ERNEST BLOCH COLLECTION

SC 1996.2

Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections
Sibley Music Library

prepared by Ian Quinn
Fall 1996

 

CONTENTS

 

 

DESCRIPTION OF COLLECTION

Location: M1B 6,5
1.75 linear feet

 

Biographical Sketch

Ernest Bloch (24 July 1880 – 15 July 1959), was a composer and teacher born in Switzerland; he became a naturalized American in 1924. Bloch came to the USA for the first time in 1916 as conductor for Maud Allan and her dance company. He was engaged primarily in teaching during the years 1917-20, both privately and at the Mannes College. Bloch served as the first director of the Cleveland Institute (1920-25), where he proposed reforms, such as the abandoning of examinations and textbooks in favor of direct musical experience, which found no sympathy among the advocates of a “practical” curriculum and resulted in his resignation. He served as director of the San Francisco Conservatory from 1925 to 1930. After returning to Switzerland for several years, Bloch returned to the USA in 1940 to take a position as professor of music at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught summer courses until his retirement in 1952. His compositions have earned him widespread acclaim and many honors and awards, and many of his students, including Herbert Elwell, Randall Thompson, and Roger Sessions, went on to become noted composers in their own right. Bloch died of cancer in 1959.

 

Provenance

Bloch bequeathed his papers to his daughter Suzanne Bloch upon his death in 1959. In the summer of 1982, thanks to the efforts of Alfred Mann and Robert Freeman, Ms. Bloch elected to deposit the pedagogical papers, which she selected and organized herself, at Sibley Music Library. Dr. Mann received the material from Ms. Bloch in New York City on May 7, 1983 and personally deposited it at Sibley Library ten days later. Ms. Bloch made a formal gift of the material to Sibley Library in the fall of 1985.

 

Scope and Content

The Bloch Collection contains pedagogical material gathered by Bloch in his career as a teacher, and papers pertaining to his own lifelong technical and analytic studies; he hand-copied many of the materials in the latter category for posterity and use. Among his studies are a series of notebooks containing a record of Bloch’s extensive studies of counterpoint, harmony, fugue, form, and what he termed “configuration.” He also made extensive and detailed analyses of pieces by Bach, Beethoven, and others. The series of Bloch’s teaching materials include lecture notes, tests, and student papers from his work at the Cleveland Institute and the University of California at Berkely, including manuscripts of student’s (Roger Sessions, Henry Elwell, and Randall Thompson among them) studies in fugue, in the students’ own hands. Some of Bloch’s correspondence with Elwell, and Elwell’s memoirs of Bloch, may also be found in the collection.

 

Restrictions and Use

No restrictions. Permission to photocopy items in the collection is on file.

 

Associations

Michael Nott’s Eastman dissertation, Ernest Bloch’s Pedagogical Writings, makes extensive use of these materials. The Eastman School Archives contains a selected collection of papers documenting the life and career of Bloch’s close friend Alfred Mann.

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DESCRIPTION OF SERIES

 

Series 1: Notebooks

Bloch’s own technical studies in applied music theory, including examples from other composers and exercises of his own design and execution. In most cases, these notebooks were assembled and copied ex post facto by Bloch himself, for the dual purpose of recording his studies and collating examples for use in teaching. Arranged by topic, in five subseries: A (Counterpoint, Two Parts), B (Counterpoint, Three Parts), C (Form), D (Fugue), and E (Harmony).

 

Series 2: Musical Analyses

In closely studying a piece, Bloch would hand-copy its score onto folios of manuscript paper, making notes of verbal and musical commentaries, reductions, and illustrations. Many of the analyses are color-coded according to Bloch’s vision of the pieces’ configuration. Some analyses include information about sketches. Arranged by composer, in three subseries: A (J.S. Bach), B (Beethoven), and C (Miscellaneous).

 

Series 3: Student Papers

This series comprises one important folder — a collection of fugue assignments Bloch gave to Theodore Chanler, Herbert Elwell, Quincy Porter, Randall Thompson, and Roger Sessions, to which are added studies in fugal themes that Bloch wrote with his daughter Suzanne “on the porch of our house.” The manuscripts are fair copies of work discussed and completed — all of them in the respective authors’ hand, so that the folder is of special interest as an album of autographs by twentieth-century American composers. Bloch had his students follow his own example in recopying different phases of work and adding explanations that describe the work process and Bloch’s criticisms. Bloch’s arrangement of these papers has been retained.

 

Series 4: Teaching Materials

These papers include lecture notes, classroom materials, tests, and teacher reports made by Bloch between 1920 and 1951 at Cleveland and Berkeley. Quincy Porter’s extensive two-volume collection of typed and indexed notes from summer courses with Bloch in 1922 are included in this series. Arranged chronologically.

 

Series 5: Letters

Letters to and from Herbert Elwell, arranged chronologically.

 

Series 6: Ephemera

Scores, pamphlets, programs, clippings, and a Bloch worklist made not before 1952; arranged by title.

 

Series 7: Papers of Herbert Elwell

Notes, manuscripts, and typescripts of talks on Bloch, in Herbert Elwell’s hand; arranged by title.

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INVENTORY

Series 1: Notebooks

Subseries A: Counterpoint, Two Parts

Box 1

folder 1 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “I”, dated June 1928. Inscription on first page: BOOK I CONTENTS: | Exercices on C.F. by Bellermann (in 8 modes) | 15 C.F. by E. Bloch in MODUS DORIUS | Exercices ” ” ” on 15 CF. | 49 Essays on a C.F by L.Hodghead “
folder 2 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “II”. Inscription on first page: Modus Hypodorius 10 CF. by EB. | Exercices on ” | ” Phrygius 13 CF | Exercices on ” ” | ” Hypophrygius
folder 3 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “III”. Inscription on first page: Modus Lydius– 8 CF | Essays in all species | (1º, 2º, 3º, 4º, 5º Gattung) | Exercices in Florid on 8 CF | HYPOLYDIUS (start) | (continuation in Book IV, p. 208) | SPECIAL STUDIES in TWOPART COUNTERPOINT | (Imitations by augmentation after Josquin ds Prs | (Cont. from book IV p. 384) | Agnus Dei (after Josquin d.P.) | Benedictus | STUDY OF MOTET | Study of First Sentence, in all modes | (Dorius. Phrygius-Lydius. Mixolydius) | Continuation in book VII p. 387-
folder 4 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “IV”. Inscription on first page: Continuation fr. III (p.167) (from Ex 674) | MODUS HYPOLYDIUS (cf 2)
folder 5 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “V”. Inscription on first page: Continuation of Aeolian mode Cf. 4, | florid in both parts. (C.F. florid, in Bass.) Ctp. c | from (nº 897) – | MODUS AEOLIUS | M. HYPOAEOLIUS CF. | Exercices | MODUS IONIUS | ” HYPOIONIUS
folder 6 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “VI”. Inscription on first page: Hypo-ionius (Suite) (from 1142 -) | (34 on Cf I in book V). | Double Conterpoint at the 12th | Studies in all modes
folder 7 Black notebook, 12.7 x 16.4 cm, marked “VII”. Inscription on first page: Ctp. 2 voices- Study of Motet (Cont) | First Sentence (modus mixolydius) | Cont. fr. book III
folder 8 Black notebook, 13.5 x 16.5 cm, marked “Additional Counterpoint | IX.” Inscription on first page: Add. to Book III | Special Studies in Two Parts (after Josquin) | Imitations by augmentation | Add. to Book III – page 168 – Example 1278 – | (27 new examples, in all modes) | Ex. on basso obstinato in all modes- (15 Ex). | Imitations strictes à l’unisson (d’après Josquin Missa Gaudeamus) | (add. to B.III Ex. 1288) new Ex. in all modes (22) | Add. to Ex. 1289-90-91 (After Josquin) (Benedictus – same Mass) (6)
folder 9 Black notebook, 18.5 x 24.0 cm, marked “A Misc.” Inscription on cover: Counterpoint 2 Parts | Examples from: Orlando di Lasso | Jacobus Kerle | Claude Le Jeune, etc. | Dunstable | Bach (Kl. harm. Labyrinth) | (Wagner. Motifs of Tetralogy – from manuscripts, | Washington Library of Congress).
folder 10 Green notebook, 26.0 x 16.0 cm, (G. Schirmer No. 12). Inscription on cover: Strict Counterpoint | 2 parts | Ernest Bloch
  Inscription on first page: Howard D. McKinney | copied from Bloch’s notes | Cleveland 1922.

 

Subseries B: Counterpoint, Three Parts

folder 11 Maroon notebook, 25.7 x 16.7 cm, (Boosey & Hawkes No. 10), marked “C/2”. Inscription on cover: Strict | III Part-counterpoint | (1920-21 ?) | Additional Notes (1943 !) | especially on | Configuration
folder 12 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “I”. Inscription on second page: III Part. Ctp. M. Dorius. Essays- Jan 19-1930-
folder 13 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “II”. Inscription on first page: III Part Counterpoint Study of Beginnings

 

Subseries C: Form

Box 2

folder 1 Maroon notebook, 25.7 x 16.7 cm, (Boosey & Hawkes No. 10), marked “F1”. Inscription on cover: 1º/ La Forme Musicale (1921 ?) | (Elémentaire) | 2º/ STUDIES in Configuration (1943)
folder 2 Manila notebook, 25.2 x 17.5 cm, (G. Schirmer No. 18), marked “F2”. Inscription on cover: Studies in Configuration | (Continuation of F1 – Agate Beach 1946)

 

Subseries D: Fugue

folder 3 Black notebook, 26.0 x 16.7 cm (G. Schirmer No. 12), marked “Fugue | (I)”. Inscription on cover: Examples | Fugue (Notes) | (from pupils-and myself) | 1º/ Subject-Answer-Structure etc. | Analysis- | -New- | Studies in Configuration | also
folder 4 Manila notebook, 25.2 x 17.5 cm (G. Schirmer No. 18), marked “Fugue Ibis”. Inscription on cover: Additional

 

Subseries E: Harmony

folder 5 Maroon notebook, 25.7 x 16.7 cm (Boosey & Hawkes No. 10), marked “H/2”. Inscription on cover: Applied harmony | (to be used in connection | with Kuon’s Exercises) | Harmony– connected with Form

 

Series 2: Musical Analyses

Subseries A: J.S. Bach

Box 3

folder 1 Folder of MS leaves in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: J.S. BACH | Clavecin bien Tempéré | ETUDE | des | EXPOSITIONS
  Inscription on first page: J.S. BACH | Fugues of the Well-Tempered-Clavichord | Subjects– and Answers. (Csubject-) | in Colours-
folder 2 Folder of MS leaves in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: J.S. BACH | Clavecin bien Tempéré | ETUDE | des | EXPOSITIONS
folder 3 Folder of MS leaves in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: J.S. BACH | Fugues of the W.T. Clavichord | (AnalysesCopies in Colours…. ) | (for Courses in Berkeley – 1941-1942) | (see also “Miniatures” | complete list on separate sheet inside
folder 4 Spiral-bound sketchbook, 25.2 x 30.1 cm (No. 1230). Inscription inside cover: Schemes of Fugues
  Contains colored formal diagrams, in Bloch’s hand, of 15 fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier.
folder 5 Folder of MSS in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: J.S. BACH | Analyses diverses: | Sinfonia fr. Cantata 29 ‘Wir danken dir, Gott” Analyses | (=Prelude in E maj- fr. Partita for Violin alone) | Brand. Concerto Nº I (F maj.) 1st movement (Analyse et Notes) | (Sketches – Overture in D-
folder 6 Black notebook, 12.2 x 16.7 cm, marked “STUDY of BACH CHORALS EB.” and dated December 1928.

 

Subseries B: Beethoven

folder 7 Folder of MS leaves in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Beethoven | SYMPHONIE III | EROICA | op. 55
folder 8 Folder of MSS in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Eroica | notes diverses | schemas etc
folder 9 Folder of MS leaves in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Symphony III | Special Studies | all 4 Mvts
folder 10 Folder of MS leaves in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Premiers feuillets d’Analyse | de l’EROICA | Berkeley 1940)
folder 11 Folder of MSS in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Beethoven | IIId Symphony | Notes diverses-
folder 12 Folder of MSS in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Beethoven | Leonore Overtures | Nº 2 and Nº 3 | Comparative Studies | (till “Durchführung”) | Agate Beach | March 1946 | EB.

 

Subseries C: Miscellaneous

folder 13 Folder of MSS in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Musical Examples | Etudes de FORME | Moussorgsky fr. Sans Soleil Nº I | Nº II | Debussy fr. Pelléas | Début- | Acte I. Sc. II- La lettre- (fragments) | Nocturnes (Nuages.)

 

Series 3: Student Papers

folder 14 Folder of MS leaves in various hands. Inscription on folder: Fugue | (Examples- from pupils) | (1920) New York…(Cleveland?) | I. Swift – Sessions – Porter – R. Thompson | Th. Chanler – Elwell – etc. | See also booklet “Fugue

 

Series 4: Teaching Materials

Box 4

folder 1 Bound volume of typed notes, stamped “MUSIC – 1920”. Notes are Bloch’s teacher’s reports for classes in music for children, dated 1 July-16 August 1920.
folder 2 Folder of photocopied typescript notes. Inscription on folder: Notes to Teachers of Theory Cleveland 1920 | The Musical Speech – and its diff. Elements | An Analytical Course in 10 lessons-
folder 3 Bound volume of typed notes. Typed on cover: NOTES | TAKEN IN CLASSES OF | ERNEST BLOCH | SUMMER SCHOOL, 1922 | Volume I | BY | WILLIAM QUINCY PORTER | IN | CLEVELAND, OHIO
  Annotation on cover in Bloch’s hand reads “Not always accurate EB”.
folder 4 Bound volume of typed notes. Typed on cover: NOTES | TAKEN IN CLASSES OF | ERNEST BLOCH | SUMMER SCHOOL, 1922 | BY | WILLIAM QUINCY PORTER | VOLUME II
folder 5 Folder of handwritten notes in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Lectures “The Esthetics of the Musical Language(Berkeley 1940) | (13 Lectures)
folder 6 Folder of handwritten notes in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Miscel. NOTES – (Berkeley Courses 1943) | fr. Ch.Lalo, Eisenson, etc. | “Perception-Interprétation” (Psychol.) | “Sens Musical” | “L’Attraction + Consonance-Dissonance” | “Habitude” (Change-Novelty”) | Eléments permanents et Variables | Forme, Perfection technique
folder 7 Folder of handwritten notes in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: U. of Cal 1942 – Class of Advanced (?) Student
folder 8 Folder of typed and handwritten sheets in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: U of Cal | Some Tests | 1944- | 1946- | 1947-
folder 9 Folder of handwritten notes and grade sheets, in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Berkeley | Cours 1947-1948
folder 10 Folder of handwritten notes in Bloch’s hand. Inscription on folder: Material Course | 1950 | 1951

 

Series 5: Letters

folder 11 Undated draft of a letter from Herbert Elwell to Bloch. 4pp.
folder 12 Undated draft of a letter from Elwell to Bloch. 2pp.
folder 13 Undated draft of a letter from Elwell to Bloch. 1p.
folder 14 Undated draft of a letter from Elwell to Bloch. 1p.
folder 15 Undated draft of a letter from Elwell to Bloch. 3pp.
folder 16 Bloch to Elwell, 10 December 1953. 3pp.
folder 17 Bloch to Elwell, 27 April 1954. 1p.
folder 18 Bloch to Elwell, 5 May 1954. 1p.
folder 19 Bloch to Elwell, 6 May 1954. 3pp.
folder 20 Elwell to Bloch, 16 July 1954. 2pp.
folder 21 Bloch to Elwell, 23 August 1955. 1p., envelope.
folder 22 Bloch to Elwell, 22 November 1955. 1p., envelope.

 

Series 6: Ephemera

Box 5

folder 1 “Bloch Hearty at Birthday 75,” by Arthur Loesser. The Cleveland Press, 30 July 1955.
folder 2 Cleveland Friends of Music concert program, 22 January 1961.
folder 3 Ernest Bloch Music Festival concert program, 28 November-3 December 1950. Signed by the composer.
folder 4 “Ernest Bloch: Composer in Exile,” by Herbert Elwell. Musical Courier, October 1955.
folder 5 “A Great Composer at 75,” by Olin Downes. The New York Times, 24 July 1955.
folder 6 “The Music of Ernest Bloch. A Program Manual.” National Jewish Music Council, 1956. 67pp.
folder 7 Northwest [rotogravure magazine of the Sunday Oregonian], 21 November 1954. Photo of Bloch on cover; article is missing.
folder 8 Psaume 22 pour Baryton et Grand Orchestre. Réduction pour Chant et Piano Par l’Auteur. Musique de Ernest Bloch. G Schirmer, p.n. 28992.
folder 9 “A Service in Memory of Ernest Bloch,” concert program, 29 January 1960.

 

Series 7: Papers of Herbert Elwell

folder 10 “Agate Beach,” 2pp. of handwritten notes.
folder 11 “[Ernest Bloch:] Composer in Exile,” 12pp. of handwritten notes.
folder 12 “Ernest Bloch..List of Works,” 4pp. of typescript.
folder 13 “Ernest Bloch at 75,” 18pp. of typescript with corrections in Elwell’s hand.
folder 14 “[Ernest Bloch at 75],” 26pp. of handwritten notes.
folder 15 “Lead Music — Sunday Feature,” 3pp. of handwritten notes.
folder 16 “Preface,” 3pp. of handwritten notes.
folder 17 Untitled chronology of Bloch, 5pp. of handwritten notes.