Contents and Arrangement Expanded View
Online

Collection Overview

Creator:
Sessions, Roger, 1896-1985
Title:
Roger Sessions Scores
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/1z40ks865
Dates:
1909-2001 (mostly 1909-1985)
Size:
27 boxes and 24 Volumes
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-18; 01; 03; 02; 04; 05; 06; 07; 08; 09
Language:
English

Abstract

The collection contains the manuscripts of composer and educator Roger Sessions. It includes compositions reflecting his use of the 12-tone system of composition and ranging from exercises and studies to concertos, sonatas, operas ("Lancelot and Elaine" and "Montezuma"), and symphonies (1 through 9). Also included are miscellaneous musical works such as divertimenti, nocturnes, chorale studies, quintets, and cantatas along with the manuscripts for two prose works.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the manuscripts of Sessions' compositions reflecting his use of the 12-tone system of composition and ranging from exercises and studies to concertos, sonatas, operas ("Lancelot and Elaine" and "Montezuma"), and symphonies (1 through 9). Also included are miscellaneous musical works such as divertimenti, nocturnes, chorale studies, quintets, and the cantata "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." In addition, there are manuscripts for two prose works, "The Musical Experience," a lecture delivered at the Julliard School of Music in 1947, and an article, "To the Editor," which appeared in Perspectives of New Music in 1967.

Additions to the papers include ozalid copies of various cantatas, concertos, symphonies, and miscellaneous works, original scores for a violin concerto, sketches for Symphony No. 1, correspondence with Luigi Dallapiccola and two musical manuscripts by Jean Binet. New additions include a small "Composer's notebook" which he carried in his pocket; two letters to Carl Miller, an ALS to Arthur Mende; a letter dated Jan. 14, 2001, from Anne Welch Gordon to "Princeton University Music Dept." regarding giving the "Composer's notebook and the correspondence to the Music Library; an unidentified manuscript, and photocopies of correspondence.

For information on the Roger Sessions Society, visit: http://www.uncwil.edu/music/sessionssociety/

Arrangement

The papers of Roger Sessions are divided into two main groups by the fact that some are bound (volumes) and some are unbound (boxes). Within these two groups, the papers have been arranged first by genre (cantatas, concertos, exercises and studies, opera, quartets, sonatas, symphonies, miscellaneous musical works, prose works, correspondence & photographs, and papers of others); then by the titles of the individual works; finally, in a sort of rough chronological order, so that sketches fall before completed works, folders marked "1938-1956" come before folders marked "1939-1956," and so on.

Separate lists are available for the contents of the bound material (volumes 1-23), the unbound material (boxes 1-13), and additional unbound material (boxes 14-17). If you know what you are looking for, the best place to look is in the Index to all of the previous lists, which starts on page 9. Wherever feasible, Sessions' original organization of the material has been kept intact, and the folders are as he marked them.

In the Index, two double-digit numbers separated by a slash (e.g. 01/01) indicate a box and folder number (in the above example, Box 1, Folder 1). Ordinary numbers, such as 5 or 23 (in bold), refer to the numbers of bound volumes. The interval 04/06 - 05/02 includes the folder 4.5/01, an oversized folder in Box 4.5 which contains sketches of Quartet No. 2.

Collection Creator Biography:

Sessions, Roger, 1896-1985

Composer and educator, Roger Sessions graduated from Harvard and studied under Horatio Parker at Yale. In 1926 he won a Guggenheim Professorship and worked at composition in Europe until 1933 as a winner of the American Rome Prize. He held posts at Princeton (1935), Berkeley, CA (1945), Princeton again (1953), and the Julliard School (1965). Among his compositions are four symphonies, several operas, a notable violin concerto (1935), and chamber music. His best known work remains his early Black Maskers (1923).

Collection History

Acquisition:

Gift of the author. Additional material : transfer from Princeton University's Woolworth Music Center, May 1, 2007. AM 2007-100.

Appraisal

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by D. K. Pierce in October 1985 and B. K. Volz in Sept. 1997. Finding aid written by D. K. Pierce in October 1985.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Roger Sessions Scores; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/1z40ks865
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-18; 01; 03; 02; 04; 05; 06; 07; 08; 09