Thursday, February 26, 2009

International Television and Video Almanac

The International Television and Video Almanac has an amazing amount of information tucked within its pages. It is one of the few public sources of industry statistics including viewing habits, market areas, and cable penetration. The Nielsen ratings for the top primetime programs are provided every year as well as the year's top home video sales. Because of this source has published annually for more than fifty years it allows comparisons and viewing of trends across a wide span of television history. (The San Francisco Public Library has a complete collection of the Almanac starting with the first edition in 1956).

Each volume opens with the year in review in the television and video industry mentioning the year's major trends and issues. For example, the 2008 volume devotes attention to Youtube and its legal issues. It was sued by Viacom for showing pirated material and also reached agreements with NBC and CBS and is trying to make deals with other companies.

The Biography section lists living actors, directors, executives, producers providing a career resume plus their film and television credits. This is followed by a bare-bones obituary listing of names and death dates providing a necrology for those who passed away during the previous year.

The next section on primetime programming is divided into three chapters. Television series are listed alphabetically by network. Information given includes how old the series is, the production company, executive producers, air date, and hosts or actors. The past year's Television Movies and Mini-Series are listed alphabetically by title in the following chapter. A five year range of older television movie and miniseries concludes this section.

Under the category of Stations and Ownership, television stations are listed alphabetically by state, then alphabetically with each market. Licensee, group owner, and contact information, as well as general and operating managers and other administration may also be listed. There is then a listing of all network affiliates as well as overviews of the top television ownership groups.

The next chapter concerns networks, producers and distributors. The Corporate Histories of the networks tie up facts that may have eluded the occasional television viewer. For instance, the CW was born in 2006 when Warner Brothers and CBS Corporation announced they would replace the WB and UPN networks: the “C” standing for CBS, UPN’s owner and “W” for Warner Brothers. Following this are listings of network executives in individual corporate divisions. The section on Cable, Satellite and Interactive give divisions and executives in the same format.

Whatever the production need one may have, the section on production services can probably help. It provides a directory of public relations firms, animation companies, casting directors, entertainment lawyers, film stock, costume and prop rentals, special effects and more. There is even a category for “breakaway” glass--a material that shatters easily, but is much safer than “real” glass.

The International Television and Video Almanac also provides listings of professional and government agencies including city and state film commissions, as well as contact information for the Federal Communications Commission and the Screen Actors Guild.

The last section highlights the World Market. Although the entries for Canada and the United Kingdom are rather detailed, for the rest of the world there is only an overview of broadcast, cable and satellite stations and networks.

If this entry has seemed overly long, it is only because International Television and Video Almanac packs so much information into its 1,000+ pages. The current edition is found at the Art, Music and Recreation Center reference desk while earlier editions may be requested at the Fourth Floor page desk.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Orchestral Music: A Handbook

"Seating plan of the orchestra" from The Orchestral Instruments and What They Do: A Primer for Concert-Goers by Daniel Gregory Mason (1909).

Orchestral Music: A Handbook, by David Daniels, 4th ed. (Scarecrow Press, 2005).

Orchestral Music: A Handbook is an essential reference for the orchestral conductor, musical director, classical music soloist as well as the devotee of the symphonic repertoire. David Daniels, musical director of Warren Symphony in Warren, Michigan, has compiled this work through four editions over a span of nearly forty years.

The fourth edition of Orchestral Music combines Daniel's earlier work with the database of the Orchestral Library Information Service. It details the orchestral repertoire by composer, then alphabetically by work. The duration and instrumentation of each composition is listed along with publishers who have either sold or rented parts for each composition.

Orchestral Music also provides appendices that will prove beneficial to anyone called upon to organize the programming for a symphonic concert or season. The first appendix lists works for orchestra that utilize a chorus, whether a mixed, double, female, male or children's chorus. Appendix B enumerates works for vocal soloist or narrator and orchestra. Appendix C does likewise for instrumental soloists and the concerto repertoire.

Further appendices list the symphonic repertoire by instrumentation and duration. Orchestral Music provides suggestions for works written for youth concerts. There are also suggestions of "composer groups for thematic programming"-- groupings of composers by nationality. Finally there is an index by work title as well as information for contacting publishers.

Other resources for exploring the symphonic repertoire include:

Orchestral Music In Print
, edited by Margaret K. Farish. (Musicdata, 1979) - although very dated, this reference work is even more extensive in scope, particularly for twentieth century compositions.

American Orchestral Music: A Performance Catalog, by Richard Koshgarian. (Scarecrow Press, 1992). - this reference provides most of the kinds of information provided in Orchestral Music. Although narrower in focus, it is much more thorough and even includes unpublished works.

ASCAP Symphonic Catalog, 1977, 3d ed. (Bowker, 1977), BMI Symphonic Catalogue, Rev. ed. (Broadcast Music, 1971) and BMI Symphonic Catalogue. Supplement. (Broadcast Music, 1978) - these reference catalogs detail the repertoire of symphonic works, both published and unpublished, by the composers represented by these performing rights organizations.

The Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music in the Free Library of Philadelphia: A Cumulative Catalog, 1929-1977. (G. K. Hall, 1979). - in addition to detailing a substantial part of the orchestral repertoire, the Free Library of Philadelphia also provides orchestral parts for loan.

San Francisco Bay Area orchestras should not overlook the collection of orchestral parts available for loan from the San Francisco Public Library.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Get Your Knit Together at Knit Happens: Knitting & Crochet Club

Want to learn how to knit or crochet or hang out with others knitters and crocheters? Starting this month Get Your Knit Together (for adults) and Knit Happens (for teens) have combined into one big all ages (9 and up) knit and crochet gathering! The library will provide supplies to practice on but bring your own yarn and needles or hooks to start your own unique project. We will usually meet on the third Saturday of each month from 2-4 pm. This afternoon affair will be held at the Main Library in the Children’s Creative Center on the 2nd Floor. Our next meetings will be February 21, March 21 and April 18.

For information contact the Art, Music and Recreation Center at (415) 557-4525.

Here is a new selection of knitting books:

Knitting On Top Of The World: The Global Guide To Traditions, Techniques And Design by Nicky Epstein (Nicky Epstein Books, c2008). 746.432 Ep857kt

Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines: Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits by Kay Gardiner And Ann Shayne; Photography By Gale Zucker. (Potter Craft, 2008). 746.432 G168mo

Knitalong: Celebrating The Tradition Of Knitting Together by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown; Photography By Michael Crouser. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008). 746.432 B8138k

Knitting For Dummies by Pam Allen, Tracy L. Barr, Shannon Okey. (Wiley Pub., 2008). 746.432 AL542k 2008

Knits For Men: 20 Sweaters, Vests, And Accessories by Margaret Hubert. (Creative Pub. International, 2008). 746.432 H8634k

Knitting: 200 Q & A: Questions Answered On Everything From Casting On To Decorative Effects by Rita Taylor. (Barron's, 2008). 746.432 T2176k