Music Department Facilities
The Department of Music is housed in the modern and beautiful Mary Duke Biddle Music Building, which provides superb facilities for its diverse needs. Students meet with instructors in well-equipped classrooms, seminar rooms, and studios. There are twenty practice rooms with grand pianos, four organ practice rooms, several harpsichord practice rooms, ensemble rehearsal studios, and Bone Hall, a large rehearsal hall. The nearby Smith Warehouse houses the Arts, Culture, and Technology Studios where students interested in computer music will find state-of-the-art equipment. Public performances take place in a variety of venues both on and off campus, including Page Auditorium, Reynolds Industries Theater, and the more intimate Nelson Music Room in the East Duke Building. Baldwin Auditorium, home to the Department of Music's large ensembles, recently underwent extensive renovations, re-opening in 2013 as a state-of-the-art concert hall.
The Biddle Music Building houses the Music Library with over 100,000 books, scores, journals, and microfilms. The Media Center, with some 30,000 sound recordings and a growing collection of video materials, adjoins a state-of-the-art audio facility which can accommodate 32 listeners. The library's special collections include an archive donated by the Pulitzer-prize-winning composer Robert Ward and an extensive collection of research materials assembled by the Viennese music bibliographer Alexander Weinmann. The Music Library's web pages include links to internet resources for music research.
DUMIC, the Duke University Musical Instrument Collections, are also housed in the Mary Duke Biddle Music Building. DUMIC includes The G. Norman and Ruth G. Eddy Collection, comprised of over 500 late eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early twentieth-century instruments with particular depth in woodwinds, brass, and early pianos, and The Frans and Willemina de Hen-Bijl Collection of Musical Instruments, which includes over 200 musical instruments from all over the world. The Department also has a variety of wind, string, and percussion instruments available to students for daily practice. Of special interest is an unusual collection of historical instruments. There are no fewer than five tracker organs (Brombaugh, Fisk, Flentrop) in the Music Building (in addition to the four organs in the Chapel, including the majestic 66-stop Flentrop and the new Italian-style Brombaugh). In addition, the collection includes harpsichords in various historical styles (German and French doubles by Dowd and Kingston, Italian and Flemish singles by Edskes and Martin, etc.), two fortepianos by Smith and Wolff in the Viennese styles of circa 1790 and 1820, a bible regal by Bruce Shull, a monochord, renaissance and baroque recorders of various sizes, several viole da gamba, sackbuts, krummhorns, and percussion instruments. These instruments are used by faculty and students in classes and for concerts of early music.
In addition to practice rooms in the Biddle Music Building, there are two designated practice spaces in the residence halls on West Campus.
Edens Quad, House 1A
- 1 Upright Piano and Bench
- Students must be undergraduates with DukeCard access to the residence halls as this space is located inside the residence halls.
Craven Quad, House VO, Outside Entrance (faces Keohane)
- There are three rooms inside this space, two of which have Upright Pianos (adding a third in a few weeks).
- This space has outdoor access therefore a DukeCard to gain entry to the building is not necessary, however a key is needed.
Students may obtain a key to either space from the HDRL-West Campus Office located in Craven Quad, House D Archway M-F, 8:30am-5pm.
Keys are issued for one-day use only unless a music faculty member has specifically requested in writing (to Deb LoBiondo) that an undergraduate student be issued a key for the semester.
Once approved, the student may sign for a key in our office.
Practice times are acceptable from 10am to 11pm daily.
The newly renovated Music Library opened in Fall 2011 with expanded seating and work spaces, a spacious seminar room and numerous other upgrades.
Mary Duke Biddle Music Building
Exterior Renovation, Summer 2010
Over the summer of 2010, the Mary Duke Biddle Music Building received significant renovations to its patio deck, exterior brickwork and entrances. The project restored the building, built in the 1970s, to its original, serene beauty.
May 2010: The project begins.
Early June 2010: Demolition of the old patio deck is fully underway.
Late June 2010: Water tests check for leaks in the new patio lining; working in segments, concrete for the new deck is poured.
Mid-July 2010: Work continues, but there's still a lot to be done.
Late July 2010: Near completion
September 2010: A job well done.