The Music Library Then & Now: Highlights from the Last 60 Years

November 18th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 – 9:00 am to Friday, December 19, 2014 – 5:00 pm

With the Music Library’s reading room renovations underway , we thought that it was a perfect opportunity to dig through some of the old unit files and build an exhibit. The Music Library Then & Now briefly explores the history of the UCLA Music Library (1942–present), as well as physical changes to its structure.

While this post will not re-count the Music Library’s full history–we encourage to see our webpage, or come see the exhibit for a full history–we would like to highlight some fun facts that you may not know. These are sure to make great dinner party conversation openers–just in time for all those holiday parties!

Schoenberg Historic_1

Photo Courtesy of
UCLA Music Library

Little Known Fact #1

The Music Library was originally part of Special Collections and was housed in the basement of Powell Library [then called the University Library] (1942 – 1955).

Little Known Fact #2

The mezzanine level wasn’t added to the Music Library until 1965.

Little Known Fact #3

Although commonly known as the “Music Library”, it was dedicated to a person in 1976, and the facility’s full title is The Walter H. Rubsamen Music Library.

Little Known Fact #4

The media room wasn’t added to the Music Library until 1986.

Little Known Fact #5

1993 was the last time that the Music Library’s reading room was renovated.

Music Library Renovations 2014_2

Photo Courtesy of Henry Lim

The staff is really excited to be part of the renovations process, because we know that the outcome will be beneficial to our patrons in the coming years. We thank you for your continued support.

Music Library Renovations 2014

Photo Courtesy of Henry Lim


Rockin’ the Boat: Celebrating Banned Books Week Through Music

September 24th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

This week libraries and book stores throughout the country are celebrating Banned Books Week. This annual celebration focuses on the importance of open access to written communications and first amendment rights. This year’s theme is comic books and graphic novels. NPR produced an excellent story to celebrate some notable works in these genres that have received censor and/or been banned from libraries or book stores.

While we cannot necessarily highlight many music-related graphic novels or comic books that have fallen under censor, we would like to discuss some notorious cases of censorship and banning of popular 20th-century music. 

Elvis Presley’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (1954)

Shortly after its release, the Juvenile Delinquency Commission of Houston, Texas placed “Good Rockin’ Tonight” on a list of objectionable records that banned it from being played on many radio stations, or sold in record stores.

Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) Rap/Metal Hearings (1984 – 1985)

In 1985 PMRC formed as a means to increase parental control of access to music deemed to contain overt references to sex, drugs or violence via a rating system and set limitationd on  the availability (e.g., store sales) of these albums to children. The PMRC also published a list of fifteen songs that they found most objectionable, including Prince’s “Darling Nikki”, Madonna’s “Dress You Up” and Black Sabbath’s “Trashed.”

Dixie Chicks Anti-Government Sentiments @ a Public Performance (2003)

During a London performance, singer Natalie Maines openly spoke against the U.S. entering the war in Iraq. She also spoke her displeasure with President Bush. As a result of the group’s use of their first amendment rights, sparked intense criticism of the group and its music. Many fans boycotted their music; in a single week their single, “Landslide” went from No. 10 to No. 43 on the Billboard chart.

The UCLA Music Library recognizes the importance free expression in music, a creative art form. We proudly show our support of open access to published materials.

To read more about these cases see: Free Speech and Music 

A Soldier’s Tale

July 8th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

The European War began in July, 1914 and raged through three more years before the United States entered. Then it became known as The Great War. It is indeed a great historical and cultural marker, a border between the 19th century and the modern world, the shift from a European to American centered western world, and the beginning of the end of the reign of Kings, Kaisers, and Tsars and their colonies.

Millions of men and hundreds of thousands of women for the first time traveled farther than a few miles from the small towns, farms, and cities where they and their parents were born to face modern warfare–airplanes, tanks, and nerve gas–but also to experience a world far larger than any of their ancestors had ever done.

Here’s a Soldier’s Tale told by popular song sheet music from 1915 to 1922.

1915  Will the United States enter the War?

The United States did not enter the war until after 1917, and the debate raged as to whether our country should intervene or not. I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier,  advocating pacifism, sold close to 1 million copies… until after intense propaganda made opposition to the war unpatriotic. Parodies such as I didn’t raise my boy to be a coward and others followed after the mood of the country changed. Songs about mothers and sons such as Break the News to Mother had been popular all the way back to the Civil War, and they became popular again as this new conflict became inevitable.

Listen: I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier. Sung by Helen Clark. (Edison Blue Amberol 2850).
Listen: America! Here’s My Boy. Sung by George Wilton Ballard and Chorus. (Edison Blue Amberol 3239).

1917  Songs the Soldiers and Sailors Sang

Whipping up patriotism and enthusiasm for the war, songs like When the Yankees Yank the Kaiser Off His Throne often included references to “The Hun”, or “the Beast”, or worse. The dehumanizing of the enemy went further on both sides than ever before, and propaganda reached new levels of savagery.

Listen: We’re All Going Calling on the Kaiser. Sung by Arthur Fields and Chorus. Edison Blue Amberol 3568.

1918 Serving Over There

The charm of exotic French girls which in reality very few of the soldiers ever came in contact with—the men were sent to the Belgian and German border, not to Paris—nevertheless became one of the legends of the war, possibly created in songs like Wee Wee Marie to charm reluctant boys to enlist. The hemline on the mademoiselle on the cover of Wee, Wee, Marie would not have been allowed on a nice girl back home.

Listen: Over There! Sung by The Indestructible Quartet [sic.]. (Indestructible Record 3412).
Wee Wee Marie. Sung by Rachel Grant and Billy Murray. (Edison Blue Amberol 3596).

1919 Peace At Last

When the boys returned from the war a few may have seen “Paree”, but all of them experienced more life than their parents or grandparents had ever dreamed of. After a year or two of the filth and blood in the trenches, they were not quite ready to settle down and milk the cow as if nothing had changed. Everything had.

Listen: How Ya Gonna Keep Him Down on the Farm. Sung by Arthur Fields. Victor 18537. 1919.

1920 The Party Begins

The Roaring 20s and the Jazz Age begins, helped along by Prohibition. Alcoholic beverages became illegal in the United States in 1919, but the party went on anyway, the trick of drinking illegally making it more attractive.  The abrupt change in entertainment and morals shocked many people, but songs like Do a Little This, Do a Little That turned the shock into comedy. Night clubs; new, wild dances; and dangerous Jazz music: all the work of the devil.

Listen: Take me to that Land of Jazz. Sung by Marion Harris (Victor 18593)
Listen:  Ev’rybody Shimmies Now. All Star Trio. (Victor 18602).

1922. Remembering the Fallen

Although written as a love song “My Buddy” and several other songs from the early 1920s (I wonder where my buddies are tonight? from 1926) captured a different mood of the returning soldiers. Rather than French girls, they had seen friends around them dying in the trenches. These songs expressed the love of lost comrades and the affection between males created by hardship and shared experiences.

Listen: My Buddy. Sung by  Henry Burr. Victor 18930
Listen: Dear Old Pal of Mine.  Sung by John MacCormack.  Victor 755.

When the flower’s bloom in No Man’s Land, bringing a message of Peace and Love,
And the cannon’s roar is heard no more, what a message from above.
When the sun shines through the clouds of war, when Peace covers all the earth and sea,
And when each Mother’s Son has laid down his gun, what a wonderful day that will be!


The sheet music on this post is all public domain and from the following sites.

Archive of Popular American Music (UCLA).

Sheet Music Consortium (Indiana University, John Hopkins University, Duke University, and others).

The recordings in the public domain are from the following.

Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project (UC Santa Barbara)

The National Jukebox (Library of Congress)


Further reading on music and The Great War.

Ben Arnold. Music and War: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Garland, 1993.
(UCLA Music Library ML 128.A2A75 1993)

Bernard S. Parker. World War I Sheet Music. Jefferson, N.C.: MacFarland, 2007.
(UCLA Music Library: ML 128.W2P37 2007)

Glen Watkins. Proof Through the Night: Music and the Great War. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003
(UCLA Music Library: ML 197.W436 2003)


Take Me to the Movies: Jazz in Film–New Exhibit in the Music Library

May 21st, 2014 § 173 comments § permalink

Now through June 30

While perusing the Internet Movie Database (IMBD) I stumbled upon quite an extensive list of films that feature Jazz, and what started out as a bit of procrastination turned into an interesting research project and exhibit. Take Me to the Movies: Jazz in Film features films and television series (held in the UCLA Library collections) from ca. 1950-1975 that use both diegetic (foreground) and non-diegetic (background) Jazz as part of the soundtrack.


Jazz has been used as part of film soundtracks since the cue sheets of the Silent Film era (1894-1928). However, it became prominent as part of the soundtrack (primarily diegetic) during the Classic era (1929-1963). The UCLA Library collections have numerous highlights from the rich history of Jazz in film and television, including the cue and timing sheets from Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn, the manuscript for Alex North’s A Streetcar Named Desire and the soundtrack for Duke Ellington’s Anatomy of a Murder. While our exhibit case will only hold so much, we’ve included as much as possible to give you an idea of both the extensiveness of our collections and the richness of Jazz as a genre in film and television. For example, the exhibit includes a sound recording and piano songbook from The Glenn Miller Story (1954) and both the sound recording and original autobiography of Billy Holiday’s Lady Sings the Blues (1956/1972).

Further Reading & Research

Want to learn more about Jazz in film? Check out these resources—

Library of Congress: Jazz in Film Bibliography

Celluloid Improvisations Archive Website

K. Gabbard Jammin’ at the margins: Jazz and the American cinema

M.B. Holbrook’s Music, movies, meanings, and markets : Cinema Jazzamatazz

K.A. McGee’s Some liked it hot : jazz women in film and television, 1928-1959

P. Stanfield Body and soul : Jazz and blues in American film, 1927-63

It’s String Quartet Month @ The Music Library!

March 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Based on the old adage, ‘In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb’, it might be supposed that the Music Library would feature an exhibit on pastoral music, or regale you with sacred Masses in March. However, we always aim to present new ideas, and our Music Librarian, David Gilbert , with help from the Hugo Davise Fund for Contemporary Music, has prepared a wonderful celebration of the 20th-century string quartet this month.

Jacaranda Concert featuring the Lyris Quartet

On Saturday, March 8 @ 8pm, the Lyris Quartet, in conjunction with Jacaranda: Music at the Edge will perform Continental Harmony, a concert featuring:

Charles Ives: String Quartet No. 2

Ben Johnston: String Quartet No. 4

Philip Glass: String Quartet No. 5

Erich Korngold: String Quartet No. 3

The concert will be held in Schoenberg Hall and admission is free.

As an added bonus to the concert, our Music Librarian and the Music Library Intern, Joy Doan, have prepared an exhibit that features the scores of Ives, Johnston, Glass and Korngold.

20th-century String quartet

20th-century String quartet








Kronos Quartet 40th Anniversary Celebration

The Kronos Quartet started in 1973 and has since become one of the most well-renowned string quartets of the 20th-century. As part of their 40th Anniversary Celebration, there are a series of events featuring the Kronos Quartet at UCLA.

The Music Library will feature a Q&A with the Kronos Quartet on Wednesday, March 12 from 4-5:30pm. Seating is limited, and a reservation is required. Please email David Gilbert for RSVP availability.

On Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15 they will be performing at Royce Hall. The program will include:

Krzysztof Penderecki: Quartetto per archi
John Oswald: Spectre
Philip Glass (arr. Michael Riesman): Orion: China
Alter Yechiel Karniol (arr. Judith Berkson): Sim Sholom
Richard Wagner (arr. Aleksandra Vrebalov): Prelude from Tristan und Isolde
Nels Cline: Views from Here to the Heavens

George Crumb: Black Angels

On Friday, March 14, you can sit in on an open rehearsal of the concert program from 11am-3pm.

Our current exhibit, compiled by David Gilbert, features the score of Black Angels, as well as some of the key recordings of the Kronos Quartet. This exhibit and our Music Librarian will also be available at the concerts (March 14-15) to answer questions about the Kronos Quartet and the UCLA Library Collections.

We hope that you enjoy String Quartet month!

Quirky Love Songs from the Sheet Music Collection, 1890-

February 18th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Presented by UCLA Library Performing Arts Archivist—Peggy Alexander

On display through March 5, 2014

What would February be if the Music Library did not get the chance to show off some of the love songs from the Sheet Music Collection, 1890-                   (PASC 147-M). However, make no mistake, this exhibit does not feature sappy titles like “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” or “Cheek to Cheek.” Rather, the uncertainty of love is questioned with titles such as:

“If You Make Eyes at Someone (Won’t You Please Make Eyes at Me).”

Lyrics—Leo Wood & Matt Woodward

Music—Leo Edwards

“One Has My Name…the Other Has My Heart.”

Lyrics & Music—Eddie Dean, Dearest Dean, and Hal Blair

“The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else.”

Lyrics—Gus Kahn

Music—Isham Jones

Display Case (2)

Display Case (1)

“Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder (For Somebody Else).”

Lyrics—Lewis & Young

Music—Harry Warren

“Since an Angel like Mary Loves a Devil like Me.”

Lyrics—Joe Young & Edgar Leslie

Music—George W. Meyer

“I Just Met the Fellow who Married the Girl that I was Going to Get.”

Lyrics—Jos. McCarthy

Music—Al. Piantadosi


Yet, have no fear that the Music Library encourages cynicism towards Valentine’s Day. The following titles reflect the ubiquitous appreciation of traditional love songs.

“Sneezing Song (I Love You I Love You Kachoo).”

Lyrics & Music—Cal de Voll, Polly and Anna

“I Do Kind of Feel I’m in Love.”

Lyrics—Hugh E. Wright



Display Case (1)

Display Case (2)

Quirky Love Songs from the Sheet Music Collection, 1890- demonstrates the wide variety of topical pieces available in this collection (PASC 147-M), and while a researcher may have to go sleuthing through finding aids and physical boxes, in order to view the songs presented above (or similar titles), UCLA Libraries Digital Collections:  Digital Archive of Popular American Music presents another discovery point. This digital archive features over 450,000 pieces that are in the public domain.

The Music Library Staff hopes that you will get the chance to come check-out this exhibit and to explore the UCLA Libraries Performing Arts and Digital Collections.

–Joy Doan

ARL/MLA Intern



The Musical Musings of Lawrence Clark Powell

November 13th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

I formed the conviction then, which has never left me, that of all man’s creations music is the most nearly divine.—L.C. Powell

Lawrence Clark Powell (b. 1906 d. 2001) was the University Librarian at UCLA from 1944-1961, and while he is mainly recognized for his expertises in Library & Information Science[1], his personal interests varied. Namely, Powell was a devoted music enthusiast whose passion for the Classical period (ca. 1750-1820) greatly influenced his written works and personal research.

Revisiting Powell’s Thoughts on Music

I came across UCLA’s copy of The bookman’s progress while shelve surfing for research materials for my music librarianship class. After purusing the list of contents, I added Powell’s book to my stack. After reading the first three chapters, it was clear to me why Special Collections made the assessment that Powell was fascinated with the life and works of W.A. Mozart (Tribute to Powell, 2002). Chapter three, “Musical blood brothers,” details Powell’s trip to Salzburg. It’s as though Powell’s attempting to write a travel diary/bibliographic entry that allows him to pay omage to Mozart’s genius.

“The reason why among all the musicians who have lived there has been only one Mozart is the same reason a bank vault can’t be opened by random dialing, except under the most fantastic odds,” (Powell, 1968).

While the entirety of the chapter isn’t as flowery as this passage, we do get the sense that Powell was fascinated with the works of Mozart, and that he was compelled from the perspective of a librarian to explore Mozart’s career in terms of bibliographic entry, not merely aesthetics.

“What I have been doing is searching the literature, old and new for evidence which reveals Mozart in those triumphant moments…[I have been through] the latest bibliography…From living with these books during the past ten years, I have come to know Mozart better than any other historical figure…No other composer had such genius in so many forms…No other composer has ever been so universally adored by other musicians,” (Powell, 1968).

This piece gave me a new prospective of Powell; no longer do I only see him as a pinnacle in academic librarianship, an Olympus figure among librarians. Next stop on my woks by Powell list,  Susanna’s secret, or The lost Mozart letters. For a list of more musical writings by Powell and where to find out more about his career in general, please see below.

Until next time…

Joy–Music Library Intern

Selected Writings on Music by Powell[2]

Powell, L.C. (1968). Music into silence. Bookman’s progress: The selected               writings of Lawrence Clark Powell. Laguna Beach, CA: The Ward Ritchie                 Press.

Call Number: Z720.P87b

_________ (1968). The way it sounds. Bookman’s progress: The selected               writings of Lawrence  Clark Powell. Laguna Beach, CA: The Ward                               Ritchie Press.

Call Number: Z720.P87b

_________ (1968). Musical blood brothers. Bookman’s progress: The selected writings of  Lawrence Clark Powell. Laguna Beach, CA: The Ward                           Ritchie Press.

Call Number: Z720.P87b

_________ (1981). Susanna’s secret, or The lost Mozart letters. Tuscun, AZ :       Press of the Mesquite Harpschord.

Call Number: PS3531.P8713su

Powell, L.C. (Compiler) (1983). My Haydn commonplace book. Tucson,                   L.C.Powell.

SRLF Barcode: G0000337329

__________________ (1980) . My Mozart commonplace book. Tucson, L.C. Powell.

Call Number: ML410.M87 M99

Learn More About L.C. Powell

Myrna Oliver, “Lawrence Clark Powell; Lifted UCLA Library to Prominence,” Los Angeles Times (March 20, 2001). Retrieved from                                                   

UCLA Special Collections (2002). A tribute to Lawrence Clark Powell, 1906-       2001. Retrieved  from                                                                                                         

_____________________ . Lawrence Clark Powell papers, 1914-2001.                   Retrieved from                                                                                                                                query=lawrence+clark+powell+.

USC Libraries Special Collections (2010). Powell (Lawrence Clark                         collection)1937-1990.  Retrieved from                                                                                                                query=lawrence+clark+powell+.

Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia (2013). Lawrence Clark Powell. Retrieved         from

[1] Powell was responsible for coordinating the Library & Information Science programs both at UCLA and the University of Arizona.

[2] All listed items are part of the UCLA Library collection.

New Exhibit in the Music Library!

October 21st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Come check it out

Tapscott on Tapscott: His Music & the Los Angeles Community

Horace Tapscott (1934-1999) was an American Jazz pianist and composer whose work primarily centered in the L.A. area. He is most well known as the creator and leader of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (P.A.P.A.). This exhibit features examples of Tapscott’s work (e.g., scores, recordings, concert programs) and quotes from his interviews that speak to the L.A. Jazz culture in the mid and late twentieth-century. Items in the exhibit are representative of the collections of the Music Library, Library Special Collections–Performing Arts, Oral History Research Center, and Digital Collections. Items selected by Music Library Intern Joy Doan and Student Reference Assistant Marc Bolin.

Tapscott Exhibit--Case

Putting Together the Exhibit

This was a first attempt at putting together an exhibit for both Marc and me, and we did not choose an easy feat. Creating an expressive, informed and dynamic exhibit for an artist that had such a wide-ranging and lengthy career was not an easy task—stated simply we could not include every quote, picture, recording or score that we found interesting. After much deliberation (artistic quibbles) we decided to create an exhibit that focused on Tapscott’s ideologies and work on community (his community being L.A.). And rather than our writing what we thought Tapscott would have said about his compositions and community involvement, we decided to let Tapscott speak for himself. All quotes used (except for the biography) are Tapscott’s own words—thus the exhibit’s title.

Want to Learn More about Tapscott?

At the beginning of this post, I listed links to the collections that we used to gather objects and information on Tapscott, but because I know you all are on pins-and-needles to dive deeper in Tapscott’s world, here’s a quick list of where to go.


1)     Of Course stop by the Music Library to see the actual exhibit ;) ! And while you’re there, check out an exhibit iPod, so that you can hear some of Tapscott’s music.

2)     Online Archive of California (OAC): UCLA holds Horace Tapscott’s archival collection; a full biography and the collection’s finding aid is available online through the OAC.

3)     UCLA’s Oral History Research Center holds one of the longest recorded interviews with Tapscott. A lot of it is digitized, and all of the transcripts are available online; it’s quite the listen/read.


Floods and earthquakes but fortunately no fires (or locusts)

October 3rd, 2013 § 3 comments § permalink

The 1994 Northridge earthquake, the last really large quake in Los Angeles, did some damage to the UCLA Music Library.

Northridge is about 15 miles from UCLA, but it still had a great affect here. Below is a photo of the stacks the day after showing all of the books that fell down in just those few minutes of shaking.

Music Library staff spent quite a few days getting things back in order.

Also in the 1990s, the roof of Schoenberg Music Building needed repairing because from time to time when it rained–and when it rains in California it pours–the roof would leak! And it would leak down onto the Music Library’s books and LPs!

Paper and water are not a good mix, and things have to be treated very carefully to prevent permanent damage.

(And look how crowded the Music Library already was in those days!)

The LPs (those are long playing records) had to dried out to prevent mold and mildew.


Those were dark days in the Music Library. Fortunately, since that time we’ve had no disasters. But we do have a disaster plan in place should anything like this occur again: large sheets of plastic and emergency supplies, and a conscientious preservation department to take care of things when they are damaged.

So the 120,000 books and scores, 39,000 CDs, and thousands of other items like DVDs available to those who study music at UCLA will still be available, even after the deluge!


All the Musics of the World

September 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

All the Musics of the World  is our new tag line for the Music Library. For you, students in the Herb Alpert School of Music and everyone on campus who studies or loves music, we have all the musics of the world for you in the Music Library. Or from the Music Library, a lot of it is online too. Ask us!

Besides our new blog, we have a lot of other new stuff for Fall Quarter.

These are our new comfy desk chairs:

New reading room chairs











Our new comfy furniture is the perfect place
to enjoy some of our live music performances.











These are our new study carrels, all with lights and places to plug
in your laptop or charge your phone.









Check out our new new book (and other stuff) shelf:









We’re making even more changes in the Music Library. Stay tuned!