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UNT’s Music Library hosts concert featuring rare music pieces and vintage recordings

UNT’s Music Library hosts concert featuring rare music pieces and vintage recordings

UNT’s Music Library hosts concert featuring rare music pieces and vintage recordings
August 26
12:14 2014

Steven James / Staff Writer

Rare pieces of music will be on display this Thursday as members of UNT’s College of Music and Music Library will perform rare music selections for the Music Library’s Sandborn Collection’s opening concert.

The Sandborn Collection is one of more than 100 rare book collections owned by the Music Library. Every piece of music or instrument in the Sandborn Collection is considered high value, either because of the object’s rarity or because of the object’s former owners.

Pieces of music in the collection include works from Beethoven, Bach and Lully. Instruments in the collection include a player piano, which contains an electrical device that controls the piano through programs and is played through recordings found on a piano roll, a paper with punched holes that represent when to play the notes. Even though the collection received a new room last April, some pieces are spread throughout the library to better accommodate for space.

The concert will feature live performances with music majors and playing different pieces and instruments from the collection.

The collection began as a result of Lloyd Hibberd’s travels. Hibberd was a UNT music professor from 1945 to 1965. He bought rare music books on his research trips to Europe, as was common with music professors, and would donate some of his books to the Music Library. The collection was officially established in 1991.

The collection has grown since then because of purchases by the Music Library and donations.

Associate head music librarian Andrew Justice is in charge of organizing the event. He said other than showcasing the Music Library’s rare selections, the concert is also being held in honor of Morris Martin, who was head music librarian for 42 years. He retired last May.

Justice said that the concert will be a way for people to listen to recordings of rare music that are of higher quality than recordings found in most outlets.

“We want people to access the special collections and hear the vintage sound recordings and ask questions, and really interact with the content, instead of assuming that everything that they want to listen to is available on YouTube,” he said. “Which, of course it’s not. And even if it is, it’s terrible sound quality.”

Assistant librarian Maristella Feustle is helping with the logistics of the concert. She said the concert is a chance to see rare musical artifacts exclusive to UNT.

“It’s a chance to see some of the treasures that their library has that help make it unique,” Feustle said. “That’s part of an educational experience you can only get at UNT Also it’s things that they should know we have, because it belongs to the UNT community.”

Head music librarian Mark McKnight is serving as a consultant for the concert. He helped recommend things that should be shown at the concert to Justice and others who are helping to organize it. He also said this is a good chance for the Music Library to show its rare collections to a bigger audience.

“Music is intended to be performed, and we wanted to show off our collections in that way as well, to show that they’re not just things for people to look at, that they’re things to actually play and to enjoy and to appreciate,” McKnight said. “Not too many libraries can even afford these items.”

The concert will begin at 3 p.m. in the Sandborn Music Reading Room, room 430A of Willis Library. The concert is open to members of the UNT community and the public. Attendance is free.

Featured Image: The Sanborn Music Room is hidden away on the fourth floor of Willis Library. To celebrate the sweeping collection, there will be a Sanborn Concert at 3pm on Thursday. Photo by Byron Thompson – Senior Staff Photographer

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