H-55: History of American Music Printing and Publishing
5-9 June 2006
1) How useful were the pre-course readings?
1: Great, although I wish we had read more technical information. 2: Helpful, but professor didn’t really assume we’d read them. 4: Useful to a point -- actually seeing examples of the items discussed helped make them more relevant.5: They were useful, though some are starting to show their age. I would recommend something to serve as a glossary for basic printing techniques to make it easier to negotiate the jargon that comes with TB’s presentations.
2) Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?
1: Wonderful! 2: Very. 3: Yes and yes. 4: Yes -- especially bibliography. 5: Yes.
3) What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?
1: I learned so much from everyone in the class! Studying the early hymn books was the most interesting. 2: Became much more familiar with publishers of American music and the variety of musical genres. 3: Printing processes, publishers’ practices, technology. 4: American music of 1830-1865 period of greatest personal interest. Would have liked more discussion of unpublished music MSS for their period, and music periodicals of this period. 5:
1. Opportunity to look at/talk about pre-sheet music publications (i.e. before 1790s). 2. Information about publication - manufacture distinctions. 3. Pointing out the combinations of printing techniques in the 19th-20th centuries. 4. “War stories” that give a flavor of the music publication world.
4) If your course had field trips (including visits to the Dome Room, the McGregor Room, the hand printing presses in the Stettinius Gallery, the Etext Center, UVa’s Albert and Shirley Small Library, RBS’s Lower Tibet, &c.), were they effective?
1: Times with TB were wonderful! 2: Tour of Music Library -- time well spent. 3: Yes, especially printing and Proscope. Would like to have seen a press in operation, though. 4: Yes, definitely. Demos of printing/engraving and tickets, &c. 5: Yes, since most of us are practicing music librarians and found the Music Library expedition to be informative.
5) What did you like best about the course?
1: Everything -- I would love to return to RBS! 2: Liked smaller (6) size. Close proximity of housing, libraries, parking, classrooms was great. 3: Instructor -- class -- group sense of discovery and enthusiasm; rich array of materials to examine. 4: Sharing -- i.e. -- the knowledge and experience of the instructor (and other participants). 5: The tone of presentation, the opportunity to handle stuff and to share our own knowledge, the wide range of topics, small class size.
6) How could the course have been improved?
2: Perhaps a glossary of terms. 3: We gave a list of topics to the instructor. 4: Less time to “categories” of sheet music, more time to periodicals and ephemera such as concert programs and tickets, diaries, &c. Return to concepts of “Music of America in Paper.” 5: Some topics and formats could be added. If material could be laid out for a given day to individual students, we could get through more.
7) We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by UVa’s Special Collections. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?
3: Shelving and packing are well-designed to protect, even while handling in course (e.g. Mylar sleeves, boxes). 4: Unfold the large cloth imprinted with musical rudiments and loosely nail it up over a cylinder. I’m sure you’re going to conserve it....? 5: A table-top music rack (oversize) might help display of individual pieces.
8) If you attended the Sunday and/or Monday night lectures, were they worth attending?
1: Yes. 3: Yes, and yes. 4: Yes, good background on history and future of RBS. 5: Yes, more so than I expected.
9) If you attended evening activities, was the time profitably spent?
1: Videos were very interesting! 3: Less satisfactory. Would have preferred Museum. 4:.Video night -- watched 1 hour of the program -- didn’t stay for the second hour, 1 was enough! (Weariness sets in watching the tube silently in a dark room!) 5: Video Night might have been more beneficial earlier in the week -- some of the material was basic and would have made later information clearer.
10) Did you get your money’s worth? Any final thoughts?
1: Yes! I will return to RBS! I have never learned so much in a week. 3: RBS is an experience unavailable elsewhere, studying intensely what we only can speculate about most of the time, chatting with the world’s experts, and surrounded by other equally eager scholars/practitioners. 4: This was quite expensive for me, but I gained knowledge, insight, and personal contacts that will prove valuable -- yes, got my money’s worth. I didn’t find out about the timing of scholarship applications until well after the deadline -- will advise others to be alert to this. (I was also selected to participate much too late in the year to get support from my school) 5: I got value plus. One might invite participants to, if feasible, bring exemplars with them to take advantage of the resources here. This could uncover further areas for collection-building and discussion.
Number of respondents: 5
Leave Tuition Housing Travel
Institution Institution Institution Institution
gave me leave paid tuition paid housing paid travel
80% 40% 40% 40%
I took vaca- I paid tui- I paid for my I paid my own
tion time tion myself own housing travel
0% 20% 60% 60%
N/A: self- N/A: Self- N/A: stayed N/A: lived
employed, re- employed, with friends nearby
tired, or had retired, or or lived at
summers off scholarship home
20% 40% 0% 0%
There was one general librarian with some rare book duties (20%), one general librarian without rare book duties (20%), one teacher/professor (20%), one full-time student (20%), and one music librarian (20%).