The Cornell Concert Series is celebrating its 120th year with an exhibit and opening reception at the music library Friday, September 15, 2023, at 5:15 p.m. Join us for refreshments, musical entertainment, and a celebration of the history of the concert series!
For the 50th anniversary of hip hop, with its origins in the Bronx in August 1973, items from the Cornell Hip Hop Collection are on display in the rotunda of Cornell University Library’s Rare and Manuscript Collections in the lower level of Carl A. Kroch Library. It’s Just Begun: Celebrating 50 Years of the Hip Hop DJ is open for visitors and will remain on display until March 1, 2024.
On May 8, 1977, the Grateful Dead performed at Barton Hall at Cornell University, and this concert is considered to be one of the band’s best performances.
Read all about it in Cornell ’77 by Peter Conners (call number ML421. G77 C65 2017), and listen to the recording Cornell 5/8/77 made by Grateful Dead audio engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson (call number CD 24327). Both are currently on display at the circulation desk in the music library.
From Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade” to the 1950s romantic ballad “Blue Velvet,” fabrics like silk, satin, velvet, and cotton have loomed large in the poetry and lyrics of vocal music. This exhibit explores the interweaving of music and textiles with examples drawn from crowd-sourced suggestions from the Cornell community! Our displays feature materials from the Music Library’s Special Collections, including original sheet music, vintage LP album covers, special edition reproductions and facsimiles, book illustrations, CD/DVD liner notes, and musical anthologies. Display cases are on the 2nd floor of Lincoln Hall near the reference desk and 3rd floor near the Kahn Seminar Room.
“Drop the Needle” is the last of three “Fashioning Music” exhibits affiliated with Threads of History: Textiles at Cornell, a series of exhibits organized by Cornell University Library in honor of the acquisition of the library and archives of the former American Textile History Museum, whose mission had been to “tell America’s stories through textiles.” Highlighting materials from the former American Textile History Museum, existing items from Cornell’s collections, and original artwork, Threads of History honors the storytelling, history, and artistry of textiles and those who labor to create them.
Please join our Music Library colleagues Caitlin Mathes and Bill Cowdery for a musical performance to mark the opening of the exhibit “Songs to Leave You in Stitches”!
Songs to Leave You in Stitches
A short musical performance of songs from the ILGWU musical Pins & Needles
Friday, September 23
Music Library, 316 Lincoln Hall
The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union produced the hit musical Pins and Needles, which ran on Broadway from 1937-1940. For the topical skits spoofing current events, workers moved from their sewing machines on the factory floor to the theatrical stage. “Songs to Leave You in Stitches: The Story of the ILGWU’s Musical Pins & Needles” explores the history, social context, and music of this important labor musical.
On opening night, join curator Caitlin Mathes and fellow Music Library staff member Bill Cowdery as they introduce the exhibit and perform four songs from the musical.
“Songs to Leave You in Stitches” is the first of three “Fashioning Music” exhibits affiliated with Threads of History: Textiles at Cornell, a series of exhibits organized by Cornell University Library in honor of the acquisition of the library and archives of the former American Textile History Museum, whose mission had been to “tell America’s stories through textiles.” Highlighting materials from the former American Textile History Museum, existing items from Cornell’s collections, and original artwork, Threads of History honors the storytelling, history, and artistry of textiles and those who labor to create them.
Welcome to the Music Library! We are so happy to have you here for the fall 2022 semester, and we are ready to assist you in using music resources, researching musical topics, and more. We have a vast collection of scores, books, audio recordings, and video recordings — both physical and electronic — as well as listening/viewing stations, spaces for quiet study, and spaces for group study. Please see Use the Library to learn more about spaces and equipment available to you, and please see Services to learn more about making purchase requests, booking a library tour or workshop, and receiving other types of assistance. Whether you are teaching a music course, taking a music course, or generally interested in music, please see our Music Research Guide for guidance on finding music materials in the library catalog and for access to electronic resources, including streaming audio and video databases, digital score collections, and music literature databases. We look forward to working with you! Best wishes from your friends at the Music Library.
Dear Music Library lovers,
Welcome to the Fall 2020 semester!
Library services across the university are constantly evolving, so please check the Cornell University Library COVID-19 updates page periodically for up-to-date information on various on-site and virtual services, including use of physical collections, online access to resources, purchase requests, library instruction, and more.
Whether you are teaching a music course, taking a music course, or generally interested in music research, please see our Music Research Guide for guidance on finding music materials in the library catalog and for access to electronic resources, including streaming audio and video databases, digital score collections, and music literature databases.
As always, let us know if we can answer any questions or be of assistance. Best wishes from the Music Library.
RILM Music Encyclopedias is available for use through May 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Description from the publisher:
RILM Music Encyclopedias is a continually expanding curated full-text collection that currently comprises 57 titles published from 1775 to the present. Its content spans various fields and subject areas of historical musicology, ethnomusicology and theory, with focus on topics ranging from popular music, opera, instruments, blues and gospel, to recorded music and women composers.
Recent Researches in Music Online (RRIMO) is available for use through May 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Description from the publisher:
A-R Editions has published Recent Researches in Music—critical performing editions of music in seven series (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, 19th/20th centuries, American, and Oral Traditions)—since its inception in 1962. The series fall into two basic categories: editions that span the history of Western music, and editions with ties to specific cultural milieus. Most editions in Recent Researches in Music are devoted to works by a single composer or in a single genre.
BabelScores (contemporary music scores) is available for use for the time being due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Bloomsbury Popular Music is available for use through May 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Description from the publisher:
Bloomsbury Popular Music offers access to a broad and expanding range of content:
- Multiple volumes from the landmark reference work, Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, with new volumes from top international contributors added regularly.
- More than 140 volumes of the widely acclaimed 33 1/3 and 33 1/3 Global book series, providing in-depth analysis of influential albums across diverse musical eras, by artists ranging from Caetano Veloso to Public Enemy
- An expanding range of scholarly books from Bloomsbury’s popular music studies list, comprising edited volumes, biographies, and historical overviews
- An illustrated Timeline of Popular Music back to 1900, including dates of 33 1/3 series albums, plus an overview of contextual events in musical and political history, with links to relevant articles
- An interactive World Map enables users to navigate to books and articles covering a particular country or region that is most relevant to their work
- Artist pages including curated related content, and biographical information on hundreds of artists and musicians. The artist page biographies are written by André Diehl, and will be added to the complete set of artist pages over the forthcoming content updates.
If you have visited the music library, you have probably seen our large, wooden sculpture near the circulation desk, Spanish Ball. Here is what the sculptor, Todd McGrain, has to say about its origin and meaning:
The sphere, defined by 15 perfect circumferences, is one of the iconic geometric structures. I have been compelled to work with beautiful and complex found forms. Working creatively within a found form is both liberating and confining. Classical music composers will surely understand this. Any composer working in a classical form must wrestle to balance tradition and invention. The modern condition has handed us this responsibility. We create under a shadow, knowing that in many ways there can be no completely new result. This challenge was my intended content for Spanish Ball.
To express this creative and engaging burden. I added a shoulder yoke and cuffs for the neck, wrists and ankles. There is also a hinge on the double thick steel equator so that the ball can be opened like a clam shell to “put on” the form. Thus, Spanish Ball is a costume. Though it was never meant to literally be worn, I did build it to conjure this possibility. It is both tragic and comic to imagine wearing this contraption. This is a predicament anyone pursuing creative work will understand.