Briefs / Feuilletons
Orpheus Institute acquires prestigious library of Ton Koopman. The internationally renowned Orpheus Institute (Ghent, Belgium) has acquired the prestigious library of Ton Koopman. The focus of the collection is seventeenth-and eighteenth-century music, its cultural context and performance practice.
Ton Koopman (1944–) enjoys worldwide fame as an organist, harpsichordist, conductor, music pedagogue, and researcher. He is one of the pioneers of the early music movement. His historically informed interpretations of Bach, Buxtehude, and their contemporaries, as well as music from the later eighteenth-century, can be heard on hundreds of acclaimed CDs.
In the course of his sixty-year career, Koopman has collected an impressive collection of books and music. Among the thousands of prints and manuscripts are numerous unique works, including a cantata by Handel unknown until recently. In addition to this historical library with works from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, Koopman has also collected thousands of modern books and periodicals on Baroque music and culture. Many of the books, both old and modern, have been annotated extensively by the artist himself, making the collection unique.
Thanks to the patronage of the Désiré Collen Foundation, the Orpheus Institute is able to bring this gem to Ghent. Peter Dejans, director of the Orpheus Institute remarks "This is a real working library with a wealth of practice-oriented literature and scores. This collection is a dream for every performer of baroque music". The Orpheus Institute is a leading European centre for artistic research in music since 1996. In particular, the processes of music-making are central to the activities of the Institute, which now has thirty-five researchers.
For the development of a new research group around the Koopman collection, the Orpheus Institute has secured the financial support of the Department of Economy, Science & Innovation of the Flemish Government. The collection will be housed in the Koetshuis (coach-house), which is located next to the Orpheus Institute. This eighteenth-century building on the historic site of d'Hane Steenhuyse is made available by the City of Ghent and will preserve Koopman's books in optimal conditions. There will also be a multifunctional space for publicly accessible lectures, seminars, workshops, and concerts. The renovation of this historic building started in the autumn of 2019 and will last until spring 2020.
The research group, with baroque specialists Dr Bruno Forment (principal investigator) and Dr Huub van der Linden, will develop projects around the collection to encourage innovative artistic practices and develop new methods within the digital humanities. In this context, the Orpheus Institute will also open up the collection digitally to make it available to researchers in Belgium and beyond. The team will be further strengthened in the future in order to realise these ambitions. For more information, see www.orpheusinstituut.be/ton-koopman-library.
Juilliard receives David Schiff Collection of Elliot Carter materials. Composer, author, and Juilliard alumnus David Schiff has donated his vast collection of Elliott Carter materials to Juilliard. The collection represents Schiff's years of work on the composer and his music, which culminated in his landmark publications, The Music of Elliott Carter [End Page 161] (1983, rev. 1988), and Carter (Master Musicians, 2018). It includes Schiff's extensive personal correspondence with the composer, as well as more than 160 of Carter's scores, many with his annotations and markings. Schiff has also donated all of his related research materials, comprising published books and articles.
Vice President for Library and Information Resources
The Juilliard School
Furman Libraries acquires unique music collection. Two new collections of microtonal music—music played with tones that exist in the spaces between notes like C and C sharp or E and F—have a new home at Furman University. Composer Johnny Reinhard, founder of the American Festival of Microtonal Music (AFMM), has donated his personal microtonal archive and the archive of the AFMM.
Known for its sometimes unusual sound, microtonal music uses tuning structures different from the twelve-note octave most people are familiar with. Furman came to acquire the collection through Michael "aTonal" Vick, an instructional technologist for the fine arts at Furman, who has performed and worked with Reinhard's AFMM for more than ten years. Reinhard has also spoken to Vick's class, "Tuning Systems and the Aural Experience."
Reinhard approached Furman with the possibility of housing what may be the largest microtonal music collection in the world. "I immediately saw the potential pedagogical impact of his archive for my microtonal tuning course here at Furman", Vick said. "I also see the diverse collection as providing a wealth of teaching and learning opportunities through new course development across multiple disciplines like history, mathematics and physics".
Even more important, Vick said, is the collection's place on the music landscape. "The acquisition fills an important gap in music history", he said. "Microtonal music offers listeners a new way to hear music and sounds. By observing composers' original tuning systems, we can respect the past, hearing and performing works the way they intended".
Vick said the archive will "help Furman and others around the world understand the often-overlooked field of alternate tuning systems and theory", and he's planning digitalisation projects to make the collection available globally. "I believe all music is microtonal on a cross-cultural level", Reinhard said in a paper. "Before now, this archive was only available to me and rare guests. The full collection now at Furman will allow students to study it and the international community to revel in its depths". He said the collection represents "the professional cause of his entire life" and that "it is easily the largest microtonal music archive in the world".
The archive includes the business records of the New York-based AFMM, a group that organises an annual series of concerts in New York and around the world of classical and modern music that uses microtonal music tunings. It also includes a sizable collection of live and commercial recordings of microtonal music, a reference library of rare microtonal books and other materials that document the alternative tuning music world, including a run of the rare New York modern/avant-garde music magazine, Ear.
Reinhard's papers, music manuscripts, correspondence, and other materials that are part of the acquisition document the work of composers and musicians who were active in the microtonal sphere, such as Charles Ives, Harry Partch, Mordecai Sandberg, Ivor Darreg, and La Monte Young. [End Page 162]
Special Collections is also working with Reinhard to prepare the archival score he created in 1996 for Charles Ives's "Universe Symphony".
The collections are currently being processed at Furman and will be available for research and consultation later this spring in the Department of Special Collections and Archives, with a major exhibition of the collection slated for 2021. For more information, contact Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist Jeffrey Makala at 864-294-2714, or email@example.com.
New on RILM's Platform: RILM Music Encyclopedias. RILM Music Encyclopedias, the continually expanding full-text compilation of music reference works, is now available on RILM's elegant and innovative platform, Egret. It offers advanced, custom-designed search and browse capabilities through the entire collection of currently fifty-seven publications (including three new additions on the theme of rock). The publications span titles published from 1775 to the present and cover core subject areas in musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory. Searches can be performed within a specific encyclopedia or across the collection, saving users time and effort and revealing information in unexpected places, in addition to saving your library shelf space. Features currently include:
• Intuitive article display with a wide array of article navigation tools
• Instant translations from the original language into over 100 languages through an integrated Google Translate feature
• Sortability of most worklists, bibliographies, discographies, and other lists
• A bilingual English/German interface
• User accounts in which annotations can be created, saved, and shared
• Links to related content in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, MGG Online, and other resources
Malcolm Robin Lewis (7 August 1948–18 September 2019)
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Malcolm was a mainstay of the UK and Ireland branch of IAML, an indefatigable supporter of music libraries and, for many of us, a good friend and colleague for forty years or more. He died in September 2019, after a long illness of some six years, borne with extraordinary resilience and an incredible determination to keep going and remain as normal as possible, frequently telling friends "I'll try to look more ill next time I see you". His bravery was immense, complaints and self-pity undetectable, but beneath that veneer of cheerfulness and never-ending faith in and praise for the National Health Service, there must have been many moments of despondency and powerlessness, often miraculously, if superficially, cured by another beer in one his favourite pubs.
Malcolm's library career began in his hometown of Croydon, where he was soon encouraged to gain professional qualifications at Newcastle Polytechnic. After some breaks to travel around Europe and even as far as Sudan and Lebanon, he took up a post in Norwich to develop their music library, but by 1974 he was County Music Librarian for Nottinghamshire.
In Nottinghamshire Libraries, and later in Nottingham Libraries, when local government reorganisation determined change, the music collections were developed into first-rate public music libraries, underpinned by Malcolm's profound belief in the value of libraries and library cooperation and in the need for good public music library provision, to ensure good music-making. It is easy to underestimate how many people benefitted from that – not just the performers, scholars and children, amateurs and professionals, but all the many thousands of audience members who were able to enjoy performances, simply because the music library could provide what was needed. To the end, he remained proud that Nottingham still had a fine music library service and the dedicated staff to provide it. [End Page 164]
With the supply of performance sets a central feature of UK libraries, he was soon involved in the preparation of regional catalogues of vocal sets. He first came irrevocably to the UK Branch of IAML's notice when he hosted the UK conference in Nottingham in 1982. His organisation, untiring efficiency, friendliness and sheer good cheer, marked him out as a librarian to be captured. By 1985 he was elected to the Executive Committee, elected again every year until 2002, when he resigned, admitting that he was "doing the unthinkable, to make room for younger members". The range of work in which he immersed himself, in his own time and often at an expense he could ill-afford, was exceptional. He never shied away from all the tasks which most of us approached with dread, work which required the most meticulous attention to detail, a legalistic turn of mind and simple hard slog through documentation, producing guidance and conclusions which were intelligible to all of us lesser mortals: the revision of constitutions, the byzantine realms of copyright, responses to government, Library Association and British Phonographic Industry proposals, local government reorganisation, and, sadly, cuts to music libraries. He was also a walking, encyclopaedic archive, always able to retrieve the very document or past decision needed.
In 1992, he was elected President of the UK branch. As Roger Taylor reported to the IAML Council in 1994: "The UK Branch has expressed its enormous debt to our retiring President . . . Malcolm Lewis . . . [whose] workloads and achievements have been unprecedented, and the status of the Branch transformed, within the framework of UK and international librarianship". Roger Taylor also noted his "trademark qualities of friendliness, affability, tact, courtesy and diplomacy", virtues echoed by many since his death.
These presidential heights, however, represented just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The committees, working groups and consultation meetings in which he was involved are too numerous to recount, but his work was fundamental to so many of the Branch's achievements. For this work, and much more which follows, he was made an honorary member of the Branch in April 2002.
Malcolm was also an essential contributor to two of the Branch's projects in music library planning: The Music Library and Information Plan, published in 1993 (for which in one final week he made at least three trips from Nottingham to London) and the coauthored Access to Music, published ten years later, in which his role in untangling the current state of public music libraries and determining policies for the future was vital. The publication received the C.B. Oldman award in 2004. Work towards both projects frequently involved meetings with the "great and the good", who we privately agreed often deserved rather less complimentary soubriquets.
His articles and contributions to conferences and study weekends were regular, ever pertinent and frequently humorous (for example, the 1992 A Deeply Dead Duck: Compulsory Competitive Tendering-a New Whitehall Farce, and in the 1998 Forum for Interlending Newsletter: Music Interlending: some notes and a lot of issues), but there were other highly significant publications and areas of work which have and deserve lasting recognition. His 1989 guide to vocal sets-Sets of Vocal Music: a Librarian's Guide to Interlending Practice – must have saved the skins of countless uninitiated librarians and is long overdue for revision and re-issue. Perhaps even more noteworthy was his work alongside Alan Pope of Blackwell's Music Shop and Malcolm Jones (then) of Birmingham Libraries on the development of the International Standard Music Number which resulted in a consultative document in 1986 and went on to be adopted, slowly but surely, in countries around the world. Not least, his chapter in the Branch's 50th-anniversary publication [End Page 165] Music Librarianship in the United Kingdom, revealed an incalculable level of research. Who else would have attempted to write 'Shrouded in mystery': the development of music provision in public libraries in Great Britain, 1850–1950? On the day his copy arrived his excitement knew no bounds: "It's a proper book. It's hardback!"
Malcolm's work internationally may be too little recognised at home. He was at IAML international conferences in Oxford, Prague, Frankfurt, Ottawa, Helsinki, Edinburgh and Dublin, and his talents were soon recognised and put to work. He was involved in the Subject Commission on Audio-Visual Materials, was appointed by Council as their liaison with the European Community, proposed IAML's affiliation to EBLIDA, was Vice-Chair of the Public Libraries Branch, and chaired the Working Group on Copyright, from which post, according to reports in Fontes, he attempted to resign in 1997, 1998 and 1999; presumably the first two attempts failed utterly. In Ottawa, with a report to present the next day, he stayed up all night, failed to finish it, and simply busked the whole thing. No one had a clue as to its failed gestation. Another near failure came in 1997 when we travelled together to Amsterdam for a European Union Harmonica (music library project) meeting. The advertised journey of 45 minutes was delayed by seven hours, four of them in the plane on the tarmac, made bearable only by Malcolm's foresight in the purchase of duty free vodka which could be added to the only drink otherwise on offer – unpalatable orange juice.
After Malcolm's funeral on 16 October 2019, many of us gathered at one of his favourite watering holes, the Cross Keys pub in Nottingham. He would surely have approved.
Pamela Thompson [End Page 166]
The Juilliard School