Tuesday, September 15, 2015

eScores - The Classical Scores Library

Although eBook and Streaming Audio and Video services are well-known and popular, the San Francisco Public Library also makes scanned musical scores available online.

Many musicians are already aware of the IMSPL - International Music Score Library Project - a site that shares links to scanned music scores in the public domain.  While this site is very complete, including almost all of the standard repertoire of classical music, it has a few drawbacks.  First, because of copyright laws very little contemporary music can be included.  Second, it relies on older editions of works that are not always the best engraved or best edited editions of the works.

The Classical Scores Library created by Alexander Street Press is a subscription database that the San Francisco Public Library offers to our Library card holders.  It holds more than 30,000 works in an online format that can be viewed and printed.

These scores are cataloged and can be found when performing a normal search of our online catalogs.  An author search in our Bibliocommons for Brahms, Johannes produces 550 results.

There are two places to filter results to find scores.  Online scores from the Classical Scores Library can be filtered through Books and printed scores can be filtered through the Music & Sound (both noted on the lower left hand side of the image above with an "X").

Clicking on the triangle to the right of Books reveals a box to limit the search to eBook - the online scores.  Clicking on the triangle to the right of Music & Sound reveals a box to limit the search to Printed Music, or scores.  You can limit your search to either format or to both formats.  It's important to remember that limiting your search to Printed Music (scores) will filter away the online scores.

Once a check mark is planted in the eBook box, your search is immediately filtered to online scores.  Chose the links that say "View electronic book" or "Access restricted to subscribers" (we are subscribers - enter your library card and pin number).

This will open a new window where you can view the score.   Just above the music are a number of icons that will assist you in viewing or print the music.

The default setting is for a single full-sized page to display (the red border around an upright rectangle at the left).  The parallel rectangles to the right will allow two pages to be viewed at a time, often a more convenient way to peruse the score.  The adjacent grid of 16 scores will display thumbnails of multiple pages.  The plus and minus symbols enlarge or shrink the image.  You can specify which page of the score you wish to view, or arrow to navigate through the score.  The right-most icon on this bar prepares the score to be printed out.

The printing options bar that appears allows you to select the pages you wish to print and to change paper size.  The print icon is found near the right end of this bar.

You can also search for eScores using the classic catalog.  Select Advanced Search and use eBook as a material type and your search will be limited to online scores.

If you need any assistance tracking down scores or sheet music, contact the Art, Music and Recreation Center at 415-557-4525.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Little Boxes: The Legacy of Henry Doelger

The Art, Music and Recreation Center of the San Francisco Public Library is pleased to present the documentary film screening of Little Boxes: The Legacy of Henry Doelger by local filmmaker Rob Keil.

When: Saturday, September 5, 2015
            2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Where: Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Meeting Room
             100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

This film is a fascinating architectural and historical journey through the Westlake District of Daly City, California, one of America’s first and most iconic postwar suburbs. Located just south of San Francisco, Westlake has long been the subject of adoration as well as ridicule. Perhaps Westlake’s greatest claim to fame is that it inspired Malvina Reynolds’ 1962 anti- suburban folk song, “Little Boxes.”

The neighborhood’s quirky architecture has been featured in numerous books, newspapers, national magazines and commercials. But this is the first documentary film exclusively about Henry Doelger and his signature community. Little Boxes not only documents Doelger’s place in history, but it uncovers Westlake’s amazing development process and celebrates its classic midcentury style.

The screening will be followed by a short Q & A with the filmmaker.  Rob Keil is a San Francisco-based art director, designer and filmmaker who has lived in and around Westlake his entire life.

Selected resources at the library:

To research your San Francisco Building use this guide created by the San Francisco History Center:
How to Research a San Francisco Building 

The San Francisco History Center also has a small clipping file on Henry Doelger in their San Francisco Biography Collection.

The San Francisco Chronicle Historical database has hundreds of articles that list home sales, editorials and full length articles about Henry Doelger.

Little Boxes: The Legacy of Henry Doelger - DVD / directed and produced by Rob Keil

Little Boxes: The Architecture of a Classic Midcentury Suberb / by Rob Keil

Westlake by Bunny Gillespie

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Christian Dior and The New Look

Come to the Art, Music and Recreation Center on the 4th floor of the Main Library to see a small exhibit on the life of Christian Dior and his famous New Look.

Christian Dior was 42 years old when he presented his first collection. He became a fashion designer after a good but unremarkable career as an art dealer. He had no formal training and only a couple of years’ experience in design. He died just ten years after opening the House of Dior. In those ten years he profoundly changed the course of fashion history.

The New Look debuted in 1947, just 18 months after the end of World War II. The timing was inconceivably bold. The long years of war had devastated the French fashion industry and couture in particular. Severe shortages of clothing and shoes led to worldwide rationing. In the United States, laws were passed specifying fabric consumption for every article of clothing. Shortages were even more severe in Europe. Leather shoes and stockings were virtually unobtainable. Silk was restricted to war uses. Most men were in the military, and women stepped in, filling jobs formerly open only to men, many in manual labor. Due to gas rationing, transportation was largely by foot or bicycle. As a result, a typical woman in the 1940s wore cork or wooden soled shoes, bare legs, a straight knee length skirt or bicycle-friendly trousers, and a masculine, padded-shoulder jacket with military detailing. With so many shortages women expressed their femininity through whimsical hats and piled up long hair.

Dior’s first collection, named Corolle (flower petals) was quickly dubbed The New Look by Carmel Snow, editor of Harper’s Bazaar. It was an instant sensation. For the first time in history fashion was front page news. It was the antithesis of everything women had been wearing for the previous eight years. With small rounded shoulders, full bust, corseted wasp waist, padded hips and lavish, ankle grazing full skirts, its hour glass silhouette was exuberantly feminine. Dresses frequently used more than 30 yards of fabric.

The Bar Suit is the most iconic image of 1947’s New Look. It has all of the New Look elements: small shoulders, full bust, wasp waist, padded hips, and long full skirt.

In his very first presentation Dior reestablished Paris as the heart of fashion innovation and quality. He used the most luxurious textiles from French mills. His collections, all made by hand, were embellished with beading, embroidery, fur and other extravagant details. Styles were always presented with matching shoes, hats, gloves and other accessories. This revitalized crafts that had disappeared during the war and insured the livelihood of many thousands of skilled artisans. He brought French couture back from the brink of extinction.

Hand beading and hand embroidery were added after the dresses were made so that the motifs reinforced the silhouette and accentuated the shape of the body beneath.

Although it was wildly successful, The New Look was controversial. American women picketed Dior on his first trip to the United States. They formed the “Little Below the Knee Club” claiming that the amount of yardage used in his skirts was wasteful and hid their legs.

Dior was also a brilliant and innovative business man. He was the first couturier to develop licensing agreements as we know them. His label was on ties, furs, hats, corsets, hosiery and more. This practice, now ubiquitous, was denounced by the French Chamber of Couture as “degrading to the Haute Couture image.” He was the first to open lower priced boutiques and to create a global brand with stores in North and South America, Asia and Australia. He had a keen instinct for promotion. He pioneered the now common practice of lending couture fashions to celebrities and models to wear to public events. Traditionally couturiers created a signature look that gradually evolved over time. In order to keep interest in The House of Dior alive, Dior created a new silhouette every season, always making front page news. Each collection had new proportions and was eagerly embraced by women around the world. By the mid-1950s Dior products generated 50% to 75% of France’s clothing exports, and 5% of the total of all French exports.

Dior created a new silhouette every season. Each collection was named for its key shape.

Dior was also skilled at recognizing and nurturing talent in others. When he met 18 year-old Yves Saint-Laurent he hired him on the spot. Pierre Cardin also worked for Dior in the 1950s. In a move unusual for the time, he placed women, including his sister and a childhood friend, in executive positions. In addition, Dior was one of the first designers to feature Asian models. He was known for creating a family atmosphere among his employees.

For ten years Dior had a golden touch. It’s impossible to know where his talent might have led fashion. His last collection in 1957 with its youthful chemise silhouette and bright colors anticipated the look of the 1960s. After fitting the autumn 1957 collection, Christian Dior died of a heart attack. He was 52 years old. Privately, he was known as a shy, sentimental, warm-hearted, provincial man, adored by his staff, who loved spending time in his garden. Publicly, he was a brilliantly inspired designer, and a pioneering businessman who will forever be remembered as the man who saved French couture.

For more information on fashion in the 1940s browse Dewey call number section 391 – 391.4.  For more information on Christian Dior browse Dewey call number 746.9209.

All images shown were sourced from books in the collection at The Art, Music and Recreation Center at the San Francisco Public Library.

Some of our favorite books on Dior:

Dior Impressions: The inspiration and influence of impressionism at the House of Dior (Rizzoli, 2013).

Inspiration Dior (Abrams, 2011).

Vogue on Christian Dior (Abrams Image, 2014).