I had never heard about this alternate form of piano notation before coming across a score using it today. Klavarskribo was developed around 1930. You can read more about it in Grove (in Oxford Music Online for U of I patrons) or in Wikipedia (for non-U of I patrons).

Here is a the first page of Beethoven’s fifth symphony arranged for piano by Liszt in regular notation. You can make out the famous theme pretty easily. (Click on images to enlarge.)


Here is the same opening theme, in klavarskribo. Still somewhat recognizable, but I am not so sure how easy it would be to play!


We have about about two dozen klavarskribo scores in our collection and one book about the system.

Audio holdings in the British Library Endangered Archives Programme

The British Library Endangered Archives Programme “[aims] to contribute to the preservation of archival material that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration world-wide.”

A quick search of the word “audio” brings up these collections which will no doubt be of interest to world music scholars. Not all of these projects have been completed, so not all content is yet available online.

EAP736: Preservation of the music and dance archive at the Music Museum of Nepal (NFMIM)

EAP008: Folk Theatre Tales: Preserving images, sounds and voices of rural Tuscany

EAP088: The Golha radio programmes (Flowers of Persian Song and Poetry)

EAP115: Collection and digitisation of old music in pre-literate Micronesian society

EAP124: Pages of Azerbaijan sound heritage

EAP190: Digitising archival material pertaining to ‘Young India’ label gramophone records

EAP298: Preserving endangered ethnographic audiovisual materials of expressive culture in Peru

EAP468: To preserve Indian recordings on ‘Odeon’ label shellac discs

EAP592: The music of Burma on record

The EAP also offers grants to researchers http://eap.bl.uk/pages/grants.html

The top 12 things you should know about MPAL

Whether you are new to the University of Illinois or a seasoned grad student, here are a few things you may not know about the Music and Performing Arts Library.

Print, audio/visual, online…you name it, we’ve got it
1. Our collections and resources cover all types of music, dance, and theatre from all over the world.
2. We have books, scores, CDs, and DVDs that you can check out, as well as LPs, reference materials, and journals that you can use in the library
3. Our online resources are available to you 24/7 when you login with your NetID
4. You can request things from other libraries or request that we purchase something

1. You can print from our computers or via wireless from your laptop
2. We have two scanners that are free to use
3. We will soon have iPads for loan

We have friendly and knowledgeable staff who want to help you
1. See our Ask Us page for ways to get help
2. We have online help guides for music, dance, and theatre classes and research topics
3. You can make personal research appointments with either of the librarians to get help with your paper or research project.

1. We have lots of study space at big tables near big windows
2. We make monthly guides to go with events at the Krannert Center

We have listening rooms and listening carrels for you to use when listening to or watching any of the media in our collections. Ask for a key at the Circulation Desk.

To keep up with MPAL news, follow us on Twitter @mpalillinois

John Cage Unbound – A Living Archive: Call for participation

A letter from
Jonathan Hiam
Curator, American Music Collection and
The Rodgers and Hammerstein
Archives of Recorded Sound
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The John Cage Centennial is upon us. To celebrate Cage’s legacy, The New York Public Library will soon launch John Cage Unbound – A Living Archive, an online multimedia resource devoted to the life and work of America’s most influential composer. In partnership with the John Cage Trust and C.F. Peters, John Cage Unbound will feature select digital images of Cage’s music manuscripts, correspondence, programs, photographs, and ephemera drawn from the vast holdings of NYPL’s Music Division. The centerpiece of the project, however, will be a rich video archive of John Cage interpretation with a special emphasis on the preparation and performance of Cage’s work.

This is where you come in. NYPL hopes that you, your colleagues, students, and peers will contribute to the archive by uploading your own videos (which can be quite informal and short) of Cage performances to the site. The videos will be integrated into the archive for public access with the intent to document the variety of interpretive practices Cage’s work inspires and indeed demands.

For those of you who are leading or participating in coursework this Spring that may include John Cage, contributing to John Cage Unbound would be an ideal project. Any works by Cage are welcome and the staff of the NYPL Music Division are ready to offer you guidance if you need it, be it technical, logistical, or simply suggestions as to what works might be appropriate for you.

We do hope, however, that your videos will favor the process of creating the work over the performance. We believe such documentation will offer the public the greatest insight into the challenges and rewards that come with performing Cage’s music.

As you can see in the So Percussion sample video attached, the musicians’
narration provides this insight into their interpretation. The second video–a performance of 4’33” at the US-Mexico border–demonstrates how “simple” a video recording might be.

*So Percussion*

*Anta Project*

If you are interested in participating, please contact me at jonathanhiam@nypl.org
Jonathan Hiam
Curator, American Music Collection and
The Rodgers and Hammerstein
Archives of Recorded Sound
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023-7498
p (212) 870-1677
f (212) 870-1794

New collections at NYPL Music Division

Leon Kirchner Papers

The Leon Kirchner papers document the career of the composer, conductor and pianist from the 1950s to the early 2000s. They include scores and sketches, correspondence with important musical figures, writings, programs, clippings, photographs and posters.

Thomas E. Barker Papers

The papers of Thomas E. Barker (1954-1988), an American composer, contain his scores, composition catalogs, correspondence, biographical and performance listing files, and files documenting Zaccho, Inc., his publishing company.

Partifi: make parts from a score

Partifi.org is a “free and automated tool for creating parts from music scores.” This tool was created by those who seek to support and encourage the study and performance of early music who found that instrumental parts were often not readily available. Not only can you upload your own score PDF, you can import public domain scores from IMSLP or browse the “publicly accessible library of user-contributed parts”.

If you upload scores and create parts from your own PDFs, please be aware that you should only do this for works for which you hold the copyright. If it is possible to purchase the parts you need, do not use Partifi to create new ones. Also, don’t forget to check the Library to see if we have parts you can check out either in print or to download from Library Music Source.

How it works

You can search Partifi to see if the parts you need are already there.
If it’s not, you can upload your own PDF or one from IMSLP.
Once you’ve done that, “Partifi attempts to automatically identify the position of each line. For optimal results, you may need to add, delete, or reposition the generated segments.”

The next step is to “Preview the parts for accuracy. At this stage, you can combine two or more parts into a single one (e.g., “violin I” and “violin II”), and add additional page breaks to avoid awkward page turns.”

The final step is sharing. “To distribute the partified score, simply share its download link. Be sure to respect the copyright laws of your country. To later edit the parts, add the score to your “favorites” or bookmark the score’s admin page. If we determine a score to be in the public domain, we may add the score parts to the Partifi library as a service to the music community.”

Two new online resource trials

For the next month you can test out the online versions of

Richard Taruskin’s The Oxford History of Western Music

You can do a keyword search or browse by volume

> Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century
> Music in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
> Music in the Nineteenth Century
> Music in the Early Twentieth Century
> Music in the Late Twentieth Century
and the

Online Music Anthology from A-R Editions

“A-R Editions’ Online Music Anthology is extensive collection of examples designed expressly for music history courses.” It contains over 425 pieces from “antiquity through the romantic era, with extensive contents for the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque”with content drawn from A-R’s Recent Researches series.

If you have comments or feedback about these resources, let us know mpal@library.illinois.edu

New online video resources for dance and opera

MPAL has two new video resources available: Dance in Video and Opera in Video.

Dance in Video

Performances and documentaries, searchable and browseable by artist, genre, and material type.


Opera in Video

Performances, interviews, and documentaries searchable and browseable


These new resources join Theatre in Video in our list of research resources available to U of I patrons.

“Send to mobile” functionality in Classical Music Library and other ASP products

From ASP:

We now have “Send-to-Mobile” functionality in Music Online, including all of the individual streaming music collections and some items in Opera in Video. This functionality will follow in all of our streaming video collections later this year.

What this means is that you can now send an audio track, video track, album, or playlist from our streaming collections to your mobile device to listen to later. The item that you send stays on your device for 48 hours.

Go to any of our streaming music databases and look for a cell phone icon (“Send-to-Mobile”) next to each track, album, or playlist. Wherever you see that icon you can click it and obtain a “shortlink” to send and enable playback on your mobile device.


We provide several methods to send this link:

* We can send a text message to your mobile.
* We can email the link to your email address, which you can pick up on your mobile.
* You can enter the link URL manually into your mobile’s web browser.
* On supported devices you can scan a QR-Code directly from your computer screen. You will need to download a QR-Code reader application to do so.

At this time, this functionality is supported on:
* Apple iPhone on 3G network or better
* Mobile Device with Android OS

Shortlinks cannot be accessed outside of your institution network after 48 hours but will still be usable within it.

For more information please visit the Help page at http://muco.alexanderstreet.com/help/view/using_your_mobile_device