Books, Scores and Recordings in the NESMS Library
Donated to us over the years by friends and well-wishers
Over 2,500 different items organised into some 40 broad categories each arranged by composer, from Irving Aaronson's The loveliest night of the year to Jan Zwart's Fantasie-toccatine for organ. Excellent coverage of voice and keyboard, but woodwind, strings and brass are also quite well represented.
All of the items in the School's collections can be consulted on the spot or borrowed free of charge by tutors, students and Friends of NESMS as well as music teachers employed by local authorities in the North East. For others there is a small fee.
Mainly now a vinyl collection, but we also have numerous recordings on audio tape, and a few CDs featuring performers who are part of the NESMS family. There are over 700 LPs including 40 or so boxed sets, one of which is a beautiful collection of birdsong made for Queen Elisabeth of Belgium: Les oiseaux chanteurs de Laeken. Many scores and recordings were bequeathed to us by the late and much beloved Donald Hawksworth. And thanks to the School's association with the eminent British diplomat, Sir Donald Logan, we have some very fine Soviet-era recordings of performances by, for example, David Oistrakh and Svyatoslav Richter.
Some 500 titles such as Yehudi Menuhin's The Music of Man, dealing with music as a social and religious force around the various regions of the world, arranged by topic and sub-topic or aspect, eg Counterpoint as an aspect of Music Theory or Dance as a Musical Form.
Vinyl records are often cited as having a better quality sound than digital CDs or MP3 files, and typically perceived of as sounding both warmer and richer. This is because, unless produced from digital masters, vinyl recordings are fully analogue and fully lossless, ie they source audio from the entire sound wave of a performance creating a physical impression of the sound on the disc in terms of textures, peaks and troughs. Thus, if played on a decent turntable with a decent needle (and leaving aside the problem of surface noise), they can represent different types of voice and instrument more accurately, especially in music with wide pitch variety such as classical music.
So for people who want to enjoy a 'full-fidelity' listening experience vinyl is the answer. Which is why we have kept and will go on keeping our quite extensive collection until something better appears!