Category Archives: Just for Fun

UArts 140th #tbt Posts!

Have you checked out the University Libraries’ series of #tbt posts in honor of the University’s 140th anniversary?

You should!

Search Instagram for the hashtag #UArtsArchivesTBT, or visit:  https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/uartsarchivestbt

This is an ongoing series, so be sure to follow and check the UArts Libraries Instagram account regularly.

And boy, does this series have everything!

Students chilling on the steps of Hamilton Hall? Check.

Students sitting on the steps of Dorrance Hamilton Hall

Historic Philly shots? Check.

333 South Broad Street

Student makers making? Check.

Dance students practicing with labanotation score

Faculty engagingCheck.

Ben Eisenstat advises a student in an illustration class

Art installationsCheck.

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A graduation photo from 1893!?!?! Check.

PMSIA class of 1893

Now, when you find yourself asking: where do they get all these wonderful photos?!?

Well the UArts Archives of course! All of the #tbt photos posted to Instagram -and many, many more- are available via the UArts Digital Collections page, accessible right through the good ol’ library homepage: library.uarts.edu.

The UArts Digital Collections contain not only photos from the UArts Archives, but also student work, campus event photos and videos, and other special digital collections!

Come celebrate 140home years of UArts history with us! 

What new Kanopy streaming films are available?

The streaming films website Kanopy regularly adds new films, both feature films and documentaries, to their collection and are available to UArts folks from on and off-campus!

Want to know some of the new titles recently added? Read on! 

 

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Directed by John Maybury, Love is the devil: Study for a portrait of Francis Bacon stars Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig –before he was Bond– and tells the story of a love affair between English philosopher Francis Bacon & a crook named George Dyer. Check out this 1998 film now!

 

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This Time Next Year:  Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy takes a look at  Long Beach Island, NJ, and “is a poetic documentation of a shore community as they battle local politics, cope with personal tragedy, and band together in the face of transition.”

 

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Queens at heart: Trans women in the 60’s was produced in 1967 and is a 22-minute short that provides a look into pre-Stonewall LGBT life.

 

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Treeless Mountain (Na-moo-eobs-neun san) is a 2008 Korean film, which tells the story of sisters Jin and Bin who “must fend for themselves when their mother abruptly packs her things, leaving the girls in the care of their alcoholic aunt.” This “certified Fresh” film, is “a tale of innocence lost.”

 

Access to the site is provided by the UArts Libraries, and films can be streamed on and off-campus. There are plenty of more new films as well as classics, including a wonderful selection from the Criterion Collection, available over at Kanopy. So be sure to check it out!

Big band member and library student worker selected as a top soloist

The UArts Libraries wish to congratulate Henry Tirfe for being selected as one of five top solo artists in the College Big Band division at the 46th Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California.

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Not only is UArts School of Music student Henry Tirfe a great saxophonist, he is also a super-valued library student worker!

A junior in the UArts School of Music, Henry began working here in the Fall of 2015. He performed at the recent Next Generation Jazz Festival in California with the UArts “Z” Big Band, a finalist in the College Big Band Division.

“This was a first for me, a first for the ‘Z’ Big Band, and most importantly a first for the entire University,” said Tirfe. “I felt very proud flying back to Philadelphia bringing a trophy back for this school.”

And we are proud of him!

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Henry also pointed out the UArts Music Library has on hand some of the scores for tunes the ‘Z’ Big Band has played, such as Tiptoe and To You, composed and arranged by Thad Jones.

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Current UArts students, faculty, and staff can also listen to the tunes as originally recorded via Naxos Music Library Jazz and Music Online, respectively, available on the Audio and Video Online  library webpage.

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Our congratulations to director Matt Gallagher, the amazing students of the ‘Z’ Big Band, and again to outstanding soloist –and an outstanding work study student– Henry Tirfe!

Work Study Student Jams with Stevie Wonder’s Horn Section

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Pictured above is UArts junior and Music Library work-study student Henry Tirfe alongside saxophonist Ryan Kilgore, currently playing on Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life tour.

Also present from Stevie’s horn section were sax player Peter Ortega and trumpeter Adam Dwight.

This photo was taken earlier this month on Monday, October 6th, at U-Bahn’s Monday night jam session led weekly by Philadelphian pianist Luke Carlos. This was a bit of a rare moment because nobody knew that anyone from Wonder’s band would show this night. It turns out they were in town for a show at the Wells Fargo Center as well as to present a master class during the week. Great tunes by D’Angelo, Jill Scott, and even Common were played. This was a great experience for all!

Stevie Wonder and his band had their show on October 7th, 2015 as part of the Songs in the Key of Life tour, but you can still check out his Songs in the Key of Life album, along with lots of other Stevie materials, in the UArts Music Library today! Scroll down to see more.

Songs In The Key Of Life (sound recording)

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CD3100 & LP8129

 The Sound Of Stevie Wonder: In His Words And Music

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ML410. W869P4 2006

Stevie Wonder: A Musical Guide To The Classic Albums

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MT92. W869L6 2005

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: The Soulful Journey Of Stevie Wonder

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 ML410: W869R5 2010

Stevie Wonder: Note-for-Note Keyboard Transcriptions

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M3.1 W856 2004x

by Henry Tirfe, UArts Class of 2017

Blind Date with a Book…or Disc!

You spot them from across the room. Strong, enigmatic, and oh so enticing. You can’t wait to get underneath their covers…

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This Valentine’s Day indulge your sense of mystery and go on a blind date with a book from the Greenfield Library. Who knows? You could meet your literary soulmate.

Need some help breaking the ice? Visit the Music Library and pick a mystery CD. Trust us, it makes for a great conversation starter.

All books and CDs are available for immediate check out at the circulation desk, just bring your chosen mystery date and your UArts ID.

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Philly Jazz Masters Pins – free limited edition pins from UArts Libraries!

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We are pleased to announce a new series of free limited edition pins for the UArts community. Philly Jazz Masters will focus on famous jazz musicians who were born, lived in, or made their careers in our great city of Philadelphia. Each pin comes with a QR code linking to library resources.

The first pin in this series is of Billie Holiday, from her Giants of Jazz album cover.  There are only 25 pins available of this type. Visit either of the UArts Libraries and get yours!

To listen to Billie Holiday’s recordings or learn about her life, visit the UArts Music Library on the third floor of the Merriam Building!

Exploring the Hammered Dulcimer

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Hammered dulcimer — photo from Wikimedia Commons – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammered_dulcimer

 The hammered dulcimer is a musical instrument which is an object of fascination here at UArts Libraries, as we now have two new staff members who are players, myself being one of them! This instrument has been used for centuries in various forms and has ancient roots, and yet its enchanting sound can still hold modern audiences in awe. Questions often abound when people come within earshot of the dulcimer. Many feel beguiled by its sounds but are unfamiliar with the outlandish contraption producing them. Here, then, is a quick history and guide to this remarkable instrument, written in hopes that the UArts community will be just as fascinated by the dulcimer as we are!

 So what is this thing, and where is the hammer? The instrument itself is a trapezoidal box with two main bridges (though some contain several smaller bridges), with strings strung lengthways over one of the bridges while diving under the other. The highest pitches are located on the narrower upper part of the instrument, and the lower pitches toward the wider bottom. Dulcimers come in many sizes and ranges, with some being diatonic and others fully chromatic.  No matter the size, they all have a plethora of strings, with each note being double-stringed. My own personal dulcimer has 64 strings. Knowing that, you can probably imagine that tuning can take a while, as each string terminates at a tunable peg. These instruments are played with mallets, referred to as hammers. This feature gives this instrument its distinction in nomenclature from another dulcimer – the Appalachian dulcimer, which, though beautiful in of itself, is unrelated to the hammered dulcimer in terms of development.

The North American hammered dulcimer’s roots are a subject of debate.  Some claim that the instrument derives from an older European native, while others contend that the instrument’s ancient origins stem from the Middle-East. Most agree, however, that the dulcimer began as a plucked instrument and gradually transformed into one which is now hit by mallets.  The English word for the instrument, “dulcimer”, comes from “dulce melos”, Latin for “sweet sounds” (the same word “dulce” as in the drink “dulce de leche”). As previously mentioned, the “hammered” in dulcimer comes from calling the mallets it’s played with “hammers”, and is not, as some suspect, a reference to the player’s state of intoxication. The dulcimer crossed the Atlantic with the very first English colonizers of North America. Here, it became a common instrument in dance and string band music, acting as primarily a chording instrument. As its development continued, it became the basis for the harpsichord and later, the piano. When affordable pianos came into the mainstream during the late 19th century, both Europe and the US  saw a decline of interest in dulcimers. However, since the folk revival of the 1960s, dulcimers are now back on the scene… albeit in an abbreviated niche role.

Today, many dulcimerists specialize in traditional British and Celtic music, fairly similar to what early Euro-Americans would play. Many players can be seen at events such as Renaissance faires, historical reenactments, folk festivals, and even an Irish music session or two. Some of today’s dulcimer players have also expanded from the realm of tradition to experiment with limits of this powerful and evocative instrument, engaging more modern genres like jazz, blues, new age, and even rock and roll. I have done this in my own dulcimer playing, as many of my original pieces contain elements of Celtic stylings mixed with more modern chord progressions. I even amp up the hammered dulcimer for use in a rock band! This beautiful and compelling instrument is certainly full of possibility, and is waiting to be rediscovered by ears hungry for something different.

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Mike Romano playing hammered dulcimer in downtown Philadelphia — photo from his website – http://dulcimermike.wix.com/dulcimermike

If you are compelled to give this instrument a listen or learn more about it, the UArts Music Library offers a smattering of resources on the subject. These include several books and CDs. Here are some good starters.

Books:

1.  Gifford, Paul M. The Hammered Dulcimer: A History. ML1041 .G54H3 2001

2.   Ashbrook, Karen. Playing the Hammered Dulcimer in the Irish Tradition.  MT717.8 .A75 1984

CDs:

1.    McCutcheon, John. The Wind that Shakes the Barley.  CD3690

2.    Munrow, David, and The Early Music Consort of London.  Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. – CD5737

For more music, check out the Music and Performing Arts section of Alexander Street Press.  Search for “hammered dulcimer”.

And, from Grove Music Online, two reference articles (with bibliographies) I used in writing this entry:

1.   Groce, Nancy“Hammered dulcimer.” Grove Music OnlineOxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://0-www.oxfordmusiconline.com.catalog.library.uarts.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/A2241395>

2.    Kettlewell, David“Dulcimer.” Grove Music OnlineOxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://0-www.oxfordmusiconline.com.catalog.library.uarts.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/08294>

–Mike Romano mromano@uarts.edu

Our Library Tour Winners!

Thanks to everyone who attended the UArts Libraries Open House and took library tours! This year’s winners of our drawing for $100 VISA gift cards are Hye Lee, an animation major, and Peter Lemos, a photography major. Peter toured the Greenfield Library and the Music Library, and it was his Music Library drawing slip that was his winning ticket. It pays to come to the library!

 

 

Limited Edition Library Pin #2

We have given away the last of our second Limited Edition Library Pin. Thanks to everyone that stopped by!

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Don’t fret, the third in our series will be coming soon.

Hot Off the Presses

Now available at the Greenfield Library circulation desk is the second edition of a limited edition library pin series. Each pin comes with a QR code linking to the library resource highlighted on the pin. This month’s featured image:

Barnett, Mac, and Jon Klassen. Extra Yarn. New York: Balzer & Bray, 2012.

Only 25 pins are available, so pick yours up today!

To hear about forthcoming pins in this series, and other library news, follow us onFacebook (facebook.com/UArtsLibraries), Twitter (@UArtsLibraries) or Instagram(instagram.com/uartslibraries).