Parsons Playlists: Orange

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today we’re featuring a collection called “Orange” curated by Music Library student manager Allison (class of 2022).

I label my playlists by color and this one is orange. Enjoy! 🙂

Tangerine emoji

“Like or Like Like” – Miniature Tigers

“Ultralife” – Oh Wonder

“Bambi” – Hippo Campus

“Cringe” – Matt Maeson

“Nancy From Now On” – Father John Misty

“Wurli” – Dominic Fike

“American Money” – BØRNS

“Man on the Moon” – Zella Day

“Lose It” – SWMRS

“big fat mouth” – Arlie

“suburban wonderland” – BETWEEN FRIENDS

“Holy Ghost” – BØRNS

“Saw You In A Dream” – The Japanese House

“Hands Down” – The Greeting Committee

“back again” – flor

“barcelona boots” – Arlie

“Morphine” – The Ninjas

“Season 2 Episode 3” – Glass Animals

“Friends” – Sure Sure

Here is a link to a YouTube playlist version:

And here is the (extended) playlist on Spotify:

Parsons Playlists: Movie Music for a Blue Day

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today we’re featuring a collection called “Movie Music for a Blue Day” curated by Music Library student assistant Nathan (class of 2024).

Rainy day - blue

Ever get in your feels on a rainy day? Fully immerse yourself in your emotions listening along to this short but sweet selection!

“Genesis” from WandaVision

“Eating Alone” from Shrek

“Fiona’s Room” from Shrek 2

“Not Meant To Be” from Shrek 2

“Rue’s Farewell” from The Hunger Games

“Ice Dance” from Edward Scissorhands

“Married Life” from Up

“The Piano Duet” from Corpse Bride

Here’s a link to a YouTube playlist version:

Movie Music for a Blue Day

Arachnophonia: Selections from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

Editor’s note: Arachnophonia (“Arachno” = spider / “-phonia” = sound) is a regular feature on our blog where members of the UR community can share their thoughts about resources from the Parsons Music Library‘s collection.

All links included in these posts will take you to either the library catalog record for the item in question or to additional relevant information from around the web.

Today’s installment of Arachnophonia is by student assistant Nathan (class of 2024) and features piano/vocal selections from the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Thanks, Nathan!

Selections from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Selections from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

Danny Elfman is such a prolific composer, known for commonly working alongside filmmaker Tim Burton. Arguably, the best and most diverse collection of his work can be found in his music for the 2005 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” His score explores a variety of styles, from Bollywood to the sugar-pop of the 1960s. While the piano score struggles to capture all of the complex work and sound behind the “Main Titles” (Elfman at his prime, in my opinion), it does an excellent job providing a solid basework for solo playability. The piano adaptation for the “Finale” is perfectly captured and successfully leaves what it intends to bring – a feeling of finality and completion at the end of a wild ride.

Parsons Playlists: Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!: Fun with Non-Lexical Vocables

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today we’re featuring a collection called “Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!: Non-Lexical Vocables” curated by Music Library associate Melanie Armstrong.

This playlist began as a discussion with a friend online a couple months ago. I had shared a song that I’d had stuck in my head and my friend said that it was their least favorite song by the group because (and I quote) “SHA LA LA is a terrible lyric 🙂”. The discussion that followed was all in good fun, but led me to want to research songs that have nonsense syllables in them just to prove that “sha la la” is NOT (necessarily) a terrible lyric.

scat singing notation

Vocals like “sha la la” in songs are called non-lexical vocables. Basically, they are nonsense syllables which may or may not be mixed together with meaningful text and they appear in all manner of different musics. This, of course, led to me being extra geeky and having a lot of fun creating a playlist highlighting a variety of different songs that use nonsense syllables in this way. In point of fact, it goes all the way back to at least the middle ages with songs using things like “fa la la” in them – but I decided to stick to more modern examples for playlist purposes. Which means this playlist starts with some scat singing (from circa the 1920s-1940s) and goes on from there.

Your mileage may vary in terms of your tolerance of the non-lexical vocable, but I maintain that sometimes one doesn’t need an actual word to create musical meaning and that non-lexical vocables can be super fun!

Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five – “Heebie Jeebies”

Cab Calloway – “The Scat Song”

Ella Fitzgerald – “Blue Skies”

The Crew Cuts – “Sh-Boom”

Little Richard – “Tutti Frutti”

The Muppets – “Mah Na Mah Na”

The Jackson 5 – “ABC”

Suzanne Vega with DNA – “Tom’s Diner”

Primitive Radio Gods – “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand”

Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps – “Be Bop A Lula”

Louis Prima & Phil Harris – “I Wanna Be Like You”

The Del-Vikings – “Come Go With Me”

Ben Folds Five – “Magic” (this is the song that triggered the whole list!)

Earth, Wind & Fire – “September”

Spice Girls – “Wannabe”

Tenacious D – “Classico”

Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

Bobby McFerrin & Chick Corea – “Song for Amadeus (Improvisation on Mozart’s Sonata No. 2 in F Major)”

The Beatles – “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da”

Mungo Jerry – “In The Summertime”

The Tokens – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

Wilson Pickett – “Land of 1000 Dances”

The Chips – “Rubber Biscuit”

Ben Folds – “Army” (Live at Roseland Ballroom New York, NY – June 2002)

The Beatles – “Hey Jude”

Here is a link to a YouTube playlist version:

And here is the playlist on Spotify:

New CDs added: May 2021

New CDs for May 2021

Orchestral, Concertos and Chamber Music

Imani Winds – Bruits
Pacifica Quartet – Contemporary Voices
Christopher Rouse – Symphony No. 5 / Supplica / Concerto for Orchestra

Dame Ethel Smyth - The Prison cd cover

Dame Ethyl Smyth – The Prison
Christopher Theofanidis – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra / Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas – From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke

Christopher Theofanidis album cover


Chick Corea Trio – Trilogy 2
Arturo O’Farrill – Four Questions

Chick Corea - Trilogy 2 cd cover

Opera, Opera Excerpts, Choral Music and Art Songs

Richard Danielpour – The Passion of Yeshua
Fisk Jubilee Singers – Celebrating Fisk! The 150th Anniversary Album

Celebrating Fisk cd cover

Popular Music

Natalia Lafourcade – Un Canto Por Mexico
Nas – King’s Disease
Taylor Swift – folklore

Nas - King's Disease cd cover

Film Soundtracks

Hildur Gudantottir – Joker

Hildur Guonadottir - Joker soundtrack cd cover

Parsons Playlists: Party Like It’s 200x

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today we’re featuring a collection of popular music from the first decade of the 21st century, curated by Music Library student manager Abby (class of 2021).

Per Abby, here’s some “Popular music from 2000-2009 for all your guilty pleasure jam session needs”:

“Bulletproof” – La Roux

“Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga

“Makes Me Wonder” – Maroon 5

“Hot N Cold” – Katy Perry

“Viva La Vida” – Coldplay

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

“Down” – Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne

“Somebody Told Me” – The Killers

“Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” – Beyoncé

“Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys

“Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson

Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

“Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + the Machine

“Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes

“Disturbia” – Rihanna

“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” – Daft Punk

“Till I Collapse” – Eminem ft. Nate Dogg

Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger

“Sk8r Boi” – Avril Lavigne

“Fireflies” – Owl City

“One, Two Step” – Ciara ft. Missy Elliott

“Party in the U.S.A.” – Miley Cyrus

“I Gotta Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas

Owl City - Fireflies

“So What” – P!nk

“Crazy In Love” – Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z

“Yeah!” – Usher ft. Lil Jon and Ludacris

“Hollaback Girl” – Gwen Stefani

“Replay” – Iyaz

Iyaz - Replay

“Hips Don’t Lie” – Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

“Temperature” – Sean Paul

“Toxic” – Britney Spears

“Shake It” – Metro Station

“Beautiful Girls” – Sean Kingston

Spotify playlist:

YouTube playlist:

Some 2000s singles

New CDs added: April 2021

New CDs for April 2021

Orchestral, Concertos and Chamber Music

Imani Winds – Imani Winds
Nikolai Kapustin – Piano Music Marc-Andre Hamelin

Nikolai Kapustin - Piano Music

Felix Mendelsson – Mendelssohn – Piano Works Vol. 5 Benjamin Frith
Robert Schumann – Kinderszenen : op. 15 ; Davidsbündlertänze : op. 6 ; Piano sonata no. 2 in G minor, op. 22 Angela Hewitt

Mendelssohn - Piano Works, Vol. 5

Musical Theatre Cast Recordings

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss – SIX The Musical: Studio Cast Recording
Anaïs Mitchell – Hadestown: Original Broadway Cast Recording

SIX: The Musical

Alanis Morrisette and Glen Ballard – Jagged Little Pill: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Stephen Sondheim – Company – 2018 London Cast Recording

Jagged Little Pill - Cast Recording

Popular Music

Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
Fantastic Negrito – Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?
Miranda Lambert – Wildcard

Miranda Lambert - Wildcard

John Legend – Bigger Love
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Fito Paez – La Conquista del Espacio
Bobby Rush – Rawer Than Raw
Billy Strings – Home

Fantastic Negrito - Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?

The Strokes – The New Abnormal
James Taylor – American Standard
Thundercat – It Is What It Is
Toots and the Maytals – Got To Be Tough
Various Artists – Harmony In My Head: UK Power Pop & New Wave 1977-81

Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Opera, Opera Excerpts, Choral Music and Art Songs

Metropolitan Opera – The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

Gospel Music

P.J. Morton – Gospel According to PJ: From the Songbook of PJ Morton
Kanye West – Jesus Is King

Gospel According to PJ

Parsons Playlists: Heard It On Broadway

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today we’re featuring a collection of feel good indie/alternative music curated by Music Library student manager Abby (class of 2021).

A Broadway view

So here are “some showtunes to belt in the shower, or to serenade your roommates with until they either join in or kick you out” per Abby:

“Wait For It” from Hamilton

“Impossible” from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

“You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray

“Proud of Your Boy” from Aladdin

“Defying Gravity” from Wicked

“La Vie Boheme” from Rent

“The Worst Pies In London” from Sweeney Todd

“I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck” from An American In Paris

“Giants in the Sky” from Into the Woods

“One Day More” from Les Misérables

“All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera

“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music

Assorted Broadway Musical Posters

“Mi Siento Hermosa (I Feel Pretty)” from West Side Story

“Cell Block Tango” from Chicago

“Magic To Do” from Pippin

“Road To Hell” from Hadestown

“Forget About The Boy” from Thoroughly Modern Millie

“Omigod You Guys” from Legally Blonde: The Musical

“Waving Through A Window” from Dear Evan Hansen

“Say My Name” from Beetlejuice

“The World Will Know” from Newsies

“Hello!” from The Book of Mormon

“Sherry” from Jersey Boys

“Memory” from Cats

“Stick It To The Man” from School of Rock

“Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy

Assorted Broadway Musical Posters 2

“I Wanna Be A Producer” from The Producers

“All For The Best” from Godspell

“Times Are Hard For Dreamers” from Amélie

“When He Sees Me” from Waitress

and here’s a link to a YouTube playlist of all the songs above.

Arachnophonia: Harry Styles

Editor’s note: Arachnophonia is a regular feature on our blog where members of the UR community can share their thoughts about resources from the Parsons Music Library‘s collection.

All links included in these posts will take you to either the library catalog record for the item in question or to additional relevant information from around the web.

Today’s installment of Arachnophonia is by student manager Colin (class of 2021) and features English singer songwriter Harry Styles’ eponymous debut solo album. Thanks, Colin!

Harry Styles

Harry Styles

Harry Styles  2017 album cover

Harry Styles’s self-titled debut album marked the transition in Styles’s career from popular member of the boy band One Direction to his own solo work following the hiatus and eventual separation of the teen musical group. During his time in One Direction, Styles amassed an enormous fanbase from around the world, and the split of the group shocked these fans. Zayn Malik was the first member to separate from the group, which may have led to the eventual collapse of the group as a whole, and he started to release his own music in 2015, creating his own solo album in 2016 titled Mind of Mine. Eager and attentive fans turned their attention to the other members of One Direction to anticipate which teen sensation would begin releasing their own music next. Harry Styles would soon find that both himself and his music would become the spotlight of these fans, as his self-stardom rose above all other members and continues to this day.

Harry Styles would lead this craze, as Styles’s first solo album connected well with varying audiences. The album was teased with the release of its first single, “Sign of the Times,” in April 2017, projecting a combination of soft rock and pop music into a wistful ballad that was a completely new sound for Styles. This single is famously accompanied by its music video that was released a month later in May 2017, in which Styles flies over a body of water quite majestically. The full album would follow this video with its release four days later, meeting the anticipation of fans.

Flying Styles

Harry Styles would achieve a new musical direction for the artist, as fans and critics were surprised with the range of musical styles incorporated throughout the album. Songs featured throughout the work include a mixture of pop, British pop, rock, and soft rock styles, being influenced by famous and innovative artists like Queen, Elton John, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones. Overall, I enjoy how each song on the album feels different and refreshing, never becoming too stale in their approach and delivery. There are 10 tracks on the album, and some stand-out pieces to me include “Only Angel,” “Ever Since New York,” and “From the Dining Table.”

Lyrically, “Only Angel” is a strange dichotomy between the love Harry Styles has for himself and love for the girl he references as “angel.” He begins the song by singing “Open up your eyes, shut your mouth and see/That I’m the only one who’s been in love with me,” expressing to listeners that Styles is confidant in being himself and that rampant tabloid exposure on all of his romantic partners are typically blown out of proportion, and he seems to be telling his audience and the media that his public relationships are often misunderstood. This is then contrasted with the chorus of “She’s an angel, only angel/She’s an angel, my only angel,” in which Styles is turning his attention towards his romantic partner that he refers to as an angel. What I particularly like about this song is not the lyrics however, but more towards the production of the Rock pop composition of the piece. This song comes across to me as a modern-day pop version of Elton John.

Ever Since New York” is a tribute to Styles’s late stepfather who passed away following a battle with cancer, after Styles was delivered the terrible news of the affliction while staying in a New York hotel. The song deals with Styles’s grief in the aftermath of his stepfather’s passing, and the feelings he carries with him about how people try to support him, by singing “Oh, tell me something I don’t already know.” This emotional ballad is characterized by the driving force of the instrumentation, which upon initial hearing does not immediately indicate to the listener that this is a song about missing someone who has tragically passed away. However, Styles chose to allow the production and orchestration of this piece to be more gospel-like in nature with a sonic depth of sound surrounding the lyrics, indicating that Styles did not intend to make this piece overly dramatic but rather a strong remembrance of his late stepfather.

Finally, “From the Dining Table,” is another emotional love song but directed towards Styles’s lost love and longing for a past relationship. This final piece to the album relates to the first piece of the album, “Meet Me in the Hallway,” in numerous ways. First, both subjects of the song and lyrics are reflections on a past relationship, in which Styles implies that he put more effort into it and that he is the one who still cares for the lost romance, indicated by the chorus line “Why won’t you ever be the first one to break?” Another connection is that both song titles refer to a sense of home, in which it can be implied that Styles and his partner were living together, and he is referring to significant places in the home that meant something in their relationship. Finally, both songs feature similar instrumentation, characterized by an acoustic guitar and emphasis on Styles’s vocals. The change in orchestration is different across both songs, but the similar feeling of vocals paired with acoustic guitar only emphasize the feeling of longing and desperation that Styles is singing about.

Publicity photo of Harry Styles

Overall, this album is a great listen and while it may not be perfect in my eyes, it certainly won the hearts of many fans that were longing for more music from the most prominent member of One Direction.

Digital Resources: Musical America Worldwide

The Music Library has more resources available than physical items. We’re highlighting some of our digital resources, and including information about them as told by our student employees.

Today’s digital resource is:

Musical America Worldwide

Musical America Worldwide logo

Here is what student assistant Allison (class of 2022) had to say about this resource:

Musical America Worldwide is an extensive database that features both in-depth reporting on performing arts and industry news as well as a breadth of information on the international landscape of the performing arts world. Looking in the news section, I found that the majority of people reported on are more behind-the-scenes characters in the music world rather than celebrities. This website features prominent figures in the music world from a multitude of genres. This would be a great website to use to research scholarship and news on composers or specific pieces. Very extensive database.”