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Winter Recess

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Please note the Music Library will be CLOSED from Thursday, December 24 through Sunday, January 3.

Some UB Libraries locations will be open truncated hours on 12/24 and 12/28-12/31. For a complete listing of hours by location, please see

As always, you can access databases and e-resources from off campus any time with your UBit login.

Winter Session hours begin on Monday, January 4. the Music Library will be open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, January 4-January 24. All UB library locations will be closed Monday Jan. 18.

Best wishes for a restful break and a happy 2016.

UB logo lightly covered with snow

Snow-dusted UB and Slee Hall. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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


June in Buffalo 2015 is here

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It’s that time of year again and the concerts for the 2015 June in Buffalo festival have commenced with Saturday’s concert presented by the June in Buffalo Performance Institute. This year’s composition faculty includes director David Felder, Martin Bresnick, Brian Ferneyhough, Bernard Rands, Roger Reynolds, Harvey Sollberger, Steven Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, and Charles Wuorinen. Featured ensembles and performers include Ensemble Signal, Meridian Arts Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble, Talujon Percussion Ensemble, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Slee Sinfonietta, Heather Buck, Brad Lubman, Ethan Herschenfeld, and Irvine Arditti. A schedule of all the events is available online at

The Music Library is pleased to host an exhibit written and curated by Ethan Hayden, Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition. Ethan’s exhibit celebrates this year’s festival as the 30th anniversary operating under the direction of Dr. David Felder. Ethan has written a series of blog post articles about the members of this year’s composition faculty and also interviewed David Felder for this year’s festival. The exhibit draws on some of those articles (available in the Blog archive at

Welcome and welcome back!

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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:

  • We are here for research consultations and reference questions. If you are embarking on a significant research paper or project, we encourage you to make an appointment with one of our librarians.
  • Can’t make it to the library?  Among our many resources we continue to offer streaming audio and video services Naxos,, and DRAM, online research databases, and online access to many journals and ebooks.
  • Loan times for CDs, LPs, and videos have been extended to 7 days for all borrowers. If you prefer to listen here, we have listening and viewing equipment for you to use in the library, including brand new turntables and DVD player.
  • You can check back here for Music Library news and featured resources. You can also find us on Facebook at
  • Our regular hours are the same as last year. Please note the Music Library will be closed on Sunday, August 31, and all UB Libraries will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 1.

The Music Library is open to all UB students, staff, and faculty, and the WNY music community (and beyond). Please ask us for assistance with any of your music needs! For general information about the UB Libraries, please check out the Top Ten “must-knows” about the UB Libraries. Throughout the year, check out the Student Support blog for library tips. We look forward to working with you in the coming semester. Best wishes for a productive academic year!

library interior student study a score and using listening station

Have a seat! New furniture in the Music Library

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The Music Library is pleased to announce new seating throughout the study spaces. You can meet the task chair “Wit” in the listening stations and study carrels and the four-legged “Jiminy” at the group study tables and back computer work stations. Both areas include chairs with and without arms. Users of the computers near the entrance will be able to enjoy new, smooth, sturdy stools. We hope you find these comfortable and invigorating for study and listening.

Table with charging station and chair with listening equipment

New chairs, new equipment


How did we choose new chairs?

We went through two rounds of trial models and invited library visitors to comment. Many thanks to those who completed the surveys–we read all of your comments carefully. We learned that preferences vary greatly, and we tried to select chairs with the most positive and neutral comments.


Why did we replace the old chairs?

Safety first: The older chairs were not up to current safety standards. The new chairs are up to current specifications. We think they are more fashionable, too. The old chairs, in a variety of 70s-era colorful vinyl and fabric, pre-dated the opening of Baird Hall on North Campus in 1981. We were surprised at how many comments suggested keeping the old chairs—did they age so well they are retro chic?

Four old chairs and three new ones

Out with the old, in with the new

  Computer Stools

Please participate in keeping your study space comfortable

We do ask that you help us keep the new chairs and carpet in your space clean and lovely by keeping lids on beverage cups, avoiding messy foods, and reporting any reporting spills. The food policy is posted in the library.

We hope you will find the new seating comfortable and attractive. Come on in and take a seat!

library space with visible damange, left, and renovated, right

We’ve come a long way!

You can find a few more photos on our Facebook page.

Farewell to Violinist, Conductor, and Music Educator, Pamela Gearhart

Pamela Gearhart conducting

Pamela Gearhart conducting a rehearsal at the University at Buffalo, circa 1961. Unidentified photographer.

Violinist and conductor Pamela Gearhart passed away Sunday July 6 2014 in Rochester, New York. She was 79 years old. She is survived by her three children, Kim, Martha, and Fritz.

Pamela Gearhart was born July 21, 1934 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Her father, Russell Gerhart, was also a violinist and conductor. He founded the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and served as conductor of the Huntsville, Alabama Civic Symphony and the St, Louis Philharmonic. Pamela began her five years of studies at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at age fifteen. Her violin instructors included Mischa Mischakoff, Joseph Knitzer, Ivan Galamian and Efrem Zimbalist.

Pamela Gearhart

Pamela Gearhart, circa 1960. Photograph by Jim Tuttle.

Pamela married UB Music Department faculty member Livingston Gearhart in 1955 and joined the department as a part-time instructor of violin in 1957. She eventually expanded her responsibilities to include directing the chamber music performance program and conducting the UB orchestra. During the years 1959-1977 Pamela also served as the conductor of the youth orchestra of Buffalo’s Community Music School. Under her direction the membership of the orchestra increased ten-fold, from ten to more than one hundred.

Following her position at UB, Pamela served on the music faculty at Ithaca College until her retirement in 1993. Through all her years of work as an inspired music educator Pamela brought alive the joy of music for hundreds of young students and shaped the musical lives and careers of many successful musicians.

Pamela Gearhart conducting

Pamela Gearhart with (L-R) husband Livingston Gearhart, Mischa Schneider, and Alexander Schneider. Unidentified photographer.

Summer Hours 2014

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Summer hours at the Music Library begin on Monday, May 19. Please note we are closed on Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day). Summer hours are 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. You can check hours for all of the UB Libraries at

For those of you who are graduating, our warmest congratulations. For those of you returning, see you in the fall! Best wishes to all for a rejuvenating, productive, and musical summer.

Note for those attending commencement ceremonies: the UB Libraries have the sheet music for the UB Alma mater available to download (pdf).

Music manuscript of Sumer is icumen in

Sumer is icumen in, source: British Library Harley MS 978, f.11v. See the British Library’s online exhibit for the full-page image and more information.

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