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Library News

By: Laura Lawrie
For: Red Rock News
Date: November 5
, 2010

NOTE: The Friends of the Library will host a Preview Gala and Sale for the Festival of the Wreaths on Sunday, November 14th from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Library. Join us for a fun and festive evening of wine and appetizers, musical entertainment, exciting raffles, and a fabulous cake. Tickets for the Gala can be purchased at the Library. Donated wreaths should be delivered to the library by November 12th. Wreaths go on sale to the general public on November 15th.

Music Resources at the Sedona Public Library

The British educator Eric Anderson once said, “It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit—enable them to see visions and dream dreams.” And, as Pablo Picasso said, “It takes a long time to become young,” so it is always a good time to learn about the arts. A perfect starting place for this introduction is the Sedona Public Library. I will concentrate on music resources in this column.

When we think about music, we all think of CDs first, and the library has a terrific collection, all displayed in a revolving case right next to the newspapers and magazines section. The CDs are organized into categories as diverse as Country, Jazz, Classical, New Age, Opera, Musicals, Rock, Popular, World Music, and more. There are also many DVDs and videos available for you to take out; there are Broadway musicals, operas, ballets, and many other performances that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Of course, there are many books. A great place to start is in the Reference section, right in the middle of the library. “The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians” is there, in the 780s, along with the “Encyclopedia of Popular Music” and many other well-known volumes. You can’t take any of these reference books out of the library, but you can spend hours sitting in one of the many comfortable chairs available and learn all about composers, musical styles, venues, and other topics. In the 780s section of nonfiction, on the east side of the Quiet Study, there are many more books, all of which can be taken out of the library. Some of my favorites include Schonberg’s “Lives of the Great Composers,” Lomax and Lomax’s “Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads” (music and lyrics all included!), Taylor’s “A Treasury of Gilbert and Sullivan,” and Sennett’s “Hollywood Musicals” (this can be found at the bottom of the shelves in the 780s, as it is an oversize book. And there is a good amount of vocal music, too. There are songbooks by Gershwin, Songs of the ’60s and ’70s, and even a collection of Schumann songs for the budding recitalist.

There are many books in the Biography section on composers, performers, lyricists, conductors, and other people involved with music. You can read about famous musicians and then entertain your friends with great quotes: “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music” (Gustav Mahler); “My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require” (Edward Elgar); “You can’t possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven’s Seventh and go slow” (Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket); “I don’t know anything about music; in my line you don’t have to” (Elvis Presley); “A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges” (Benny Green); “There’s a basic rule which runs through all kinds of music, kind of an unwritten rule. I don’t know what it is. But I’ve got it” (Ron Wood [Rolling Stones]).

If you don’t see what you want in the Sedona Public Library, you can search the Yavapai County Network, as there is much more available. And you can even access the Met Opera HD simulcasts; this is one of the many electronic resources available through the County Network.

But the library is not just a place for books, CDs, DVDs, and videos. Chamber Music Sedona offers a free series of concerts at the Sedona Public Library (a donation of food or $5 to the Sedona Food Bank is suggested). Several of these concerts, which take place in the Si Birch Community Room, feature the world-class musicians CMS brings to Sedona to perform in their Sunday series. The Wednesday evening hour-long concerts at the library give audiences a chance to hear extraordinary music in an informal setting, and also give the performers an opportunity to interact with the audience through short talks about the pieces to be played. You can find out about the next CMS at the Library concert by checking the library Web site,, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Laura Lawrie
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Laura Lawrie is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sedona Public Library.