Thursday, December 20, 2007
AMRLibrarian (http://del.icio.us/AMRLibrarian) is a listing of online reference resources that we have found useful. They are organized into the categories of Architecture, Art, Dance, Film, Music, Photography, Sports & Recreation, and Theater. There are also a number of "unbundled tags" - tags that are not specific to any of the above subject areas and may overlap with several of them. Some examples of unbundled tags include index, database, finding aid, or digital archive.
AMRLocalLinks (http://del.icio.us/AMRLocalLinks) is a listing of San Francisco websites relating to the subjects of art, the performing arts, and recreation. This page's bookmarks are organized by the Architecture, Art & Design, Crafts, Dance, Film & Video, Music, Performing Arts, Sports & Recreation, and Television & Radio. The unbundled tags here divide into categories like associations, cultural organizations, education, employment, grants, and youth.
We are sharing these links in the hope that they may help our readers find useful information on the internet. We will continue to updated them.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Richard Wahlberg will play 78 rpm discs from his personal archive on an historic, open-horn victrola from 1906. This instrument must be wound-up. Its sound is only amplified by the phonograph's large horn which produces an amazing volume, depth, and clarity of sound.
Mr. Wahlberg and the Art, Music and Recreation Center invite you to listen to early recordings of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, of singer Dick Powell, pianists Jelly Roll Morton and Earl Hines and bandleaders Eddy Duchin and Ted Weems, among others.
This program will be held at the Main Library's Latino/Hispanic meeting room at 6:00 PM on Thursday, December 20, 2007. The Main Library is located in San Francisco's Civic Center at the corner of Grove and Larkin. All library programs are free and open to the public.
Readers interested in learning more about the history of recorded sound can check out the following titles from the library: The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction by Jonathan Sterne, A Century of Recorded Music: Listening to Musical History by Timothy Day, From Edison to Marconi: The First Thirty Years of Recorded Music by David J. Steffen, and From Tin Foil to Stereo: Evolution of the Phonograph by Oliver Read and Walter L. Welch.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Every holiday season the librarians at the AMR reference desk pulls a selection of holiday songbooks for you to peruse. For example, The International Book of Christmas Carols offers English, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Slavic, Italian, Spanish and Latin carols. Home For The Holidays and The Reader's Digest Merry Christmas Songbook provide holiday favorites arranged for piano, voice and guitar. A Romantic Christmas: 30 Heart-Warming Favorites has more pop-oriented winter favorites such as "Baby, It’s Cold Outside" and "I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm." "My Dreidel," and "Chanukkah Oy Chanukkah (Come Light the Menorah)" can be found in 15 Traditional Chanukkah Favorites.
For instrumentalists, we have just received Christmas Favorites Playalongs with CD accompaniments. We have versions for flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, and violin. The Christmas Guitar Collection includes 20 songs arranged for solo fingerstyle guitar.
If you are looking for recorded holiday music, please search the catalog by song or album title, or browse subject headings like "Holidays -- Songs and Music," "Christmas Music," "Hanukkah -- Songs and music," or "Kwanzaa - Songs and Music" to review the library's musical offerings.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Famed war correspondent
“In the form of its execution and the scale of the destruction it wrought, no less than in the selection of its objective, the raid on
Art scholar Christian Zervos wrote of Picasso’s depiction of this atrocity:
Oppler, Ellen C. Picasso's
Puente, Joaquín de la.
Update: The exhibit will be taken down on January 11, 2008. There is a very simple video documentation of this exhibit consisting of five short videos uploaded to Google video.
Monday, October 15, 2007
No clips will be repeated from the prior program! Footage includes: Big Brother & the Holding Company, with Janis Joplin; Donovan; the Rolling Stones; the Beatles; the Mothers of Invention; the Nice; the Spencer Davis Group; Ravi Shankar; the Youngbloods; the Moody Blues; and several others.
San Francisco Public Library
1833 Page Street.
Wednesday, October 17th 7-9 p.m.
Admission is free
The library has recently acquired Unterberger’s latest book - The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film. This exciting, thoroughly-researched tome aims to document thousands of hours of unreleased recorded material ranging form studio outtakes, live concerts, home tapes, television broadcasts, rehearsals and demos.
To Beatles fanatics the purpose of this book is obvious. The casual Beatles-fan might however ask, why examine unreleased works when there are so many wonderful commercial recordings available? To have a full appreciation of the band’s evolution and creative process the unreleased works are invaluable. Interested in how the Beatles sounded with Pete Best as drummer, or with Stuart Sutcliffe as bassist? Interested in their songwriting methods? Interested in how much they improved in the year between their Decca audition and the release of their first LP, or in how much they argued during the "Get Back" sessions? The unreleased works and Unterberger’s commentary on them will illuminate.
For readers thirsting for more after reading The Unreleased Beatles the library's collection has 80 titles on the band.
The library also has several other Richie Unterberger titles:
Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight From Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock (2003).
Music USA: The Rough Guide (1999).
Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution (2002).
Unknown Legends of Rock'n'roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Geniuses, Punk Pioneers, Lo-fi Mavericks and More (1998).
Urban Spacemen And Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries Of '60s Rock (2000).
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The City Arts and Lecture series included a discussion with local songstress Jolie Holland, Nick Drake’s sister, Gabrielle Drake, and his friend and music producer Joe Boyd (producer of Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left (1969) and Bryter Layter (1970) ). The lecture will be rebroadcast on KQED on November 25, 2007.
The Art, Music and Recreation Department also has two full-length biographies of the singer / songwriter: Darker Than The Deepest Sea: The Search For Nick Drake by Trevor Dann (2006) and Nick Drake by Patrick Humphries (1998). The A to X of Alternative Music by Steve Taylor, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s by Joe Boyd, The Tombstone Tourist: Musicians by Scott Stanton, and Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Geniuses, Punk Pioneers, Lo-fi Mavericks & More by Richie Unterberger all include sections on Nick Drake.
The Library's Audiovisual Center has several CDs of Drake's music including Bryter Layter, Five Leaves Left and, Pink Moon. Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake is a good starting off point that presents representative works off of all of Drake's albums and includes an biographical essay by Joe Boyd.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
On October 5, 2007 the San Francisco Opera will present the premiere of Appomattox by Philip Glass. At the library we always try to order scores, librettos, recordings and videorecordings for each opera season. Since none of these are available for a newly composed work, allow us to introduce some books, scores and recordings by and about Philip Glass from our collection.
The library has two books written by the composer: Music by Philip Glass, and Opera On The Beach, Philip Glass On His New World Of Music Theatre. We also own the collection Writings On Glass: Essays, Interviews, Criticism, edited by Richard Kostelanetz. Books like American Minimal Music: La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass by Wim Mertens and Four Musical Minimalists: La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass by Keith Potter place Glass within a wider context of contemporary American music.
In our LP collection (12” long playing records) we have recordings of Glass’s earlier operas Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha. We have circulating librettos for Satyagraha and Akhnaten.
The library’s score collection includes the following compositions by Philip Glass:
Songs From Liquid Days (songs written to lyrics by Paul Simon, David Byrne, Suzanne Vega and Laurie Anderson)
Solo Piano (consisting of three works: Metamorphosis, Mad rush, and Wichita vortex sutra)
The Piano Collection (a collection of more than 20 short works for piano)
Violin Concerto (a score for violin and piano reduction)
Dance No. 4: For Organ
Melodies For Saxophone
Music in Similar Motion (originally written for three woodwinds and three organs)
Strung Out: For Amplified Violin
The library’s Audiovisual Center has many CDs of Glass's music. He also wrote the music for several films in our DVD and video collection including The Fog of War, The Hours, Koyaanisqatsi, Secret Window, and The Thin Blue Line.
Monday, October 1, 2007
While there were many opportunities for “fine artists” no projects were initially devised for America’s commercial artists. Realizing that there was yet no thorough visual survey of American design Romana Javitz, head of the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection and Ruth Reeves, a textile designer and painter conceived the plan for the Index of American Design. It was begun in December 1935 ultimately employed over 300 commercial artists who created primarily watercolor reproductions of traditional American craft. This included every form of craft made from the colonial period through the end of the nineteenth century from works found in museum collections.
The artists employed for this project were taught techniques by a curator from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts who insisted upon strict objectivity, accurate drawing, clarity of construction, exact proportions of objects and faithful rendering of material, color and texture. The exception to watercolor was the use of oil technique for tobacconist’s signs and Pennsylvania German folk art. Objects include ship figureheads, tavern signs, ceramics, coverlets, quilts, glass, tinware, weathervanes, retablos, costume, circus wagons, Shaker furniture, caballero suits, fire helmets, cornhusk dolls, kitchen equipment, etc...
The question begged, “Why not just photograph these objects?” Apart from the intent to employ commercial artists, another reason for not using photography was that the camera, except in the hands of its greatest masters, could not reveal the essential character and quality of objects as well as an artist. At that time color photography was an expensive process and perishable while watercolor remains one of the most durable of artistic mediums.Photography presented problems in distortion and lighting. As Holger Cahill wrote in the book's introduction: "The camera cannot search out the forms of objects deeply undercut or modeled in high relief, match color as closely as the artist, or render the subtle interplay of form, color and texture which creates the characteristic beauty of so many products of early American craftsmen."
The Index of American Design and subsequent expanded edition The Treasury of American Design remain the most thorough visual record of the rich, vast body of traditional American crafts. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC has a webpage for the Index of American Design which includes an online tour.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Here are a pair of images that Frank created for the Library’s 125th anniversary and for a Library amnesty for overdue material.
Our website has also reprinted the daily cartoon strips that he published in the San Francisco Chronicle celebrating the Library’s 125 anniversary.
The library has a number of works that Phil Frank wrote or illustrated. These include his beloved Farley strips:
Going Local with Farley. (Ten Speed Press, 1991).
I'm Ink Therefore I Am: Farley's San Francisco Chronicles. (Pomegranate Press, 1997) - this collections includes Farley's "other woman," Marian the librarian from his neighborhood San Francisco Public Library branch.
Don't Parade on My Reign: The "Farley" Comic Strip Appearances of "His Williness," San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. (P. Frank, 2003).
Our department also has a file about Phil Frank in our Artists File.
Phil Frank's name was also placed at the upper-most right corner of Nayland Blake's sculpture "Constellation" that runs the length of the Main Library's staircase. It can be viewed from the library's 5th floor
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Get Your Knit Together! is a free 2 hour program that has been meeting once a month since July and has provided basic knitting instruction and supplies to use during class. In addition to new students, this program has also been attended by knitters wanting a place to work on their own projects and share ideas. Many people have brought their own knitting needles so that they could work on their samples between classes.
There will be no class in October. Beginning November 17, the class will move to Latino/Hispanic Room A on the lower level of the Main Library to accommodate more people who want to explore the joys of knitting. Every participant receives a handout which lists knitting websites, library books on knitting and local knitting stores.
Sign up for the next session at the Art & Music Reference desk on the 4th floor. For more information, please check under “Classes” on the Library’s home page.
Check out some of the new library books on knitting:
Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn by Wendy D. Johnson (746.432 J6394w) – A perfect book for every knitter, offering tips for avoiding errors, thoughts for knitting gifts for others, and so much more.
Knitting for Peace by Betty Christiansen (746.432 C4629k) – Read about knitters who knit for the needy worldwide. Includes 15 patterns for socks, hats, afghans and more.
Speed Knitting: 24 Quick and Easy Projects by Kris Percival (746.432 P4123s) – Speed knit your way through any of these projects in a few hours or a weekend.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Merriam-Webster's Visual Dictionary is a noteworthy new reference book at the Art, Music and Recreation Center desk. It is a wide-ranging work that displays and demonstrates the components of all kinds of objects, familiar and unfamiliar.
In the area of costume and clothing this dictionary labels and defines the parts of a shoe, differentiates between various kinds of men’s coats and jackets, and even enumerates the varieties of pockets that may appear on a women’s blouses.
Another section illustrates the architectural styles of the ancient Greeks, enumerates the components of the interior and façade of a cathedral, and gives examples of various kinds of roofs.
Other images include diagrams of a SLR (single-lens reflex) camera, a reflex camera, and a digital reflex camera.
This books also includes several pages illustrating musical instruments from around the world.
Almost 150 pages of this 952 page book are devoted to sports and games. It names all of the components of the uniforms for various sorts of sports and recreational activities, illustrates a number of different kinds of playing fields, and even explains the roulette table.
While this is an excellent all-in-one source, patrons with more in-depth visual information should consult more specialized picture dictionaries like the following:
A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D. K. Ching
Handtools of Arts and Crafts: The Encyclopedia of the Fine, Decorative, and Applied Arts by The Diagram Group
Musical Instruments of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by The Diagram Group
Rules Of The Game: The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia Of All Sports Of The World by The Diagram Group
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The opera world lost a legendary performer today. Though Luciano Pavarotti was beloved by opera-lovers everywhere, he had a special relationship with
“The most significant debut for Pavarotti in the rest of the 1960s was in
In the same book, Pavarotti told of his love of
“Adler [Kurt Adler, the San Francisco Opera's musical director] offered me good conductors, good casts, good productions. The city is beautiful, the opera is first-class, first-class.”
In our score collection we also have The Pavarotti Collection: Fourteen of the Most Famous Arias and Songs and Popular Italian Songs as performed by Luciano Pavarotti.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Art, Music and Recreation Center has long encouraged local arts organizations to send us copies of their brochures, fliers, and posters which we display and make available to the public. Once the advertised events are finished, we add these materials to our vertical files. We also have built up a collection of local posters. Because we have not yet been able to catalog these items, we have set up a display case where we rotate a selection of these posters for the public to view.
This month we are featuring theatre posters. Anyone needing visual resources on the Bay Area performing and visual arts can make an appointment at our reference desk to arrange to see more of the collection.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Join us in celebrating the dynamic life and art of
Koci, an active painter in
The details of his life are as fascinating as his artwork. Koci worked as a cowboy, farmhand, silent film extra, theater actor, and merchant seaman, in addition to being and outsider artist and self-taught painter. In his obituary from the April 8, 1983 edition of the San Francisco Examiner (found in the Library’s Artists File) he was described as “a kind of peoples’ artist, a very unusual man.”
All programs at the Library are free and open to the public. For further information contact Darbyinn@sonic.net
This program is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
August 2 – Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner. A 2004 Oper Zurich production conducted by Franz Welser-Most starring Peter Seiffer (who will sing this role with the SF Opera) as Tannhäuser, Solveig Kringelborn as Elizabeth and Roman Trekel as Wolfram von Eschenbach.
August 16 – Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi. Carlos Alvarez as Macbeth, Roberto Scandiuzzi as Banquo, and Mario Guleghina as Lady Macbeth. Bruno Campanella conducts the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in this 2004 recording.
Note – there is no program on August 30.
These programs are co-sponsored by the Art, Music and
from Das Buch der Motive aus Opern und Musikdramen Richard Wagner's
Monday, July 30, 2007
Fake books are collections of songs or instrumental works that include only the melody, chord changes, and song lyrics. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz defines a fake book as “[A]n informal collection of scores used by performing musicians and as a tool for learning. A fake book presents (either in loose-leaf or bound form) the music to standards and popular tunes, and the contents may range in number from a few dozen pieces to well over a thousand.” (The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz is available to
Fakebooks have had a complex history (detailed in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz). Originally many were written out by musicians from recorded performances as a teaching tool. Because these performances were protected by copyright, these transcriptions were frequently illegal and therefore only circulated informally. In more recent years music publishers have created “legitimate” fake books that have full copyright clearance (but lack some of the romance).
Many musicians prefer fake book arrangements because they are usually briefer than piano vocal scores and thus easier to keep track of. Fake books can also help users who only need to know the lyrics to a song. Most fake books contain jazz, pop, or rock music, but there are also specialized fake books for blues music, classical music, and folk music. There are also fake books for bass clef instruments as well as for Eb instruments (like the alto saxophone) or Bb instruments (like the trumpet and tenor saxophone).
Our Fake Book Index contains nearly 20,000 entries and continues to grow. You can search by song title or the last name of the composer or songwriter. It can be helpful to truncate your search to see a greater selection of songs. Once your result page appears, you can also follow the link to the fakebook’s title to view the full contents of that fakebook.
Where's That Tune?: An Index to Songs in Fakebooks by William D. Goodfellow, Musikey (a music in-print resource kept at our reference desk) and an online Fakebook Index by Seven String Software are other tools for locating music in fakebooks. We also have a binder of table of contents pages for many of our not-yet-indexed fakebooks located above our Song Index card file.Page update: We now have an AMRLibrarian del.icio.us bookmark page with a listing of other fakebook indexes on the web.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Balalaika playing technique: scales and exercises,method for all levels compiled by I. Inshakov, A. Gorbachev. The balalaika is a Russian three stringed lute.
An introduction to the gu-zheng by Angela Jui Lee and Mark Gresham. The zheng is a 16 to 21 string zither from
You can teach yourself pan flute by Costel Puscoiu. Sukay workbook and how to make and play the flutes of the Andes, Kena & Zampoña. Both of these works teach the panpipes - the former according to Eastern European tradition and the latter according to South American tradition.
Reggae drumming by Peter Epting. Tito Puente's drumming with the Mambo King by Tito Puente and Jim Payne. These books explain drumming techniques in the Jamaican and Cuban popular styles respectively.
Illustrations from Lavignac’s Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire and the Lyon & Healy Complete musical merchandise catalogue.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
In celebration of San Francisco hosting the 78th Annual All-Star Game, the Art, Music and Recreation Center presents a display showcasing the Library’s collection of baseball material with images from books, the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, and the Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection, with a focus on the all-stars.
Since 1933, the stars of the American and National Leagues have competed against each other in the All-Star Game. With the exception of 1959-1962, when two games were held yearly, and 1945, when no game was played due to wartime restrictions, the game has been an annual event that features the best talent from both leagues. This mid-season exhibition game used to just be for fun and to promote the sport, but since 2003 it has also been used to determine home field advantage for the upcoming World Series.
2007 is the third time the All-Star Game has been played in San Francisco and the first time at AT&T Park: it was held at Candlestick Park in 1961 and 1984. In celebration of San Francisco hosting the 78th Annual All-Star Game, this display showcases the Library’s collection of baseball material with images from books, the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection and the Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection, with a focus on local stars from 1961 and 1984. Play Ball!
Exhibition: July 9 – October 4, 2007
Main Library, Fourth Floor, Wall Case outside Page Desk
100 Larkin Street (at Grove)
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Despite the esteem in which art researchers and collectors have had for this reference work, it was long only available for readers of French. This was until the 2006 publication of a fourteen volume English translation entitled Dictionary of Artists.
The Bénézit first appeared in print in 1911 with the publication of the first of three volumes which were completed in 1923. This first edition established the format that subsequent editions have followed. Emmanuel Bénézit was the editor for this original set that was written by “a group French and foreign specialist authors” [un groupe d'écrivains spécialistes français et étrangers]. An eight volume second edition was published between 1948 and 1955, followed by a third edition in 1976, both under the direction of Bénézit’s heirs.
In 1999 a fourth edition in fourteen volumes was published under the direction of Jacques Busse. The English language edition is based on this edition and actually has expanded coverage. However, do note that although biographical coverage of each subsequent edition supercedes the previous ones, the older historic auction results do not always make it into newer editions.
The Bénézit Dictionary of Artists can be found on open reference shelves at the Art, Music and Recreation Center reference desk.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
On Saturday July 21 at 10:00 am the Art, Music and
Thanks to a gift from the Friends of the Library and generous yarn donations from Sonoma Yarn and members of the Redwood Empire Handweaver’s Guild, there will be plenty of yarn and knitting needles to use during class. People who wish to take their projects home should bring their own knitting needles.
A wonderful volunteer and expert knitter who has been teaching the Teen Knitting Club at the library will teach this new class as well. Library books will be on display during class and available for check out, so attendees should be sure to have their library cards.
For more information check the Main Library’s classes and programs at our website or stop by the Art and Music Reference desk on the 4th floor. Class size limited to 15.
Here are a few good knitting books that capture the joys of knitting:
Hip to Knit: 18 Contemporary Projects for Today's Knitterby Judith L. Swartz (746.432 Sw26h) – Many good and easy patterns, including a stylish purse and the world’s greatest hat. by Debbie Bliss (746.432 B619s) – One of the best how to knit books ever written, with very clear instructions and great illustrations.Kathleen & Nick Greco (746.432 G799y) – Reader beware! The colors and textures of the yarns in these projects are very tempting!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Lentelli's "Water Sprites" in the Court of Abundance at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (Image from the Bancroft Library, through the Online Archive of California)
"Aspiration" Above an Entrance to the Palace of Fine Arts (Image from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection)
Leo Lentelli, an assistant to Calder, was one of the contributors to this visual memory with sculptures that today we can view through the Library’s San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection and the Online Archive of California. He did a series of equestrian statues that were part of the Court of the Universe and his sculptures of Water Sprites for the Court of Abundance was well-received. His sculpture “Aspiration” then placed above the door to a gallery of the
"Five Symbolic Figures" Above the Larkin Street Entrance to the Old Main Library (Photograph from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection)
The other major City Beautiful project that
Perhaps Lentelli’s most significant contribution to
There are still a few examples of Lentelli’s work in
Library Resources consulted:
Our department has a very helpful and extensive Vertical File that includes photocopies of several articles and documents about Lentelli. This file includes a copy of Sadakichi Hartmann’s article “An Expression of Decorative Sculpture – Leo Lentelli,” published in The Architect and Engineer volume 52, number 3 (March 1918).
On the sculpture of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, see Sculpture of the Exposition Palaces and Courts; Descriptive Notes on the Art of the Statuary at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco by Juliet James, and The City of Domes; a Walk With an Architect about the Courts and Palaces of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition by John D. Barry. The A. Stirling Calder quote may be found in “Fine Arts at the Exposition,” the Transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California (Nov. 1915).
The Historic Structure Report, Old Main Library created by Page & Turnbull for the San Francisco Planning Dept. and the
For the Market Street Light Standards see Splendid Survivors: San Francisco's Downtown Architectural Heritage by Michael R. Corbett. Information about Lentelli’s other public art can be found in A Survey of Art Work in the City and County of San Francisco prepared by Martin Snipper for the Art Commission, City and County of San Francisco.
Some research in the library’s New York Times Historical Database led to the discovery that Lentelli created the sculpted lunette above the entrance to Steinway Hall in