Category Archives: Music

The Global Jukebox

The Global Jukebox is a site based on the audio archive of Alan Lomax, famed ethnomusicologist who collected traditional folk music of cultures around the world. There are many ways to browse: by map, by culture, or by “journeys” where you can track your personal heritage musically and make a family tree of songs.

About the site: “The Global Jukebox presents traditions that are linked to the roots of the world’s peoples. Alan Lomax called it a “democratic cultural system”. The visitor may explore collections of music, dance, and speech from almost every corner of the globe, recorded by hundreds of pioneering ethnographers at times when mass communications were less pervasive than now.

The Global Jukebox explores connections between families of expressive style. One can travel the world of song, dance and language through the Wheel Chart and the Map. Thousands of examples of the world’s music, dance and other expressive behavior will now become available. The Global Jukebox is presented as a free, non-commercial, educational place for everybody, students, educators, scholars, scientists, musicians, dancers, linguists, artists and music fans to explore expressive patterns in their cultural-geographic and diasporic settings and alongside other people’s. By inviting familiarity with many kinds of vocalizing, musicking, moving, and talking, we hope to advance cultural equity and to reconnect people and communities with their creative heritage.”

read more here

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The Birth and Life of Opera

We’ve been receiving some requests at the reference desk for the DVD “The Birth and Life of Opera” for Professor Echeverry’s class. Unfortunately, there is no DVD for this in the library.

Fortunately (!) you can stream in through our database Films on Demand. To access Films on Demand visit our homepage ( and log in to Esearch (your Spartan’s Domain username and password) and then find Films on Demand (databases are in alphabetical order). Search for your movie/series and watch.

UT Band Visits the Library

At the beginning of every academic year the band stops by to rouse us from our summer slumber. We always love seeing them come by. It’s our sign that the new semester is upon us.

Jazz Appreciation Month

April is Jazz Appreciation Month!

jazz_logo_1Along with the many books about jazz music that feature criticisms, histories, and biographies in the library’s collection (which you can find by searching the Online Catalog) did you know that the library also has sound recordings and DVDs available for check out? Whether you’re a music lover or a jazz neophyte learn more about this uniquely American musical style with documentaries, live footage collections, and audio by and about many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century.


Check out Ken Burns 2001 PBS documentary Jazz, companion book Jazz: A History of America’s Music, and CD Ken Burn’s Jazz: The Story of America’s Music.


films on demand

You can also watch Ken Burns PBS Documentary Jazz through the Films on Demand Database. Remember to log in to Esearch first.


series5box4web_goldCheck out this multivolume set of live video footage of jazz greats including John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Nina SimoneDizzie Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and more by Reelin’ In The Years Productions.


jazz smithsonianCheck out Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology,  a 6 disc set featuring 111 tracks.



alexander street music

Listen to streaming music online. The Alexander Street Music Online database has an extensive collection of Jazz recordings including 39 sub-genres. The Naxos Music Library database also has a Jazz section.Log in to Esearch for access.

First Friday Concerts Begin At Sykes Chapel Tomorrow

Some may know that I am part-time librarian. Most of my “free” time is occupied by the needs of my almost six-year-old. Last month my daughter started kindergarten so I have a bit more time alone and I have been doing some thinking on how I would like to spend that time.

I have never been one to pass up a free and culturally rewarding program so when I noticed earlier this week that First Friday Concerts will begin at Sykes Chapel tomorrow I did a little happy dance at the reference desk (not really, but I thought about it).

I have taken a look at the organ in Sykes from the distance but I am excited to come in and get a look at it close up. I also admire performers of any type and I think it is my privilege to be part of their audience.

Here is the official info about the First Friday Concerts – I hope to see you there:

“Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values will host organ       demonstration/recitals on the First Friday of every month at noon. These thirty minute “informances” will feature UT music faculty and students demonstrating the Bluthner Grand Piano and the 58-stop Dobson Pipe Organ.”

If you find yourself wanting to listen to more organ or piano music don’t forget we have a CD collection at the library. You can use the online catalog to find titles that might interest you. For me I have my eye on Johannes Brahms Complete Organ Works – I think  might just have to check it out and add it to our Sunday morning classical music listening.  Maybe next week you can ask me all about the CD.  While anyone can check out CDs you do have to ask for access – you can do that at the circulation desk.

Music Monday: Sound Unbound

While writing about music may be akin to dancing about architecture (as Martin Mull once quipped) it can help sometimes to put different types of music into their historical and cultural contexts. Sound Unbound is edited by Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky). This collection takes a look at the history of the re-mix in music. How long has sampling been around? In addition to nearly three dozen essays by writers as diverse as electronics wizard Jaron Lanier, rap icon Chuck D, and futurist Bruce Sterling this book is accompanied by an eclectic mix CD of avant-garde music.

“The groundbreaking mix CD that accompanies this book features Nam Jun Paik, the Dada Movement, John Cage, Sonic Youth, and many other examples of avant-garde music. Most of the CD’s content comes from the archives of Sub Rosa, a legendary record label that has been the benchmark for archival sounds since the beginnings of electronic music.” [source]

If you’re interested in remix culture you might also want to check out Lawrence Lessig’s Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.

Music Monday:

We librarians like to emphasize the databases we pay for because they’re substantial resources. But, we also use free databases all the time.

One of the things you’re learning when you’re doing research is how to evaluate information sources. You may not have access to all the databases we pay for when you leave UT, but you’ll need to get high-quality information from somewhere. With any luck one of the habits of mind you acquire while researching various topics will be how to tell good information resources from mediocre information resources.

With that said, one of the free databases I use frequently when doing music research is

I recently needed to know more about Shel Silverstein. You may know him as the author of The Giving Tree, or Where the Sidewalk Ends, but he was also a prolific song writer. At I got a list of all the songs he wrote, albums he recorded, awards he won, as well as a brief bio. I was also able to find a list of everyone who has covered Shel Silverstein songs (“25 Minutes to Go,” about a man’s final minutes before execution, has been covered by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Diamanda Galas, and Jon Langford & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, for example.)

Where do you look for music information online?

Music Monday: Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library is one of our three large databases that collect music. (The other two are Alexander Street and DRAM Online.) Naxos is particularly strong in classical works.

It also has (more in line with my interests) a substantial collection of film scores. This is where I go when I want to hear the soundtrack for obscurities like The House of Frankenstein, or Son of Kong, or I Walked With a Zombie.

About Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library (NML) is the world´s largest online classical music library. Currently, it offers streaming access to more than 66,030 CDs with more than 947,300 tracks, standard and rare repertoire. Over 800 new CDs are added to the library every month.

The library offers the complete Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues plus the complete catalogues or selected titles from over 378 classical, jazz and world music labels with more labels joining every month. Classic pop and rock music as well as Chinese orchestral music are also represented.

To access the Naxos Music Library visit the library’s front page, log into Esearch (the username and password is the same as your Spartans Domain username and password), and then locate Naxos in the alphabetical list of databases.

Music Monday: DRAM Online

DRAM Online (available through the library’s collection of databases) is an often overlooked resource for music. But if you’re interested in American composers, whether it be classical, jazz, or avant-garde, then you’ll want to spend some time at this database.

Originally created “to produce a 100-disc anthology of American music encompassing the broadest possible spectrum of musical genres in honor of the bicentennial” DRAM has continued to grow its selection and now holds 3,062 albums from 25 recording labels and two archives in CD-quality audio (192kbps Mp4).

For me this resource was great for learning more about American experimental composer Harry Partch. Partch was one of the first twentieth-century composers to work with microtonal scales and he also built custom-made instruments for his compositions. If Partch is too out there for you, you might want to check out their collection of Jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Steve Lacy.

“DRAM is a not-for-profit organization committed to contributing to the scholarly community by preserving, restoring and presenting important musical recordings and their accompanying materials, such as essays, liner notes and cover art, in a trusted, authoritative and affordable digital environment. Our principal goals are to preserve and disseminate musical recordings largely ignored by the commercial marketplace based upon their aesthetic and historical value. We strive to meet the needs of musicians, scholars and educators through ongoing dialogue and collaboration with likeminded individuals and organizations towards maximizing DRAM’s value to musical and scholarly communities.”

Here’s part one of a 1968 San Diego KPBS-TV documentary titled The Music of Harry Partch

Part two

Part three

Part four

Music Monday: Faculty Organ Recital and Maurice Duruflé

Welcome to Music Monday. This semester I want to highlight some of the musical events on campus, and some of the music resources available in the Macdonald Kelce Library. This Friday there will be a free faculty organ recital from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.

Faculty Organ Recital Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values

This event is open to public and free.
Find out more information here:

Ryan Hebert, University Organist, will present an organ recital featuring works by Bach, Mendlessohn, Langlais and Maurice Duruflé. The concert is free and open to the public.

I admit I am not familiar with the works of Maurice Duruflé. However, by searching some of the databases in our collection I can find out more about the composer and listen to his works. (Remember to log in to Esearch before using the library’s databases.)

At Alexander Street I can listen to the works composed by Duruflé recorded by different performers. Here’s a link to Duruflé’s Requiem:

At Grove Music Online (aka Oxford Music Online) I can read a brief biography.

“Introspective and enormously self-critical, Duruflé was not a prolific composer. His output nonetheless manifests an evenness of quality and a distinctive voice in the 20th-century French repertory. Plainsong is the life-blood of most of his works but its use proves liberating rather than restrictive, inspiring modal harmonies, polyphonic structures and, often, changes of mood ranging from the ethereal to the powerfully foreboding.”