Libraries in Music Teaching Institutions branch sessions at 2003 conference in Tallin

Tuesday July 8 11:15 - 12:45

Session 1: Librarians and pedagogy

Speakers: Koldo Bravo ( Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco Biblioteca, San Sebastian), Anneli Sepp (Estonian Academy of Music, Tallinn), Sylvia Perez- Reinoso ( Facultad des artes, Universidad de Chile).

Presented by the Libraries in Music Teaching Institutions.
Chair: Anne Le Lay (Conservatoire national de la région, Boulogne-Billancourt).


Wednesday July 9 11:15 - 12:45

Session 2: Promoting contemporary music in conservatories

Speakers: Jean-Max Dussert (Boulogne-Billancourt), Bernhard Guenther (Music Information Centre Austria, Wien), Yasuko Todo (Toho Gakuen School of Music).

Presented by the Libraries in Music Teaching Institutions.
Chair: Anne Le Lay ( Conservatoire national de la région, Boulogne-Billancourt). 

Promoting contemporary music in Conservatoires: from my experience

byYasuko Todo (Toho Gakuen School of Music, Japan)

The main work of the library in a music teaching institution is supporting what a student and a teacher are learning and enquiring about. The genre 'contemporary music' is also part of their learning. But how can we define 'contemporary music'? Could it be "After Bartok", "Post-war music" or "Today's music"? Should world music be included? Anyway, let us begin from a familiar point.

"Contemporary music" in Toho Gakuen School of Music

"Toho Gakuen School of Music" started as a "Music School for Children" in 1948. The aim at the beginning was to have professional primary music education. As the children grew older, a high school (1952), a junior college (1955), and a university (1961) were founded and the School expanded accordingly. It was after World War 2, a time of Japan's revival, and the most important problem was education at every level throughout Japan. The foremost composers at that time, who were concerned with the foundation of the school were very aware of their own lack of a basic musical education. The school eventually succeeded in finding a suitable educational method even for the student at the lowest level.

A children's orchestra was formed early on (1950), several years after the "Music School for Children" began (1948), and ensemble education started. Teaching materials using solfege were published for the first time in Japan in the 1950s. Although in the early period of the school there was only a piano, string instruments, wind instruments and vocal courses - music theory courses were established later (1955). This developed into a musicology course and composition course. A teacher's new composition appeared in the programme of the student orchestra in 1957 - it was twelve-tone music which was fashionable in those days. The performance of the work of students began in 1958.

At this "display of composition work", the performance course students usually premiered new work by a student composer. The performance of student compositions to audiences from outside the school has taken place from the 1970s. Moreover, occasionally commissioned work and arrangements by the teachers were added to the programme of a children's concert given by the Music School. "Kodomo-no tame-no gendai piano kyokushu" (Contemporary Piano Music for Children), compiled by the Principal, was published. The 1st volume was published in 1966 and the 2nd volume was edited after that (1969). The works composed specially for the students studying in the "Music School for Children" filled almost 2 volumes. Furthermore, the sight-readings for the end-of-term examination, composed by the teaching staff were published in 2 volumes in 1978 and 1990. Several pieces in it are still performed as piano repertory. It was in 1981 that student compositions began to be programmed regularly in the students' orchestral concerts.

On the other hand, although the Toho Gakuen School of Music invited overseas players who visit Japan to give a concert in Tokyo and have frequently held master classes on the campus of the School, there are also players who perform contemporary music by both well and lesser known composers, in the School concerts. Last year Toho Gakuen School of music saw its 50th anniversary. In order to prepare the commemoration book, I investigated various kinds of institutional data covering several years and have been a member of the editorial group for the commemoration book. According to the records, Toho Gakuen School of Music was visited during its 50 years by foreign players, composers, and musicologists who all contributed to the education and numbered about 600. That is, ten or more players visit every year from overseas, and take
masterclasses. The composers and the players who perform contemporary music comprise 4% of the total. It is never as many composers who visit as pianists or string players. However, for example, Aaron Copland visited for the first time in 1962, followed by Heinz Holliger and Camerata Bern (1974), Henri Dutilleux (1982) and Nexus (1984), Raymond Gallois-Montbrun (1986), Kroumata (1987), Michael de Roo (1990), Einojubani Rautavaara (1992), Thomas Siwe (1992), Michael William Udow (1993), Tristan Murail (1993), Chaya Czernowinn (1994) and Ensemble Intercontemporain (1995), George Benjamin (1997), Chant d'Action (1997), Franco Donatoni (1998), Susan Glaser (1999), Giacomo Manzoni (1999), Helmut Lachenmann (2000),
Harrison Birtwistle (2000), and Art pour l'Art (2000), etc. Many students have found the opportunity to study abroad because they were inspired by one of these workshop/masterclasses.

Furthermore, in recent years the visiting composer has taken charge of a special class, and in order to make the best use of his/her visit, a concert of his/her own compositions now takes place. It can be said of the early history of the 'Toho Gakuen School of Music' which has made such an important contribution to advanced music education in this country, that it was due largely to this founding group that Japan has played such a significant part in the contemporary music scene.

Contemporary music and collection development in the library

It is very important for a student in addition to studying the basics of theory and the standard repertoire, to analyse and perform the work of their own generation. Therefore, sufficient consideration must be given to collection development in the library. A collection development policy has been formulated following discussions with the teaching staff on the library committee in order to set out an educational plan. Last year, in order to aim at further expanison of the collection of scores and sound recordings of the works of twentieth-century composers, 202 composers were listed, and the names were revised (refer to attached table). On the other hand, when the library does not possess a title, anyone may request that it be purchased. The composers' names are then raised at the acquisitions committee. It is a principle that the acquisition policy in this area can be questioned. However, the purchase of a work may be strongly opposed by a teacher because it is not in line with the educational plan. Although priority is still given to a score and sound recording, it is regrettable for the field of "contemporary music" that there is a tendency for greater priority to be given to
musicological research periodicals and books which don't necessarily include articles on new music.

It is difficult to get hold of literature about the most recent contemporary music, and this area tends not to be covered by reference books. For this reason, scores and sound recordings take the place of any literature on contemporary music. The internet is the main source of information today about contemporary music.

Publishers' pamphlets, the internet and in-house pamphlet in a library

The publisher's promotional pamphlet is useful. The composer's "list of works" with simplified biography, along with web site information, as long as they are reliably sourced, are important reference sources. In Japan, a far distance from the west, as before, the publisher's printed catalogue continues to be used. Even if the internet becomes more used, the important publishing company will continue to employ the old methods. The music publishers and their associations representing 60 companies and related organizations in mainly 17 countries, such as the UK, US, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Norway, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Russia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and Japan are creating lists of works with biographies of composers, and the number of composers exceeds 700. (Refer to table 2)

Often, these pamphlets are utilized as a translator's indispensable reference, in preparation for a composer's workshop or lecture at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. Not only promotional material from a publishing company, but pamphlets from composers' organisations, music copyright companies, MIC (Music Information Centre) and IRCAM are useful. The currency of this information can now be maintained on the internet. In the Toho Gakuen School of Music, the work list of each composer is inserted in a file organised alphabetically by composer's name, and is reserved in the reference books corner. At present 2 shelves of the stacks are occupied by these files. If there are many copies of a pamphlet they are placed together with various other information about music festivals, lectures, exhibitions, concert fliers etc. and the corner is maintained as a working space for readers. Moreover, recently in the library of the School, the small corner which displays scores and sound recordings related to specific subjects has been used to house the booklet edited by the librarian. The series of "the Northern European Composer" which will now be circulated includes introductions to contemporary composers. Since subject- searching is possible on the present library catalogue, this is only an auxiliary service. Now the catalogue is available online, please have a look. If you have comments, please let me hear them. Although I myself am not concerned with this project, there are some things that can be suggested - that it would be useful to add the URL of the Music Information Centre etc. to the composer leaflet listing scores and sound recordings, along with biographical information. In any case, it could be said that the way in which 'contemporary music' differs from other genres is not only in the way it is presented in the library

Contemporary music information of Japan

Not only the works of foreign composers, but those of the composers of our country are important. In our country, the "Documentation Center of Modern Japanese Music" is the Japanese branch of the Music Information Centre, related to IAML. This Documentation centre has a plan to microfilm autograph scores of Japanese composers after Meiji-era (1868) in Japan, and keeps them along with the collections of composers of whom many are now dead. These collections were deposited by the bereaved family, and are periodically displayed with exhibition catalogues. Composers' information and the most recent information on contemporary music concerts can be obtained from the composers' organisations - "Japan Society for Contemporary Music" which started in 1930 and continued in 1946 after the war and "The Japan Federation of Composers" launched in 1962 are the main organisations. Also JASRAC (Japanese Society of Rights of Authors and Composers), the music publisher ("Zen-On Music").

Biographical information of contemporary composers can be found on a web site with English translation: "Ongaku no Tmo Corp". Information about scores on hire also has an English web site. These are the main sources of information about published scores. The Japan Federation of Composers Inc. publishes scores periodically.

However, these are now out-of-print in many cases, and reference books are restricted with respect to the past activity or comprehensive catalogues of works information, which has been a significant problem at national level. The situation is improving through the use of the Web and OPACs in a music teaching institution's library today. But it is particularly important for reference libraries to offer information, recognising the problematic situation, which is rather like driving along a bumpy road.

It is useful for the School to cooperate with the professors and alumni who have connections with these insitutions From my experience of compiling bibliographies, I suggest that it is essential to the growth of Japan's musical culture that those well versed in compiling bibligraphies participate with the librarian to create reference tools in this area.

Japanese traditional music and contemporary music

Young composers from overseas now often visit Japanese music schools or music libraries. They study for a short-period with professors of Japanese traditional music or research in the library documentary material of Japanese traditional music. Few can speak Japanese or can explain exactly what they are looking for. In addition, there are few reference works about these genres on the shelves in English, French and German, and they are not held in a music library because they are unneccessary to a Japanese user. Although introductory documents on Japanese traditional music, sound recordings and video are held in a music library, in almost all cases, the so-called performance score written in non-Western notation is not held. This is because the professional courses of Japanese traditional music are not set up in the music school of Japan except at Tokyo University of Arts. From the 1970s to the 1980s, much contemporary music was written using Japanese traditional music and was performed with Japanese instruments in Japan. Although there are still some composers who belong to this school of composition, the method of approach is not uniform.

They are concerned with the composition of sounds that are not in the style of the Western music with which they are familiar - in the rhythms, the tones and performance methods of traditional music instruments. The young Japanese composer with a background of traditional Japanese music does not approach his original composition work in a different way from a foreign student. It may be that new approaches to study require reference lists that include foreign language reference works on Japanese traditional music. At this point it is not effective to use the classification of RILM. After all, probably, the composer himself should absorb and take responsibility for the dissemination of Japanese traditional music. The students are provided with introductory reference headings such as 'traditional music' and 'ethnic music' and audiovisual documents that are now
prepared as a part of a culture curriculum apart from the main curriculum in a library.

The dramatic music, incidental music, religious music for a festival and court music includes 'No', 'Gidayu', 'Kabuki', 'Shomyo', 'Kagura' and 'Gagaku'. Then they find that such "music" does not have a score, and listen only, in the audio-visual room. But I have recommended that they experience this through the senses if possible, and visit a theater (a Noh theater, a Bunraku theater, Kabuki-za) and the shrine of a Buddhist temple. On the other hand, if it is necessary, the library, archive, and other institutions related to Japanese traditional music could employ a researcher who understands the use of such music in composition.