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Staff Picks, Music, Film and Audio

By Pete Seeger
Singing folk songs is a helpful way to learn notes, rhythms, slurs, ties, rests, key signatures, and other fundamentals of reading music. Pete Seeger's folksy style makes him an inviting instructor. In this classic book, he refers to the G clef as a "spiral thingummy" or casually explains that "syncopation describes what happens when your foot keeps tapping a regular beat, but the accented notes of a song fall between the foot taps."
– Tim
 
By Philip Norman
The music staff is now adding music books on CD to the collection and one of the first to arrive was Philip Norman's engaging biography of John Lennon. If you've got a long road trip ahead of you or you are getting in shape for a marathon, this might be the perfect companion.
– Kathie
 
This documentary film tells the true story of a gifted black music student at the University of Texas in the late 1950s who is thrust into a civil rights storm when she is cast in an opera to co-star with a white male classmate, fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. Audience Award winner for Best Feature during the Indianapolis International Film Festival.
 
by Jennifer L. Hollis
This book "highlights the unique role music has come to play in hospice and palliative medicine. Jennifer Hollis interweaves narrative memoir, the personal experiences of...caregivers, and extensive research to demonstrate the transformative power of music when curing is no longer an option."
 
by Linda Dahl
"The little piano girl of East Liberty," Mary Lou Williams spent her early years in Pittsburgh and then went on to become a now legendary jazz pianist. Her life was tough but so was Mary Lou. Worth adding to your reading list.
 
by Michael Kennedy
Join Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM at the Pittsburgh Symphony Book Club on April 5, 2011 for a discussion of Mahler.
 
by Joseph Horowitz
Join Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM at the Pittsburgh Symphony Book Club on February 1, 2011 for a discussion of Artists in Exile.
 
by William R. Trotter
Join Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM at the Pittsburgh Symphony Book Club on January 18, 2011 for a discussion of Winter Fire.
 
by Daniel J. Levitin
Join Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM at the Pittsburgh Symphony Book Club on November 30, 2010 for a discussion of This Is Your Brain on Music:, how your brain understands music.
 
by Arnold Steinhardt
Join Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM at the Pittsburgh Symphony Book Club on October 26, 2010 for a discussion of Violin Dreams, a book in which the first violinist of the Guarneri Quartet writes of his relationship with the violin.
 
by Jasper Rees
The second annual Pittsburgh Symphony Book Club kicks off on September 28th. Jim Cunningham, WQED-FM, will lead the discussion.
 
by Allan M. Winkler
To celebrate Pete Seeger's 90th birthday, a new portrait of one of our special American treasures!