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September signifies many things to us–cooler temperatures, leaves starting to turn, and…back to school!

I would like to showcase some of the items requested with increasing frequency as the semester begins. We have some new titles and some that would be helpful if you’re looking for a guide. Most of these are intended for college age patrons, but if you need to review something or are just curious, all patrons are welcome to check these out.

In braille format, there will be an updated version of the Norton Anthology to Music, Volume 1, Ancient to Baroque, 7th edition. It is in the process of being transcribed, but if a student requires a specific section, please contact us directly and we can expedite it to fulfill that request. At the moment we have the 4th edition, BRM 34511, available from the shelf. On BARD, (Braille and Audio Reading Download) the 1st edition of volume one is available for download at BRM 29537 and the second volume can be downloaded at BRM 29080. While not the most recent, maybe this edition would work as a source for analyzing specific music examples. Volume 2; Classic to Romantic, 6th edition is available on BARD at BRM 36039 and Volume 3; Twentieth Century, 6th edition is available for download at BRM 36037.

And on a special note of the twentieth century, we have Music of Changes by John Cage at BRM 36000.

Photo of Brian Ferneyhough, John Cage, and Roger Reynolds in Warren Studio A, UCSD
Photo of Brian Ferneyhough, John Cage, and Roger Reynolds in Warren Studio A, UCSD

Cage was a fascinating composer, sometimes pushing the envelope so much that others thought it should have been left unopened. Introducing the idea of prepared piano and chance music, he left a lasting impact on musical composition. He appeared on the popular game show “I’ve Got a Secret” in the 1960s as a contestant where he performed his original composition Water Walk. It is scored for 5 radios, a vase of flowers, a water pitcher, an iron pipe and other items he deemed necessary (like a grand piano!) I appreciate this composer’s practice of Performance Art before anyone knew what performance art was.

LPM 795 is the large print score for the Duruflé Requiem, op. 9 in four volumes for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. This work is being programmed in community and academic settings, and we are now able to offer it for loan.

In the audio format, one of our best kept secrets that we want to get out has been the MusAcom series. These lessons are meant for vocalists and include a performance of the song with accompaniment, a reading of the lyrics for diction guidance, a translation of the song, a recording of the melody (on piano) and a separate recording of the piano accompaniment alone for use in practice. Many art songs and lieder are available with favorites by Schubert, Brahms, Copland, Britten, Fauré and Strauss. There are 385 entries in the Voyager catalog.

Finally, whether one is a participant or in the audience, Master Classes are a great way to learn how to approach a difficult piece of music or learn new practice techniques. DBM 3650 has Andras Schiff teaching as he works with a student on some of Schubert’s Moment Musicaux. DBM 3659 has pianist Johanna MacGregor teaching students on Messien’s Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus. Look for “Masterclass Media Foundation” titles as a keyword in the Voyager catalog; lessons on famous works for violin, viola, cello, piano, vocal, percussion and trumpet are presented by current artists.

Whether you are enrolled in a formal course of study or not, you’re never too old to learn. Let us know if we can help you with materials from the NLS Music collection.


  1. Nice article. How wonderful that we have all these treasures, in OUR library and for our use.

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