Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington

April 15, 2011

17th century music at the Lilly Library May 21

Filed under: Events,Music — Guest Blogger @ 2:23 pm

On Saturday, May 21 at 1:00 PM, the Friends of the Lilly Library will sponsor the concert Pastoral Dialogues: Amorous Duets from Mid–17th Century England in the Slocum Room of the Lilly Library on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. Christopher Goodbeer and friends will perform selections from Ayres and Dialogues (1653-1658) and Select Ayres and Dialogues (1659) as written by Henry Lawes, his brother William, and other mid–17th century English composers.

‘Dialogues’ refers to a music genre of conversational style duets set as solo exchanges in alternation with chorus.

Come and celebrate spring and hear the witty banter as shepherds and shepherdesses muse on the nature of a kiss, propriety in courtship, advice for the lovelorn, the misbehavior of Cupid, and their fortunate lives of Arcadian bliss.

Ensemble Performers:

Mary Roosma — Soprano
Priscilla Borges — Soprano
Thea Smith — Soprano
Jeremy Woodard — Tenor
Christopher Goodbeer — Bass
Beth Garfinkel — Harpsichord

The program was developed by Christopher Goodbeer, a recent graduate of the Jacobs School of Music and School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington.

A bound volume of four music books, originally published separately by John Playford in London from 1653 to 1659, on which this program is based, will be on display during the performance.

Light refreshments will be served.

—Jocelyn Karlan, Graduate Intern, The Lilly Library

View a larger image

September 23, 2010

First published jazz composition

Filed under: Music — Elizabeth Johnson @ 5:00 pm

Sheet music cover for The "Jelly Roll" BluesHappy Birthday, Jelly Roll! September 20th was the birthday of Jelly Roll Morton, American composer, arranger, ragtime and early jazz pianist, and bandleader. He was born in New Orleans in 1885. While some dispute his contention that he invented jazz in 1902, among the many accomplishments that are credited to him is the first jazz composition to be published. The “Jelly Roll” Blues was published in 1915 by the Chicago publisher Will Rossiter. The composer’s name is presented on the piece as Ferd. Morton. The New Grove dictionary of American music gives his birth name as Ferdinard Joseph LaMothe or Lemott. The Lilly Library has a copy in its Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music, and it is one of thousands of pieces of sheet music from the Lilly Library’s collection that have been digitized and are available on the website IN Harmony.

—Elizabeth Johnson, Head of Technical Services, Lilly Library

View a larger image

April 1, 2010

Ensemble Lipzodes performs at the Lilly Library on April 6

Filed under: Events,Manuscripts,Music — Virginia Dearborn @ 2:20 pm

Ensemble Lipzodes CD

This coming Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Slocum Room at the Lilly Library, Ensemble Lipzodes, currently in Quito, Ecuador to perform at the Festival de Música Sacra, will give a concert and lecture celebrating the release of the group’s most recent CD, Oy Hasemos Fiesta.

“The ensemble’s unique name comes from a creative misinterpretation of the writing on the flyleaf of MS 1, Santa Eulalia, from the Guatemalan Music Manuscripts. What at first glance seems to say ‘Lipzodes,’ actually is the first part of a passage which continues further: ‘LibRodeSancta olaya Puyumatlan. Este libro de canto hize yo franc de Leon maestro deste pueblo de sancta olaya. hizelo En el año De mill y quinientos y ochenta y dos annos. Franc De Leon.’ In an orthographic transformation typical of the region, the letters ‘b’ and ‘p’ became exchanged, and the ‘R’ lost its vertical bar, to become what appeared to be a ‘Z.'” (From press release)

This flyleaf will be on display the evening of this concert; other items from the late 16th–early 17th century Guatemalan Music Manuscripts collection will be on display in this summer’s Main Gallery exhibition: Of Cabbages and Kings: Unexpected Treasures of the Lilly Library.

Come hear Juan Carlos Arango (shawms), C. Keith Collins (dulcians), Yonit Kosovske (organ), Anna Marsh (dulcians, recorder), Kelsey Schilling (dulcians, recorder), and Wolodymyr Smishkewych (voice, percussion) here at the Lilly Library next Tuesday, April 6.

October 20, 2009

Brother Can You Spare a Dime: Popular Music from the Great Depression

Filed under: Events,In the news,Music — Guest Blogger @ 4:25 pm

Sheet music

As a part of IU Libraries’ celebration of Archives and Special Collections Month, the Lilly Library will host a performance of selections from the Starr Sheet Music Collection and Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music.

Last year’s presentation showcased Presidential Campaign songs; this year’s theme (as the title states) is songs of the Great Depression.

The show will occur on the 80th anniversary of the actual stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday). Come out and hear Christopher Goodbeer, Alicia McCarthur, Thea Smith (singers), and Yonit Kosovske (pianist) perform these sometimes mournful but mostly optimistic songs.

Selections include the title song, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” “We’re in the Money,” “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” “Hallelujah I’m a Bum,” and others. A reception follows.

–Christopher Goodbeer, IU Jacobs School of Music student

Event Details
Brother Can You Spare a Dime: Popular Music from the Great Depression
Thursday, October 29 5:00pm
Slocum Room, Lilly Library

April 3, 2009

Dvorak in America

Filed under: Manuscripts,Music,New acquisitions — Cherry Williams @ 9:28 am

Jeanette Thurber portrait

The Lilly Library is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of the Dvořàk/Thurber mss., ca. 1885-1937, which consists of documents, correspondence and ephemera relating to Antonìn Dvořàk, Jeanette M. Thurber, and the history of the National Conservatory of Music in America (NCMA). These materials were a gift from Prof. Robert Aborn, whose dissertation “The Influence on American Musical Culture of Dvořàk’s Sojourn in America,” may be read in its entirety at: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3462.

Jeanette M. Thurber founded the National Conservatory of Music in 1885, which was based on the Paris Conservatoire model. In addition to replicating the European Conservatories to which American students had been turning in order to obtain a first class musical education, she also hoped to train as yet untrained students, the handicapped, and blacks as well as to encourage an indigenous music culture in the United States. Initially tuition free, the Conservatory was originally located at 126-128 East 17th Street; however that building was demolished in 1911. Unsuccessful attempts to revive the school and relocate it in Washington DC persisted through the 1920’s. The staff included Victor Herbert, Rafael Joseffy and Henry Finch as well as the noted composer, Antonìn Dvořàk, who was the director from 1892-1895. It was at the Conservatory that Dvořàk met his pupil, Harry Burleigh, one of the earliest African-American composers. Burleigh introduced traditional American Spirituals to Dvořàk at the latter’s request.

Antonìn Leopold Dvořàk (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music. During his time in America, among other compositions, Dvořàk wrote Symphony No.9 “From the New World,” String Quartet in F (the “American”), and the String Quintet in E flat, as well as a Sonatina for violin and piano.

— Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

Image: Jeanette M. Thurber (photo)

View a copy of letter (copy made by Mrs. Thurber) from Dvořàk to Littleton discussing his initial contract with the NCMA.

November 26, 2008

A Song of National Thanksgiving

Filed under: Music — Elizabeth Johnson @ 5:30 pm

Give Thanks All  ye People

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November that year, November 26th. Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States since 1863. The hymn Give Thanks All Ye People (music by Joseph W. Turner and words by William Augustus Muhlenberg) was published as a contribution to the 1863 observance. Taking place in the midst of civil war, the publication of this hymn was also a fund-raising effort to benefit St. Luke’s Hospital, New York. Funds collected were used for the relief of discharged and disabled soldiers and their sick wives and children, a population described in the appeal circular printed on the last page of the music as “a class of sufferers eminently deserving of consideration on an occasion of National Gratitude.”

This example is one of thousands of pieces of sheet music from the Lilly Library’s collection of sheet music that have been digitized and are available on the website InHarmony http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/inharmony/. The Lilly Library’s collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, and newspapers relating to the life of Abraham Lincoln is also quite extensive. Some of the Lincoln materials will be displayed next Spring to celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth (more details to follow).

– Elizabeth Johnson, Head of Technical Services

View the full digitized copy of Give Thanks All Ye People.

October 7, 2008

Concert of Campaign Songs, Thursday, October 9th

Filed under: Events,Music — Erika Dowell @ 2:33 pm

I think we've got another Washington

Listeners to National Public Radio may have heard an item on the history of campaign songs during Weekend Edition Sunday (October 5, 2008). The Lilly Library is hosting a concert of campaign songs later this week, featuring songs of presidential winners and losers from Thomas Jefferson to Wendell Willkie to Richard Nixon. The songs all come from the sheet music collections at the Lilly Library. Other collections provided an array of campaign paraphernalia, currently on exhibition in the Lincoln Room. A staff favorite is a bumper sticker, reading: “Small Cars for Nixon – ‘He’s for the Little People.’”

The concert will take place on Thursday, October 9, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Christopher Goodbeer, Thea Smith, and Yonit Kosovske of the IU Jacobs School of Music will perform selections ranging from the upbeat to the obscure, including Happy Days are Here Again and Get Yourself a Nice Brown Derby (And Fall in Line for Al). A reception will follow the performance.

If you’d like to whet your appetite for Thursday’s performance, you can listen the NPR piece, “Songs Along the Campaign Trail” here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95408459

September 2, 2008

The Division Viol

Filed under: Books,Music — Joel Silver @ 9:45 am

The Division Viol title page tn

In 1985, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the death of King Charles II, the Lilly Library mounted an exhibition on “The Reign of Charles II,” which provided viewers with a wide-ranging survey of the history, politics, and cultural activities of Restoration England. Although the Library was quite strong in literary and political books of the period, we found that we lacked several important musical works. After contacting antiquarian booksellers, we were able to acquire for the exhibition Thomas Mace’s remarkable and often-quoted 1676 treatise, Musick’s Monument, but we had no success in finding a copy of another very popular work of the day, Christopher Simpson’s The Division-Viol, or The Art of Playing Ex tempore upon a Ground. The Division Viol, which was first published in 1659, is an extended instruction book for the bass viol (also known as the viola da gamba). In addition to a discussion of the instrument, and information and musical exercises for those wanting to play it, the book contains an introduction to musical theory, as well as detailed instructions, with examples, on how to compose “divisions,” or variations, on a ground. The details that Simpson includes about instrumental technique and musical practice have been studied closely by modern violists, who find The Division Viol one of the most valuable surviving sources of information on how their instrument should be played. Simpson also provides several “Divisions for the practice of Learners,” which are still played (or, at least, attempted) today by violists, who soon discover that if Simpson’s learners were young beginners, the technical standard of viol playing in his day was very high indeed.

Though we weren’t able to find a copy of Simpson’s work for the 1985 exhibition, we have now finally added a copy of The Division Viol to the Lilly Library’s collections. Our copy is the 1667 issue of the second edition, which first appeared in 1665. In addition to some revisions of the text, the most visible difference between the first and second editions is the presence in the later edition of a parallel Latin translation, presumably intended to make the book more attractive to readers and musicians on the Continent. Another obvious difference between the two editions is in the engraving of a musician (presumably Simpson) playing the viol. In the first edition of 1659, the musician was depicted wearing a large broad-brimmed hat, while in the illustration in the second edition of 1665, the hat has disappeared, and the player is shown bareheaded. This was probably done because the hat worn in the earlier illustration was by 1665 quite out of fashion, and its inclusion could be seen as linking the book to the earlier Cromwellian era, rather than to the more modern era of Charles II.

The Division Viol figure tn

Our copy of the volume is quite well preserved, in a contemporary sheepskin binding, and with a number of marginal manuscript notes written by a seventeenth-century owner (or owners). All early editions of The Division Viol are rare, and very few copies have appeared on the market in the last several decades. To commemorate our new acquisition, the Lilly Library will present a concert of Simpson’s music on the afternoon of Sunday, November 23, 2008, with performances by Prof. Wendy Gillespie, who first alerted us to the possible availability of this copy of The Division Viol, and other members of the early music community of Indiana University. Further details about the concert will be posted on this blog and elsewhere on the Lilly Library’s web site when we have them.

— Joel Silver, Curator of Books

View more images from The Division Viol.

Powered by WordPress