Monday, November 24, 2008

The Music of Old Nebraska, Part 2

The music of old Nebraska was made up of much more than just sheet music. Music was an important part of the life of Nebraskans, and there was an active musical culture here. Lincoln had competing schools of music. There were many performance opportunities for amateurs. And, even professionals were able to make their way as Nebraska musicians.

The Polley Music Library collection documents this musical activity with programs, photographs, and other items, a selection of which have been digitized for the Nebraska Memories digital library project of the Nebraska Library Commission.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Music of Old Nebraska

One of the ways to get sheet music these days is to find it on the web and download it or print it off, sometimes for a fee, and sometimes for free. The Polley Music Library has free sheet music from our collection available on our web page in two collections, the Polley Digital Archive and the Music of Old Nebraska project. The digitization of this music was funded by LSTA grants.

Old Age Blues has music by Jess Williams and lyrics by Pete Curtis, and dates from 1921. Jess Williams is one of the people who kept ragtime music alive, performing at the American Folklife Festival in 1976. Information about the Nebraska composers is available in an annotated composer catalog.

The collection contains many songs about Nebraska.

World War I brought the service flag, and the stars changed from blue to gold with the death of the service member.

The variety of sheet music is quite amazing. And it's all by Nebraskans or about Nebraska or Nebraskans in the Music of Old Nebraska. Check out our digitized collections.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Music of Life

This fall the Polley Music Library compiled a list of compact discs that contained both relaxing and expansive music for use with a class at the local community college. Feedback was that the music was perfect for the intended purpose. Needless to say, musical emotions and reactions are very personal, and culturally predicated. If you would like to listen to relaxing and uplifting music as the hectic time of the holiday season approaches, you might try some of the albums listed here.
  • Bell, Joshua. Voice of the violin
  • Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Intermezzo
  • Botti, Chris. Italia
  • Curiale, Joseph. Awakening
  • Curiale, Joseph. The music of life
  • Faure, Gabriel. Pelleas et Melisande, op. 80 [and] Dolly
  • Galway, James. The Celtic minstrel
  • Grusin, Dave. The orchestral album
  • Loussier, Jacques. Jacques Loussier Trio plays Debussy
  • Ma, Yo Yo. Simply baroque
  • Morricone, Ennio. Yo Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone
  • O'Grady, Geraldine. The lark in the clear air
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Cinema serenade
  • Rittenour, Lee. Two worlds
  • Rodrigo, Joaquin. Concerto de Aranjuez
  • Rutter, John. Distant land
  • Satie, Erik. The magic of Satie
  • Tailleferre, Germaine. Works for two pianos & piano 4-hands

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November is Native American Heritage Month

Lincoln City Libraries celebrates Native American Heritage Month with a Native American read-in and book displays. A display in the Polley Music Library features books on the music on Native Americans. Some of those included are:

  • The art of the native American flute, by R. Carlos Nakai and James Demars

  • Choctaw music and dance, by James H. Howard and victoria Lindsay Levine

  • Flute magic: an introduction to the native American flute, by Tim R. Crawford

  • Myth, music and dance of the American Indian, by Ruth De Cesare

  • The Power of Kiowa song, by Luke E. Lassiter

  • Putting a song on top of it: expression and identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, by David W. Samuels

  • Songprints: the musical experience of five Shoshone women, by Judith Vander

  • Southern Cheyenne women's songs, by Virginia Giglio

  • A study of Omaha Indian music, by Alice C. Fletcher

  • War dance: plains Indian musical performance, by William K. Powers

  • We'll be in your mountains, we'll be in your songs: a Navajo woman sings, by Ellen McCullough-Brabson and Marilyn Help

Of course the library has other resources on Native American music -- compact discs and the Smithsonian Global Sounds database, to name a couple.

One of the best resources on the web for Native American music is in the American Memories project of the Library of Congress, using sources from the American Folklife Center Archives. Check out the Omaha Indian Music page.

Nebraska, too, has many ties to Indianist composers who used Native American music, through inspiration or adptation. Thurlow Lieurance, Derrick Norman Lehmer, and Charles Wakefield Cadman all spent time in Nebraska with Indianist compositional leanings. Some Indianist pieces are included in the Music of Old Nebraska project on the Polley Music Library web page.