Music, Libraries and the Academy: Essays in Honor of Lenore Coral.
Intended as a Festschrift to celebrate her retirement, this volume was issued as a memorial to the American scholar and librarian upon her untimely death. The book is handsomely produced with clear type, ample gutter and margins and a sewn binding. It is well edited. I found few typographical errors ("presence" for "present" on page eighty-eight) of the type spell-checkers make. I verified a sample of citations for periodical articles (the betes noirs of editors) without error.
Lenore Coral was music librarian at the University of California at Irvine, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and finally music librarian and professor of music at Cornell University. Her scholarship produced seminal studies of music in British auction catalogs. She was active in professional associations, serving as an officer of IAML, MLA and AMS. In addition to these pursuits, Lenore tirelessly promoted international cooperation and the development of standards in music bibliography. Outstanding achievements include founding the U.S. RILM Office, developing the ISMN and, through IFLA, the inclusion of sound recordings in the ISBD for non-book materials.
The topics included in this volume reflect the wide range of her contributions. They are arranged in three sections; Eighteenth-Century Music, Music Libraries and Collections and New Approaches to The Musical Canon. Because of their particular relevance for Fontes readers and limitations in my expertise, I will comment only on the essays from the second section. The other sections include papers by Sarah J. Adams, Daniel Heartz, Richard Will, Neal A. Zaslaw, Sandra Mangsen, Roger Parker, H. Colin Slim, and Daniel Zager.
Linda Solow Blotner gives a well-documented summary of current practice for innovative planning in academic library facilities and services in "Music Libraries of Tomorrow: Virtual or Concrete?" Key topics include not only integration of digital resources but changing learning styles, libraries as places for learning rather than storage, and collaboration with other academic services. It analyzes the effect of these trends for music libraries, which have migrated to a digital environment less rapidly than other humanistic disciplines because of the special formats required. Music-related books and journals and recorded sound are becoming widely available digitally. Despite the success of Variations, a digital music-library demonstration project at Indiana University, music-notation files adequate to follow a recorded performance are not yet available. Linda defines the creation of new models for music libraries that incorporate further technological developments with current role concepts for academic libraries as a cooperative challenge for the profession.
Philip V. Bohlman opens "The Age of Jewish Music Collecting" with a reference to Walter Benjamin's essay "Unpacking my Library." Items in a collection make concrete the relation of past to present and thus "repair the disjuncture of time." The author posits a five-step theory of Jewish music collection in Central Europe before the Holocaust: discovery, technology, canonization, dissemination, and nostalgia. He then reflects on prominent collecting and publishing projects, for both Yiddish song and Hebrew cantillation, in the context of his theory. These snippets of history were so fascinating, I found myself reading works cited in the bibliography to learn more. By the final step, nostalgia, the collection is "an archeological site, waiting to be exhumed and restored." The current revival of Yiddish song and klezmer music as living art continues traditions captured from the brink of an unanticipated oblivion.
"The Discreet Charm of the Musical First Edition: Theodore M. Finney as Scholar, Collector and Librarian" by James P. Cassaro is a brief review of Finney's foundation, in 1936, of what has become a large research collection at the University of Pittsburgh. This paper joins the literature about the origins of American music collections appearing in Carol June Bradley's chronology (1981) and in Notes over the years. It includes a hand-list of selected musical first editions in the collection, most prominently from the nineteenth century.
In "Academic Music Librarianship: Back to the Future?," Mary Wallace Davidson applies the premise that "patterns in previously finished sections of our tapestry" can be carried over to the current challenges facing academic music libraries. She reviews thirty years of cooperative achievements in automating bibliographic control of music collections: MARC format for music, revision of AACR, inclusion of music and sound recordings in the bibliographic utilities, grant-funded retrospective conversion by the Associated Music Libraries Group and the NACO Music Project. Resources of American Music History (1981) and The Boston Composers Project (1983) were cooperative efforts to proactively provide access to the work of living composers and other local materials. In a recent survey American Council of Learned Societies members in the performing arts indicated a pressing need for "dynamic, comprehensive and visible" tools for identifying primary sources. Mary finds here an agenda for music librarianship informed by previous cooperative achievements. The direction to be taken is unclear, but the requirements for successful collaboration remain the same: strong leadership, committed participants and host organizations.
Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie begins "Repertoire International de Litterature Musicale (RILM): Immutable Mission amidst Continual Change" with a brief history of IAML/IMS collaboration and Lenore's leadership of the American joint MLA/IAML-US committee. She details operations of the RILM International Center at the City University of New York. The scope of RILM, its data collection and editorial procedures are described. Increased automation and efficiency have achieved an unprecedented level of currency. Important grant-funded retrospective coverage of conference proceedings and Festschriften has been undertaken. The dissemination of RILM data continues to increase in quantity and variety. Online searches are performed in ever-greater numbers. RILM now supports diacritics for many more languages. Soon non-Roman script and non-English abstracts will be included. This chapter is a valuable introduction to RILM products and activities for graduate students. It will find its way to reading lists.
That music librarians have had a friend in the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office is revealed in "Issues in Subject Access for Music: Headings and Subdivisions for Musical Works: Patterns to Express Medium of Performance" by Geraldine Ostrove. The music-related portions of its Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings have been revised, amplified and streamlined in recent years. She clearly explicates the Talmudic-like text of the guidelines for LCSH strings which express medium of performance. Such headings are generally formulated according to rule rather than controlled by a subject authority record for each of the myriad possible combinations. Understanding these principles is crucial for anyone using LCSH for indexing or searching musical works. Beyond LC practice itself, Gerry achieves an analysis of the taxonomic and lexical issues inherent to complex statements for medium of performance. Someone should sell off-prints of this to catalogers.
A musical appendix "La Lenore," for harpsichord in French baroque style, was composed by her Cornell colleague David Yearsley. The noble, dotted rhythm with brilliant variations evokes its subject. To all of us who knew and respected her, the volume is a worthy memorial.
J. Bradford Young
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
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|Author:||Young, J. Bradford|
|Publication:||Fontes Artis Musicae|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2008|
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