Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections
Sibley Music Library
prepared by Stanley C. Pelkey II
DESCRIPTION OF COLLECTION
Inclusive dates: 1954-63; Bulk dates: 1958-63.
Physical description: 8 scrapbooks 12″ linear
Location: M1B 6,1
Paul Henry Lang was born in Budapest, Hungary on 28 August 1901. He graduated from the Budapest Academy of Music in 1922 and after serving for two years as assistant director at the Budapest Opera turned to the study of musicology. Following training at the University of Heidelberg and the Sorbonne in Paris, Lang was named a Junior Scholar to the United States by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1928. He taught at Vasser College (1930-31) and Wells College (1931-33) and completed a doctoral dissertation in French literature and philology at Cornell University. Lang became an American citizen in 1934. From 1933-69 he taught at Columbia University and from 1954-63 was chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune. He also served as editor of the Musical Quarterly (1945-73) and president of the International Musicological Society (1955-58) and was one of the founders of the American Musicological Society in 1934. Paul Henry Lang died in 1991.
The scrapbooks originated with Paul Henry Lang and were in the possession of George J. Buelow, a professor of Musicology at Indiana University, before passing to Alfred Mann, professor emeritus of musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Mann gave the scrapbooks to the Sibley Music Library in the summer of 1996.
Scope and Content
The scrapbooks include both reviews of musical life in New York City during 1954-1963 and essays by Lang, primarily on music and its place in civilization. Particularly interesting are the handful of letters to the editor from readers concerning their positive and negative opinions of Lang’s work and Lang’s responses regarding the role of the critic that these generated. Finally the collection is a window into the philosophy of music and aesthetics of one of the leading American musicologists of the second half of the twentieth century.
Restrictions and Use
There are no restrictions on the use of the collection.
The Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections owns a number of other scrapbook collections, including several related to musical life in Rochester and a large scrapbook collection about the Eastman School of Music. Of particular interest are the scrapbooks of the A.J. Warner Collection. Warner was a music critic for several Rochester papers in the first part of the twentieth century.
DESCRIPTION OF SERIES
Series 1: Scrapbooks
The collection is organized into one series consisting of the scrapbooks arranged in chronological order. The contents of all eight scrapbooks are fairly consistent.
|Scrapbook 1||1954. Announcements of Lang’s appointment as music critic for the New York Herald Tribune; reviews of musical performances; essays titled “Music and Musicians.” Announcement of Lang’s election as president of the International Musicological Society.|
|Scrapbook 2||1956. Reviews of musical performances; “Music and Musicians” essays.|
|Scrapbook 3||1958. Reviews of musical performances; “Music and Musicians” essays.|
|Scrapbook 4||1959. Reviews of musical performances; “Music and Musicians” essays.|
|Scrapbook 5||1960. Reviews of musical performances; “Music and Musicians” essays. A number of letters in response to Lang’s views on Mahler and governmental support for the arts.|
|Scrapbook 6||1961. Reviews of musical performances; “Music and Musicians” essays. A number of letters in response to Lang’s reviews.|
|Scrapbook 7||1962. Reviews of musical performances; “Music and Musicians” essays. Articles in response to Stravinsky’s negative opinion of Lang’s criticism of his latest compositions.|
|Scrapbook 8||1963. Reviews of musical performances; “Music and Musicians” essays. Announcements of Lang’s retirement as music critic for the New York Herald Tribune.|