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With thanks to Pamela Gearhart

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Portrait of Pamela Gearhart playing the violin

When violinist, conductor, and former UB faculty member Pamela Gearhart died in 2014, she left a generous endowment to the University at Buffalo Music Library in her will. In honor of that gift, the Music Library has acquired a beautiful facsimile edition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, Op. 61. The 1979 facsimile publication was limited to one thousand copies and is a reproduction of Beethoven’s manuscript of the score held by the Austrian National Library in Vienna. The score contains Beethoven’s telltale markings of changes and corrections along with some sketches for his own arrangement of the violin part for piano.

The concerto was composed in 1806 for violinist Franz Clement. Although it was not initially a critical success, it is now considered one of the masterworks among violin concerti. The work’s famous opening of four solo strokes on the timpani (joined by the woodwinds on the fifth stroke) are clear on the first page of the score.

Thanks to Mrs. Gearhart’s generosity the Music Library is able to acquire items such as this facsimile that add considerable richness to the collection.

Facsimile of the manuscript of Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Op. 61

Facsimile of the manuscript of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, Op. 61

New Book about Creative Associate Julius Eastman

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Multi-talented UB Creative Associate (1969-1975) and former music department faculty member Julius Eastman (1940-1990) is the subject of a new book, Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music (University of Rochester Press, 2015) co-edited by Renée Levine-Packer (Coordinator and Managing director of the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts 1965-1978 and author of This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo) and Mary Jane Leach. The text includes chapters by both editors, David Borden, R. Nemo Hill, Kyle Gann, John Patrick Thomas, Ryan Dohoney, Andrew Hanson-Dvoracek, Matthew Mendez, and Luciano Chessa.

Julius Eastman

Julius Eastman rehearsing Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King, Nov. 1 1970
Photograph by Jim Tuttle

Eastman was perhaps best known for his vivid performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King. His performance with the Fires of London under the direction of the composer has remained in print since its release in 1971. However, there were no commercial recordings available of Eastman’s own compositions until Paul Tai and Mary Jane Leach produced the 3-CD compilation Unjust Malaise for New World Records in 2005 (including two archival recordings from the University at Buffalo Music Library).

The new book provides the most exhaustive examination to date of the many facets of Eastman’s life and career. Congratulations to Mary Jane and Renée on their collaborative effort to keep the legacy of Julius Eastman alive for a new generation of listeners, performers, and researchers.

John Cage June in Buffalo 1975 lecture available

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John Cage

The Music Library is pleased to announce that the John Cage Trust has generously provided permission to provide online access to a very significant lecture given by John Cage at the first June in Buffalo. The lecture took place June 5 1975, the day after a performance of Cage’s work, Song Books, by Julius Eastman and members of the S.E.M. Ensemble. The performance provoked a very strong reaction from Cage and the discussion at the lecture addresses some essential questions concerning “right and wrong” approaches to performing Cage’s music.

Of the many memorable moments in the lecture, the following poignant quote demonstrates how deeply the performance troubled Cage.

“What disturbs me so deeply is that our . . . that the history of our civilization is the history, isn’t it, not of the wars, as they tell us it is. . . but it’s the history of our . . . well, a history that includes Thoreau for instance. . . . Why can’t we learn? Why do we continually, when something is possibly beautiful, why do we find every way in our hands to trample on it? Why, when something could open our eyes, why do we close our eyes and pay no attention? I suppose we have to do it over again. It’s difficult to understand and perhaps there is no hope for us.”

You can listen to the lecture and follow a transcription of it at the following location:

Banned Not-Just-Books Week

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Every year the library community gathers to celebrate Banned Books Week, but what about other forms of media? Here are a few stories of how censorship and challenges of art and ideas are not limited to the printed page:

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical has been controversial wherever it is performed due to profanity, sexuality, anti-war themes, and drug content. A nude scene at the end of the first act is frequently cited by censors.  The show’s run in London’s West End was delayed until the passage of the Theatres Act 1968, which abolished censorship of plays by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District was banned in the Soviet Union for nearly 30 years. This came after Stalin and several high-ranking government officials left a performance before the final act followed by a blistering editorial in the Soviet newspaper Pravda. The naturalistic, almost crude nature of Shostakovich’s music and subject matter was criticized for not conforming to the state’s Social Realism aesthetic.

In 1980, “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” and the album The Wall by Pink Floyd were banned by the government of South Africa after the song was used as part of an anti-segregation protest over inequalities in racially divided schools. Protesters used a line from the chorus – “We don’t need no education” – as a rallying cry.

If any of these sound interesting to you, come down to the Music Library! We have a whole display of banned and challenged music, including the works described above!

This post is a guest blog entry by Glen Benedict, student worker at the Music Library and a MS Library Science candidate in the Department of Library and Information Studies.

For more about censorship and music, Grove Music Online offers a full article (complete with bibliography!), under the entry “Censorship,” by John Rosselli.

CDs with caution tape

CDs and Records with caution tape

Fall 2015 at the Music Library

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Welcome back to returning students, faculty, staff, and friends, and welcome to those new this fall. We look forward to assisting you with all your music needs. Some highlights:

What have we been up to over the summer?

We’re looking forward to seeing you in the coming semester!

CDs and LPs

Buffalo-themed items in our “Check It Out” collection, a rotating exhibit of material selected by our student workers—all items can indeed be checked out right at the desk!

LPs and CDs


Featured Music: Tchaikovsky and Sleeping Beauty

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Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom, there was a beautiful young princess. She was cursed upon birth by a wicked fairy to prick her finger on a spindle at the age of 16. When she did, she fell into a deep sleep, and remained asleep for one hundred years. The kiss of a handsome prince woke her, and they all lived happily ever after.

This fairy tale, one of several created centuries ago, likely sounds familiar. The tale of Sleeping Beauty has been told for many years, first through spoken word, and eventually through written word. Then, in the late 19th century, it was turned into a ballet, with music by the famed Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsy. The premiere performance, with scenario by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, and choreography by Marius Petipa, was given in St. Petersburg in 1890.

Sleeping Beauty (Spyashchaya krasavitsa), with choreography by Petipa and performed by the Russian National Ballet under the direction of the former Bolshoi Principal dancer Elena Radchenko, arrives in Buffalo at the UB Center for the Arts, April 15, 2015.

If, as many do, you fall in love with the beauty of Tchaikovsky’s music, we invite you to stop by the music library to borrow some of his music for a listen. Here are some suggestions from our shelves:

Sleeping Beauty at the UB Libraries:

  • The Sleeping Beauty: Op. 66 / Tchaikovsky; Russian National Orchestra; Mikhail Pletnev, conductor. CD 8552/53 [compact disc]
  • Sleeping Beauty: Extended Highlights / Tchaikovsky; BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky, conductor, CD 5813 [compact disc]
  • The Sleeping Beauty: Complete Ballet music, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. M95 C348 sl E [score]
  • Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music, by David Brown, ML410 .C4 B76 2007

Tchaikovsky at the UB Libraries:

This post is a guest blog entry by Katie Goldbach, student worker at the Music Library and a MS Library Science candidate in the Department of Library and Information Studies.


Featured Resources – Streaming Video and Audio

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You may already know this, but the UB Libraries provide access to streaming audio and video through several databases. These are available on campus, and UB students, faculty, and staff can access all of these from off campus. If you are studying for a test, preparing a paper, selecting repertoire, or just want something interesting to watch or listen to, be sure to check these out. Of course, if you visit us in person, you are always welcome to take advantage of our 22,000+ LPs, 21,000+ CDs, or 1100+ DVDs, available to borrow or to listen to in the library. (video) is a provider of online streaming video of classical music performances by leading contemporary musical artists. It contains live performances in real-time or delayed streaming, recorded concerts, ballets, operas, concert films, documentaries, and archival films. Much of the live content is provided free of charge while viewing the films requires a subscription.

Kanopy Streaming Video (video)

More than 6,500 videos in a wide variety of subject areas. Content will be useful to those interested in new music, dance, music theatre, film music/film sound, ethnomusicology, and popular music. Collections include the Criterion Collection/Janus Films collection, Hugo Zemp Ethnomusicology collection, First Run Features, and Kino Music Collection/Kino Lorber.

NAXOS Music Library (audio)

Provides recordings from complete catalogs of Naxos and other labels. Music includes classical, world and folk. Includes liner notes, listening guides, biographies, and librettos.

DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) (audio)

Recordings of American music, long with liner notes and essays. Labels include New World Records, Albany, Innova, Cedille, XI, Pogus, and Deep Listening. Classical, folk, jazz, opera, Native American, electronic, musical theater and contemporary/experimental genres.

pair of headphonespair of black earbuds

Music to Listen to for the Month of May

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Looking for something to listen to this month? Music history spans hundreds of years, leaving each day a significant one for music. Spend this month at the music library exploring, listening, and learning about the history of music! On these dates in May:

1- 1786: Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro premiered in Vienna.
(Record 16002/05) Use one of our record players to hear this LP!

2- 1980: “Another Brick in the Wall (PartII)” by Pink Floyd was banned by the South African Government
(CD 10057/58) Have to listen to Track 5!

3- 1960: The musical The Fantasticks opened. It became the world’s longest-running musical in 1984. The show continued to run until 2002, after over 17,000 performances.
(CD 13063) Listen to this original cast recording!

4- 1956: “Be-Bop-A-Lula” was recorded by Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps.
(Record 16622) Check out this one on the original LP on our record player!

5- 1891: Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky was the first public performer at the grand opening of The Music Hall (later Carnegie Hall) in New York.
(CD 20051) Check out this “original 35 mm magnetic film recording” of one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous works!

6- 1972: “Rocket Man” by Elton John was released.
(Record X3572) Listen to this LP of Elton John’s Greatest Hits to hear this track!

7- 1941: “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was recorded by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.
(CD 13236) This song is the first track on this Jazz Greatest Hits CD!

8- 1829: Composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born in New Orleans.
(Record 10259/60) Check many of his famous works on this record!

9- 1944: Writer of the song “You are my Sunshine,” Jimmie Davis, became the Governor of Louisiana.
(CD X634) Hear it here on track #5!

10- 1940: Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded “Perfidia.”
(CD 11781) Listen to it on track number 10!

11- 1964: The single “I Get Around” by the Beach boys was released.
(Record X3770/71) Hear the single on this LP!

12- 1967: The debut album Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released.
(Record X1221) Check out the record!

13- 1938: Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra recorded “When the Saints Go Marching In”.
(CD 14872/78) Check out this song and more from Louis Armstrong!

14- 1937: “Caravan” was recorded by Duke Ellington and his band.
(Record X3067) Here this track and more from Duke Ellington!

15- 1985 –The single “Raspberry Beret” by Prince was released.
(CD 14689/90) Check out the CD here!

16- 1970: Guitarist Randy Bachman left the group Guess Who.
(CD 12227) Have a listen to their album before he left!

17- 1933 – Jimmie Rodgers began recording a series of 24 songs. He died nine days later at the age of 35. “Years Ago” was his last track he recorded.
(CD 14004/09) Check out these last few recordings and more by Jimmie Rodgers!

18- 1999: Millennium, the Backstreet Boys’ third album, was released.
(CD 13879) Have a listen to the album here!

19- 1958: The single “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin was released as the first recording on an 8-track.
(CD 13210) Check out the song on track #12

20- 1954: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets was released. However it was not until 1955 when it came out on the “blackboard Jungle” soundtrack, that it became successful.
(Record X977) Hear this song and more from Bill Haley and the Comets on this LP!

21- 1892: I Pagliacci, the opera by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, premiered in Milan, Italy.
(Record 17254/55)- Here the opera on this record!

22- 2001: The album Madonna was released as a re-mastered version.
(CD 4714) Hear the original album here!

23-1971: Iron Butterfly broke up.
(Record X965) Listen to their “best” here!

24- 1982 – Topper Headon left the Clash.
(CD X287) Hear this album from before he left!

25- 1962: “Twist and Shout” was released by the Isley Brothers.
(Record X2591) Hear it on this LP!

26- 1973: The single “Smoke on The Water” by Deep Purple was released.
(CD 4357) Hear it on the last track here.

27- 1983: The album Kill ‘Em All by Metallica finished recording.
(CD 4741) Have a listen.

28- 1955: “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” was reported the most popular song in the America by Billboard.
(Record X1844) Hear it on track #2

29- 1913: The Rite of Spring, a ballet with music by Igor Stravinsky, premiered in Paris.
(Record 10502) Hear it on this LP!

30- 1962: The first American jazz band played in the Soviet Union led by Benny Goodman.
(CD X563/64) Hear some Benny Goodman now!

31- 1917: “Dark Town Strutters’ Ball,” one of the first jazz records, was released.
(CD 19330/37) Hear it a version on disc 2 of this set!

This guest post was written by Elizabeth Portillo, a graduate student in the Department of Library and Information Studies and student worker at the Music Library.

2013 National Recording Registry Additions Announced

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Each year, the Library of Congress selects 25 recordings, at least 10 years old, that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” to add to the National Recording Registry. The newest additions were announced April 2, 2014. These bring the registry total to 400 recordings. From the official press release:

The selections named to the registry feature a diverse array of spoken-word and musical recordings—representing nearly every musical category—spanning the years 1896-1994. Among this year’s selections are U2’s revolutionary 1987 album “The Joshua Tree”; the Depression-era tune “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” that generated two best-selling singles by Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee in 1932; Roland Hayes’ moving rendition of the spiritual, “Were You There”; the first commercial breakthrough single for The Louvin Brothers, “When I Stop Dreaming”; the Everly Brothers’ 1960 hit, “Cathy’s Clown,” which influenced a generation of musicians, including the Beatles; the 1962 comedy album spoofing President John F. Kennedy and his family, pulled from distribution following his assassination; Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 war-protest song, “Fortunate Son”; the original cast recording of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical, “Sweeney Todd”; and Linda Ronstadt’s 1974 groundbreaking album, “Heart Like a Wheel.”

Additions to the registry feature notable performances by Art Blakey, Louis Jordan, Elmore James, Buck Owens and His Buckaroos, Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco, Aaron Copland and Larry Norman, among others. The 2013 registry also features rare interviews with baseball pioneers of the late 19th and 20th centuries and field recordings documenting the culture and traditions of a Native American tribe.

As part of its congressional mandate, the Library is identifying and preserving the best existing versions of each recording on the registry. These recordings will be housed in the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va.

You can view a chronological list of all 400 recordings on the full National Recording Registry.

The UB Music Library has many of the musical selections available:

  • Brother, Can You Spare a Dime (singles)—Bing Crosby; Rudy Vallee (both 1932). CD 6032: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? American Song during the Great Depression
  • Dust My Broom (single)—Elmore James (1951). CD 12380: Shake Your Money Maker: The Best of the Fire Sessions / Elmore James
  • A Night at Birdland (Vols. 1 and 2) (albums)—Art Blakey (1954). CD 12223/24: A Night at Birdland / Art Blakey
  • Fortunate Son (single)—Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969). Record X3936: Willy and the Poorboys / Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Theme from ‘Shaft’ (album)—Isaac Hayes (1971). Record 16134/35: Shaft / Isaac Hayes
  • Sweeney Todd (album)—Original Cast Recording (1979). CD 13064/65: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street / music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim ; book by Hugh Wheeler. (Sing along with the vocal score, M933 So57 sw)
  • The Joshua Tree (album)—U2 (1987). CD 4807: The Joshua Tree / U2


Copland Conducts Copland album cover

Copland Conducts Copland: Appalachian Spring—Aaron Copland (1974). Record 9077


Trial Database – PBS Video Collection

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The UB Libraries have a trial subscription to the PBS Video Collection from Alexander St. Press through May 17, 2014. The trial can be accessed from the Free Database Trial page or directly from on campus at If you have comments on the database or would like to recommend that we subscribe, please contact us at

The PBS Video Collection assembles hundreds of the greatest documentary films and series from the history of PBS into one convenient online interface. The diverse subject matter of the included films makes this an important collection for the study of history, science, business, technology, performing arts, anthropology, psychology, politics, health, and literature. Programs include Frontline, NOVA, American Experience, Odyssey, and films by Ken Burns and Michael Wood.

Ken Burns Jazz DVD set

The Jazz series by Ken Burns is included in the trial.