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1. Valentine’s Day serenades

By Alyssa Bender


Love is in the air at Oxford University Press! As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked staff members from our offices in New York, Oxford, and Cary, NC, to share their favorite love songs. Read on for their selections, and be sure to tell us what your favorites are too. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Owen Keiter, Publicity
All-time is impossible, so…“Girlfriend” by Ty Segall is a feat of simplicity. Ty manages to stuff the headlong rush of a new, young, senseless love into about two breathless minutes. Nobody’s getting excited about the caveman-ish lyrics, which are almost incomprehensible anyway, but that’s not the point. The point is: when Ty hollers “I’ve got a girlfriend/She says she loves me,” you can tell it’s got him feeling like nothing can touch him.

Click here to view the embedded video.


For those having less pleasant Valentine’s Days: “Lipstick Vogue” by Elvis Costello. This Year’s Model is the Bible of those who are mistrustful of sex and love; “Lipstick Vogue” contains gems like “Maybe they told you were only one girl in a million/You say I’ve got no feelings; this is a good way to kill them.”


Lana Goldsmith, Publisher Services
My actual favorite love song right now is “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band. I love this song because I feel like I live it all the time. It’s easy to feel insecure or unappreciated, but this song shakes you by the shoulders and reminds you that you’re the greatest thing that ever happened to somebody.

Click here to view the embedded video.


Purdy, Director of Publicity
When you are single and in your 40s love has come and gone enough that I find it hard to narrow my choice down to just one favorite love song. I have three that make me wistful for another lover, and maudlin for love and lovers long lost:

Nina Simone’s “Do I Move You” is a bluesy jazz plea for recognition from some indifferent lover that is at times sultry, needful, demanding and lustful.

Another classic by Ms. Simone, “Turn Me On,” is a simile-saturated reminiscence of a lover gone too long and the heightened anticipation of his/her return.

Finally, there is Miss Etta James’s version of “Deep in the Night.” Etta’s mournful moan reminds me how love can come to plagues one’s every thought and action:

Read a book and I think about you
Put it down and I think about you
I make some coffee and I think about you
Wash up the cup and I think about you
Wind the clock I think about you
Turn on the light and I think about you
Then I punch the pillow and think about you



Anwen Greenaway, Promotion Manager, Sheet Music
“True Love” by Cole Porter is one of the most memorable songs in the 1956 film High Society, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. When I was a child my Dad had an old vinyl record of the film soundtrack. I remember being mesmerized by the film stills on the LP cover and listening to the record over and over at Christmas. It’s the soundtrack of all my childhood Christmases, a beautiful song, and unashamedly sentimental — what’s not to love about that?!

Click here to view the embedded video.


Flora Death, Editorial Admin Assistant, Sheet Music
“So In love” by Cole Porter, from Kiss Me Kate, because it’s gloriously melodramatic and haunting, and has wonderful lyrics like all Cole Porter’s music.


Emma Shires, Editorial Assistant, Sheet Music
Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet it is to be Loved by You” is so fun and upbeat. I love putting it on when I’m cooking, really turning up the volume, and dancing round the kitchen like a mad thing.


Ruth Fielder, Sales Administrator, Sheet Music
Biffy Clyro’s “Mountains” is my all-time favorite love song because it represents the ugly and beautiful sides to being in love, and therefore, for me, this song paints a more realistic picture: This being that most of the time love is a selfish act, but on occasion love itself as a thing of togetherness and intimacy; that ultimately nothing can tear you apart.


Jeremy Wang-Iverson, Publicity
“Laid” is a very sly love song by the British band James. The best line is the women’s clothes/gender roles couplet (if not the kitchen knives and skeeeeeewers) rather than the famous opening verse unfit for the OUPBlog. I sang this song, including the falsetto ending, COUNTLESS times with my friend Clara, who is now the history editor at NYU Press, when we were both assistants, as there wasn’t much to do in Princeton except go to the Ivy on Thursdays for karaoke and $1 beers. I hadn’t heard the song in ages until this past December at The Archive, a bar around the corner from our offices on Madison Avenue, and the television jukebox was playing, improbably, “The Best of James.” My friend and colleague Owen, the bassist for the great new band Journalism, said “The Best of James?? What the hell is James?” Probably for the best…


Matt Dorville, Online Editor, Reference
“The Book of Love” by The Magnetic Fields is a favorite of mine that is very apropos for a publishing house blog and one that I find myself singing all too often. It is from 69 Love Songs, an ambitious, and somewhat cheeky, look at love from The Magnetic Fields. If you haven’t listened to the album, I highly recommend it. It contains songs that are bittersweet, tender, pithy and catchy as hell. They’re not all winners, but the ones that are will make you smile all day.


Alana Podolsky, Publicity
“Tere Bina” composed by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Gulzar is my favorite. Meaning “Without You”, “Tere Bina” is the great A.R. Rahman’s composition for the Hindi film Guru (2007) starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, Bollywood’s Brangelina. Rahman’s score derives from Sufi devotional music and is paired with Gulzar’s simple lyrics, creating a song that will resonate with any heartsick romantic no matter your language background. The cherry on top: the film’s dance sequence.


Kimberly Taft, Journals
My favorite love song is “At Last” by Etta James. I think it’s great because of her powerful vocals and the accompanying instruments. It’s truly a classic and I’m sure will be around forever.


Jessica Barbour, Grove Music/Oxford Music Online
I’m Your Moon” was written by Jonathan Coulton in reaction to Pluto’s demotion from planet to dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union. Coulton, stating that Pluto clearly must have found this “very upsetting,” wrote a love song to the slighted celestial body from the point of view of Charon, one of Pluto’s moons. (You can watch another live video in which Coulton tells the whole backstory here.) Pluto is only twice as big as Charon, and they orbit a point between each other instead of Charon circling Pluto the way our moon orbits around the Earth. And they’re always facing each other as they orbit, like two people doing this. Coulton says on his blog that he was just thinking about Pluto when he wrote it. But the way Charon sings about how the rest of the world doesn’t really understand them, encourages Pluto to stay true to itself, and promises that they’ll always have each other no matter what—what else can you ask for in the perfect love song?

Click here to view the embedded video.


Anna-Lise Santella, Grove Music and Oxford Reference
Back when we were dating, my husband and I used to hang out at Cafe Toulouse in Chicago where the great jazz violinist Johnny Frigo used to play with Joe Vito on piano. We loved the way he played “A Fine Romance.” If we had to pick something to be “our song,” that would be it. When it came time to picking a song for the first dance at our wedding, that was the first thing that came to mind. Then we looked at the lyrics — which are the opposite of a love song:

A fine romance, with no kisses
A fine romance, my friend, this is
We should be like a couple of hot tomatoes, But you’re as cold as yesterday’s mashed potatoes….

Not a song with which to celebrate the start of a marriage. The song was written by Jerome Kern for the movie Swing Time, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Fortunately, the movie also includes one of the great love songs of all time, “The Way You Look Tonight.” We picked that instead. And we asked Johnny Frigo to play at our wedding. It was perfect. It’s one of the great romantic songs:

Some day, when I’m awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you And the way you look tonight….

A month after we got married, I ran into Johnny playing a Columbus Day gig in Daley Plaza in Chicago. I reminded him who I was and told him how much we’d enjoyed his playing at our wedding. “Great night, great night,” he said. “And you weren’t so bad yourself.”

Click here to view the embedded video.


Your Oxford-Approved Playlist:

Alyssa Bender joined Oxford University Press in July 2011 and works as a marketing associate in the Ac/Trade and Bibles divisions. Read her previous blog posts.

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Image Credit: scanned from period card from ca. 1910 with no notice of copyright via Wikimedia Commons

The post Valentine’s Day serenades appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Plagiarized or original: A playlist for the contested music of Ira B. Arnstein

By Gary Rosen


From the 1920s to the 1950s, Ira B. Arnstein was the unrivaled king of music copyright litigants. He spent the better part of those 30 years trying to prove that many of the biggest hits of the Golden Age of American Popular Song were plagiarized from his turn-of-the-century parlor piano pieces and Yiddish songs. “I suppose we have to take the bad with the good in our system which gives everyone their day in court,” Irving Berlin once said, but “Arnstein is stretching his day into a lifetime.”

Arnstein never won a case, but he left an enduring imprint on copyright law merely by getting his days in court and establishing precedents that later led to copyright infringement judgments against such notables as George Harrison and Michael Bolton. Though his claims often strained judicial credulity, Arnstein had a gift for posing conundrums that engaged some of the finest legal minds of his era, forcing them to refine and sharpen their doctrines.

Over the years, Arnstein laid claim to more than a hundred standards of the Great American Songbook. This playlist of 15 songs — from Irving Berlin’s “A Russian Lullaby” of 1927 to Cole Porter’s “I Love Paris” of 1952 — is representative, and we have selected recordings that illustrate performance styles from the 20s to today. “No one,” as one lawyer wrote and you will agree, “can accuse Arnstein of courting feeble opposition.”

Gary A. Rosen is the author of Unfair to Genius: The Strange and Litigious Career of Ira B. Arnstein. He has practiced intellectual property law for more than 25 years. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to federal appellate judge and award-winning legal historian A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

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The post Plagiarized or original: A playlist for the contested music of Ira B. Arnstein appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. Librarian Rave Mix

Librarians: You know how it goes.

You are out partying with your librarian friends. Suddenly you realize that your gathering requires a suitable soundtrack. A library-themed soundtrack. Indeed, without the proper music, the event will be a disaster!

It could happen. The worst case scenario is sobering: everyone ends up hopping around to the They Might be Giants’ album “Flood” until the police show up and ticket you with a noise violation.*

Using a combination of technology and powerful query-typing skills, I have SOLVED THIS PROBLEM. Introducing Dancing on the Reference Desk, a free playlist dedicated to libraries, librarians, and their interests.

Including such timeless classics as Ch-Check it Out by the Beastie Boys, and Lady Writer by Dire Straits make sure your next librarian rave is a success with this excellent compilation.

Note: I’m not associated with Spotify, but I do think they are pretty awesome. If you end up using this soundtrack let me know. I would love to attend some rocking librarian parties vicariously.
Credits: I dictated this entire blog post to my iPhone via Dragon Dictate while spooning nutrient-rich goop into the baby’s mouth. Special thanks to Jenny Klumpp who provided numerous excellent suggestions.
* This actually happened. I was in grad school hopping around with my fellow nerds, watching the Muppet Show and listening to TMBG. We chipped in to pay the ticket. This was in my experience hands-down the Dorkiest. Police Intervention. Ever.

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4. Neil Gaiman Writing American Gods Pilot for HBO

On Twitter, Neil Gaiman shared the fact that he is currently writing an American Gods pilot for HBO. We’ve embedded the tweet above.

Click here to read the first five chapters of the award-winning novel, “a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth.” The news of the possible adaptation emerged last year.

If you want to listen to the American Gods playlist on Spotify, follow this link. We’ve embedded the songlist below, a great collection of writing music.

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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5. Goodreads Tips for Writers & Old Fashioned eReaders: Top Stories of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are our top stories of the week.

They include Goodreads tips, a funny comic about eReaders and adding your audiobook to Spotify.

Click here to sign up for GalleyCat’s daily email newsletter, getting all our publishing stories, book deal news, videos, podcasts, interviews, and writing advice in one place.

continued…

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6. No jingles: an alternative Christmas playlist

By Tim Rutherford-Johnson


Christmas is, almost inescapably, a time of music. A lot of it is familiar and much-loved, but for those who might be looking for some more adventurous listening this year – beyond Slade, the Messiah, and Victorian carols – here are some pointers to alternative Christmas music from down the ages.

“The Sign of Judgment: the earth will be bathed in sweat”. This unlikely Christmas sentiment comes from the Song of the Sibyl, a 3rd-century Greek prophecy of the Apocalypse translated into Latin by St. Augustine and whose first lines he popularized as a form of Christmas greeting to non-Christians. The poem acquired a chant melody in 10th-century Catalonia, since when it has been a feature of the Christmas Eve liturgy in churches in Spain, Italy and Provence. This is the 10th-century Latin version, performed by Jordi Savall, the late Montserrat Figueras and La Capella Reial de Catalunya:

Click here to view the embedded video.

The Song of the Sibyl could also be performed as liturgical drama, of the kind often found in the Middle Ages. The Officium pastorum of the 13th century is another example, and in its focus on the shepherds’ story one that begins to resemble our modern Nativity. This complete performance was given by Princeton University’s Guild for Early Music in 2011.

Click here to view the embedded video.

A century or two later, the Christmas carol as we have come to know it began to emerge. Its origins lay in a mix of secular and sacred influences, including the French carole, an important social dance that required the dancers to accompany themselves with their own singing. By the 15th century, the carol as a form of song usually on the theme of Christmas had begun to establish itself, and there are many wonderful examples to discover; this setting of the Christmas lullaby Lullay, lullow from the Ritson Mansucript of c1460–75 – different from the more familiar “Coventry Carol” of the same name – retains something of those dancing origins.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The Magnificat, Mary’s hymn of praise following the Anunciation (Luke 1: 46–55) is one of the very oldest songs associated with the Christmas story, and one of the most frequently set. Great Baroque Magnificats were composed by Claudio Monteverdi (his famous Vespers of 1610 conclude with two of them) and Bach, among others. But that by Heinrich Schütz combines the Venetian exuberance with the Lutheran poise of the other to exhilarating effect.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Sidestepping the familiar Christmas favourites of the 18th and 19th centuries we encounter in the mid-20th century a major instrumental work, Olivier Messiaen’s La nativité du Seigneur (1935), a suite of nine scenes from the Christmas story, for organ. Messiaen, a devout Catholic, was possibly the 20th century’s greatest composer of religious music, as well as one of its finest organists. His musical language employed a variety of systematic procedures and a sometimes obscure symbolism, but there is no getting away from the extraordinary power and often tender characterisation of his music. (The capricious baby Jesus in the opening movement, La vierge et l’enfant, is a particular delight.) Both sides be heard in the virtuoso final movement, Dieu parmi nous, performed here by one of Messiaen’s leading interpreters, Dame Gillian Weir:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Another leading composer of contemporary religious music has been Sir John Tavener. Unlike Messiaen, Tavener has drawn widely from a variety of faiths in the creation of his personal theology, in particular the Greek Orthodox Church, of which he was a member for many years. Works like Ikon of the Nativity (1991), which draw on Orthodox chants and liturgical practice, retain a strange and ancient mysticism beneath their apparently simple surfaces.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Is John Adams’s El Niño (1999–2000) the 21st century’s answer to the Messiah? Perhaps. In this “Nativity oratorio” the composer of the so-called “news operas” Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer and Doctor Atomic turns his dramatic hand to the Christmas story, setting texts from the Bible and the Wakefield Mystery Plays (more medieval liturgical drama), as well as several South American poets. This extract comes from the final two sections of Part I, Se habla de Gabriel and The Christmas Star:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Finally, and to bring us right up to date, I’ve opted for Schnee (2008) by the Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen. A secular choice, for certain, but if I had to choose a work that perfectly captures the frozen sunshine of a cold Christmas morning it would be this.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Looking for an easy way to play these in one jingle-free session? Try this Spotify playlist:

Tim Rutherford-Johnson is co-editor of The Oxford Dictionary of Music Sixth Edition, with Michael Kennedy and Joyce Kennedy. He has worked for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (now Grove Music Online) since 1999 and until 2010 was the editor responsible for the dictionary’s coverage of 20th- and 21st century music. He has published and lectured on several contemporary composers, and regularly reviews new music for both print and online publications. Visit Tim’s blog here, or find him on Twitter @moderncomp.

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The post No jingles: an alternative Christmas playlist appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Ypulse Essentials: Facebook Phone & Kindle Fire Models, Spotify Loses Labels, Toy Of The Year

Codenamed ‘Buffy,’ the fabled Facebook phone (is going to be a reality in a year or so, and like its vampire-slayer namesake, it’s out to slay the smartphone competition. The phone will be manufactured by HTC and reportedly will... Read the rest of this post

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8. Ypulse Essentials: App Age Rating System, Fewer Households Have TVs, Spotify Is App Happy

CTIA and ESRB have put a mobile app rating system in place (to help parents and kids understand which apps are age-appropriate. The system is meant to be industry-wide, though the two giants, Google and Apple, are holding out and don’t plan... Read the rest of this post

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9. Ypulse Essentials: The On Demand Generation, Disney Junior Launches As 24-Hour Channel, Spotify Restrictions

We’ve been casually calling the post-Millennial Generation the On Demand Generation (and the announcement of Fisher-Price’s new hand-held, personal DVR for kids that debuted at CES this week makes us think we might just have gotten the... Read the rest of this post

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10. Internet Piracy, SOPA, Megaupload, And What It Means To Millennials

The past week had a huge impact on young, media-savvy Millennials, because of the war waging among Internet sites and the federal government. First, young people banded together with websites to stop the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act,... Read the rest of this post

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11. Ypulse Essentials: Facebook’s Open Graph In Action, Another ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Reboot, HootSuite University

Here’s a roundup of some of the best ways that brands are using Facebook’s new Open Graph (to encourage their fans to share their brand interactions on the site. We’re big fans of Ticketmaster’s mashup with Spotify’s... Read the rest of this post

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12. Ypulse Essentials: The White House Is Hip, Pinterest Is Growing, Millennials Are Watching Less TV

Showing that he’s hip to new music trends, President Obama (released an official 2012 campaign playlist on Spotify. There’s a little something for everyone here, including some REO Speedwagon, some Arcade Fire, some Ricky Martin, and, of... Read the rest of this post

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13. Ypulse Essentials: Microsoft Goes After Millennials With msnNow, The Benefits Of Social Networks, The Muppets To Present At The Oscars

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14. Ypulse Essentials: Cartoon Network’s Upfront Announcements, ‘Anchorman’ Sequel In 2013, YouTube’s Search For Its Next Star

Cartoon Network is turning 20 this year, and it reveled in its position as the #1 network for 6 to 11 year old boys (during its upfront presentation this week. The network officially announced a few shows that we knew were coming — including... Read the rest of this post

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15. Ypulse Essentials: Percy Jackson, Sprite Rebrands As Spark, Youth Bipolar Disorder Revisited

Percy vs. Potter (the myth-based series debuts this weekend and unsurprisingly can't escape comparisons to director Chris Columbus's previous supernatural success. The verdict: the magic is gone. Plus USA Today reviews the The Percy Jackson and The... Read the rest of this post

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16. Ypulse Essentials: Foursquare Day, Generation Scold, Prom On A School Night

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17. Ypulse Essentials: US Gov Launches Admongo, Spotify Vs. iTunes, Violent Video Game Ban Heads To Supreme Court

Admongo.gov (a new government program to teach tweens how to read ads with a more critical eye launches. Over on Gawker, a few points of contention. Look for a future Ypulse site profile with our take) (New York Times, reg. required) - Green Day... Read the rest of this post

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18. Ypulse Essentials: Teen Heroines In Hollywood, The New AP, Dell Streak 7 Targets Gen Y

Teen heroines (Great feature on the growing lineup of genre-spanning strong girl characters in film and the female directors and producers helping bring them to the screen. The list could use some diversity, but it's definitely a step closer to ... Read the rest of this post

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19. Ypulse Essentials: Hall Of Game Awards, Old Navy Audio Threadz, Green Label Sound iTunes Storefront

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20. Ypulse Essentials: Facebook + Spotify = Awesome, Amazon Goes Gaga (Again), Chegg Enters The Deals Game

While Mark Zuckerberg says it will eventually (make sense to explore allowing children under age 13 to join Facebook, it’s not a priority at the company. Music, on the other hand, seems to be quite important. Facebook and Spotify are... Read the rest of this post

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21. Ypulse Essentials: Spotify Finally Launches In The U.S., ‘Harry Potter’ Breaks Records, Netflix Goes 3D

Finally! We’re thrilled that Spotify, the music service beloved by Brits (has made its way across the pond at last. Starting today — following a deal on Wednesday with Warner Bros. Music to secure all four major labels — users can sign... Read the rest of this post

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22. Ypulse Essentials: Kindle Books Available At Libraries, Gen Y Cuts Back On Shopping, ‘Sesame Street’ Does ‘Glee’

eBook readers rejoice (now that Kindle books are available at more than 11,000 libraries in the U.S.! Amazon launched the lending library service today and we think it will be a big hit among Millennials who enjoy this medium and are constantly... Read the rest of this post

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23. Ypulse Essentials: Facebook’s Media Apps, Ke$ha’s Watch Line, UK Kids Are Technophiles

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24. Ypulse Essentials: Streaming Boxes Take Over TVs, Interactive Retail For Kids, Food Marketing Fight

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25. Ypulse Essentials: Google Services Upgrades, Tech = Toys, GTA V Returns To San Andreas

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