Libraries past and future

As I near the end of my six months working here, it seems that the time since I started last January has vanished all too quickly. The maze of shelves, stacks, hidden corridors and collections that the UL and the Pendlebury have made all so familiar will, at the end of the month, be another memory. Now, as my role as one small cog in the enormous machine of the university comes to an end, I begin again to reflect on my time here in Cambridge and look toward my own future as an undergraduate and reader rather than a fetcher (the other side of the issue desk!). Continue reading

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Introducing… A Musical Feast

The relationship between music and food goes back a long way. Whilst music has often been inspired by such lofty themes as love, war, royalty, and so on, it is indicative of music’s presence in everyday life that there have long been musical compositions celebrating food and drink. In our new exhibition in the Anderson Room (from 24th July) we will be showcasing some of the tastiest examples from our collections. Music and food 1

To whet your appetite, take a look at our menu of culinary  performances! Continue reading

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Music Research in the Digital Age: IAML/IMS conference

Registration pack for IAML/IMS 2015 conference

Registration pack for IAML/IMS 2015 conference

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to be able to attend the joint international conference of IAML/IMS (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres/International Musicological Society) which was held at the Juilliard School at the Lincoln Center, New York.

“Music Research in the Digital Age,” was the theme of the joint New York conference, which not only focused attention on the past, present, and future of digital musicology, but also evokes a long tradition of cooperation between the International Musicological Society and the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres. The conference included a celebration of RILM’s 50th anniversary. Continue reading

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The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball

Unless you’re a keen history buff, particularly fond of the Regency period, or an avid follower of MusiCB3, it may have escaped your attention that 18th June this year marked 200 years since the Battle of Waterloo. And perhaps despite the exhibitions going on (such as A Damned Serious Business currently on at the UL) it would have escaped my attention too but for my keen history buff friends who have spent the last 6 months planning their commemorative festivities.

It began with an intriguing invitation which read: “On the night of the 15th June 1815, Charlotte, Duchess of Richmond held what has been described as “the most famous ball in history.” During the evening, confirmation arrived that Napoleon had crossed the border into Belgium and “humbugged” Wellington. Officers hurried off to Quatre Bras, where some fought in their dancing shoes, having had no time to change. By the evening of the 18th, around a third of the party guests would be dead.” Continue reading

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Reel Significance (I): Deryck Cooke and Havergal Brian

Thanks to a donation from an anonymous benefactor, it has been possible to make digital preservation copies of the dozens of reel-to-reel tapes that were in Deryck Cooke’s possession at the end of his life, and which are held at the UL as part of the Deryck Cooke Archive.

The 1966 performance of the ‘Gothic'; item held in the Pendlebury Library of Music as CD.M.885

An essential part of the project involves the careful examination of every recorded track in the attempt to put together a definitive list of what each of the 66 reels actually contains. Already three significant items have been found relating to the composer Havergal Brian (1876-1972). Continue reading

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Waterloo 2015

The dream of the Lion of Waterloo. CUL A1878.1515 ©CUL

The dream of the Lion of Waterloo. CUL A1878.1515 ©CUL

The bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 2015 is commemorated through a myriad of events and exhibitions in the UK. It was indeed a damned serious business, as is so aptly demonstrated in the University Library exhibition and certainly deserves our due attention. The Waterloo 2015 celebrations in Belgium focus on an actual re-enactment of the battle and a reconstruction of the encampment. This ambitious programme of events starts with an opening show called Inferno, a visual and musical interpretation of the battle by Luc Petit. As one would expect of such a significant event, the battle in specific as well as the political situation in general have been reflected in music over the past two-hundred years. Let’s start with looking at an excellent contemporary example which is held in our collections. Continue reading

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Renaissance musical treasures at the Pendlebury Library of Music

From the Pendlebury collections.

From the Pendlebury collections.

In the Pendlebury Library collection there are three printed books particularly representative of musical culture in sixteenth century Italy. They concern respectively music theory, musical pedagogy, and polyphony. The oldest of them is the treatise Musica Theorica by Ludovico Fogliani, published in Venice in 1529. Continue reading

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