Blog topic: Music

Monod and his grandson (1998)

Stanford University Libraries receives music collection of Jacques-Louis Monod

October 13, 2017
by Jerry L McBride

The Stanford University Libraries received a collection of documents and manuscripts from the conductor, pianist, composer, and music editor, Jacques-Louis Monod. He was born at Asnières-sur-Seine, France on 25 February 1927 and, as a child prodigy, began his education at the Paris Conservatory in 1935. He studied composition principally with René Leibowitz, who was a major influence on his work, and also with composers Olivier Messiaen, Bernard Wagenaar, Boris Blacher, and Josef Rufer.

Met on Demand logo

Met Opera on Demand

October 10, 2017
by Mimi Tashiro

The Stanford Libraries have started a subscription to Met Opera on Demand, which streams more than 600 full-length Metropolitan Opera performances, including more than 100 high-definition videos known from their showings at movie theaters, classic telecasts originally broadcast live on tv from 1977-2003, radio broadcasts (audio only) of performances going back to 1935 from the Saturday matinee radio broadcasts, and more recent satellite radio broadcasts.

Rare music materials on display

Summer students encounter rare music

June 28, 2017
by Ray Heigemeir

It was my distinct pleasure to offer a window into Stanford Libraries’ rare music collections to students in the “Why Music Matters” course from the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute, and performers in the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s Chamber Music Course.  We gathered in Special Collections for an up-close examination of manuscripts and early print materials, dating from 1942 (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) all the way back to the 12th century (a sacred chant fragment).

Tchaikovsky piano concerto no. 1, complete works edition

Composers and their works

June 23, 2017
by Ray Heigemeir

The scholarly edition of the famous Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no. 1 just landed in my lap (ouch!), which got me thinking about the impressive publications we in the music world know as “composer complete works editions,” or, “composer collected works.” These often lavish, multi-volume sets of music scores are painstakingly produced by scholars, based on all available source material, and published over time following a pre-determined order, and as the name implies, present the complete output of a particular composer.

Henry Cowell, The Harp of Life (detail showing tone clusters)

Henry Cowell's tone clusters and The Harp of Life

May 23, 2017
by Ray Heigemeir

The maverick composer Henry Cowell wrote the solo piano work, The Harp of Life, in Menlo Park in 1925; it was later incorporated into the suite, Four Irish Tales, for piano and orchestra (1940). The original holograph score is held in the Memorial Library of Music in Stanford’s Department of Special Collections (MLM 232C). Accompanying correspondence from Cowell’s widow, Sydney, notes that only a few of Cowell’s 25 or so manuscripts employing tone clusters have survived, this being one. The Harp of Life refers to a great cosmic harp, upon which a plucked string announces the birth of a new being. Cowell’s tone clusters create an aural celestial environment within which the harp is played.

The Record Catalog Collection

April 26, 2017
by Frank Ferko

For a number of years the Archive of Recorded Sound has been collecting catalogs published by recording companies from around the world.   Although the ARS continues to collect these catalogs on an ongoing basis, the materials that are currently in the the Record Catalog Collection have now been processed, and a finding aid is available in the Online Archive of California.  In addition to record catalogs, the publications in the collection include promotional and advertising mat

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