Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Byrd's "My Ladye Nevells Booke"

"'My Ladye Nevells Booke' contains 42 compositions by William Byrd, and was compiled by the scribe John Baldwin in 1591, in an elegant style quite unlike that of contemporary keyboard manuscripts. Handel's original manuscript of Messiah, written in London between 22 August and 12 September 1741, shows all the signs of rapid composition, with short-cuts in notation, ink blots, and hasty cancellations and corrections."
To view the manuscript, please see the British Library.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mary Curtis-Verna

"Mary Curtis-Verna, beautiful outstanding international star of the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala[to mention only a few!] passed away at her Seattle home December 4, 2009... UW Music Department won Mary for the Head of the Voice Department, a position she retained until her retirement."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times and Can Belto.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mozart may help babies grow faster

" Is Wolfgang Mozart good for babies?

A group of Israeli doctors plunged into this long-running debate with a small study that found the soothing sounds of the 18th-century composer may help premature babies grow faster."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Woody Guthrie Fellowship Program

"The BMI Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Foundation offers short-term fellowships to support scholarly use of the Woody Guthrie Archives Research Collection."

For more information please see BMI.

Rebuilding An Instrument By Leonardo's Design

"More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci designed a completely new musical instrument. But the harpsichord-viola was just a figment of the his imagination until now.

Industrial designers from Italian firm Leonardo3 have reconstructed the instrument from sketches in Leonardo's notebooks. There's a slight problem, though: The mind of the great renaissance genius didn't count on how noisy the machine would sound."

For the full story please see

Friday, December 11, 2009

Spanish fan calls police over saxophone band who were just not jazzy enough

"Jazzman Larry Ochs has seen many things during 40 years playing his saxophone around the world but, until this week, nobody had ever called the police on him.

That changed on Monday night however, when's Spain's pistol-carrying Civil Guard police force descended on the Sigüenza Jazz festival to investigate allegations that Ochs's music was not, well, jazz."

For the full story please see The Guardian.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Archive Watch: New Orleans Stomp

"Now that so many archives have gone digital, it can be easy to forget that many collections exist only partly online, if they have a digital component at all. An interesting case is the William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz at Tulane University. The Chronicle sat down with the archive's director, Bruce Boyd Raeburn, to talk about the collection, jazz scholarship, and how the brass-band tradition will not die."

For the full story, please see The Chronicle.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Scientists dymystify the Stradivarius 'secret'

"But after years picking apart scraps of varnish taken from Stradivarius instruments, scientists have ruled out any secret ingredient as the key to the fiddles' superb timbre. They reveal that Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) applied two simple products in his workshop in northern Italy: oil and pine resin."

For the full story, please see

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Composer's Ties to Nazi Germany Come Under New Scrutiny

"The composer Jean Sibelius is arguably as important to early 20th-century music as Ezra Pound was to literary modernism. Now, more than 50 years after the Finnish composer died, in 1957, at the age of 91, a musicologist in Texas is claiming that Sibelius was culpably entangled with Nazi Germany, and should join Pound, Richard Wagner, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline in the select group of artists who have been cast into anti-Semitic ignominy."

For the full story, please see The Chronicle Review.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nature, love inspires Grawemeyer Award-winning piece

""Spheres," a six-movement work for orchestra by German composer York Hoeller, has earned the 2010 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

The piece (MP3), chosen from among 136 entries worldwide, was performed for the first time in 2008 by the West German Broadcasting Corp.’s symphony orchestra in Cologne, Germany."

For the full story, please see the Grawemeyer Awards.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HC Robbins Landon

"HC Robbins Landon, the musicologist, who died on November 20 aged 83, can be said to have done for classical music what Kenneth Clark did for art; and his reputation, based on his achievement in unearthing much of what has become the staple Haydn repertoire, was only slightly tarnished when, in 1993, he became the victim of a musical hoax."

For the full article, please see theTelegraph.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Do You Think? We Want to Know!

Dear School of Music Faculty and Graduate Students,

The Libraries would like to invite you to participate in shaping the future of the Research Commons.

The Research Commons Committee is working to establish a Research Commons space on the ground floor of Allen South. This space will provide a "community of scholars" for graduate students, teaching assistants, faculty and undergraduates doing research. The new Commons is envisioned as a technology-rich space for collaboration for all the disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary studies. Support for group research, meetings, seminars, presentations and the creation of media productions will be provided in the space. We believe that the Commons will evolve over time, with active input on its development from all stakeholders.

The focus group for faculty members will be held on December 2 in the OUGL conference room (room 129) from 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm.

The focus group for graduate students will be held on December 3 in the OUGL conference room (room 129) from 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm.

Lunch will be provided for both sessions. Questions we will be discussing are attached. If you are interested in participating or have questions about this project please RSVP by 5pm, Tuesday, December 1 to:

Verletta Kern
Music Research Services Librarian

Friday, November 20, 2009

Great composer, shame he couldn't play

"He is one of the world's most eminent composers, who cemented his reputation at the vanguard of the English Romantic movement with compositions such as the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance marches.

But Edward Elgar was also a terrible trombone player, it has now transpired, even though he wrote the most beautiful melodies for the instrument in his compositions."

For the full story, please see the Independent.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Noisy parties no problem for musical brains

"If you struggle to follow the conversation at noisy parties, music lessons might help. Nina Kraus and colleagues at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, have previously shown that playing an instrument seems to enhance our ability to pick up emotional cues in conversation.

Now her team has found differences in brain activity that they say make musicians better at picking out speech from background noise."

For the full story, please see the New Scientist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recounting the history of opera -- one tweet at a time

"The San Diego Opera wants to find out and has launched a Twitter project in which it will tweet about everything from Monteverdi to Mozart to Philip Glass on a daily basis. With more than 400 years to cover -- and at a rate of two tweets per day -- the project could take years to finish."

For the full story, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ten Questions For A Critic: The State Of Classical Music

"I asked Anne Midgette, the classical music critic of the Washington Post, to join me for a glance back at the last ten years, to remember the bumps in the road, a few milestone events and the trends that emerged out of a flurry of changes. Here are 10 questions on the state of classical music in the past decade (listen right here and read more after the jump). Let us know what you think, and what we missed..."

For the full story please see

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hollywood Swoons Over That Hair, That Baton

"They drew the line at the bobble-head doll. But the Los Angeles Philharmonic shop offers plenty of mugs and T-shirts splashed with the arms-outstretched image of its new maestro, Gustavo Dudamel. In fact, his face has been plastered across town on buses, billboards and banners marching down Sunset Strip. Children mob him for autographs. (He signs them all.) Fireworks spelled out his name at a megaconcert to introduce him to the city."

For the full story please see the New York Times.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Musical America announces 2010 awards

"Musical America, the country’s leading source of information on all things related to classical music, whether in its printed directory or online at, has announced its awards for 2010.

They’re a distinguished group. Conductor Riccardo Muti, who has led most of the world’s great orchestras at one time or another and been music director for a few of the most distinguished, is 2010’s Musician of the Year.” His fellows are composer Louis Andriessen, violinist Joshua Bell, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, and “collaborative pianist” Warren Jones; it’s hard to argue with any of the choices."

For the full story, please see the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Four letters of Franz Liszt to Espérance von Schwartz

The Netherlands Music Institute is the proud owner of a small but interesting Liszt collection, containing music manuscripts, correspondence and other items. In order to make some of this easily accessible to Liszt scholars and Liszt enthusiasts, the NMI has launched a new web presentation:

Four letters of Franz Liszt to Espérance von Schwartz.

This contains four letters by Liszt to Baroness von Schwartz, an interesting personality who has received very little attention in the Liszt literature. Under the pen name Elpis Melena she had some fame as a writer, philanthropist, and as a political activist.

In this presentation the letters are reproduced as high resolution images, in transcription and translation, and accompanied by extensive commentary by musicologist Lodewijk Muns, NMI archivist and researcher.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Classical music has its day

"President Obama Wednesday thanked artists for sharing their passion. He was speaking, of course, about classical music, before the evening concert in the East Room that concluded the White House's day of classical music. "Of course," because passion appears to be classical music's distinguishing trait these days: It was certainly what all four performers -- guitar player Sharon Isbin, pianist Awadagin Pratt, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and violinist Joshua Bell -- were straining to bring out."

For the full story, please see the Washington Post.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cornish adds early-music program to school of music

"Cornish College of the Arts' school of music is expanding its program to 'encompass a new emphasis on early music and period instrument performance practices of European Renaissance and Baroque music.'"

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beethoven and Mendelssohn’s Scribbles for the Ages Enhance Juilliard Trove

"The Juilliard School has finished the construction of a secure archival storage space for its collection of valuable music manuscripts, and you have to hope that the designers left a little extra room in the shoulders and hips. For at a concert-lecture event celebrating its completion — and with it, the completion of the school’s three-year, $200 million renovation and expansion — at Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday evening, Juilliard is to announce the acquisition of two additional manuscripts, and there appear to be more to come."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Composers in Cyberspace

"It's a bit different nowadays. A 'composer-in-residence' for an orchestra will have to sign a proper contract, obliging him/her to produce a big piece or two per year, while juggling lots of other commitments to supplement the far-from-munificent fee. It also involves chatting to the audience, who will probably have a lingering fascination for 'genius' and want to see what a real live composer actually looks like."

For the full story, please see the Telegraph.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Where Bernstein Left Off: Teaching The Classical Audience

"Latest in the never-ending series of orchestras' educational endeavors: the Boston Symphony Orchestra has launched an on-line "Classical Companion" to Beethoven's nine symphonies, with videos, lectures and a "Beethoven Music Lab" that allows you to create your own development section to three of the symphonies. It's all very nice: Jan Swafford's brief video introductions to the individual symphonies are pleasant but too short to be of real use, particularly without telling musical examples."

For the full story, please see the Washington Post.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making Search More Musical

"Every day we get millions of search queries about music. You want to know more about your favorite artists, find that new album or iconic song or figure out the name of that tune stuck in your head. In fact, according to Insights for Search, two of the top 10 queries in the U.S. are music-related. But often, if your answer is in a song, it can take a while to get there. We call this "time to result" — and we're always looking for ways to reduce it."

For the full article please see Google's Blog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Composers consider unionization

"The Society of Composers & Lyricists was scheduled to announce at its annual membership meeting Tuesday night that an "informational meeting" about the possibility of affiliating with Teamsters Local 399 will be held Nov. 16 at the Pickwick Gardens Conference Center in Burbank, Calif."

For the full article, please see Variety.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Cellphone Symphony

"A musician and his team have trained 1,000 cellphones to deliver 2,000 text messages in about 40 seconds that sound like Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture – complete with bass drums and crashing cymbals at the end."

For the full story, please see

Friday, October 23, 2009

Torture songs spur a protest most vocal

"Was the theme to "Sesame Street" really played to torture prisoners held at Guantanamo and other detention camps? What about Don McLean's "American Pie"? Or the Meow Mix jingle? Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."?"

For the full story, please see the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Google Music Links Look Nifty

"Reports are rife that Google is preparing to add music to its search results, allowing users to listen to songs right from the results page. The new feature, which is supposedly set to be announced next week, involves licensing deals all four major music labels as well as a smattering of independents. Though there is revenue sharing involved, the main plan is to use the initiative as a way to keep users on Google for longer."

For the full story, please see Ars Technica.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Song Decoders

"On first listen, some things grab you for their off-kilter novelty. Like the story of a company that has hired a bunch of “musicologists,” who sit at computers and listen to songs, one at a time, rating them element by element, separating out what sometimes comes to hundreds of data points for a three-minute tune. The company, an Internet radio service called Pandora, is convinced that by pouring this information through a computer into an algorithm, it can guide you, the listener, to music that you like. The premise is that your favorite songs can be stripped to parts and reverse-engineered."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What Makes It Great?

"From Beethoven to Broadway, hear pianist and composer Rob Kapilow reveal the heart of the music with fresh insight and a touch of humor."
Listen at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies

The Center for Beethoven Studies has a new website!

The Center is the only institution in North America devoted solely to the life, works, and accomplishments of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Established in 1983 when Ira F. Brilliant donated his Beethoven collection to San José State University, the Center officially opened in September 1985 with a gala co-sponsored by the San Jose Symphony. Building on Ira Brilliant's original donation, the Center now has the largest collection of Beethoven materials outside of Europe. In addition to functioning as a research library and museum, the Center is involved in a variety of educational programs and sponsors concerts, lectures, tours, and other events. Long-term projects include publication of The Beethoven Journal and development of the Center's online catalog, the Beethoven Gateway. The Center is also the headquarters for the American Beethoven Society.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Noted Ballet Music Director Resigns Suddenly

"Stewart Kershaw, music director and conductor of the Pacific Northwest Ballet company for the last 25 years, resigned earlier this week, taking the public – and the company – by complete surprise. The move came without warning and is effective immediately."

For the full story, please see Musical America.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Open Access Week 2009

In conjunction with 2009 Open Access Week < >, the UW Libraries is offering four programs that explore various aspects of the current landscape of scholarly publishing and access, as well as projections for the future. Follow the link for a full schedule of events.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Music Library Open House

*Want a library tour?
*Want to get a head start on that big research project but don’t know where to start?
*Want to learn how to use RefWorks to manage your citations before you start your research?

Come to the Music Library Open House for answers to all of your burning library questions!

*Monday, October 5, 12PM-2PM
*Tuesday, October 6, 2PM-4PM
*Wednesday, October 7, 10AM-12PM

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New at Your Library!

Welcome back to the UW Music Library! We had a busy summer at the UW Music Library. Here are just a few of the changes you’ll find this fall:

*Finale on the Listening Center computers
*3 Oxygen 8 keyboards available for use with Finale—ask at the Listening Center
*New hours available at:
*The books moved! A-ML399 are upstairs, ML400-Z are downstairs
*New subject guide available at:
*RILM has a new look!
*New Music Library staff member-- Lynn Cowan, Reserves Technician
*New Guide on locating Music Primary Resources
*Follow us on Twitter
*Coming soon: air conditioning in the Music Listening Center!

We look forward to serving you in the Music Library!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Females make inroads into conducting

"Life as a young conductor is never easy. There are too few jobs for too many talented newcomers. Orchestras' governing boards tend to be a conservative lot, unwilling to step out onto too many limbs artistically or operationally. And in 2009, there is always the steady undercurrent of anxiety, real or imagined, about the financial viability of classical music and opera."

For the full story, please see Variety.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jazz Now: A Guide To 21st-Century Free Jazz

"All week long you've dreaded it. You've touched your toes in the jazz water, and it's been cool and refreshing, but there are rapids ahead ... wild, disjointed and arrhythmic rapids. And for some reason, Sun Ra is your raft guide.

Yes, it's here. Oh, God, not the free jazz!"

For the full story, please see

Friday, September 18, 2009

Leon Kirchner, Composer and Teacher, Dies at 90

"Leon Kirchner, the eminent American composer who was also a pianist, a conductor and an influential teacher, died on Thursday at his home on Central Park West in Manhattan. He was 90."

For the full story, please see the New York Times. To hear Krichner's music, follow this link to the UW catalog.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009 Earshot Jazz Festival

"Seattle’s annual Earshot Jazz Festival presents more than 50 one-of-a-kind events in concert halls, clubs, and community centers all around the city beginning October 16th and continuing through November 8th."

For more information, please see the Earshot website. The UW School of Music will be well represented at the festival with performances by Marc Seales Groups.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New at the UW Music Library

The UW Music has been busy this summer! We would like to draw your attention to our new subject guide at . This guide contains the same information as our old guide but presents the information in a user-friendly tab format. You can also directly IM a Music Librarian using the Meebo widget. Faculty and TAs—-we are happy to create guides in this format tailored to your courses.

We have also switched RILM over to the EBSCO service provider. RILM may look different but you’ll still find the same information you have grown to trust with this database.

Finally, as you may have noticed the downstairs Music Library and Listening Center have been closed this month. We are looking forward to serving you with air conditioning! If you need materials from the downstairs Music Library and Listening Center, please ask at the upstairs Music Library desk. Our staff is happy to retrieve these items for you.

As always, we look forward to serving you in the UW Music Library! If you have questions, please Ask Us!

Hollywood Bowl's Thomas Wilkins a classical case of beating the odds

"Wilkins, who will guide the orchestra Friday through Sunday in the Bowl's fireworks finale, "Blame It on Rio," is also aware that no matter what he does with his arms, he instantly attracts attention -- not only of musicians, but of audiences -- in another, more subtle way: He is one of the few African American conductors leading major orchestras."

For the full story, please see the LA Times.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Composition by Giselle Wyers

Check out I Go Among Trees by Dr. Giselle Wyers and performed by the University of Washington Chamber Singers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, 88, visits Seattle

"Fifty being a number that resonates well and is easily marketable, marking the 50th anniversaries of notable events and accomplishments has become a familiar exercise in documenting cultural history, the jazz pianist Dave Brubeck being no exception."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Discovery Reveals Bach's Postmodern Side

"A modern composition technique championed by 20th century composers may have been presaged two centuries earlier by Johann Sebastian Bach. Host Liane Hansen speaks with Eric Altschuler, who writes in the current issue of Musical Times about discovering a 12-tone row in a Bach prelude."

For the full story, please see

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

British Library releases 23,700 rare audio tracks online

"The British Library has made 23,700 rare music and sound recordings from its massive collection, reputed to be one of the largest sound archives in the world, available for free online.

The Library announced that 2,000 hours of material — just a fraction of its entire catalogue of sound — are now available on its website."

For the full story, please see

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alberto Gonzales, the Concert Opera

"Here’s the deal: The Gonzales Cantata, playing at this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival, is a 40-minute choral work based on the hearings that punctuated the U.S. attorney-dismissal scandal back in 2007. (Actually, every word sung is from the transcript of the hearings.) Click here for WSJ reporter Evan Perez’s story on the hearings, which links to a whole trove of other goodies."

For the full story, please see the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Music Written For Monkeys Strikes A Chord

"Music has great power to alter our emotions — making us happy or sad, agitated or calm. Psychologists have tried in vain to figure out why that happens. Now, a composer says he's has a clue. And he got it by writing music not for humans, but for monkeys."

For the full story, please see

Monday, August 31, 2009

Closure For Listening Center and Downstairs Music Library

The Listening Center is getting air conditioning! Installation begins Monday, August 31st. During this time the Listening Center and downstairs Music Library will be closed. If you need books or recordings from downstairs or from the Listening Center please stop by the upstairs Music Library (room 113) to request them. A staff member will be happy to retrieve these items for you. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to reopening an improved and cool Listening Center once construction is completed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Laula, Eestimaa! Sing, Estonia!

The University of Washington Libraries is pleased to announce the exhibit of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian choral music in the Allen Library from August 20 through September 8, 2009. Please stop by the Allen Library to view this exciting exhibit. For more information about the exhibit, please see the exhibit website.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Opera Can Take Its Time, or Yours

"John Adams’s opera “A Flowering Tree” has lingered with me since the Mostly Mozart Festival presented its New York premiere this month. Based on a 2,000-year-old South Indian folk tale about a girl on the brink of womanhood who rescues her impoverished family by transforming herself into a tree, the opera, over all, is mystical and enchanting, with a stylistically eclectic and often intense score."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Physicists investigate the grand artistic vision of one of the most influential artists of the last two centuries.

"When physicist John Smith spent the night in his garden with the score to Götterdämmerung, the final opera in Richard Wagner’s four-part, 15-hour epic, Der Ring des Nibelungen, he wasn’t interested in its account of the apocalyptic struggle of Norse gods for control of the world. Smith was concerned with a struggle of a different sort—one between the opera’s words and music that might elucidate the controversial German composer’s peculiar vision for the future of art."

For the full story, please the Seed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Library book returned 70 years on

"Iris Chadwick, 83, borrowed the score of the musical Rose Marie from Cubitt Town Library, Tower Hamlets, in 1939.

The library's 10p per day penalty for overdue books would equate to a fine of more than £2,500."

For the full story, please see the BBC News.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Unpublished Villa-Lobos scores found in Brazil

"Unpublished scores by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) were found at the Rio de Janeiro School of Music library, according to the school's director."

For the full story, please see Yahoo News.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Really Killed Mozart? Maybe Strep

"Scandalous rumors about popular musicians were just as lurid in the 18th century as they are today, but they moved at a more deliberate pace. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died on Dec. 5, 1791, and it took a whole week for a Berlin newspaper to announce that he had been poisoned. The actual cause of death, a new study suggests, may have been more pedestrian: a strep infection."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crocodile Café Collection

Come check out the Media Center's newest recording collection! The Crocodile Café Collection contains over 2,800 hours of live music recordings. Recorded at the Café between May 2002 and December 2007 by audio engineer Jim Anderson, these recordings document performances by dozens of artists, both notable and obscure.

For more information, please see the collection FAQ.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul, Guitar Innovator, Dies at 94

"Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist and inventor whose solid-body electric guitar and recording studio innovations changed the course of 20th-century popular music, died Thursday in White Plains, N.Y. . He was 94."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Twitter Opera and a Baseball Bat With Strings

"Is there anything Twitter can’t do (when it isn’t shut down by the cyberattacks of malicious hackers)? The popular online network connects you to your friends, feeds you the latest news — and now it’s about to help create a new opera. The Independent reported that the Royal Opera House of London is about to produce a work called “The Twitter Opera,” in which the libretto will be composed of short messages sent by the public to the opera house’s @youropera Twitter feed."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Files Detail Years of Spying on Bernstein

"For more than three decades starting in the 1940's, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obsessively documented the activities of Leonard Bernstein, especially his associations with groups listed as subversive or communist, and, in the 1960's, his support for the civil rights and antiwar movements, newly released files show."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Turn on, tune in: John Cage's symphony for 12 radios

"One evening in May 1951, at the McMillin theatre at Columbia University, New York, a conductor, wearing tails and a stiff bib and tucker, walked out on stage to conduct an ensemble of 24 players. The musicians were snuggled in pairs around 12 portable radios, and the conductor was John Cage. He was also the composer of the piece that was about to be premiered, Imaginary Landscape No 4."

For the full story, please see the Guardian.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Musicophilia: Six Questions for Oliver Sacks

"New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, Sacks is best known for Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars. His latest book, Musicophilia, has just appeared as a Vintage paperback. I put six questions to Dr. Sacks about his remarkable study of music and the human brain."

For the full story, please see Harpers.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

'Mozart Effect' Real — For Some

"Researchers from the University of London have tested a thesis that may explain why studies of this phenomenon have produced such inconsistent results. In a study just published in the journal Psychology of Music, they conclude that listening to Mozart can indeed spark a certain type of intelligence, but the effect is limited to non-musicians. The reason, it appears, has to do with the different ways musicians and non-musicians process music in the brain."

For the full story, please see Miller-McCune.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

NSO to Try Beethoven's Tweet Suite

"The National Symphony Orchestra is trying an experiment. It's tweeting Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony, Thursday night at Wolf Trap... Here's what will happen: The orchestra will use the micro-blogging site Twitter to send text messages of 140 characters or fewer from conductor Emil de Cou during the performance. (Example: "In my score Beethoven has printed Nightingale = flute Quail = oboe Cuckoo = clarinet -- a mini concerto for woodwind/birds.")"

For the full story, please see the Washington Post.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Confessions of a First-Time Operagoer" host rings up big role

"Boxes lining the walls read: "Socks and knee highs." "Leotards and unitards." "Pantyhose." Busy crew members scurry up and down stairs as costumers sew and fit fabric and ribbons onto waiting busts.

This is where Cassidy Brettler is spending her summer — in a cavernous basement warehouse in the South Lake Union neighborhood where booming echoes of song waft toward tall ceilings."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Merce Cunningham Dies

"Merce Cunningham, the American choreographer who was among a handful of 20th-century figures to make dance a major art and a major form of theater, died Sunday night. He was 90 and lived in Manhattan."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sharing Intense Emotions Motivates Maestros

"In movies, orchestra conductors tend to be portrayed as egomaniacs. But a new study of why certain musicians gravitate to the podium suggests a very different set of motivations are at play."

For the full story, please see Miller-McCune.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Two New Mozart Works Discovered

" The International Mozarteum Foundation says it has discovered two new works composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart."

For the full story, please see Google News.

Monday, July 20, 2009

An Architect Puts Bach in a Musical Cocoon

" A rewarding experiment in creating an ideal space to hear some of Bach’s most intimate music — the solo suites for piano, for cello and for violin — is taking place here at the Manchester International Festival. Zaha Hadid Architects was commissioned by the festival to take a top-floor exhibition room at the Manchester Art Gallery and turn what is basically a big black box into an acoustically and visually perfect place for performances of the Bach works."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seventy years later, Prokofiev's 'Music for Athletes' gets its premiere

"During Stalin's Great Terror, propaganda was inextricable from artists' lives. When Soviet officials organized an athletics spectacle in 1939 to mobilize youth, complete with 30,000 "physical culturists," Sergei Prokofiev composed music for the event. But when the event's choreographer, Vsevolod Meyerhold, vanished before the premiere, "Music for Athletes" went unheard. Tonight marks its first performance."

For the full story, please see

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Critics split on Wainwright's move from pop to opera

"Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright says opera saved his life more than once, and he has begun to pay it back with his first full-length work Prima Donna which premiered in Manchester earlier this month."

For the full story, please see
Photo by Ella Mullins.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

They’ve Got Those Old, Hard-to-Find Blues

"JOHN HENEGHAN tugged a large shellac disc from its brown paper sleeve, placed it on a turntable and gently nudged a needle into place. Behind him, in the corner of his East Village apartment, sat 16 wooden crates, each filled with meticulously cataloged 78-r.p.m. records. The coarse, crackling voice of the blues singer Charley Patton, performing “High Water Everywhere Part 1,” his startling account of the 1927 Mississippi River flood, rose from the speakers, raw and unruly. The record is worth about $8,000."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

The UW Music Library has a collection of 78's. For more information, please see the Offenbacher Mozart Collection.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vinyl LPs haven't lost their groove

"Everywhere you turn, traditional media are dying. Yet against all odds, a cumbersome, fussy and pricey method of consuming recorded music isn’t just surviving — it’s thriving."

For the full story, please see the Star-Telegram.

Photo by DGHdeeo.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New York Philharmonic May Perform in Cuba

"The New York Philharmonic, hoping to notch another exotic destination in its touring history, said on Thursday it had been invited to perform in Cuba and was seriously considering such a visit."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kindle the Muse: Sheet Music Now Available for Download

"FreeHand Systems has announced that its Novato Music Press catalog, which includes thousands of classical, traditional and American music titles, is now available on Kindle. This marks the first time that a comprehensive collection of sheet music is being offered for this exciting new medium."

For the full story, please see Amazon's blog.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Announces Grants: Washington State Arts Supported!

"This past year saw bailouts for our nose-diving auto makers and for the country's largest financial institutions. Where is the booster for the arts, an industry that produces 30,000 local jobs?"

For the full story, please see the Seattle PI.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Seattle Opera gets $500,000 grant

"Seattle Opera has been awarded a $500,000 grant for "Amelia," a new American opera scheduled to debut in Seattle next year, the Opera announced Friday.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funding will allow "Amelia" to be produced by two other production companies following its May 2010 debut at Seattle Opera, assuring that the opera will be seen in more cities."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vibe Magazine, Showcase for Hip-Hop and R&B, Dies at 16

"On Tuesday an independent magazine backed by private equity owners succumbed to the punishing ad market and announced it would cease publication immediately. It was, as things go in publishing these days, a fairly routine story."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Identity of Beethoven's Für Elise revealed by music expert

"The identity of Elise, however, has eluded scholars down the years, hampered as they were by the loss of the original manuscript. Now Klaus Martin Kopitz, a German musicologist and Beethoven expert, believes he has identified the woman of the title as Elisabeth Röckel."

For the full story, please see

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Opera, dynamic music could aid rehabilitation, says Italian study

"Researchers analyzing how listening to classical music affected the study's participants found that songs that alternate between fast and slow sections — like opera — induced dynamic and somewhat predictable change in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the volunteers."

For the full story, please see CBC News.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Star Idolized and Haunted, Michael Jackson Dies at 50

"Michael Jackson, whose quintessentially American tale of celebrity and excess took him from musical boy wonder to global pop superstar to sad figure haunted by lawsuits, paparazzi and failed plastic surgery, was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon at U.C.L.A. Medical Center after arriving in a coma, a city official said. Mr. Jackson was 50, having spent 40 of those years in the public eye he loved."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

You may also check out Michael Jackson recordings at the UW Libraries.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Flutes Offer Clues to Stone-Age Music

"At least 35,000 years ago, in the depths of the last ice age, the sound of music filled a cave in what is now southwestern Germany, the same place and time early Homo sapiens were also carving the oldest known examples of figurative art in the world."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Philharmonic Puts Its History by the Numbers Online

"Sports and classical music fall neatly into comparisons. They are hierarchical endeavors that require immense amounts of training, skill, expertise and common purpose. They are competitive, have stars and supporting casts and, now more than ever, hold an attraction for lovers of numbers."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Round and Round the Music Soars in Wright’s Spiraling Masterpiece

"Frank Lloyd Wright might never have anticipated this. But the rotunda of his late masterpiece the Guggenheim Museum — which opened in 1959, six months after his death — is an ideal place to perform one of the most mesmerizing and eclectic musical works ever written: “Orbits” for 80 trombones, soprano and organ by the Montreal-born American composer Henry Brant."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sonny Rollins, Maria Schneider win at jazz awards

"Jazz legend Sonny Rollins and big-band leader Maria Schneider each were triple winners at the Jazz Awards, but it was 90-year-old pianist Hank Jones who struck the most sentimental chord."

For the full story, please see

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Operas and Concerts Fit for a Prince (Especially a Sun King)

"During the nine days of the Boston Early Music Festival, which ended on Sunday afternoon, you could spend all day every day, from 9 a.m. to midnight, bingeing on the sounds of antique instruments and the music composed for them. The sheer number of performances offered in the festival and the associated Fringe Concerts let listeners build their schedules around their own passions, or ignore what they knew and seek out the unfamiliar."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Study Finds Instruction in Art Lags in 8th Grade

"Music and art instruction in American eighth-grade classrooms has remained flat over the last decade, according to a new survey by the Department of Education, and one official involved in the survey called student achievement in those subjects 'mediocre.'"

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Musicologist's Companion to American Idol

"A conductor friend of mine recently busted out the following conversation starter over lunch: In a hundred years, American Idol may be the most significant locus of study in the field of performance practice. Predictably, this gem set off a lively debate; naturally, the fact that I've never seen American Idol didn't stop me from pontificating at length on the prospects of performance practice as an area of inquiry and the prominence of said television show therein."

For the full story, please see New Music Box.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First Lady Returns to Music Series

"Now that First Lady Michelle Obama has returned to the United States, she plans to kick off a new music series next week, according to the White House."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seattle Opera turns to 19-year-old to vlog and tweet its 'Ring' cycle

"Now, Culture Monster would never provoke a coastal conflict by declaring a "Ring" war between the Northwest and the Southland, but it seems that Seattle is seeking to make its venerable 'Ring' sparkle for younger generations with its reality-style video project 'Confessions of a First-Time Opera Goer,' which will chronicle 19-year-old Cassidy Quinn Brettler's first experience attending the 'Ring.'"

For the full story, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Was the Jury Thinking?

"In the murky, labyrinthine world of music competitions, efforts at transparency can leave listeners disconcerted and even flummoxed. Such is the conclusion sparked by the results, announced June 7, of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas."

For the full story, please see the Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Van Cliburn 2009: Performers from China, Japan share top prize at piano competition

"The two youngest contestants in the final round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 20-year-old Nobuyuki Tsujii and 19-year-old Haochen Zhang, both took first prizes in the Sunday evening awards ceremony at Bass Performance Hall. Each received a $20,000 cash prize, three years of concert management and a contract for a compact-disc recording."

For the full story, please see Dallas News.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ending a 60-Year Gig at the N.Y. Philharmonic

"Mr. Drucker, 80, will soon enter something bigger than folklore. Legend maybe? History? He is retiring from the Philharmonic after 60 years, the longest tenure of any player in the orchestra’s existence. His departure foreshadows another changing of the guard: the music director, Lorin Maazel, also ends his tenure this season."

For the full story, please see the New York Times. To listen Mr. Drucker's recordings, please see the Library Catalog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ikea's In-store Opera Shows Drama of Home Assembly

"The assembly of flat-pack furniture is a common enough flash point for domestic dramas, but Ikea has taken the concept further by inviting an opera company to stage a full dramatic production at one of its London stores."

For the full story, please see Advertising Age.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Play it again, Boris Johnson. Give us a kerbside singsong

"WE can all be Elton John now. In an experiment backed by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and by the national lottery, 31 pianos are to be plonked around the capital to encourage people to gather for a singsong with strangers."

For the full story, please see the Times Online.

Photo by H4NUM4N.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Opera to Sniff at: A Score Offers Uncommon Scents

"Wagner strove to create a theatrical form in which all the arts — poetry, music, visual imagery, drama, spectacle — would combine in a Gesamtkunstwerk, a unified work engaging every dimension of human perception."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Monday, June 1, 2009

In Haydn commemorative year it's — mostly Mozart

"Joseph Haydn died 200 years ago Sunday, and Austria has been officially marking the occasion with hundreds of concerts, exhibitions and other events dedicated to the music and memory of one of the country's greatest sons."

For the full story, please see Yahoo News.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bellevue Philharmonic survives tumultuous season

"The Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra has had a year beset with problems, including the loss of a major donor and internal strife. The Bellevue City Council agreed to help fund this year's Fourth of July concert in downtown Bellevue as part of the orchestra's plan to emerge from a tumultuous year."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Looking the Other Way: Race in Classical Music

"When it comes to classical music and opera, we enlightened ones are supposed to be color-blind. Regardless of our race, the racial characteristics of singers and musicians are not supposed to matter … some of the time."

For the full story, please see the San Francisco Classical Voice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How the Internet Changed Music

"In 1998, Death Cab for Cutie was just another tenderhearted indie-rock band signed to a minor record label, playing empty clubs for $50 a night. But after two years of soul-crushing obscurity, something strange happened: people started going to the band's shows...Death Cab is just one of the Internet-and-music stories chronicled in Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot's book Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music. Kot talks to TIME about the demise of the music industry, whether illegal file-sharing is really that bad and why there may never be another band as big as the Beatles."

For the full story, please see Time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Van Cliburn 2009: Van Cliburn International Piano Competition spotlights emerging talent

"Alexander Kobrin is grateful for the career boost he got from his first prize in the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. But, asked how he would improve music competitions, the Russian pianist says, 'I would erase them from the map.' The idea of competitions as means to artistic fame and fortune will always rub some people wrong. This year's installment of the quadrennial Cliburn Competition, running Friday through June 7 at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall, will raise the familiar questions again."

For the full story, please see the Dallas News.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Julian Patrick, 81, famed baritone

"Julian Patrick, the Seattle-based baritone whose credits extended from Broadway theater to Wagner's "Ring," died in his sleep of natural causes May 8 while on vacation in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 81."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mike Seeger named NEA National Heritage

"Mike Seeger, the 2009 recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship, stands out in a family of prominent scholars and musical performers as an advocate, a documenter, a teacher, and an artist."

For the full story, please see the NEA website.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Texting at a Symphony?

"Cellphones are hardly applauded in concert halls, where it’s considered gauche to have them turned on, much less to pull them out during a performance. So at a recent Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concert of classics like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, it was a little surprising when the conductor instructed audience members to take out their phones."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Could you sit through a 10-hour opera?

"Thanks to a four-year, $750,000 grant whose funds are aimed at building relationships through technology, the opera (Seattle) company is looking for someone to host a 10-minute, reality-style video titled "Confessions of a First-time Operagoer."

To find out more, please see the Seattle PI.

Photo of the Seattle Opera chandelier by Marc Smith.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Klingon-Language Opera

"The new Star Trek movie opens Friday, and it includes the usual suspects: Vulcans, Romulans and, of course, humans. But one race gets short shrift: the Klingons...But Klingons have not been forgotten — far from it. In fact, they're the subject of an ongoing research project that explores a long-neglected art form: Klingon opera."

For the full story, please see NPR.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

The Music Library is pleased to announce the arrival of its newest online resource, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online. This resource includes 1,208 essays and hundreds of audio examples. Genres covered range from American Folk and Jazz to Spoken Word and Sounds. The database is located on the Music Library's Hompage under "More Resources".

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cheerful music 'can make everyone around you look happy'

"The effect takes just a fraction of a second and can happen without us even being aware of it, the study reveals. The finding was made by psychologists at Goldsmiths, University of London, after a series of experiments on students."

For the full story, please see the Telegraph.

Photo by Dotbenjamin.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Female conductors crack the glass podium

"Classical music institutions throughout the world are embracing the notion of female conductors more than ever. In addition to appearing regularly as guest conductors and in assistant conductor positions with top orchestras, women are now commonly in the running for -- and occasionally winning -- music directorships."

For the full story, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Great Performances -- Behind the Scenes

"If you have never understood why an old saying calls opera 'the most expensive human endeavor, with the possible exception of war,' a day at the Metropolitan Opera explains it. The divas, maestro, managers and orchestra are just part of the equation. So much else goes into the productions, made more complicated by the Met's tradition of staging operas in repertory. The Met is often a 24-hour operation. Make that a 24/6 operation, and occasionally 24/7."

For the full story, please see the Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Forgotten Music composed by Handel to be heard for first time in 250 years

"The University of Portsmouth choir will play the funeral anthem which was originally commissioned by King George II to be played at the burial of his wife, Queen Caroline in 1737. After the performance Handel wanted to translate the 40-minute piece into Italian but the King refused and ordered the music be thrown away and never heard again."

For the full story, please see the Telegraph.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dudamels in the making? L.A. Phil names conducting fellows

"Even before Gustavo Dudamel officially takes the podium this fall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new maestro is making it clear that music education is a priority. Tomorrow the orchestra is announcing a fellowship program proposed by Dudamel that will offer promising conductors the chance too work with one of the hottest figures in classical music."

See the Los Angeles Times to view the full article.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu: dancing in the face of the virus

"There is a long tradition of folk music reacting quickly to events and commentating on them for those who don't pay much attention to the mainstream media and the flu-inspired songs are delivered in the accordion-based cumbia style which is popular across the Americas."

For the full story and additional videos please see, Telegraph.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"Steve Reich's "Drumming" is widely considered a masterpiece of minimalism by both critics and fans. Minimalism flourished in symphonic music in the 1960s and '70s. Composers like Reich broke music down to its most elemental forms — a single chord, even a single tone or a simple pulse — and then weaved those elements back together to create a new musical structure, often using the same motif over and over again. Performance Today's Mark Mobley spoke to Reich and prepared this report."

For the full story, please see NPR.

Monday, April 27, 2009

In a digital age, vinyl albums are making a comeback

"Neil Schield knows the grim state of the music business as well as anyone; last May, he was laid off from a company at the vanguard of digital music distribution. But this month, Schield began an unlikely second act: He opened a brick-and-mortar record store in Echo Park, with racks of tasteful inventory carrying price tags as high as $100 -- all presumed liabilities in an age when "digital" and "free" seem to rule the day."

For the full story, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Photo by Tony Case.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Twitter opera plot contest is back...

"The unfeasibly popular Twitter #operaplot contest is back, courtesy of the blogger and Tweeter the Omniscient Mussel (follow her as missmussel). Billed as "the most fun opera nerds can have in 140 characters" the game involves creating a witty, brilliant, and accurate precis of an opera plot (my favourite from the first iteration of the competition was a rendering of the entire Ring cycle as in the form of a set of tennis tournament scores)."

For the full article, please see the Guardian.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Steve Reich: Minimalism In The Mainstream

"Composer Steve Reich won the Pulitzer Prize for music Monday, taking the award for his 'Double Sextet.' In honor of Reich's career, here's a look at another of his most celebrated works."

For the full article, please see NPR

Friday, April 17, 2009

Contemporary World Music Online

The Music Library would like to introduce you to its newest online streaming audio database Contemporary World Music Online. Contemporary World Music Online covers a variety of genres not limited to reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, and gagaku. The database currently contains 14,235 track and continues to grow. Contemporary World Music Online can be located under the Streaming Audio and Video section of the Music Library's homepage. We hope you will enjoy listening to this wonderful addition to our collection!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

YouTube's Un-Harmonic Convergence

"The conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is rehearsing an orchestra. He tells the oboes to play out. He asks the strings to emphasize the third and fourth beats of each measure, which are getting muddy. He makes a joke. Everybody laughs, even though not everyone speaks English. This is not uncommon in an orchestra. Music, after all, is a universal language -- particularly classical music, since you can play it without needing words."

For the full story, please see the Washington Post.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Add Your CD to the Libraries' Collection!

Does your local musical group have its own CD? Consider donating it to the Libraries’ Puget Sounds Collection! The Puget Sounds collection is located in the Libraries’ Media Center and contains music from groups located from Olympia to the San Juan Islands. Genres include everything from art rock to hip hop, folk revival to free jazz, classical to new age, freak folk to shockabilly, and Latin American folk to Balkan folk. To donate materials to this collection, please contact John Vallier at the Media Center. To listen to music in the Puget Sounds Collection, please see the library catalog.

Photo by B Mullins.

Monday, April 13, 2009

YouTube Orchestra Ready to Tune Up

"The YouTube Symphony Orchestra has settled on the program for its concert at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday evening, most of it to be conducted by its artistic adviser, Michael Tilson Thomas, right."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Social Media Networks Are Music's Curse and Salvation

"In the golden age of the record album, friends would gather around the hi-fi system to share the latest music, most of them not paying a cent. Today, music fans do pretty much the same thing — online, in social networks."

For the full article, please see Wired.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Orchestras need to program a new business model

"Is this the end for American orchestras? Hardly.
But is it the beginning of the end for the American orchestra in the form we've come to accept? It's starting to look likely."

For the full article, please see the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Love Streaming? Try the New Music Online!

Do you want to save some time and search several streaming audio and video databases at the same time? Try our new database Music Online. Music Online searches American Song, Classical Music Library, Dance in Video and Opera in Video in a single search! A link to Music Online may be found in the "Streaming Audio and Video" drop box on the Music Library's homepage.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pianist Gould foresaw tech role in music

"Forty-five years ago this week, the great Canadian pianist Glenn Gould stepped off the stage of the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and became the prophet of a new technology."

For the full article, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Photo by Duchamp.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The world's 10 most inspiring orchestras

"After Gramophone’s recent and very widely discussed poll to determine “The world’s 20 greatest orchestras”, many readers responded that they would like something to follow that would specifically focus on the inspiring social role that orchestras can play. We agree. At a time when bands are seeing their funding threatened left, right and centre, and one suspects that governments are covetously eyeing their arts budgets, it is not at all a bad idea to remind ourselves of the hugely positive role that music can play in society."

For the full story, please see Gramophone.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New at the Music Library

The list of new books, scores, CDs, and DVDs added to the collection in March has been posted. Highlights include Lee's "Chinese Opera in Singapore", Johnson's "Dark Side of the Tune: Popular Music and Violence", Queen Latifah's "All Hail the Queen", the "William Primrose Collection", "Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz", and much more. To view the full list and past lists, please see About the Music Library.

Also new this month, the Music Library has added changed the location Music Stacks to reflect the floor location of each item. The new location Music Library Upstairs is located in Room 113 and houses items M1 through ML410. Music Library Downstairs is located in Room 15 and houses items ML411 through Z. We hope these new locations will save you time when searching for materials.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Linda Ronstadt hails Gustavo Dudamel in testimony on Capitol Hill

"In a remarkable testimony by Linda Ronstadt to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Tuesday, the pop singer made an impassioned plea for government support of the arts. And Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's soon-to-be music director, was her poster boy."

For the full story, please see LA Times.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Young, Hip, Classical Crowd

"So there I was not long ago at Le Poisson Rouge, a New York club, for a classical-music show, and the guy in the DJ booth was telling all of us to 'talk and clap when you like. And go to the bar if you get bored.'... He's a composer himself, but in his native London he's also a club DJ."

For the full article, please see the Wall Street Journal.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Music therapy 'restores vision'

"Up to 60% of stroke patients develop impaired visual awareness - a condition known as 'visual neglect'... The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study suggests music can help ease the problem."

For the full story, please see the BBC news.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unknown Shostakovich Opera Discovered

"De larges fragments d'un opéra satirique, Orango, que Chostakovitch composait en 1932, projet dont personne, ou presque, n'avait connaissance, ont été retrouvés à Moscou. Le musicologue anglais Gerard McBurney est en train de constituer une partition exécutable de cette fable."

For the full story, please see Le

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gyuto Monks: Ancient Practice, Modern Sound

"It was 3 o'clock one morning in 1964, on the eve of the highest holiday in the Tibetan calendar, when renowned religion scholar Huston Smith awoke in a monastery in the Himalayas to experience something transcendent."

For the full story, please see NPR.
Photo by Enzyme00.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Musical Instruments Battle for $10K in Prizes

"It was like a low-stakes X Prize for music as musicians, inventors and hobbyists competed against each other in the first annual Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech for cash prizes of $10,000."

For the full article, please see Wired.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Hard Times" For Joseph Patelson Music House

"At the Joseph Patelson Music House in New York Tuesday, members of the Philadelphia Orchestra wandered the aisles as they do when they visit Carnegie Hall. But rather than finding the usual feast of scores and sheet music, this time they were left wondering where the stock had gone.
The landmark store’s clerks were overheard speaking in anxious tones about reduced work shifts and fretting about depleted shelves."

For the full article, please see

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In tune with the time

"Twenty years ago this month, EMI brought out a box set of the complete Beethoven symphonies that the London Classical Players and I had recorded during the previous couple of years. It startled some critics at first, but was loved by many thousands of listeners around the world. People who had found one or two of the symphonies "slow and boring" discovered that they weren't like that at all - at least, not the way we did them."

For more information, please see the Guardian.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bring Your Coffee to the Music Library!

The Music Library has revamped its drink policy and invites you to enjoy covered drinks while studying in the Music Library and Listening Center. As long as your drinks are covered you no longer need to check them at the Music Library and Listening Center door. This finals week bring your coffee and come study in the Music Library and Listening Center!

Photo by COCOEN.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Puppetry adds an artistic edge to the debut of Pacific Operaworks

"Launching any enterprise today is a bold gesture, but an opera company devoted to 17th- and early 18th-century opera, as well as contemporary opera, even more so. Yet, visionaries have always done what they want to do when the moment is ripe for them, regardless of the circumstances."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Monday, March 16, 2009

College music programs booming despite economic bust

"With the economy in free- fall and unemployment taking off, it's no wonder college students these days are clamoring to study ... music?

Yes, music. As in symphony, opera and jazz.

Applications are soaring at music schools across the country, often mirroring the overall rise in college enrollment but in many cases surpassing the interest in other disciplines. Never mind that the chances of landing a paying job in a decent-size symphony orchestra have diminished, with many ensembles going out of business in recent years. Never mind that jazz clubs are becoming an endangered species."

For the full article, please see the Chicago Tribune.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let RefWorks Ease Your Finals Week Workload!

Are you preparing those final papers for the quarter? Do you need help creating your citations? RefWorks is here to help! With RefWorks you can manage citations for your papers and download into a them into a bibliography using your choice of citation style. Write-N-Cite, a companion tool of RefWorks, will even format and insert footnotes into your paper for you. RefWorks is located on the Music Library's Homepage under the "More Resources" heading. For more information on how to use RefWorks, see the UW Libraries instructional video or the Music Library's RefWorks Help Guide. If you need help, please Ask Us!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Musical Giant, Obsessed With a Little Tune

"AT the core of Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations, an esoteric and astonishing piano piece lasting some 50 minutes, is one of the intriguing mysteries of music history. Why did Beethoven, during the difficult last decade of his life, when he was deaf, chronically ill and often in financial straits, become nearly obsessed with writing an extensive and complex set of variations on a dumpy little waltz, a theme he had first dismissed as a “cobbler’s patch”? That question drives “33 Variations,” the latest play by Moisés Kaufman, which opens on Monday at the Eugene O’Neill Theater."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Telarc International will cut 26 jobs and stop producing its own recordings

"Telarc International, the award-winning Beachwood recording company, will cut half its 52 employees and stop producing its own recordings, the outgoing president said Tuesday."

For the full article, please see

Thursday, March 5, 2009

YouTube and Universal Music Are Said to Discuss Deal

"Google’s YouTube and the Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music label, are in advanced discussions over a licensing agreement that could lead to the creation of a premium site for music videos, according a person briefed on the talks."

For the full article, please see the New York Times.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

YouTube selects online orchestra

"The YouTube Symphony Orchestra will then perform at Carnegie Hall on 15 April under San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. All of the winners' videos have been posted on YouTube."

For the full article, please see BBC News.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Desktop article delivery from the UW Libraries and beyond

From March through June 2009 the UW Libraries are conducting a pilot project to deliver journal articles from our print collection to your desktop at no charge for current UW students, faculty and staff. Requests may be placed through your UW Libraries Interlibrary Loan account. For more information on this pilot, please see the Interlibrary Loan website for more information.

Photo by Zabowski.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Beethoven premiere? You bet. In Chicago

"The classical music world doesn't usually look to Chicago as a place to catch world premieres, especially when the composer is none other than Ludwig van Beethoven and the piece was written roughly 216 years ago."

For the full article, please see the Chicago Tribune.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

From a Vault in Paris, Sounds of Opera 1907

"On Dec. 24, 1907, a group of bewhiskered men gathered in the bowels of the Paris Opera to begin a project that by definition they could never see to fruition. First, 24 carefully wrapped wax records were placed inside two lead and iron containers. These were then sealed and locked in a small storage room with instructions that they should remain undisturbed for 100 years."

For the full article, please see the New York Times.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saving Federal Arts Funds: Selling Culture as an Economic Force

"Arts-friendly members of the House and Senate struggled to preserve $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the final version of the recovery package, approved by both houses on Friday."

For the full article, please see the New York Times.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laptop maestro makes music apt for the iPhone

"In Ge Wang's orchestra everyone plays the keyboards and the closest you'll come to a woodwind is the Ikea salad bowls that have been modified into omni-directional speaker pods.

This after all is the Stanford Laptop Orchestra and - as befits a university in the heart of Silicon Valley that spawned the founders of Google, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard and the like - the instruments and the music have a unique electronic edge to them."

For the full article, please see Fairfax Digital.

Photo by Marci Maleski.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Domingo Wins Million Dollar Prize

"Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo has been awarded the first ever Birgit Nilsson prize for his 'unrivalled contributions to the world of opera'."

For the full article please see the BBC News.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Music Library Closed Monday

The Music Library & Listening Center will be closed on Monday, February 16 in observance of the President's Day holiday. We will be open regular hours on Tuesday, February 17.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pianos Pleyel brûlés

"Nouveau coup dur pour la célèbre maison Pleyel. Après la fermeture de son usine à Alès (Gard) en 2007, la dernière manufacture française de pianos, fondée en 1807 par le pianiste et compositeur Ignaz Pleyel, a été victime d'un incendie dans la nuit du 4 au 5 février."

For the full article, please see Le Monde.

Photo by Sophie.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Max Neuhaus, Who Made Aural Artwork, Dies at 69

"Max Neuhaus, a percussionist known for creating site-specific works of “sound sculpture,” allowing unsuspecting passers-by to come upon musical sounds in unlikely places, died Tuesday in Maratea, a coastal town in southern Italy, where he lived. He was 69."

For the full article, please see the New York Times.

Monday, February 9, 2009

At 70, a Legendary Jazz Label Asks, ‘Now What?’

"At a recent 70th-anniversary reception for Blue Note Records at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson played his trademark hit, “Alligator Boogaloo,” from 1967. Norah Jones, who made her multiplatinum debut in 2002, mingled at the bar. And presiding over the evening was Bruce Lundvall, who has run the label for the last 25 years."

For the full article, please see the New York Times.

Friday, February 6, 2009

New at the Music Library!

The list of new books, scores, recordings and DVDs added to the Music Library collection in January has been posted. Check out the latest additions and browse older lists on our About the Music Library page.

Also new this month the Music Library has joined Facebook. Become a fan of the UW Music Library! The new Facebook page contains an RSS feed to this blog and a new book shelf. As always, we look forward to seeing you in person and virtually.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Great Composers, Lousy Reviews

"In the history of music, the glorious and benevolent Kaiser Joseph II is known for one transcendently stupid line. After the Vienna premiere of the comic opera The Abduction From the Seraglio, Joseph observed to its composer: "Too many notes, my dear Mozart!" With that, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire became an enduring symbol of philistine reaction to genius. Mozart's comeback was not as snappy: "Only as many notes as necessary, Your Majesty." In the coming years, he would hear more of the same from the press: "impenetrable labyrinths," "bizarre flights of the soul," "overloaded and overstuffed." The guy has too much imagination, connoisseurs agreed; he doesn't know when to turn it off. In other words: too many notes."

For the full article, please see Slate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A.R. Rahman Scores With 'Slumdog Millionaire'

"If you were to name a few musicians who've sold more than 100 million albums, Elvis Presley and The Beatles would surely top your list. Here's another one to add: A.R. Rahman. Rahman has composed the music for more than 130 films in India — and he has indeed sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Here in America, however, many are hearing his music for the first time in the Academy Award-nominated film Slumdog Millionaire."

For the full article or to listen to clips of Rahman's music visit NPR.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lukas Foss, Composer at Home in Many Stylistic Currents, Dies at 86

"Lukas Foss, a prolific and versatile composer who was also a respected pianist and conductor, died at his home in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 86, and also had a home in Bridgehampton, N.Y. His wife, Cornelia, announced his death."

For the full article, please see the New York Times.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Taking Note of Composers and New Music Activity in the United States

"The American Music Center and American Composers Forum have just released Taking Note: A Study of Composers and New Music Activity in the United States. Taking Note is the first major undertaking of its kind in decades, and was conducted by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at Teachers College, Columbia University."

For the full article, please see the New Music Box.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Search WorldCat On Your Phone!

Ever been out shopping and found a book you want to read or a great recording you’d like to hear? Or maybe you hear a title mentioned on TV that you’d like to check out. Now you can pull out your cell phone and see if your library owns the title using WorldCat mobile! WorldCat mobile can be found at Simply enter your zip code, search for the title your interested in and WorldCat mobile will give you a list of the nearest libraries holding your book, score, recording, DVD and more. WorldCat also works with mapping software on your cell phone to direct you to the nearest library. For more information, see the WorldCat mobile website.

Photo by incurable_hippie.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

George Perle, a Composer and Theorist, Dies at 93

"George Perle, a composer, author, theorist and teacher who won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1986 and was widely considered the poetic voice of atonal composition, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93."

For the full article, please see the New York Times.

Hear Perle's music on NPR.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nazi Ban, Wagner Attack Buried Mendelssohn Works for Decades

"A rival’s envy and the Nazis combined to turn Felix Mendelssohn from a hot 19th-century composer to a pariah and left hundreds of his scores unpublished. Real rescue operations began only a dozen years ago."

For the full article, connect to

Friday, January 23, 2009

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Working on an interesting research project? Apply to take part in the Twelfth Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, May 15th from noon to 5PM.

The Symposium offers a wonderful forum to gain experience presenting work and to engage in scholarly discussion with peers and faculty. Last year, over 650 undergraduates presented at this event and we expect this year's celebration of undergraduate scholarship and faculty mentoring to be bigger than ever.

Detailed information and an electronic application form may be found on the Undergraduate Research Program website at

Students must apply to present their work; applications are due Friday, February 20th, 2009. All disciplines, including performing arts, are welcome.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Music

"Air and Simple Gifts" by John Williams

Performed by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriele Montero and Anthony McGill.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cold Case: The Sound of Carbon for Yo-Yo Ma?

"When the cellist Yo-Yo Ma takes to the inaugural stage on Tuesday, the instrument he will have may take music enthusiasts by surprise. Black, with a single-piece body, neck and peg box, and with no scroll at the top, the cello is a high-tech carbon-fiber instrument designed to withstand the cold."

For the full article, see the New York Times.

5 Ways the Cellphone Will Change How You Listen to Music

"The portable music revolution has only been with us for a few years, but we may already be on the cusp of the another paradigm shift: With smartphones becoming commoditized -- and with so many excellent music apps being designed for them -- it's becoming viable to leave your MP3 player at home and tune into the cloud."

For the full article, please see Wired

Photo by samantha celera.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Library Research Award for Undergraduates

The University Libraries awards annual prizes for outstanding undergraduate library research in any discipline. As many as ten top prizes may awarded in two categories: 1. freshmen, sophomores, and juniors ($750 each), and 2. senior ($1,000 each). Student winners, faculty sponsors, and guests will be honored at a reception on June 9, 2009.

Eligibility: To be eligible to win, individuals or teams must:
  • be University of Washington undergraduates at any class level and in any discipline.
  • have completed a research project for credit at the University of Washington in Spring Quarter 2008 through Spring Quarter 2009.
  • agree to display the research project in the library and to submit it to the UW digital repository

Application Procedure: Applications must include the following:
  • final version of the research project. Projects in all media are encouraged.
  • bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted.
  • 150 word abstract of the project.
  • 750-1,000 word reflective essay describing research strategies and use of library resources.
  • letter of support from the supervising faculty member.

Selection Criteria:
Panels of librarians and faculty members review all applications. Submissions are evaluated on how well they demonstrate:
  • Unusual depth or breadth in the use of library resources and collections, including but not limited to, printed resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media.
  • Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources and to use them in the creation of a project in any media that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future.
  • Evidence of significant personal learning in the methods of research and inquiry.

The application deadline is 5pm, May 18, 2009. For applications and information, consult; or email