The exterior of
Sibley Music Library.
Photo taken from Gibbs Street
capturing the arch above the
main entrance to Miller Center.
Rochester Codex: Manuscript (between 1070 and 1103)
This unique manuscript on the arts of the Middle Ages is attributed to three authors, including Hermannus Contractus, the leading German music theorist of the Middle Ages. The codex consists of vellum leaves sewn into signatures, which were stitched into modern binding in the late 1970s.
Admont-Rochester Codex: Manuscript (ca. 1103)
Constituting a Latin manuscript in German Carolingian
miniscle hand, the Admont-Rochester codex is a 12th century
collection of early medieval theoretical music treatises.
Written in Germany or Austria, it was previously owned by the
Benedictine Admont Abbey, near Salzburg, Austria, and
was purchased by the Sibley Music Library from E.P. Goldschmidt
in 1936. The last page of the manuscript features an exquisite
Guidonian hand (photographed), devised by theorist Guido
d'Arezzo to propagate a method of sight-singing which
relied on the six syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la.
The interior of Sibley Music Library (1989- ). Photo taken from the 3rd floor facing east towards the main entrance of the Library on Miller Center's 2nd floor.
Sibley Music Library
George Gershwin, 1898-1937 Porgy and Bess (New York: Random House, 1935)
This copy, number 227 of the limited first edition of the piano-vocal score, was signed by the composer (George Gershwin), the librettist (DuBose Heyward), the lyricist (Ira Gershwin), and the producer (Rouben Mamoulian) of the first production (1934). Mamoulian's first employment in the United States was at the Eastman School of Music, as Assistant Director of the Opera Department and Director of the Department of Dramatic Action and Dance (1923-26).
Claude Debussy, 1862-1918, La Mer: Trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre; Manuscript (1905)
One of only three extant manuscript sources of this celebrated orchestral composition (1905), this is a particelle, or short score ─ a detailed sketch or draft, in condensed form, with parts for closely related instruments appearing on single staves. This magnificent manuscript is the Sibley Music Library's single most celebrated holding. The composer's painstakingly fine penmanship, and the multiplicity of colored pencils, never fail to draw admiring comment.
The holograph manuscript score of Hanson's most famous composition. Serge Koussevitzky commissioned the work for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; the New York Philharmonic premier was conducted by Arturo Toscanini, whose markings appear on the score. This is one of two dozen autograph manuscripts presented to the Sibley Music Library by Hanson on November 19, 1949, to mark the 25th anniversary of his appointment as Director of the Eastman School of Music.
Howard Hanson, 1896-1981, Symphony no. 2, opus 30, "Romantic", Begun April, 1928 - Completed July 6, 1930
Josquin des Prez, d. 1521, Missarum Josquin liber primus; liber secundus; liber tertius, Printed at Fossombrone, Italy (1514-16) by Ottaviano dei Petrucci
A rare, incomplete set of the partbooks of the Masses of Josquin des Prez ─ the Superius and the Bassus from the liber primus, liber secundus, and liber tertius. The Sibley partbooks are believed to date from a 1514-16 printing by Ottaviano dei Petrucci (1466-1539), the first to print polyphonic music from movable type. Petrucci's "multiple-impression" printing method initiated the dissemination of polyphonic music.
Plaque in Sibley Music Library entrance lobby
Dominick Argento, 1927 - 2019, Four Seascapes, (2004)
This choral-orchestral work, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer and Eastman School of Music alumnus Dominick Argento (PhD '58), was commissioned by the Hanson Institute for American Music to commemorate the centennial of the Sibley Music Library. The work was first performed on October 16, 2004, by the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and the Eastman Philharmonia, conducted by William Weinert. A setting of passages by Herman Melville, Thornton Wilder, Henry James, and Mark Twain, Four Seascapes was inspired by some of the writers Argento enjoyed during his student years at Eastman, as well as by his fascination with bodies of water.