12th Annual Toy Piano Festival!

A family friendly free show! Come early, or else you’ll end up sitting on the floor (the toy piano performers have to sit on the floor, though, so you’ll be in good company!) Hope to see you at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 for the Twelfth Annual Toy Piano Festival!

Serious music for toy piano?
The first composer to write a “serious” piece for toy piano was American composer John Cage. His Suite for Toy Piano, written in 1948, uses nine consecutive white notes of a piano keyboard. This is significant because some toy pianos only have white notes (the black notes are sometimes merely painted on as a reference point so that players will know where “C” and all the other notes are.) Composer George Crumb used toy piano to great effect in his chamber music piece Ancient Voices of Children (1970). The score of this piece even shows a diagram of where to place the toy piano on stage.

Here in San Diego, toy pianos are celebrated with great fanfare in the month of September (because John Cage’s birthday is September 5!!) at UC San D’iego’s Geisel Library. It is there that Scott Paulson and his colleagues at the UCSD Arts Library host an annual toy piano festival. Composers visit the Library and pick a specific toy piano from the collection, and a piece is written specially for that instrument. Some toy pianos only have nine notes, some three octaves—so each piece has its own special charm and special limitations.

The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, recordings, extant literature and commissioned scores. In 2001, because of the Toy Piano Collection’s activities, the Library of Congress issued a special call number and subject heading for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69

UCSD has a history with toy pianos that pre-dates the annual toy piano festival. Composer Robert Erickson, a founder of UCSD’s Music Department wrote a piece for toy pianos and bells that was premiered on California’s PBS television stations in 1966, just months before Erickson’s arrival at UCSD.

Featured: new works from local composers, a work from John Cage and songs from The Cat in the Hat Songbook.

Performers and composers this year include: Sue Palmer (the Queen of Boogie Woogie!) Ryoko Amadee Goguen, Christian Hertzog, Kenneth Herman, Gail Gipson, Ellen Lawson, Dana Mambourg Zimbric & of course, Scott Paulson!

11th Annual Toy Piano Festival!

at UCSD Geisel Library, in the Seuss Room
Live performances on September 3 at 2:00 p.m. and September 6 at noon.

At these two free events (Sept 3 at 2:00 p.m. and Sept 6 at noon) you’ll hear new works for toy piano. Come early or else you’ll have to sit on the floor (the performers have to sit on the floor, so you’ll be in good company!). The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, audio recordings, extant literature, and commissioned works. In May of 2001, the Library of Congress issued a subject heading and call number for toy piano scores because of the activities of the Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library. The call number is: M 175 T69

For more information, contact Scott Paulson at (858) 822-5758 or spaulson@ucsd.edu

10th Annual Toy Piano Festival

Hear new works for toy piano! See an exhibit celebrating this toy instrument and see live shows Sunday, September 12 at 2:00 p.m. and Monday, September 13 at noon

Come early to this show, or else you’ll have to sit on the floor (the toy piano players always have to sit on the floor, so you’ll be in good company.)

The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, recordings, extant literature and commissioned scores. In 2001, because of our activities and at our request, the Library of Congress issued a special call number and subject heading for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69 This year marks our Tenth Annual Toy Piano Festival, which has become a San Diego favorite and reported widely in the local, national and international press.

Performer/composers include:  Scott Paulson, Sue Palmer, Kenneth Herman, Ryoko Amadee Goguen, Christian Hertzog, Miriam Manning, Gail Gipson, Wendy Clemente and more!

Join us on the lower level, West wing of Geisel Library at UCSD for two free performances:

Sunday, September 12 at 2:00 p.m. and Monday, September 13 at noon

Our 9th Annual Toy Piano Festival!


Come join us for a PROGRAM OF MUSIC for September 5, 2009, 2:00 p.m., UCSD Geisel Library, Seuss Room

Here in San Diego, toy pianos are celebrated with great fanfare in the month of September (because John Cage’s birthday is September 5!!) at UCSD’s Geisel Library. It is there that Scott Paulson and his colleagues at the UCSD Arts Library host an annual toy piano festival. Composers visit the Library and pick a specific toy piano from the collection, and a piece is written specially for that instrument. Some toy pianos only have nine notes, some three octaves—so each piece has its own special charm and special limitations.

The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, recordings, extant literature and commissioned scores. In 2001, because of our Toy Piano Collection’s activities, the Library of Congress issued a special call number and subject heading for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69
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8th Annual Toy Piano Festival!

Hosted by toy piano guy Scott Paulson!
Join us on Friday, September 5 at noon, in the Geisel Library building in the Seuss Room area (main floor of Library building).

Why does this date make so much sense for this show? September 5 is American composer John Cage’s birthday and among his many musical feats: he was the first to write a serious work for toy piano!

At this toy piano festival you’ll hear everything from John Cage to Dr. Seuss to new works from local composers. With featured composers & performers: Ryoko Amadee Goguen, Kenneth Herman, Wesley Hawkins, Christian Hertzog, Sue Palmer, Scott Paulson, and Matt Swagler.

Come early–or else you’ll have to sit on the floor (the toy piano performers have to sit on the floor, so certainly you’ll be in good company there!)

The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of instruments, audio recordings, commissioned scores and extant works for toy piano. In 2001, because of the many activities at The Toy Piano Collection (and mostly because of Jim Soe Nyun and the Music & Media Catalogers here at Geisel) the Library of Congress issued a special subject heading and call number for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69. We continue to celebrate the toyful noise!
For more info call (858) 822-5758

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