Tag: scores (page 1 of 27)

Meet the Problem Solvers: Sandi-Jo Malmon, Librarian for Collection Development and Interim Director

What does a Library Director/Collection Development Librarian do?

My job is both Collection Development and the management of the Music library, as Interim Director. As Collection Development librarian, I look at our collection through a creative lens. I search for opportunities to not only collect music by composers whose works are widely recorded and performed, but also those who are lesser known. To shine the spotlight on new contemporary composers from around the world is a great privilege.

As Interim Director, I manage overall responsibilities for the library including budget, collections, and programs that support research and teaching activities. I encourage and support the staff to be the best contributors they can be. We have a great team and I am really proud of the work we are doing together.

What’s your favorite thing about the Music Library?

There are so many things I love about the Music Library but what first comes to mind are the collections. Music represents a deep form of communication and to see the gathering of our diverse history is mind-boggling in its rich complexity.

Sandi-Jo Malmon stands in front of a table holding an oblong manuscript score. She is wearing glasses and a red sweater.

Sandi-Jo receiving antiquarian purchase of Gioachino Rossini’s original manuscripts of one of his most enduring operas, “William Tell.” Strangely, the manuscript is missing the most famous part of this opera: the overture, familiar from its ubiquitous borrowings, for example the opening theme of the Lone Ranger and in the 1948 Looney Tunes classic, “Bugs Bunny Rides Again.” Merritt Mus 795.1.667.2. Reproduced by permission of the Harvard Crimson. Photographer: Steve S. Li.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the Music Library?

One day years ago in the first floor work room, many of the staff members gathered to dance the Macarena! It was hilarious because we were all so different, but we had a total blast learning the dance together. I still laugh when I think about that memory!

Who are you when you aren’t at the Music Library? 

When I am not working in the Library I work as a cellist. I particularly enjoy studying and performing chamber music, especially string quartets. I’ve been really lucky to play in a professional quartet called Aryaloka String Quartet and in the Kaleidoscope Trio, as well as the Kaleidoscope Chamber Ensemble, for many years, which had its debut in Lincoln Center in the early 90’s.

Where do you find comfort and strength in a scary and unknown time?

I am finding tremendous comfort in how connected my extended family is. I have four sisters and, believe it or not, I am the quietest of the bunch. We laugh a lot. My sisters, along with my many nieces and nephews, have made managing this difficult time easier. I am also fortunate to be in a long and loving marriage.

What do you love most about your work?

What I love most about my work is doing the research to discover the depth of diversity within our discipline. It will be a great challenge to make these works freely accessible. I also love the great synergy at the Music Library. We are greater than the sum of our parts!

Four musicians are smiling and holding their instruments: two violins, a viola and a cello.

The Aryaloka String Quartet, featuring Sandi-Jo Malmon on cello. Photograph by Susan Wilson.

Changing names, changing fortunes

On this date in 1803 was born the composer Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine.

Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine is depicted leaning towards a sleeping child. She is wearing a bonnet and a dark dress with a white collar.

Millicent Ann Mary Kennedy-Erskine; Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine. Stipple and line engraving by Thomas Anthony Dean, published 1833. National Portrait Gallery. NPG D36555.

She was christened Augusta FitzClarence, however her names and titles developed over time. Several of these are brought together in her entry in VIAF, the Virtual International Authority File.

A screenshot listing many names by which Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine was known, including Augusta FitzClarence and Augusta Gordon-Hallyburton.

Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine in the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF).

The Loeb Music Library recently digitized a volume containing four sets of printed scores by English women composers, the first of which is a set of songs by Augusta Kennedy-Erskine. The volume belonged to John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland (1784-1859), who also adopted a new name: until 1841 he went by Lord Burghersh. He had a long career as a diplomat, soldier and politican, co-founded the Royal Academy of Music in 1822 and owned many music books. His collection is now scattered among music libraries worldwide (browse WorldCat for Fane, John to see some of their new homes). 

The front cover of a volume of music. Gilt letters on a red morocco label say Lord Burghersh.

Mus 505.5. Loeb Music Library, Harvard University.

Earlier this year, we added this important book to RISM, the International Inventory of Musical Sources. An astute RISM colleague immediately got in touch to let us know that another item bound into the volume, a set of songs by the composer Mary Radcliff Chambers, is actually cited in an auction house’s description of a collection of materials belonging to Chambers, to which the dealer has given the title The Banker’s Daughter: family archive illustrating the consequences of bankruptcy. Following a family tragedy, Chambers took to the stage to support her family. She also published her compositions. The collection Simple Ballads was apparently produced in both an unadorned version (“just a single copy in institutions worldwide, at Harvard’s Loeb Music Library”) as well as in a luxe edition prepared specially for Queen Victoria.

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