New exhibition in Music Library

Musical Rarities II: A Sampling from Mason Libraries Special Collections is now on display in the Music Library (Fenwick Library, Second Floor). Curated by Steve Gerber, Music & Theater Librarian, this exhibit features facsimiles of rare, music-related items from the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center.

What is a musical rarity? It’s a music-related item (e.g. manuscript, printed book or score, image, or object) that is scarce – it might be curious, remarkable, valuable, or worth collecting for some reason (such as its usefulness in exemplifying an aspect of music history). Our musical rarities on display include:

  • a first edition of the world’s #1 jazz standard, “Body and Soul” (London, 1930)
  • a “Trauermarsch” (Grief March), memorializing Jewish victims of a 1905 massacre
  • an illustrated “how-to” book on dancing the tarantella, lithographed in Naples ca. 1845
  • a manuscript of a Latin offertory for three solo voices with organ, composed by Francesco Basili (Italian, early 19th century)

For further information, contact Steve Gerber, Music & Theater Librarian, at sgerber@gmu.edu.

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