New Women Composers Search Limiter

This academic year sees the start of Venus Blazing, in which Trinity Laban will ensure that at least half of the music it chooses for all its major public music performances will be by women composers. The Jerwood Library has introduced the option to limit search results on our catalogue to show works by ‘Women only’, making it easier than ever for students and staff to search for music by women that they may wish to perform as part of this initiative.

Simply select the limiter and then search the catalogue as normal:

We have concentrated on identifying sheet music and scores to help identify repertoire for performance; coverage of recordings is very patchy at present.

A big thanks goes to Dr. Sophie Fuller for assistance in identifying women composers on our database, and Rob Deemer, founder of the Composer Diversity Database, who shared data with us to help automate this process.

It’s a work in progress and if anyone spots sheet music we haven’t labelled with ‘Women composers’ as a subject let us know via jlpa@trinitylaban.ac.uk and we will make further updates during the year. Similarly, if anyone spots a ‘false positive’ that’s labelled as Women composers incorrectly, send us an email and we will amend this.

Advertisements

A Summer of Sport….in the Jerwood Library

Image

Prompted by the sporting frenzy surrounding England’s unexpected success on the football field in June, overlapping with underwhelming Wimbledon results, and followed shortly by the test cricket season, I wondered whether the Jerwood Library might have material to compliment the sporting theme. A serious five minutes of research on the library catalogue yielded some surprising results, a few of which can be seen in our small display cabinet in the library until the end of the month.

A summer of sport in the Jerwood music library

Searching for the term ‘football’ revealed Charles Ives’ entertaining Yale-Princeton football game (1) subtitled Two halves in two minutes. Ives depicts the crowd’s anticipation, echoes of the Yale long chant (I commend the Youtube video on that topic to enhance your appreciation of the Ives) and a number of other US college songs, the referee’s whistle (piccolo) punctuating events, the crescendo to touchdown, all woven together to depict a particular football game (1897) and over in two minutes. Trinity folks can listen to it here.

Top of the list under ‘tennis’ is Ping! For string quartet, 4 table tennis players and film by Joe Cutler (2). A collaboration between Joe Cutler, the Coull String Quartet and members of the Fusion table tennis club, this audience-friendly piece explores and blends the distinct sounds and rhythms of table tennis with those of the string quartet and requires virtuoso performances from both the string quartet and the table tennis players. It is great fun to watch. First performed March in 2012 at the Warwick Arts Centre, it was also filmed in the foyer of the QEH on 14 July 2012. There is a recording on Naxos and the filmed QEH performance is on YouTube here – well worth a watch.

A more general search under ‘sport’ led to an unexpectedly comic source.  J. Frederic Bridge’s 1918 book A Westminster pilgrim: being a record of service in church, cathedral, and abbey, […] (3) might not seem the obvious place to find amusing sporting reference, however, he does write entertainingly of a cricket match he organised between members of his choir, including a description of his own disastrous batting performance, and the on-going usefulness of that game to what nowadays might be called ‘team building’ in his choir. Besides the cricket match, the book has amusing observations on the perennial problem of encouraging older choir members to retire when their voices begin to deteriorate.

The ‘Sport’ search also returned the score of Paul Ayres Loughborough cantata (4), one of the sizeable list of works composed to celebrate the 2012 London Olympic Games. This three-part piece ranges in mood and style, and won Loughborough University 2012 Composition competition. The brief included the requirement to include a ‘sports anthem’ song .

Developing talent in young people, edited by Benjamin Bloom (5) is an example of the growing corpus of books held here at the Jerwood library which draw parallels between the training needs of sports people and musicians. This volume has chapters on learning to be a concert pianist, alongside similar ones covering diverse subjects including Olympic swimming, tennis and neurology. Andrew Horrall’s Popular culture in London, c. 1890-1918 (6) earned its place in the display cabinet mainly for the boxing illustration on the front cover!

Of the twelve hits on the search term ‘cricket’, the volume of 2 plays by playwright, Roy Williams justified its display place partly for the title: The no boys cricket club (6) , and partly as a reminder that the library holds a small, select collection of play scripts. The no boys cricket club is set on a London council estate and the lead character, Abi, recalls her glorious past in Jamaica as the greatest all-rounder of the No boys cricket club. Incidentally, Williams won the first (1997) Alfred Fagon Award, and, in 1999, both the John Whiting Award for best new play and the EMMA Award for Starstruck, (the other play in this volume) as well as having a distinguished list of performed work and other awards to his name.

Finally Clive Aslet’s book, The story of Greenwich (7) includes a charming illustration of a 1760s handkerchief depicting ‘holiday gambols’ in Greenwich Park – lots of people running up and down the hill and a musician playing pipe and tabor – bringing the whole subject closer to home here at the Jerwood Library.

(1) The Orchestral music of Charles Ives: premieres and new Ives Society critical editions. Koch International. [CD] Shelved at: ORCHESTRAL: IVE
Here’s the link for Trinity Laban staff and students to the online recording: http://tl-naxosmusiclibrary-com.proxy.trinitylaban.ac.uk/stream.asp?s=71451%2Ftcm14%2Fq80732_105

(2) Cutler, Joe. Ping! For string quartet, 4 table tennis players and film. [Unpublished, c2012]. Shelved at: 782.99 CUT
Members of Trinity Laban can listen here http://tl-naxosmusiclibrary-com.proxy.trinitylaban.ac.uk/stream.asp?s=71451%2Ftcm14%2Frr8869_001

(3) J. Frederick Bridge, 1844-1924. A Westminster pilgrim : being a record of service in church, cathedral, and abbey, college, university and concert-room, with a few notes on sport. London: Novello & Co. : Hutchinson & Co., 1918. Shelved at: 784.6 BRI.

(4) Ayres, Paul. Loughborough cantata: for choir SATB and piano. [unpublished?], 2011. Shelved at: 780.43 AYR

(5) Developing talent in young people / edited by Benjamin S. Bloom. New York: Ballantine Books, 1985. Shelved at: 150 DEV

(6) Horrall, Andrew. Popular culture in London, c. 1890-1918: the transformation of entertainment. Manchester University Press, 2001. Shelved at: 941 HOR

(7) Williams, Roy, 1968-. Starstruck [and] The no boys cricket club. London : Methuen, 1999 Shelved at: 822 WIL.

(8) Aslet, Clive. The story of Greenwich. London: Fourth Estate, 1999. Shelved at: 941 : 1999

Celebrating Florence Price

Image of Florence Price

By The New York Times courtesy of University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Trinity Laban recently announced the Venus Blazing initiative, which aims to increase the representation of women composers in large-scale public performance programming to 50% during the 2018/19 season. Following on from our recent feature on Ethel Smyth and the Suffragette movement, this month’s small exhibition cabinet showcases another female composer, Florence Price (1887-1953).

Born into an African-American family in Little Rock, Arkansas, Florence Price studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston, then from the 1920s onwards lived in Chicago. Price holds the distinction of being “the first black American woman to have an orchestral work performed by a major American orchestra”[1], following the performance of her Symphony in E minor by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933. (please note: links to recordings and articles in this blog post will allow TL students and staff direct access when on site only)

As well as orchestral works, Price wrote piano and organ music, solo songs and choral works. In addition to her classical composition training, Price’s musical style often draws inspiration from the spirituals and juba dance rhythms of her African-American heritage[2]. Price also wrote music for radio adverts, under the pseudonym Vee Jay[3].


Online and audiovisual resources
Venus Blazing logo

As well as the printed music items currently on display, there is plenty more information about Florence Price to be found in Trinity Laban’s online resource collections. Florence Price’s entry in Grove Music Online is an excellent place to start for biographical information and a list of her compositions. Price is featured in several of the online reference works on Alexander Street Press, and you can also find further references to journal articles and dissertations via QuickSearch.

If you would like to listen to some of Florence Price’s music there are many recordings available on our audiovisual streaming platforms – for example this recording of the celebrated Song to the Dark Virgin on Naxos, or this recording of the Violin concertos via Alexander Street Press.


References

[1] Brown, Rae Linda, ‘Price [Smith], Florence Bea(trice)’ in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000048286> (accessed May 15, 2018)

[2] Brown, Rae Linda. ‘William Grant Still, Florence Price, and William Dawson: Echoes of the Harlem Renaissance’, in Black music in the Harlem renaissance: a collection of essays, ed. Floyd, Samuel A. Jr. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990. 71– 86.

[3] Walker-Hill, Helen. Piano music by black women composers: a catalog of solo and ensemble works. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.


 

 

From the Library of Julian Bream – An Exhibition of his Scores and Manuscripts

We are delighted to have added to our special collections the personal music library of guitarist Julian Bream. The scores in the collection reflect every aspect of his long career as one of the world’s greatest guitar players, and many items contain an abundance of markings from his performances and recordings of the pieces.

photo by S.Hurok (public domain)

Bream’s tireless work in expanding the guitar’s repertoire is reflected in both original manuscript copies of his arrangements, as well as copies of works specially-commissioned by Bream from leading twentieth-century composers, including Benjamin Britten, Peter Maxwell-Davies, Lennox Berkeley and Hans Werner Henze, among others.

 

Bream’s Life & Legacy

It’s hard to overstate Julian Bream’s contribution to the classical guitar. Through his long career of performances, recordings and arrangements, it seems fair to say that no-one since Andrés Segovia has done so much to increase both the reputation and the repertoire of the classical guitar. As Graham Wade puts it:

“Bream’s stature as one of the greatest masters of the guitar has been established for many years. The deep intensity of his playing, the sheer beauty of his tone control, and his profound empathy with a great range of music, have enabled him to achieve a radical extension of the guitar repertory and to reach the widest possible audience for half a century.”[1]

Some of Bream’s arrangements on display

Something that makes Bream’s achievements all the more remarkable is that his guitar technique was ‘home-made’, as he puts it. After initial lessons with his father, he did later attend the Royal College of Music with a full scholarship, but he did so as a student of cello and piano, as guitar wasn’t taught at the college at the time. Beginning with a debut at the Wigmore hall in 1950, Bream soon began to play a significant part in changing the status of the guitar with recitals throughout Britain, followed by European, then North and South American concert tours in subsequent years.

It was around the time of Bream’s first guitar recitals that he also picked up the lute and, as Diana Poulton remarks in her book John Dowland, as early as 1951, ‘astonished everyone with the brilliance of his musicianship and his complete technical mastery of the lute’.[2] Again, as with the guitar, his achievements are all the more exceptional in light of his position as a self-taught pioneer of the instrument:

”When I began playing the lute, in 1950, there were not too many lutenists around. I had to work hard, writing out music in museums and libraries. […] And I had just picked up the lute, adapted my guitar technique to it and went from there.”[3]

A few years later, in 1959, he formed of the Julian Bream Consort, a period-instrument ensemble with Bream as lutenist. The group was initially put together simply in order to play Morley’s First Book of Consort Lessons, but their subsequent success did a lot to stimulate the popularity of early consort music in general.

Another important element of Bream’s career is his extensive back catalogue of recordings. His prolific recording output covers the whole spectrum of repertoire for guitar and lute, including his large catalogue of iconic RCA recordings, television masterclasses and his ‘¡Guitarra!’ documentary, wherein he explored the whole history of the vihuela and guitar in Spain, playing specially-commissioned historic instruments for the project.

Expanding the Repertoire

Julian Bream commissioned, performed and recorded works by some of the twentieth-century’s leading composers. On display from the Jerwood Library’s new collection are pieces from Peter Maxwell-Davies, Stephen Dodgson, Reginald Smith-Brindle, Joaquín Rodrigo and Benjamin Britten, all containing gracious notes and dedications to the guitarist. Other well-known composers that Bream inspired to write for the guitar include Malcolm Arnold (Guitar Concerto, Fantasy), Michael Tippett (The Blue Guitar), Leo Brouwer (Concerto elegiaco, Sonata), Lennox Berkeley (Guitar Concerto, Sonatina, Theme and Variations), Richard Rodney Bennett (Guitar Concerto, Impromptus, Sonata), Alan Rawsthorne (Elegy) and William Walton (Five Bagatelles).[4] Bream’s efforts in this area made great strides in expanding the horizons of the twentieth-century guitar beyond its previous limits as an almost exclusively Spanish art form—as it was in the hands of older composers like Pujol, Torroba, Mompou & Rodrigo—to a more eclectic range of international styles and approaches.

Bream’s copy of the final page of Britten’s Nocturnal

In particular, Benjamin Britten’s Nocturnal After John Dowland, op.70—written for and premiered by Bream—is widely considered to be a crowning jewel of the twentieth-century guitar repertoire.  The Nocturnal takes the form of an unorthodox set of theme and variations, with each of the work’s eight movements coming gradually closer to Dowland’s Come, Heavy Sleep from his First Book of Songs, which is eventually quoted in full at the conclusion of the work. Included in the collection is Bream’s 2nd working copy of the piece, with many interesting differences in fingering from the original published copy.

A selection of Bream’s hand-written transcriptions of works by Weiss, Tárrega and Cimarosa

As well as commissioning new work, Bream made great strides in increasing the breadth and depth of the music available for guitar through his work as an editor and arranger. Included in the exhibition are a selection of the guitarist’s own handwritten arrangements of pieces for the solo guitar, including works by Tárrega, Weiss, Cimarosa, Albéniz and Granados. His recordings and performances of pieces like these went a long way to establishing many of them as staples of the guitar repertoire.

For anyone interested in learning more about Julian Bream’s fascinating career, an excellent place to start is the feature-length DVD ‘Julian Bream: My Life in Music‘ (available in the library at the DVD class-mark PER: BRE).

Accessing the Collection

The collection is held in closed access, but specific items of interest can be retrieved by library staff. The contents are currently being catalogued to item level on the Jerwood Library catalogue and may be browsed by choosing ‘Julian Bream Collection’ from the ‘Source’ option. Items of particular interest can also be browsed via the collection handlist. Viewing specific items in person during library opening hours is by appointment via jlpa@trinitylaban.ac.uk.


[1] Peter Sensier and Graham Wade, ‘Bream, Julian’ in Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.03900> (accessed 26/4/18)

[2] Diana Poulton. John Dowland (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982),447

[3] Allan Kozinn, ‘Julian Bream Sets off in  New (Old) Direction’, The New York Times Online (accessed 19/4/18)Ibid.

[4] Peter Sensier and Graham Wade, ‘Bream, Julian’ in Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.03900> (accessed 26/4/18)

Jerwood Library Who’s Who: Marion Harris

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the Jerwood Library

Photograph of Marion HarrisI studied Music at the University of Birmingham, and began my library career in 2011 as a Graduate Trainee at the University of Essex. I have since held positions at the University of Reading and Goldsmiths College, and joined Trinity Laban in February 2018, which makes me the newest staff member! I have an MSc(Econ) in Information and Library Studies, which I completed by distance learning with Aberystwyth University between 2012-2015.

I am one of the Jerwood Library’s two “Cataloguing, Enquiries and Acquisitions” Librarians, alongside my colleague Helen Mason.

What is a typical day at work like for you?

No two days are ever the same, but in general my work splits into 3 areas.

Cataloguing is a form of behind-the-scenes library work that involves writing descriptions of all the items in the library so that our students and staff can look them up on the online catalogue. In the last couple of months I have been focusing on cataloguing a big donation of horn and brass ensemble music. There is more information about what library cataloguing involves in my colleague Helen’s blog post from a couple of years ago.

Enquiries, obviously enough, is the time I spend answering questions from our library users, either in person at the desk or in writing via email or the online chat service. Enquiries can cover absolutely anything from a simple “do you have this piece of music in stock?”, to a more complex question about whether a piece is in copyright, or an extended archives query about someone who studied at Trinity in the 1920s which means digging through the old registers in our reserve stack room.

Acquisitions means purchasing new stock for the library. Certain staff members are responsible for purchasing different types of resources; my area of responsibility is for printed music requests. So if there is a score you would like the library to purchase, you can collect a Purchase recommendation form from the issue desk or download it from Moodle and I will do my best to order it for you (remember to get the form signed by your teacher first!). Some examples of music requests I have ordered recently are scores by Nicola LeFanu, Mel Bonis, Wolfgang Rihm and Eric Ewazen.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

After working for several years in university libraries more generally, I am enjoying working in a specialist music library where I can use my subject knowledge. Another interesting part of working in a small library is that there is lots of variety – because we are such a small team, I may be called upon do to anything from binding scores for a composition deadline to searching for photographs in the special collections.

Are there any hidden or little-known aspects of your work you’d like to share?

A lot of the work library staff do is hidden, as most of our users only see us when we are working at the issue desk or reshelving books. However, there is a whole range of behind-the-scenes work we do in the library office to keep things running smoothly. In my case, cataloguing is a classic example of “hidden” work as there is a lot of detail needed to keep the online catalogue running effectively. As well as obvious things like the title and author/composer, there are many other small details we record such as the date and place of publication, number of pages and parts, size and format of ensemble, and any identification numbers such as an ISBN or ISMN. We also include descriptions called “subject headings” which tell you more about the genre and contents of the item, so that when you are searching the catalogue you can hyperlink between related items.

Acquisitions also involves a lot of work behind the scenes. When I receive students’ purchase request forms I have to ensure I buy the correct version of the piece, for example it may need to be a specific edition or a particular format, such as miniature score or score + parts. I also need to consider which companies to buy music from, based on who can supply the item quickest or at the best price.

Finally, could you tell us something people may not know about you?

When I am not working in the library, one of my favourite things to do is choral singing. I am a member of an early music ensemble called The Iken Scholars.

Shout out to Musical Theatre students

As you’re all getting ready to head off home for some well-deserved rest and recuperation following your end of term performances, what better time to draw your attention to some recent collection building we’ve undertaken specifically to support your study when you’re away from KCC (whether that be at home, at Laurie Grove or on the bus to your next audition!)

In order to browse ebooks relating to musical theatre, go to the Jerwood Library catalogue, type musicals$ in the subject field and select E-book from the drop-down menu in the type field.

You can access these anywhere you have an internet connection, so whether it be a beautiful mornin’ or an enchanted evening, why not catch up with some holiday reading between those loverly Easter eggs!

Deeds not words: from Ethel Smyth to Venus Blazing

Library display case titled Deeds not Words showing items relating to Ethel Smyth, suffragettes and Venus Blazing at Trinity Laban

We’re nearly at the end of Women’s History Month, and our current display highlights the history of women in the UK who fought for the right to vote over 100 years ago, finally winning a partial victory in 1918. The display, ‘Deeds not Words’, highlights Ethel Smyth, a renowned composer born in Sidcup, southeast London, who put her burgeoning musical career on hold for two years to join the suffragettes’ struggle for the vote.

John Singer Sargent Dame Ethel Smyth

Ethel Smyth by John Singer Sargent [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ethel Smyth’s suffragette activism led to a sentence of two months’ imprisonment for breaking a window. One day she memorably conducted her rousing The March of the Women anthem for the movement from her cell window brandishing a toothbrush as a baton: sadly no photo exists, so in our display we have settled for an image of Smyth supporting her dear friend Emmeline Pankhurst when the police came to arrest her outside Smyth’s home.

Smyth showed an early appetite for direct action, going on ‘strike’ as a teenager when her father refused permission to study at the Leipzig Conservatory, eventually confining herself to her room and refusing to attend meals or social occasions until her father relented.[1]

Her persistence paid off with a long and successful career as a composer, conductor and broadcaster which TL students and staff can read about in Ethel Smyth’s entry in Grove Online, penned by none other than Dr Sophie Fuller, Programme Leader of Trinity Laban’s Masters programmes![2]

VB_Logo_FINAL_explosion_SQUARE_1080x1080px

We’re delighted that the motto ‘Deeds not Words’ rings true to this day amongst many people and organisations working towards equality. Trinity Laban’s Venus Blazing initiative for 2018/19 is an example of taking action: at least half (by duration) of the works in TL’s large-scale performances will be by women composers. The name comes from a violin concerto by TL composer Deirdre Gribbin which can be listened to via the library’s listening station.

The library has recently purchased a number of works by women to develop our collection – thanks to a generous financial donation from former Trinity Laban Board member Esther Cavett – a number of which are on display on the new items shelves in the library.

Four shelves showing items purchased by the Jerwood Library to support Venus Blazing

As the Jerwood Library’s systems librarian, I’ve been working on improvements to our catalogue to make these works easier to track down and these are close to fruition: watch this space…

[1] Bexley Civic Society article on Ethel Smyth. 23 Mar. 2018. http://www.bexleycivicsociety.org.uk/ethel-smyth.

[2] Fuller, Sophie. “Smyth, Dame Ethel.” Grove Music Online. 23 Mar. 2018. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000026038.

Library News for Keyboard Department


Claude Debussy’s Anniversary

Claude Debussy died 100 years ago on 25th March 1918 and to mark the occasion Trinity Laban has a whole festival of free concerts entitled Debussy and Beyond’:
Search the events here.

The Jerwood Library has an extensive collection of Debussy’s music, audio-visual material and books. Of particular note is the Durand Collected Edition of his Complete Works (Jerwood Library Collected Editions) and The Pierpont Morgan Library reproduction of Debussy’s autograph score to the Preludes Book 1 (Jerwood Library Facsimile Collection).

Don’t forget that we also have access to further materials via our various Online Resources, notably Alexander Street Press which has scores and recordings.

 


Alexander Street Scores now on Catalogue

We have recently integrated into our library catalogue over 10,000 scores from the online resource Alexander Street. They’ll now appear alongside regular search results, and can be filtered by using the new ‘Digital Score’ option from the catalogue item type drop-down menu.

 

 


Walter Recommends:

The Agony of Modern Music by Henry Pleasants

Have you ever wondered why you and everyone you know seems to dislike modern music? Ever felt that you must be very stupid not to understand the tortured meanderings of the mind of the contemporary composer? This book is for you.

Critic (and Cold-War spy) Henry Pleasants articulates brilliantly what many people have intuitively understood for a long time: i.e. that most contemporary music is entirely devoid of vitality, and – not unconnected – entirely lacking an audience (outside of a tiny clique of academics, fellow professionals and, well, students).

Anyone interested in music will find plenty here to agree and disagree with, but the book is well argued and cannot be ignored. Those involved in contemporary music need to deal with the issues Pleasants lays out.

The Agony of Modern Music by Henry Pleasants
Simon and Schuster, 1955
shelf-mark: 788.08 PLE

other books in the Jerwood Library by the same author:
Opera In Crisis: Tradition, Present, Future
Thames and Hudson, 1989
shelf-mark: 784.8 PLE

The Great Singers: from the dawn of opera to our own time
Simon and Schuster, 1966
shelf-mark: 784.19 PLE

Search the Jerwood Library Online Catalogue here.

 



 

Library E-Resources: Grove Music Online

New Website!
The Grove website has recently had a complete overhaul, so I thought it a good time to highlight this invaluable resource.

To access Grove Music Online, along with all of our other online resources, head to Moodle, find the ‘Library Links’ drop-down menu on the home page and select ‘Online Resources’.

A Bit of History: Grove and his Dictionary of Music and Musicians
It was in 1873 that George Grove first set out to create an all-encompassing encyclopedia of music, having been asked to do so by Macmillan Publishers. Grove was a British civil engineer, biblical lexicographer, impresario, programme note writer, music critic and editor, who also played a key role in the founding of the Royal College of Music, becoming its first director when it began in 1883. Grove’s dictionary has since expanded from that original four-volume, hardbound reference work dedicated to European art music into a huge online encyclopedic database covering musical practitioners and practice across the world.

Grove Music Online
First launched in 2001, Grove Music Online is now the 8th edition of the dictionary and the first edition to be published electronically. As such, it is an edition that is constantly evolving with continually new and updated content. The Grove online includes updated versions of previous Grove publications as well as hundreds of articles commissioned specifically for the online edition. Search results include articles from the following titles:

  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition (29 volumes, 2001)
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition (3 volumes, 2002)
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (4 volumes, 1992)
  • The Norton Grove Dictionary of Women Composers (1 volume, 1994)
  • The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition (8 volumes, 2013; in process)
  • The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd edition (5 volumes, 2014; in process)

No matter what area of music you may be researching, with its comprehensive work lists, important dates and well-researched biographies, Grove is usually an excellent place to start.

If you’re on site at Trinity Laban, access Grove Music here
Or if you’re at home, access Grove Music here

Library E-Resources: Alexander Street

This series of blog posts intends to highlight a particular online resource from time to time in order to give students and staff a better idea of what kinds of useful things are available via the library.

This month I’ve decided to draw attention to Alexander Street. To access Alexander Street, along with all of our other online resources, head to Moodle, find the ‘Library Links’ drop-down menu on the home page and select ‘Online Resources’.

What is Alexander Street?

Alexander Street is an electronic database containing an enormous number of scores, audio recordings, videos and text resources. There’s a whole range of great things to explore on their site, covering practically every type of music, so I would recommend having a browse around the topics of most interest to you. In particular, there are lots of digital scores, many of which are still in copyright and so not accessible via IMSLP. Similarly with recordings and videos – there’s plenty of things here you won’t find on Youtube or Spotify.

How can I use it?

If you use Quicksearch (accessible via Moodle or the library catalogue page), the results you’ll get will potentially include things which are on Alexander Street. However, something I would recommend is simply browsing the AS site directly. They have a huge range of fascinating resources that you wouldn’t necessarily think of searching for specifically; things like masterclasses, historic performances and lots of excellent documentaries about music.

Once you’re on the AS homepage, the ‘My Collections’ drop-down menu shows a complete list of their resources to which we have subscribed. These can then be browsed individually. A particular favourite of mine is the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. This is an amazing resources for anyone interested in the world’s diverse musical practices, with a huge volume dedicated to each continent. Other great resources include ‘Opera in Video’ and the ‘Jazz Music Library’, to name just two. There’s something on there for everyone – take a look!

Please note that there are licensing restrictions for using the digital scores from Alexander Street. They have told us that they can be printed and used for study or in-class use (including rehearsals) but must not be used for any performance that is open to the public, even if no entry fee is charged.

If you’re on site at Trinity Laban, access Alexander Street here
Or if you’re at home, access Alexander Street here