Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In honor of National Poetry Month, here are a few resources to help with the related art of songwriting.  Most of these books (the "MT" books) are available in the Music Collection.  The "PE" books are on the Third Floor of Bracken Library.

MT 67 .P383 2009

MT 67 .E38 2009

MT 67 .B43 2009

MT 67 .H55 2004

How to Write Songs on Guitar, by Rikky Rooksby
MT 67 .R66 2009

Righting Wrongs in Writing Songs, by Danny Cope
MT 67 .C628 2009

This Business of Songwriting, by Jason Blume.
MT 67 .B67 2006

In order to write a good song
The words should go where they belong
The best songs do rhyme
But not all the time
Sometimes the lyricist just can't figure out the last line
Having trouble coming up with rhymes?  We can help with that too!

PE 1519 .B76 2000

The Modern Rhyming Dictionary: How to Write Lyrics (including a practical guide to lyric writing for songwriters nad poets)
PE 1519 .L37 2000

Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes (Electronic resource)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Subject Guide for Jazz

There is now a separate subject guide for jazz on the Ball State University subject guides page:

The guide includes tips for researchers, performers, and listeners.  I hope you find information you can use.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Music of the Civil War

The Civil War began 150 years ago with the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina.  This war was a definitive war in American history, and the music of the time helped to define American identity as well.  Unlike the years of the American Revolution, music of the time was often published and much of it survived.

 You may be familiar with the soundtrack to the PBS series, "The Civil War," by Ken Burns.  "Ashokan Farewell," the haunting violin melody from the series became associated with the Civil War, but most music of the time was for voice with piano, or piano alone.  A few are still well known, such as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."  Popular music of the day was spread by traveling minstrel troupes.  Some of Stephen Foster's songs come from this tradition.
Sheet music for many Civil War songs has been preserved by American libraries can be found online in digital format.  Ball State Libraries' Digital Media Repository has some Civil War Songs in the Hague Sheet Music Collection

Check out some of these Compact Discs:

Sheet Music of theCivil War

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Check out our poetry month displays on the Music Collection Counter.

Why would the Music Collection celebrate poetry month?  Songs are poems set to music, and in some cultures poetry and music are inseparable.  This was true in Ancient Greece, for example.

To see whether the Music Collection has songs set to your favorite poet's works, go to CardCat, and do a subject keyword search on the poet's name AND musical settings.  For example, Goethe and Musical Settings.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April in Song

Count Basie Orchestra cameo in "Blazing Saddles"

April in Paris is a jazz standard that is particularly associated with Count Basie's Orchestra (really a big band).  It is familiar to audiences thanks to a famous cameo appearance by the Count Basie Orchestra in the film, Blazing Saddles.  Among the famous vocal performances of this song are those by Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan.

Another classic song is"April Showers," which has been popular for almost a century.  It was recorded by Al Jolson and popularized in the film, The Jolson Story.  More recently, it was recorded by Sugarland.

For a different take on April, check out "April Skies" by Jesus and Mary Chain.