Tag Archives: Announcements

New for Spring 2012: Expanded Saturday Hours

The Music & Arts Library is pleased to announce expanded Saturday hours, starting in the Spring 2012 semester. The Library will be open Saturdays from 12-8pm, from the previous 12-5pm schedule. In addition, we’ll offer previously unavailable services on Saturdays, including retrieval of restricted items from our closed “Case” collection, and assistance with bill & fine issues.

Hours for the current Spring semester:

  • Mondays – Thursdays     9am-9pm
  • Fridays                            9am-5pm
  • Saturdays                        12noon-8pm
  • Sundays                          1-9pm

The most up-to-date information on hours for all Columbia Libraries can be found at http://hours.library.columbia.edu.

Congratulations to Yoshiaki Onishi for 2011 Gaudeamus Prize!

Congratulations to Columbian and current Teaching Fellow in the Music Dept. Yoshiaki Onishi on winning the 2011 Gaudeamus Prize, for his composition “Départ dans…”. Details of the award can be seen at this link.

Some of his work will also be featured in the upcoming Gaudeamus Muziekweek New York, Jan. 25-28, 2012, presented by Issue Project Room in scenic downtown Brooklyn, New York. Other works in the series will include works by “… composer Yannis Kyriakides, an evening of electronic music featuring Wouter Snoei, Matthew Ostrowski, and Philip White & Ted Hearne; a rare performance of Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Poème Symphonique” for 100 metronomes; and performances by the CUNY New Music Ensemble.”

Congrats to Yoshi, and, step out to Brooklyn to hear some exciting music!

George Lewis and Sam Pluta @ Roulette, Thu 9/22, 8pm

Columbia’s own George Lewis, Sam Pluta, and the Wet Ink Ensemble will perform at the venerable experimental music outfit Roulette, at their new Brooklyn location, on Thursday, 9/22, at 8pm.

Lewis will perform his “Exercices spirituelles” (2010), and he and Sam Pluta will join in an improvisation. A recording of “Exercices…” is available in the Music & Arts Library, under call number CD20427. The program will also include a collaboration by Morton Subotnik and Tony Martin. Check it out!

Semester Loan Due Date now 9/30/11 – Renew your items

The Semester Loan due date has now been advanced to 9/30/11. You can now renew any semester-loan-eligible items (most books and scores). Items may be renewed online, via the “My Library Account” in CLIO, for up to 10 times. So, you can take Hermann Abert’s 1515-page biography of Mozart to the beach! Fun times! Or, perhaps just some piano music to catch up on over the summer? We’re not putting any pressure on anyone.

If you have problems or questions about your renewals, you can contact us at musiclibrary@columbia.edu (or ask at the circulation desk in 701 Dodge).

Noted composer Milton Babbitt passes away at 94; WKCR offers 24-hour memorial broadcast

Noted American composer Milton Babbitt passed away on Saturday, January 29th.  An obituary in the New York Times is available at this link. Beyond his many accomplishments and influence as a composer, which will no doubt be covered elsewhere, Babbitt participated in the birth and the spread of electronic music in the United States and beyond, and did so right here at Columbia.

He was one of the founding directors of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (along with fellow composers Otto Luening, Vladimir Ussachevsky, and Roger Sessions), established in 1959 to formalize and draw together many strands of electronic music research and activity at Columbia University and at Princeton, and initially funded by a grant from the Rockefeller foundation.

One of the most noteworthy pieces of equipment in the newly-established Center was the RCA Mark II synthesizer, unique at the time, which allowed programming of many parameters of the sound via binary codes punched into paper rolls. It also allowed precise specification of rhythm, a feature which attracted Babbitt greatly to the synthesizer, and it would be Babbitt who became the composer most associated with the RCA Mark II (with technical support from Center engineer Peter Mauzey). The image at the head of this post shows Babbitt in front of the RCA Mark II synthesizer (early 1960s?).

The RCA Mark II was installed at the Center, in Prentis at 125th Street, where it filled most of a room. The non-working synthesizer remains there to this day (it ceased working after a mid-1970s break-in damaged the equipment). The Center lives on today as the Columbia Computer Music Center. Pictures of the RCA Mark II, and a brief history of the Center, are available at this page on the Computer Music Center web site.

A few fascinating oral history interviews with Babbitt are available via The Video Archive of the Electroacoustic Music, including one describing his work with the RCA Mark II. There is also an interview from this source posted on YouTube, if you have any problems playing back the first source listed above.

Babbitt also provided a detailed summary of the use of the synthesizer from a composer’s perspective, in his article “An Introduction to the R.C.A. Synthesizer”, in Journal of Music Theory, 8, no. 2 (Winter, 1964): 251-265 (full text available in CLIO, see this link and navigate to vol.8 no.2).

WKCR will be broadcasting a Milton Babbit 24-hour marathon, beginning around 1am tonight and running through 1am early Wednesday morning, both over the air and streaming online. Tune in to hear some of Babbitt’s ground-breaking and influential music. You can continue your listening by browsing the recordings available in the Music & Arts Library in 701 Dodge. Try searching on keywords= Milton Babbitt , and limit your search to “music sound recordings” to exclude books and scores. You can also find some streaming audio recordings, via the Libraries’ audio databases Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM) , Naxos Music Library, and Classical Music Library. Don’t hesitate to ask Music Library staff for help if needed, either at the circulation desk, or at musiclibrary@columbia.edu.

In addition, there is some material by Babbitt contained in the archives of the Center. This material, including some musical sketches, working notes, scores, punched paper rolls used to drive the RCA Mark II synthesizer, and a small amount of correspondence and ephemera, is in the process of being transferred to the Columbia University Libraries, for preservation, proper storage, and cataloging. Some photos and information on the archives of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center are available here.

R.I.P.  Milton Babbitt.

The Digital Music Lab in the Music & Arts Library

The Music & Arts Library is pleased to offer the Digital Music Lab, a space featuring 4 Mac workstations, 2 digital pianos, an 11″ x 17″ scanner, and a suite of specialized software, allowing users to to play, compose, record, scan, notate, edit, program, and analyze digital audio and music scores. A full list of equipment and software is available on the Lab home page. Expert help is available from library staff (you can schedule a consultations in advance, at the email address below). We welcome your thoughts and suggestions! Please contact us at musiclibrary@columbia.edu with any comments, or if you wish to share details of any projects you’ve done in the lab (we’d like to feature interesting projects on our web pages).

Renew your semester loan items due 2/15/10

The new semester loan due date for check-outs and renewals is now June 1, 2010. So, now is a good time to renew any semester-loan items you want to continue using! To avoid overdue charges and other problems, remember to renew your items before February 15, 2010 (the due date for any semester loan items you currently have checked out and have not yet renewed).

As always, online renewal (up to 10 times, unless recalled) is available for most items by accessing the “My Library Account” tab in CLIO. Questions or problems? Contact us at musiclibrary@columbia.edu.

REMINDER – Renew your semester loan items due 9/30/09!

Just a reminder to renew any items you have checked out on semester loan!

Any books or scores checked out before Sept. 2, 2009 will be due on Wednesday, Sept. 30th. Make sure to renew or return these items, to avoid overdue fines and/or circulation blocks.

Items may be renewed online, by accessing “My Library Account” (under “Using the Libraries” on Library Web, or via the “My Library Account” tab in CLIO).

The new semester loan due date for renewed books and scores will be Feb. 15th, 2010 (please note that this does not apply to recordings, which circulate on a 2-week loan, not semester loan).

If you have questions about renewals, or anything else, please contact us at music@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.

Semester loan due date is now 9/30/09 – Renew your items!

The semester loan due date has advanced to 9/30/09. So, you may now renew any semester loan items which will be due on 6/1/09. Online renewals may be done by clicking on the “My Library Account” tab in CLIO.

Be sure to complete renewal of semester-loan items before 6/1/09. Please make sure to note any items which are not renewed. Reasons for this commonly include recalls placed by other patrons, or hitting the 10-renewal limit for items. Please bring those items into the library for in-person renewal or return. Let us know if you have any questions or problems! You can reach us at music@libraries.cul.columbia.edu or at 212-854-4711.