Tag Archives: Music Library

Online guide to music resources

Need resources in music for your assignment? Help is close at hand 24/7 with the music libguide .

Navigate your way with Library Tips to get started on how to use the library catalogue to find music scores and media materials. Search directly the appropriate Databases such as Oxford Music Online, Classical Scores Library, Naxos Music Library and Naxos Video Library.

You can also browse new music titles, other subjects of interest or create new titles alerts. If you use IE browser, you can select the “Add to Favourites Bar”. While setting up in IE browser, the shortcut will appear on your browser’s favourites bar. If there are newly published titles for the discipline selected, the shortcut bar will be displayed in bold. You can then click on the bar to retrieve a drop-down menu of the recently published titles.

Wish to explore Contemporary Repertoire to perform? Or perhaps need specific contemporary repertoire for Percussion, Piano, String or Brass?

Start with this libguide, whether you are new or looking for specific materials for your research.

P.S. If you are doing research on Singaporean composers, Music Library also has a growing collection of works by well-known and emerging local composers.

music mar 2014

Music Library Celebrates YSTCM’s 10th Anniversary

The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music marks its 10th Anniversary in 2013/2014. In celebration of this special occasion, the Music Library has put up a display to showcase the works of the conservatory’s faculty, students and alumni.


These works are available in the library and the call number or stack number may be searched from the library online catalogue, LINC.

Performances by the conservatory may be streamed from ScholarBank@NUS at http://www.lib.nus.edu.sg


At the library portal page, click on ScholarBank@NUS at the bottom of the page.


If you have read and agree to the terms of use, click ‘I Accept’.


Enter the search term and click ‘Go’.


At the search results page, select your preferred work.


Next, click ‘View in browser’.


Click on the arrow as shown in the screenshot.


Similarly, for the sound recording, click as shown to listen.


Happy viewing/listening in ScholarBank@NUS!


Percussion Music at Music Library

NUS Music Library has an excellent collection of CDs. In this article, I’ve highlighted some percussion music for your listening pleasure.

Among the easy listening pieces is Ichiyanagi’s Paganini Personal for marimba and piano from Striking a Balance: Contemporary Percussion Music. This is a set of variations on the well-known 24th Caprice by Paganini. Written in 1982, it was first performed by Japanese percussionist Hiroyuki Iwaki.  The music moves through various moods, from beautiful to violent, and tuneful to tonally obscure.


Also from the same CD is the Prelude in A minor by J.S. Bach from the English Suite No. 2. It shows off the composer’s harmonic and contrapuntal genius where the performance on two marimbas explores the full lower register of the instrument as well as the rich middle-upper ranges.

Across the Sea has a good selection of percussion music from Zhou Long’s Five Elements and The Deep, Deep Sea, Bright Sheng’s Flute Moon and Chen Yi’s The Golden Flute. Scored for flute and orchestra, each element of metal, wood, water, fire and earth in Five Elements is represented in a separate movement in which the activities of yin and yang are manifested as the cyclic changes of nature regulating life on earth.

The Deep, Deep Sea is impressionistic in nature, and the relationship between the flute and ensemble of timpani, harp and strings evokes the “union of man and nature”. In The Golden Flute, the extreme contrasts between the low sonorities of the orchestra and the shrill passages of the solo part supported by the two piccolos and harp are brought to a climax, leading to a coda.


Consider listening to Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen-Suite, which is a brilliant transcription for strings and percussion. In it, the composer’s choice of instruments and tone colours gives the familiar sounding melodies in Bizet’s work unexpected rhythmic twists and subtle changes in notes and chords.




Another CD that is lightly textured is the Hammerhead Consort’s Music for Two Pianos and Percussion. Through intuitive manipulation of the dynamics, all four instruments (two pianos, vibraphone and marimba) in Linea are made to sound as one.

The imagery of the forest, composed of individual entities in the larger context, is cleverly expressed through the exploration of sound timbres of the live performers and the pre-recorded tape into a cohesive musical fabric. Hammer-Suite is made up of three movements.  The first, Magical Flight, has elements of the sonata form, jazz scales, asymmetrical rhythms and imitative writing. Images, the second movement, seems to improvise on motifs, rhythms, dynamics and visual images and Shaman’s Dance, the third movement, skilfully develops thematic materials from a four-note chromatic motif.

To search for more CDs on percussion music, check out our discovery service FindMore@NUSL.

Enter percussion in the text box.

Refine your search by selecting Items in the library catalog and Music Recording under Content Type.

Click on the desired title and take note of the stack number (e.g KC11607):

Next, retrieve the jewel case from the shelves and approach the staff at the loans desk for the CD.

Learn about your loan privileges for music materials here. Enjoy the music and head to Music Library for more delightful surprises!

Foursquare @ Music Library

The Foursquare campaign at Music Library was held from 13 Jan to 29 Feb 2012. In order to redeem a small token gift (NUS Libraries stapler), users had to “check in” using the Foursquare application on their smart phones four times during the qualifying period. The contest was open to NUS students and staff only.

Users had to show their Loyalty Special screen to the staff at the Information Desk in order to redeem their prize.

The campaign was a success, as it increased the number of users of check-in at Music Library daily. A total of 87 check-ins were made from 13 Jan to 29 Feb, as compared to 6 check-ins over the same period the year before. This is a significant increase of 93%. In total, the prize was unlocked 12 times. This means that there were 12 instances where the students came to Music Library and checked-in over 4 days.

We thank all users for their participation and support in the Foursquare promotion.

Closing Music

orchestraSince the beginning of the academic year, the libraries have been playing the closing music performed by the students of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

The first piece performed by the Conservatory Orchestra is from Schubert’s first movement of Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, D.485. This is followed by the Nocturne from Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61.

The Allegro in Schubert’s symphony follows the classical sonata form where the melodic material is pleasing and delightful. The music in the development section passes through different keys and the recapitulation opens with the first theme again before ending in the original key.

In Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, the fairy kingdom and humanity are reflected by the dual worlds in the incidental music. The tranquil nocturne begins with the bassoons and horns. The soft and calm melody becomes slightly agitated as the strings take over and the theme is transformed into the minor mode. The flutes and higher woodwinds depict a gentle lullaby before the music finally ends with a harmonious blend of instruments.

We hope you enjoy the selection of the music played during the libraries’ closing for the night.

Display of Compositions by YSTCM Students

Music Library is delighted to present the musical compositions by these students from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music: Kittaphan Janbuala, Wu Na and Thatchatham Silsupan. We thank the students for the gifts of their works to the library. We have been very fortunate in receiving the intellectual works of current and former students for our collection and hope that the display of works would encourage other students to share their talents by donating their compositions.


Kittaphan Janbuala
Kittiphan graduated in 2006 from the College of Music, Mahidol University, where he studied under Valeriy Rizayev. In 2004, 2006 and 2008, he participated in the “Young Thai Artist Award Competition” (Music Composition Section) held in Bangkok, Thailand, and was selected for the finalist awards. Recently, he was a finalist in the KL Contemporary Music Festival in 2009 and he was also awarded a scholarship to pursue the Graduate Diploma at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Kittiphan’s works include Komposition 5 for Solo Violoncello & Solo Percussion, Composition 6 (7) for Large Ensemble and Resound for Brass Quintet.

Wu Na
Wu Na’s works include Nostalgia for Piano Trio, Diversification for Piano Solo, A Farewell Vocal Song and Impression for String Quartet. Nostalgia for Piano Trio was composed in Spring 2009, when Wu Na was an exchange student at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. The inspiration of the piece came from her being homesick when she was far from her family and friends. Diversification for Piano Solo has three short movements that are closely related to each other in pitch materials. Wu Na included words which sound like her name as she wanted to use the voice to enhance the magical, peaceful and dreamy feelings of the music in the final movement. The themes from each of the four movements in Impression for String Quartet are related to one another by a motif from the themes of the previous movement. Wu Na’s intention is to explore the many different ways this pair of intervals can generate a theme and counter-theme for the four movements. A Farewell was dedicated to the end of her exchange program at the Peabody Institute. The piece begins with a sense of instability. With the advancement of scales played in the middle section, the piece moved to C sharp major and Wu Na successfully achieved the climax of the piece through the special effects at the end.

Despite not having any classical music background, Thatchatham decided to become a composer after hearing Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire during his pre-college studies at the College of Music at the Mahidol University in Bangkok. After graduating with the Best Student Award, he has been participating actively in the local and regional contemporary music scene. He received a scholarship from the Asian Composers’ League (ACL) Hong Kong to attend the Young Composers Programme and he was selected to present his work in a masterclass with Christopher Theofanidis at the Peabody Institute as an exchange student in Fall 2009. Thatchatham’s Transitory Study I is a six-minute piece written for clarinet, violin, cello and piano. It is based on the exploration of the relationship between sound, noise and silence. 

The students’ compositions will be featured at a recital on 30 April while the display of works at the Music Library will be on until 28 May 2010.  If you are inspired by the recital and display and would like to donate your works to the library, do come by and let us know!

Browsing the Music CDs and DVDs

Discover the rich collection of CDs and DVDs at the Music Library!

The jewel cases of our CDs and DVDs are now shelved by running numbers, instead of being kept with the discs within the office. This change came about to facilitate browsing.


So now, you can check the catalogue for the stack number of the CD or DVD that you are interested in, pick up the jewel case from the shelf and pass it to the Loans Desk staff for the disc. Or you can skip the first step and browse the shelves for musical works that you fancy. Who knows? Serendipity may lead you to other works that are new to you!

Do note that music CDs and DVDs can be borrowed out of the library only by staff and students from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. If you’re from other faculties, you can borrow the discs for four hours and enjoy them at the listening stations within the library.

Gifts from Teaching Staff

The Music Library has been very privileged to receive gifts of CDs and music scores from our teaching staff.

Dr Peter Edwards donated scores and CDs by visiting composer Christopher Adler in August 09.  Among these are : Ecstatic volutions in a neon haze; Epilogue for a dark day; Mineralia; and Transcontinental. Dr Edwards has also kindly donated his own compositions: Annicha : for flute, clarinet B major and piano (with a few preparations); and Puer natus est nobis (zu irgendeiner Zeit) : for orchestra ( – – pno, harp, 4 perc – strings).

Faculty member Prof Ho Chee Kong donated to the Music Library two CDs as gifts on 7 Sep 09. These are A cappella palette and Of passion & passages, which is a difficult to obtain CD in celebration of Keppel Corporation’s 40th anniversary.

Head of Cello Studies, Qin Liwei, donated Cello album Liwei Qin and Cello concerto : Sea pictures; Prelude from The Kingdom, Op. 51.

Dr Shiu Kawai has also given the library a CD entitled Exchange : China.


The Music Library wishes to thank the teaching staff for their generous donations. They have enriched our collection and our users have benefitted from these additions to the library.

Display of Compositions by YSTCM Students

The Music Library is proud to present the compositions of our very own students, Chen Zhangyi and Emily Koh. These graduating students are accomplished musicians and composers and the Music Library is pleased to hold an exhibition of samples of their works.

Singaporean Chen Zhangyi, a final-year composition major at the conservatory, has represented Singapore on a student exchange program at the Peabody Institute on full scholarship. He has received regular nominations on the Dean’s list at the YST Conservatory and the Peabody Institute.

Zhangyi’s large ensemble work Glidings was featured in 2007 at the inaugural concert of YST New Music Ensemble at the Esplanade (Singapore). Three of his orchestral pieces, Unraveling, Resonance and Ruminations, have been read by the YST Conservatory Orchestra on separate occasions. An avid violinist and violist, he has also performed with the Singapore Festival Orchestra, The Philharmonic Orchestra and the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra. Zhangyi’s works currently displayed are Constellations, Unraveling and Unending Bridges.

A recipient of numerous awards, grants and scholarships, Singaporean Emily Koh is a young composer of contemporary classical music. Her interest in music composition is currently directed at the confluence of the different styles of music in a multi-dimensional space-time, focusing on timbral explorations. 

Emily’s music has been performed in many countries in Asia, Europe and the United States. She was one of ten composers selected to participate in the Sentieri Selvaggi Composition Masterclass with Ivan Fedele in Milan, Italy.

Upcoming events include premieres of two commissioned works by the NUS Symphony Orchestra and the NUS Guitar Ensemble at the NUS Arts Festival (Mar 09) and the premiere of her new chamber opera at her graduation recital (Mar 09). She will also be representing Singapore at major composition festivals overseas in the latter half of 2009. Emily’s works on display are Sephiroths and At the End of the End.

The compositions will be on display till 31 March. Do drop by the Concert Hall at YST for Zhangyi’s concert at 6 pm and Emily’s at 8 pm on 19 March. Make a date with our talented young musicians and be entertained by a delightful array of music!