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How this project started




In 1998, I was a 'returning adult student' studying piano. I liked playing eighteenth century music; I decided I would like to play the music Jane Austen played.  I found out about the Corda Music project on Jane Austen's music.  Pat at Jane Austen Books helped me get copies of the Corda music publications on Austen's music.  I started trying to locate copies of the music.  At the time, I was an employee of the University of Alabama, which has a wonderful library system, including a great music library and a helpful Inter-Library Loan department. Using those resources, I did manage to find and play a few of the keyboard works listed in the Corda music publication, and purchase some of the works for my personal music collection.

In 2004, I was at a meeting of the Jane Austen Society - Alabama Region, talking about our schedule for the coming year.  I mentioned the Corda music publications, and somehow ended up volunteering to put together a program of Austen music.  I enlisted two gifted high school students to sing and play, and spent weeks trying to find music they would like to perform.  I used the library resources to find some things, and I also looked online.  I did find a few of the items mentioned in the Corda book.


A picture from our 2004 concert.

In 2005, the Alabama region asked if I could do the Austen Music program again.  I enlisted the same two students (now high school seniors) and another volunteer, and went online to find some different music for them.  This time, I discovered the Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music.  What a treasure!  While working on the program, I decided to create a web site of links to works mentioned in the Austen works, especially to the Levy collection.  As I was also transcribing some of the music (using the Printmusic program from Finale Music) and transposing for the singers, I thought the work I did might benefit other fans of Austen music. 


Last Update: 1/16/06


Contact Dr. J. Donley

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