Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dealing with Construction

Although we try to maintain a quiet study space in the Reading Room, what happens outside is beyond our control. Most notably, Berklee's new 16-story building is going up right across the street. We do have a great view of the sometimes fascinating construction activities, so feel free to grab a seat near a window to take it all in. On the other hand, we always have a bowl of earplugs to help you ignore the inevitable noise, which usually wraps up in the late afternoon.

In that spirit, here's a thematic playlist. What your favorite song or album about construction?
  • Missy Elliott, Under Construction [CD 21142]
  • Talking Heads, More Songs About Buildings and Food [CD 18233]
  • Papas Fritas, Buildings and Grounds [CD 23634]
  • Depeche Mode, Construction Time Again [CD 21757]

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guitar Pick Dress

Want to see a dress made of guitar picks? It is on display at Copley Place until September 27, part of Wearable Art 2012, a collection showcasing original ensembles from the fashion design students at the Massachusetts College of Art Design. There will also be a runway show on October 3 at 6:00 p.m.

We have custom-made Stan Getz Library guitar picks available free in the Reading Room at the reference desk. Come by and help yourself to one. Or a few. Just not enough to make a whole dress.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Use Oxford/Grove Music Online to Identify Operas

It's a typical library reference question, trying to identify something without knowing the title. If it's an opera you're after, we have new tools to help. Grove Music Online has introduced the Grove Opera Indexes as part of Oxford Music Online. There are three indexes:

Index of Opera Incipits
The index of opera incipits is a selective list of the first lines of arias, ensembles, and other pieces from the repertory, each one hyperlinked to the articles on the opera and composer from which it came.

Index of Operas under Composers
The index of operas under composers lists all operas covered in The Grove Book of Operas under the composers who wrote them, alphabetized by composer.

Index of Opera Roles
The index of opera roles allows users to browse major opera roles from A to Z with ease, and includes hyperlinks to the operas, composers, and singers who created the roles.

Berklee users on campus can go straight to these pages. If you are off campus, you'll need to go through the library website to be authenticated as a Berklee user. Along the way, you will be prompted to log in as a Berklee user:

Start from our e-Resources page:
Click on "Search Articles & More."
Click on "Search by database."
Click on "Oxford / Grove Music Online."
Click on "Tools & Resources."
The links to the three indexes are listed under "Grove Opera Indexes."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Talk, Sing and Play Like a Pirate

September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. You could just toss "Arrrr, me mateys!" and "Walk the plank!" into your conversation, but why not make it a musical celebration? Need some suggestions?

The obvious starting point is Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. We have:
We have scores to pirate-themed movies that were not musicals, such as:
We have songs about pirates. You can search "pirate" as part of song title, but here is just a sampling:
  • "Pirate Jenny" by Nina Simone, on To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (CD 32795-32797)
  • Pirates by Rickie Lee Jones (CD 2935)
  • Songs of the Sea, Rivers, Lakes & Canals compiled by Jerry Silverman (MP1977 .S2 S69 1992) which includes songs such as "What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor"
Finally, if your version of talking like a pirate is not "Yo, ho, ho and bottle of rum," but "Let's violate copyright law by illegally downloading music files," we have Music Piracy and Crime Theory by Sameer Hinduja (electronic book).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Love Will Tear Us Apart" and Other Video Bass Instruction

Journalist Hobey Echlin just posted a video from 2001 to YouTube in which Peter Hook, Joy Division's bass player, teaches him how to play the bass line from the band's iconic "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

Want to learn more? Sure, you could poke around on YouTube hoping to stumble upon something useful among the videos with poor production values or iffy instruction. Or you could take advantage of the library's collection of commercially-produced instructional DVDs. Our learning DVDs are available at the circulation desk in the main library, and their call numbers start with LVD. Students can check them out for 2 weeks.

To find them in our catalog, do an advanced search, select Video under Item Type and Main Library under Select Library, then add any search terms you like. In this case, search bass as a subject to see what we have.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lifelong Benefits of Music Training

Many students at Berklee have reason to thank their parents for providing the musical training that got them into this college, but the benefits spread far beyond the job prospects that a Berklee education provides. Perri Klass reports in the New York Times about the lifelong improvement on auditory skills that childhood music training provides:

Brain Waves Stay Tunes to Early Lessons

If you want to learn more about the role of musical training in auditory development and perception, come to our upcoming event Music Perception and Cognition at which Berklee MP&E faculty member Susan Rogers will present her Grammy-funded research on the subject. The event is at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26 in the Media Center, 150 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02215. It is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

John Cage Centennial

John Cage was born September 5, 1902. Media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and NPR have articles on his work and influence.

We have a wide range of materials related to Cage. We have things about Cage, for example:
  • A John Cage Reader: In Celebration of His 70th Birthday compiled and edited by Peter Gena and Jonathan Brent (ML410.C24 J64 1982)
We have recordings of work, both on CD and streaming, such as:
We have scores, such as:
  • First Construction (In Metal): Percussion Sextet with Assistant (M685.C24 C61)
We also have his writings, for example:
In addition, if you need a quiet place to study, we are staging a marathon performance of Cage's 4:33 in the Reading Room. We do our best to maintain a space where you can concentrate, and we always have a bowl of earplugs available if the street or construction noise outside are intrusive.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Welcome to Berklee, and RIP Hal David

Lyricist Hal David, best known for his string of hits with Burt Bacharach, has died at 91. NPR has an obituary, but you can explore his legacy in our collection of his works.

Especially if you are new to Berklee, you may not realize the level of detail in our library catalog. We index not only the main performers for materials but also other contributors such as composers, lyricists and producers. Check out our calendar for all of our upcoming events that will help gain the most from the library's resources.