The Colorful covers of E.T. Paull

dawn-of-the-century   hurricane   burning-of-rome

Edward Taylor Paull’s music is pretty much universally panned as mediocre. Think of him as the Rebecca Black of his generation. So why are his self-published pieces of sheet music so collectable? It’s the beauty of their covers. He used an expensive five-color lithograph process which led to covers that were meant to grab the eyes and wallets. We have many of his pieces in the Popular American Sheet music collection which I think you will agree are magnificent.

Heavenly compositions

Earlier this spring UMKC Sound Design student Daniel Warneke worked on a project that resulted in a music box disc for the Marr Sound Archives’ Stella machine, based on the constellations as they appeared above the Library on Jan 1, 2011. Here’s the amazing video:

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The Reverend Dwight Frizzell, Daniel’s professor, has subsequently created a musical composition based on the disc’s contents, and it is slated to be performed as part of the UMKC Conservatory/Art Institute partnership “Art/Sounds.” Tuesday, October 11 is the day, 7:30 p.m. the time, Epperson Auditorium on the Art Institute Campus is the place. Click on the image below for further details. Should be a truly cosmic evening for all in attendance!

Stuart Hinds, Director of Special Collections, UMKC Libraries



Samples of Steinweiss show superlative skills

Frankie Cable EncoresYou’ve probably never considered it but someone had to invent the album cover. Early 78 rpm sets were sold as literal albums, 3-4 sleeves holding discs and bound together, wrapped by boring brown kraft paper. At Columbia Records in the late 1930s, a young man by the name of Alex Steinweiss had the brilliant idea to add designs to these covers in order to boost album sales, and his plan was wildly successful. Fortunately for posterity’s sake Mr. Steinweiss was an extremely witty and adroit designer, and you can now partake of examples of his remarkable skill in the display cases on the Ground Floor of MNL!

But hurry, the display will only be up through this Friday, September 9. “Alex Steinweiss: Inventor of the Album Cover” features an array of albums from the Marr Sound Archive that highlight the impact this remarkable designer had on an entire industry.

Stuart Hinds, Director of Special Collections, UMKC Libraries