R. NATHANIEL DETT COLLECTION

Eastman School of Music Archives 000.47

Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections
Sibley Music Library 

Processed by Ronald J. Morgan
Spring 1999

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CONTENTS

 

DESCRIPTION OF COLLECTION

Shelf location: A3A 2,3
Physical extent: 2 linear feet

 

Biographical Sketch

R. (Robert) Nathaniel Dett was born in Drummondsville (now Niagara Falls), Ontario, Canada, on October 11, 1882. He studied piano as a child, and began more serious musical studies at the Oliver Willis Halstead Conservatory in Lockport, New York. He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in 1908, the first African American to receive a BMus. degree there. He pursued additional studies at Columbia, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, the American Conservatory, and with Nadia Boulanger in France (1929). He graduated with a MMus degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1932. Throughout his career he was active as teacher, composer, and pianist. He published his first work in 1900; as a composer he often found his inspiration in African-American folk music. From 1913 until 1931 he served as the Director of Music at the Hampton Institute, where he developed the choir which received critical acclaim in the USA and Europe. In 1919 he helped found the National Association of Negro Musicians. He last served as Music Director for the United Service Organizations in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he died on October 2, 1943.

 

Provenance

unknown

 

Scope and Content

The collection holds printed music composed or arranged by Nathaniel Dett, manuscript scores by Dett, and printed scores and manuscripts of works by other composers. The collection also contains ephemera including publicity flyers, printed programs, imprints from Dett’s personal library, and a published history of Niagara Falls.

 

Associations

The R. Nathaniel Dett Collection constitutes one of a growing number of collections of working papers of Eastman School alumni. Significantly, this collection holds more original works of Dett than are represented in the Sibley Music Library’s general collection. Elsewhere in the Eastman School’s collections, the Ensemble Library of the Eastman School holds the manuscript performing materials of the Afro-American Symphony. The Sibley Music Library also holds the manuscript score of Dett’s Ordering of Moses, which he completed as his graduate thesis composition at ESM in 1932.

 

Restrictions and Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection. Copyright restrictions apply in the event of requests for reproductions.

 

 

DESCRIPTION OF SERIES

Series 1: Original works

Sub-series 1 : Published works

Imprints of original works by R. Nathaniel Dett.

Sub-series 2: Manuscripts

Manuscripts of original works by R. Nathaniel Dett.

Series 2: Other composers’ music

Imprints of original works by composers other than Dett.

Series 3: Music – Unidentified

Works for which either composer or title are unknown.

Series 4: Ephemera 

Miscellaneous additional items, including books, programs, and memorabilia.

 

 

INVENTORY

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Series 1: Original works

Sub-series A: Published works

Box 1

folder 1

Dett Collection of Negro Spirituals. Chicago: Hall & McCreary Co., 1936. Five copies.

folder 2

Juba: chorus for mixed voices: from the suite “In the Bottoms”. Chicago: Clayton F. Summy Co., 1934. Four copies.

folder 3

There’s A Meeting Here To-night: Negro Spiritual for three-part chorus of women’s voices with accompaniment. Cincinnati: John Church Co., 1921.

folder 4

I’m So Glad Trouble Don’t Last Alway: Negro spiritual for three part chorus of women’s voices with accompaniment. Cincinnati: John Church Co., 1919. 

folder 5

O Hear the Lambs a-Crying: for soprano solo and six-part chorus of mixed voices. Cincinnati: John Church Co., 1926. 

folder 6

Son of Mary: for four-part mixed voices: based on a traditional Negro melody. Cincinnati. John Church Co., 1924.

folder 7

I’ll Never Turn Back No More: for SATB. New York. J. Fischer & Bro., 1917. Accompanied by a second copy (1938 ed.).

folder 8

The Chariot Jubilee: for tenor solo and chorus of mixed voices. Cincinnati: John Church Co., 1919. Organ (piano) or orchestra accompaniment. 2 copies.

folder 9

O Holy Lord. New York: G. Schirmer, 1916. 8-part mixed-voice chorus.

folder 10

Music in The Mine: an unaccompanied folk-song scena for tenor solo and mixed chorus. Three copies.

folder 11

Dust, Dust and Ashes: motet for mixed voices, a cappella. . Chicago: Hall & McCreary, 1936. 

folder 12

Gently, Lord, O Gently Lead Us: a Bahama folk song in the form of an anthem. Cincinnati: John Church Co., 1924.

folder 13

Heavenly Union: a spiritual for baritone or tenor solo and mixed voices. New York: Mills Music, 1941.

folder 14

Sit Down, Servant, Sit Down: for 4-part chorus of mixed voices with tenor solo and piano accompaniment. New York: G. Schirmer, 1932. Two copies.

folder 15

Listen to the Lambs: for four-part chorus of mixed voices. New York. G. Schirmer, 1914. Two copies.

folder 16

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?. Transcribed by R. Nathaniel Dett.

folder 17

Rise Up, Shepherd, an’ Foller. Transcribed by R. Nathaniel Dett.

 

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Box 3 

folder 1

Magnolia: Suite for Piano [Part 1]. no. 1: Magnolias; no. 2: The Deserted Cabin; no. 3: My Lady Love.Chicago: Clayton F. Summy Co., 1912.

folder 2

Magnolia: Suite for Piano: no. 4, Mammy. Chicago: Clayton F. Summy Co., 1913. Four copies.

folder 3  

Magnolia: Suite for Piano: no. 3, My Lady Love. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1912. Four copies.

folder 4

Magnolia: Suite for Piano: no. [ ], The Place Where The Rainbow Ends. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1912. Four copies.

folder 5

Niagara Falls: march and two step for piano. Niagara Falls, NY: J. C. Swackhamer, 1909. Six copies.

folder 6

Enchantment [Incantation]: from “A Romantic Suite for the Piano on an Original Program.” Cincinnati: John Church Co., 1922. Two copies.

folder 7

Enchantment [Beyond the Dream]: from “A Romantic Suite for the Piano on an Original Program.” Cincinnati. John Church Co., 1922. Two copies.

folder 8

I Am the True Vine: piano solo from “Eight Bible Vignettes for the Piano.” New York. Mills Music Inc., 1943.

folder 9

In the Bottoms: a characteristic suite for the piano. Chicago: Clayton F. Summy Co., 1913. Contents: Prelude, His Song, Honey, Barcarolle, and Dance. Two copies.

folder 10

In the Bottoms: a characteristic suite for the piano. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1913. “Prelude” only. Two copies.

folder 11

In The Bottoms: a characteristic suite for piano. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1913. “His Song” only. Three copies.

folder 12

In The Bottoms: a characteristic suite for the piano. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1913. “Honey” only.

folder 13

Juba (Dance): from the Suite “In the Bottoms”. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1913/1926. Versions for solo piano (four copies); four hands (one copy); and two pianos (three copies).

folder 14

Iorana: Tahitian maiden’s love song: for voice and piano. Chicago. Clayton
F. Summy Co., 1935. Words by J. Henry Que. Three copies.

folder 15

Magic Moon of Molten: for voice and piano. Cincinnati. John Church Co., 1919. Three copies.

folder 16

Now We Take This Feeble Body: Negro funeral hymn: for voice and piano. New York. Mills Music Inc., 1943.

folder 17

O Lord, The Hard-won Miles: sacred song for voice and piano. 1934. New York: G. Schirmer, 1934.

folder 18

Ope’ Yo’ Eyes: for voice and piano. Philadelphia. Theodore Presser Co., 1924. Three copies.

folder 19

The Soul Of America, Defend!: for voice and piano. New York: Mills Music Inc., 1942.

folder 20

A Thousand Years Ago or More: for voice and piano. Cincinnati. John Church Co., 1919.

folder 21 The Voice of the Sea: for voice and piano. Cincinnati. John Church Co., 1924.
folder 22

Were Thou The Moon: for voice and piano. Cincinnati. John Church Co., 1924.

folder 23

Go On, Mule!: an Army Camp Folk-Song. Dett, R. Nathaniel, and J. Fletcher Bryant. New York. J. Fischer, 1918. Four copies.

folder 24

God Understands: for voice and piano. Cincinnati. John Church Co., 1926.

folder 25

Hymn To Parnasus: for voice and piano. New York. Mills Music Inc., 1942.

folder 26

I’m A-Trav’ling To The Grave: for voice and piano. New York: Mills Music. Incomplete.

folder 27

A Song “Mammy”: for pipe organ. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy, 1918. Three copies.

folder 28

His Song: for pipe organ. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1921. 3 copies.

folder 29

The Deserted Cabin: for pipe organ. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co., 1918. Three copies.

folder 30

Ramah: for violin and piano. Boston. The Boston Music Co., 1923.

folder 31

Eight Bible Vignettes. New York: Mills Music Inc., 1941-43. Contents: Father Abraham — Desert Interlude — As His Own Soul — Barcarolle of Tears — I Am the True Vine — Martha Complained — Other Sheep — Madrigal Divine.

folder 32

Tropic Winter: suite for piano. Chicago: Clayton F. Summy Co., 1938. Includes “Pompons and Fans” and “Parade of the Jasmine Banners”.

folder 33

Magnolia, Suite for Piano. 1912. Dett, R. Nathaniel. Chicago. Clayton F. Summy Co. Part II.

folder 34

In The Bottoms [Barcarolle]: characteristic suite for the piano. Chicago: Clayton F. Summy Co., 1913.

folder 35

Cinnamon Grove: A Suite for the Piano. Cincinnati: John Church Co., 19xx. Cover page only.

 

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Sub-series B: Manuscripts

Box 4

folder 1

The Ordering of Moses: Oratorio. — 1937

folder 2

Confessional: for violin and piano. Score only.

folder 3

Oh Whisp’ring Tree: for voice and piano.

folder 4

From the Sea [and other sketches]: for voice and piano.

folder 5

America the Beautiful. Chordal arrangement.

folder 6

Sit Down, Servant, Sit Down: for voice and piano.

folder 7

Magnolia Suite Part II, Mammy: for strings, piano, and winds. Score and
parts.

 

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Series 2: Other composers’ music

Box 1

folder 18

Red River In The Night. 1940. Shure, R. Deane. New York. J. Fischer & Bro. Partsong for S.A.T.B.

folder 19

The Riders. 1927. Hill, M. Wood. New York. G. Schirmer, Inc. Part-song for chorus of men’s voices and tenor solo.

folder 20

Three Slovak Christmas Carols. 1922. Philadelphia. Theodore Presser Co. Arranged by Richard Kountz for mixed voices.

folder 21

Wade In The Water. New York. Edward B. Marks. For three part female [chorus.] S.S.A.

folder 22

O Domine Deus. 1924. Cuny, Arthur M. Boston. New England Conservatory. A 8 voci a cappella.

folder 23

Come Back Sweetheart. 1927. Thomas, Dr. Joe T. Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Joe T. Thomas. Waltz Song. For piano and instruments.

folder 24

Go To Sleep. 1926. Dawson, William L. Chicago. H. T. Fitzsimons. Lullaby. For mixed voices with piano accompaniment.

folder 25

Marching Song of Democracy. 1916. Grainger, Percy. New York. Schirmer. For mixed chorus, orchestra, and organ. In loving adoration of Walt Whitman.

folder 26

Richard. 1924. Kountz. New York. H.W. Gray Company. A cantata for solo voices and chorus

folder 27

O Hara San. 1918. Johnston, Edward. New York. J. Fischer. A Japanese operetta in two acts. For chorus of mixed voices with piano or orchestra. Book and lyrics by Edith M. Burrows.

 

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Box 4

folder 16

The Chrysanthemum. 1904. Joplin, Scott. St. Louis. John Stark & Subtitled “An Afro-American Intermezzo”.

folder 17

Persisches Lied – Persian song. 1897/ 190 1. Burmeister, R. Milwaukee. Rohlfmg Sons Music Co. Op. 6b. For piano. Both editions included.

folder 18

Sonatina in D. 1921. Porter, F. Addison. Boston. New England Conservatory. Op. 32. For piano solo.

folder 19

Indian Trail. 1933. Danburg, Russell L. Philadelphia. Theodore Presser Co. Op. 27, no. 3. For piano solo.

folder 20

Across The Infinite, Four Scriptural Sketches for Church Organists. 1927. Shure, R. Deane. New York. J. Fischer & Bro.

folder 21

Etude Melodique. 1922. Porter, F. Addison. Boston. Boston Music Co. Op. 33. For piano solo. Left hand alone.

folder 22

American Indian Rhapsody. 1918. Orem, Preston Ware. Philadelphia: Theodore Presser Co. For piano solo.

folder 23

Romance. 1923. Allen, Guy C. Marion, Alabama. G. C. Allen Music Co. Op. 21. For piano solo.

folder 24

Preludes, Symphonic Poem No. 3. Liszt, Franz. Bruxelles. A. Cranz. Score.

folder 25

The Pianist and Organist. Barcarolle; La Grazieuse; May Song. 1897. Cole, G.; Hackh, O.; Wilm, N. von. Boston. The Pianist Publishing Co. A monthly musical magazine. Includes works by Rossetter G. Cole, Otto Hackh, and N. von Wilm.

folder 26

Klavierwerke. 1888. Schwann, Robert. Leipzig. Steingraber Verlag. Op. 2, 82, 99, 124. For piano solo.

folder 27

The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. 1908. Hartmann, D. New York. J. Fischer. Oratorio. Score.

folder 28

Two Love-Songs. 1916. Johnson, J. Rosamond. New York. G. Schirmer. For voice and piano. “I Told My Love to the Roses” and “Morning, Noon and Night.” Two scores.

folder 29

Tuskegee’s Washington. 1940. Simms, Alberta Lillian. Alabama. H. Simms & Sons. For voice and piano.

folder 30

Voce Di Donna 0 DAngelo. 1883. Ponchielli, A. Boston. Oliver Ditson Company. From “La Gioconda,” Act 1. For voice and piano.

folder 31

Danny Deever. 1897, Damrosch, Walter. Cincinnati. John Church Co. Op. 2, no. 7. Ballad for baritone and male chorus, with piano accompaniment.

folder 32

A Corn Song. 1897. Taylor, S. Coleridge. London. Boosey & Co. For voice and piano.

folder 33

You May Bury Me In De Ea’. 1917. [unknown]. New York. G. Ricordi & Co. A Negro spiritual arranged by H. T. Burleigh.

folder 34

Carola. 1918. Hackley, E. Azalia. Detroit. E. A. Hackley. For voice and piano.

folder 35

La Danza. 1885. Chadwick. Boston. Arthur P. Schmidt. Songs by G. W. Chadwick. For voice and piano.

folder 36

Concert Arabesques. 1906. Schulz-Evler. New York. G. Schirmer. For piano solo. Pages 1-4 only.

folder 37

Jewish Folk Songs. 1935. Unknown. New York. Henry Lefkowitch. For voice and piano.

folder 38

Saracen Songs. 1914. Burleigh, H.T. New York. G. Ricordi & Co. For voice and piano.

folder 39

Folio of Four Songs. 1912. Roberts, Lee S. Chicago. Lee S. Roberts Publishing. For voice and piano.

folder 40

Ships that Pass in the Night; The Lake Isle of Innisfiee. 192 1. Foote, Arthur. Boston. Arthur P. Schmidt Co. For voice and piano. Two scores.

folder 41

Annabel Morris. 1924. Buchanan. New York. Carl Fischer. For voice and piano.

folder 42

The Unknown Soldier: for voice and piano. O’Hara, Geoffrey. New York: G. Schirmer, 1923. Accompanied by a letter from Geoffrey O’Hara to R Nathaniel Dett.

folder 43

On Niagara’s Fair Shore. 1934. Welch, Edward V. Niagara Falls. Edward V. Welch. For voice and piano.

folder 44

Eliland, Song of Chiemsee, opus 9: for voice and piano. Fielitq Alexander von. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1896.

folder 45

Come Back Sweetheart. 1927. Thomas, Dr. Joe T. Cleveland. Dr. Joe T. Thomas. For voice and piano.

folder 46

Jes’ a Thinkin’: for voice and piano. Rose, Peter De. New York: Broadway Music Co., 1927.

 

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Series 3: Music – Unidentified

Box 4

folder 8

I’m Troubled in Mind. Slave song.

folder 9

Oh! Stand the storm; Lord, Have mercy. Two manuscripts.

folder 10

I’m So Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always. Solo melody only.

folder 11

Ole-Time Religion. For mixed voices.

folder 12

The Crimson and Gold. For voice and piano.

folder 13

The New Irish Ballad.

folder 14

[Unidentified manuscript]. Manuscript is incomplete.

folder 15

[Sketches]. Folder of various sketches.

 

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Series 4: Ephemera

Box 2

folder 1

The Song of Seven. Nathaniel Dett’s typescript for The Song of Seven.

folder 2

Rededication Ceremonies. Song “His Name shall Live Forever” by R. Alonzo Scott for the rededication ceremonies of Douglass Monument in Highland Park (Rochester, New York). Under the direction of R. Nathaniel Dett.

folder 3

Publicity brochures on Nathaniel Dett, “Announcing R. Nathaniel Dett, Composer-Pianist”.

folder 4

Various programs.

folder 5

Memorabilia.

folder 6

Memorabilia.

folder 7

The Crisis, February 1920.

folder 8

The Southern Workman, June 1917.

folder 9

The Hampton Student. May 15, 1916, and May 15, 1917.

folder 10

The Locke Primary Plan. The Music School.

folder 11

African song book. Amaculo ase Lovedale. Lovedale: South Africa, 1915.

folder 12

A history book of Niagara Falls, by Hamilton B. Mizer. Contains a section on Nathaniel Dett.

folder 13

Harmony: A Course of Study, by G. W. Chadwick.