Category Archives: news

New Resource: Musical Theater Songs

Musical Theater Songs

We’re pleased to announce the addition of a new electronic resource, Musical Theater Songs! It’s an index of tunes from musicals that will help performers and directors identify appropriate songs for auditions, recitals, productions, and more. With more than 20 variables (such as voice type, range, and character age) to search, this source will allow users to answer questions such as:

“How can I find the right songs for my auditions, voice lessons, coachings, competitions, juries and cabaret appearances?


“Where can I find new music to suit my evolving voice and character type?”


“Where do I find that great song someone just sang to land a terrific job?”


“Where do I find songs I can recommend to my students or colleagues?”


“How do I learn more about a specific song or show?”


“How can I find a song to use in a movie or video or a TV or radio spot?”

Check it out and find your next musical theater song!

New Resource: Naxos Works Database


Naxos Works Database includes brief biographies of over 4,000 composers and information about 67,000 works (mostly orchestral and chamber, but there’s quite a wide range covered). This will be particularly helpful for fact-checking dates of composition, writing program notes, checking approximate durations, and even helping plan programs. You can search many aspects of a piece, including instrumentation, duration, date of composition, composer’s country, and genre. So the next time you need to find a 5-10 minute German piece written in the 18th century that features mandolin, look no further than Naxos Works Database!

A Celebration of Polka

Bowling Green State University

Please join us for a reception dedicating the donation to Bowling Green State University of the Vitak-Elsnic Polka Collection by Music Publishers of America.

Monday, October 19
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Pallister Conference Room
Wm. T. Jerome Library
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio

To RSVP for the event or for assistance related to special accommodations, please contact Susannah Cleveland at

Special Guests:
Alex Meixner, Grammy-nominated musician and producer
Steve Harris (BGSU ’71 alum), President, Music Publishers of America


The Vitak-Elsnic Company, founded in 1895 by Ohioan Louis Vitak, has been described by one music historian as “the most important firm [in America] in development of the [polka] genre.”* The Vitak-Elsnic Collection consists of thousands of polka original compositions and arrangements for band, orchestra, accordion, concertina and piano. It is arguably the largest single collection of American-generated polka music in the world. Music Publishers of America acquired the collection in 2013.
* Source: Greene, Victor. A Passion for Polka. Berkeley, 1992.

Closed for today

Due to some flooding over the weekend, we’re closed for today while we try to dry damaged materials. We should be able to open again tomorrow, and we apologize for the trouble.

New polka collection available for researchers

We’ve just added an exciting new collection to the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives in the form of the back catalog of the Vitak-Elsnic publisher. A gift of Music Publishers of America (MPA)–the company that currently owns and still sells the catalog–the collection includes two copies of almost all of the titles published by polka publisher Vitak-Elsnic over the last 120+ years.

Vitak-Elsnic Collection on shelves

Materials in the collection include scores of music for accordion, concertina, and piano, as well as charts for small band and orchestra ensembles, and a few other odds and ends. In many cases, the same tune is arranged for several different instruments and/or ensembles, allowing users of the collection to trace different uses of compositions and tunes. All told, the collection includes almost 6,000 pieces.

Vitak-Elsnic scores on shelves

One pleasant surprise we discovered when packing the collection was the presence of re-order history for many of the titles on cards that we thought were simply shelf dividers. This information will provide valuable insights into the popularity of these titles over time.


While it will take some time for us to add full descriptions of these materials in our library catalog, the collection is all in order, and we can retrieve materials for researchers easily. Sales for commercial performances are and will continue to be available directly from MPA.

Accordion Scores from Vitak-Elsnic collection

Read more on the history Vitak-Elsnic in this Billboard article from 1967 and on the MPA website.