In a child’s mind

Thanks from schoolchildren after an early music workshop.

Thanks from schoolchildren to David and Gill Munrow after an early music workshop.

The BBC over the last few years has tried to get children to become more involved in classical music. November 2014 saw the introduction of Ten Pieces, an initiative aimed initially at children of primary school age. There was a “Ten Pieces” prom in August 2015. With the success of the primary school programme the initiative was expanded in 2015 to include children of secondary school age; and culminated in another Prom (Ten Pieces II) in July 2016.

Among the more unexpected items that we have in the Music Department of the University Library are children’s responses to classical music. Specifically their response to Sir Arthur Bliss‘s Colour Symphony, and to medieval music as performed by David and Gill Munrow.

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The Marion Scott Haydn Collection

Marion Scott

Marion Scott

Some time ago I blogged about Marion Scott, Haydn scholar and friend of Ivor Gurney. As has also been mentioned on this blog before, here at the UL we hold Marion Scott’s Haydn Collection. In fact it was Marion Scott who prompted the creation of our (then) new MRS class. A class that comprises “named” collections, collections that were donated by a specific person or group. Our MRS collections include collections as diverse as those of music enthusiast Frederick Booth, the Union Society of Cambridge University, writer and critic Hans Keller, and the violinist Alfredo Campoli.

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Arthur Bliss 125: WWI and The Somme

Arthur Bliss (right) with his brother Kennard on the steps of their London home in 1915.Copyright Cambridge University Library

Arthur Bliss (right) with his brother Kennard on the steps of their London home in 1915.
Copyright Cambridge University Library

As part of the University Library’s exhibition celebrating the 125th anniversary of Sir Arthur Bliss’s birth, and as a tribute to those whose lives were lost during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, we are showing a case which concentrates on Bliss’s experiences in that conflict. The Bliss archive contains not only the letters he wrote from the trenches to his father, Francis Bliss and his brothers Kennard and Howard, but also pages from the personal diary he kept whilst at the Front. Continue reading

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Arthur Bliss 125

Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss by Mark Gertler oil on canvas, 1932 NPG 5305 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss
by Mark Gertler
oil on canvas, 1932
NPG 5305
© National Portrait Gallery, London

August 2nd 2016 is the 125th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Bliss. At the University Library, we are celebrating this with a music corridor exhibition (opening first week of August 2016) focusing on three major strands: Bliss as a composer, the Battle of the Somme and Bliss’s legacy today.

At MusiCB3, we have shared quite a few Bliss related posts that highlight various aspects of the life and work of Arthur Bliss and of the collections held at the Bliss Archive, bequeathed to Cambridge University Library by Lady Bliss.

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Digital scanning, picnics, creating displays, tours and sample lectures: Work Experience Students 2016

These past two weeks, the Pendlebury Library of Music has once again played host to some Year 10 work experience students who are studying at local schools.  Here’s a taste of what they got up to…
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Wild goose chases: musical games

Whilst classifying books for UL stock a few days ago, I came across a pile of books in French. They were originally part of the IAML library, and were all on various aspects of music librarianship. My knowledge of French is minimal non-existent, and my normal tactic would be to try and get these dealt with and off my desk as quickly as possible, without lingering to flick through them much or trying to decipher more than I needed to. This time, however, one of them seemed worth trying to decipher in a bit more detail, as this fell out of the back of it:

goose game 1

Le jeu de l’oie de l’edition musicale

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Songs of desolation II

In last week’s blog post we looked at the popular music that was being published in Britain during the first half of the First World War. By 1916, songs published in the UK were moving away from the more militaristic music that had been popular at the outbreak of war, with comic songs and musical theatre keeping people’s spirits up. Much of the music contained in the boxes in the UL’s basement, by the middle period of the war, is by Ivor Novello; whose music had swiftly gained prominence after the early success of Keep the home fires burning (M290.a.90.524 (item no. 62)) .

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