robert M. Randoloph, George Ruckert, Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, Jacob A. Strauss, Irina Voro, Pamela Wood.

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

E-Reserves Use Increases

Reserves for music classes continue to expand beyond physical reserves (books, scores, CDs and DVDs) in the library to include more electronic reserves. Last year, Cate Gallivan uploaded 1,370 audio files, scanned music scores, liner notes, articles, and chapters from books to Stellar, MIT’s e-reserves system. Students in music classes logged into Stellar to access those items an astounding 49,000 times!


In an Airship Built for Two, 1920
[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?