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Secret music library fuses the eclectic

A resource free to access for all Carls, yet not known to many outside the Music department, is the Music Resource Center (MRC). Located in Music Hall 110, the MRC is a computer and listening lab with reference books, music scores, and work stations equipped with MIDI keyboards and software for music notation, sequencing, and sound editing, including Sibelius, Finale, and Logic Pro.

The MRC also houses most of the campus performance recordings. Although not all concerts are recorded, the majority of concerts from the most recent years are available on CD. Older recordings from the performance archive dating back to 1959 are also available by request. Besides all of the usual things you might expect to find in a music library, tucked away in a little corner bookshelf are binders labeled music COMPs archives, dating back to the 1990s. Next to the bookshelf are two comfortable couches (I know they’re comfortable, I curled up on one and almost fell asleep), a side table shaped like a guitar pick, and a poster comparing the different musical periods to cake. (The Baroque period is like a wedding cake, gaudy and embellished— who’d have known?) While the library’s collection is small, the shelves’ collections attempt to span most of the periods, from Bach and Haydn on one row to the Beatles and Elvis on the row directly above. The shelves are split between music for piano, orchestra and ensembles, and voice. Also, one shelf inexplicably holds The King James Ver- sion of the Holy Bible.

Next to the latest Macs and MIDI keyboards for composing music, the juxtaposition of old, almost falling apart scores and archives seems a little strange. In addition, although the Music Resource Center is open until midnight most days of the week, the place seemed usually deserted except for a student employed to sit at the desk and check out scores or Carleton-owned guitars for students to use. Altogether, the music library contains a cogent selection of musical scores, past music comps, and expensive, seemingly unused music composition software. In addition, it’s a great, quiet place to nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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