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Eastman School of Music Archives 2001/9/7 AND 2018/1/8


Manuscripts processed by Maria Cristina Fava (fall, 2004);
Sound recordings processed by Andrew O’Connor (winter 2019)
and by Nathan Savant (winter 2020);
Revisions by David Peter Coppen (summer, 2015; winter 2021)





Accession nos. 2001/9/7 and 2018/1/8
Shelf location:  M4B 1,1-8
Physical extent:  22.5 linear feet

Biographical Sketch

American composer and academic Wayne Brewster Barlow was born in Elyria, Ohio on September 6, 1912. He studied composition under Edward Royce, Bernard Rogers, and Howard Hanson at the Eastman School of Music, where he received the degrees B.Mus. (1934), M. Mus. (1935), and Ph.D. (1937). His was the first doctorate in composition conferred by the University of Rochester on an Eastman School candidate, and only the third Ph.D. conferred in Eastman’s history altogether. He elected additional studies in composition under Arnold Schoenberg at the University of Southern California in 1935. In 1937 Barlow was appointed to the faculty of the Eastman School, where his initial teaching responsibilities were in the department of music theory, but later, in the 1950s, were shifted away from theory and were concentrated in composition. Dr. Barlow was also assigned administrative responsibilities in addition to his academic duties. From 1938 until 1941 he served as special assistant to the Director in charge of programming at the Eastman School’s annual Festivals of American Music. From 1947 he was involved with the administration of graduate work, which culminated in his appointment as associate dean for graduate research studies in 1957. Eventually he was named chairman of the composition department. Dr. Barlow was named professor emeritus upon his retirement in 1978. Alongside his academic career he was an active church musician, serving as organist and choirmaster for the parish of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Brighton, New York (1946–76), and then for the parish of Christ Church (Episcopal) in downtown Rochester (1976-78). Related to that activity, he taught a course on church music at the Eastman School.

Much of Dr. Barlow’s creative energy in his later Eastman years was devoted to the field of electronic music. In 1963-64 he attended a seminar in electronic music at the University of Toronto under Myron Schaeffer, director of that institution’s electronic music laboratory. In 1964-65 he held a Fulbright post-doctoral research grant for six months’ research in electronic music, during which time he was attached to the Universities of Brussels, Ghent, and Utrecht. Thereafter, in 1968 he founded an electronic music studio at the Eastman School, serving as its director until his retirement. (Dr. Barlow described his interest in electronic music and his launching of the Eastman studio in his article “Electronic music at Eastman: a brief history,” published in Eastman Notes, 14 (Summer, 1980).) His work in electronic music was formally recognized in 1971 when the Eastman School of Music commissioned a new work from him for the observance of the School’s 50th anniversary year. In fulfillment of the commission, Barlow composed Soundscapes, scored for electronic tape and orchestra.

As a composer, Barlow worked in various genres and wrote for various performing forces, but the greater number of his works were scored for orchestra, for chamber forces (including chamber orchestra), and for vocal or choral forces, principally with liturgical or other sacred texts. Numerous of the latter were composed in response to commissions. A smaller number of works were composed for solo keyboard (both piano and organ), which had been the background of his own instrumental training. Those compositions that were written exclusively for electronic media were three: Study in Electronic Sound (1965), Moonflight (1970), and Soundprints in Concrete (1975). His musical language has been described as “an eclectic, tonal, free 12-note style.” (W. Thomas Marrocco and Mary Wallace Davidson in “Barlow, Wayne”, Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (Accessed 25 February 2007), <http://www.grovemusic.com>). The works list published in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians credits Dr. Barlow with 57 completed compositions, written between 1934 and 1989, but in spite of the longevity of his career, no more than one dozen of his works were published. The bulk of his music was disseminated through private printing means, while those few that were published were issued by Concordia, Carl Fischer, J. Fischer & Bro., H. W. Gray, and Theodore Presser. He scored his greatest commercial success with The Winter’s Passed, a chamber work scored for oboe and strings (and in a separate version for solo piano accompaniment), which was published by Carl Fischer (1938), and which has been recorded for commercial release by numerous artists in the ensuing decades.

Dr. Barlow travelled extensively, mainly within the U.S., as an invited guest lecturer, guest composer, and conductor of his own compositions. The numerous institutions at which he spoke included the University of Alabama (1952); the University of Delaware (1952); Stetson University (1953); Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama (1961); the University of West Virginia (1962); Hardin-Simmons University (1966); Miami University (1967); Mansfield State College (1968); and Mt. Allison University (1969). He was also the invited composer-in-residence at the Brevard Music Center, Brevard, North Carolina (1982). He received numerous commissions, including those from Edward Benjamin; Corcordia Music Publisher; the University of Rochester Glee Club; the Penfield (New York) School District; and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, New York. He wrote a textbook, Foundations of Music (Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1953), and also four articles, published in the Music Journal (1953, 1962), The Choral Journal (1963), and Electronic Music Review (1968; reprinted in Music Educators Journal, 1968).

Dr. Barlow died on December 17th, 1996 in Rochester, New York. He had been preceded in death by his son Robert, a 1961 graduate of the Eastman School, who passed in 1989.


The Wayne Barlow Collection was the gift of Mrs. Joan Barlow Donat, daughter of the composer, in September 2001. The Barlow compositions in manuscript and manuscript facsimile were bequeathed to the Eastman School of Music by the composer’s widow, Mrs. Helen Barlow, who passed away in April 2001. A later gift of the composer’s private library of sound recordings was rendered by Mrs. Donat in January 2018.

Scope and Contents

The Wayne Barlow Collection represents a near-complete gathering of Dr. Barlow’s original compositions in sketches, manuscripts, manuscript facsimiles, and publications. For purposes of preservation and ease of access, Dr. Barlow’s compositions have been divided between two separate units of the Eastman School of Music:

  • The Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections (RTWSC) department of the Sibley Music Library houses all extant Ozalid masters of Dr. Barlow’s original works, and also the scores and parts of those compositions scored for smaller forces (specifically, fewer than eight parts). In addition, RTWSC houses the various sketches, manuscripts, and other documents deemed to be of archival significance.
  • The Ensembles Library of the Eastman School of Music houses the performing materials (scores and parts) that had been generated from the Ozalid masters of the larger-scale instrumental and choral works (specifically, those scored for eight or more parts). Those performing materials are available by addressing directly the staff of the Ensembles Library.

Owing to the circumstance that so few of his compositions were published, Dr. Barlow in many instances assumed personal oversight of the storage and distribution of the performing materials of his works. The legacy of that circumstance is manifest in the unusually high number of manuscript facsimile copies present in this collection, in effect off-prints, many of which are marked with performers’ annotations, and which would routinely have been returned to Dr. Barlow following performance use.

The Wayne Barlow Collection also holds a substantive library of sound recordings representing a working collection of music, mostly electronic, that Dr. Barlow maintained for his own reference. Among the sound recordings are also service copies of performances of his own works, many (but by no means all) of which originated at the Eastman School of Music. Significantly, the recordings of his own music also include representation of the designated tape parts for those original compositions combining acoustical instruments and electronic media.

Restrictions and Use

While there are no restrictions on access to the Wayne Barlow Collection, the provisions of the United States Copyright Law (1976) and its revisions do apply. Except in those instances in which copyright has been assigned elsewhere, permission for reproductions and for performance must be sought from the composer’s daughter, Mrs. Joan Barlow Donat.


The Wayne Barlow Collection represents one among RTWSC’s continually growing corpus of collections comprising the professional papers of faculty composers and graduate composers of the Eastman School of Music. As of October 2019, the other composers in that number are Samuel Adler, William Ames, Louis Angelini, Warren Benson, William Bergsma, Gordon Binkerd, Will Gay Bottje, Francis James Brown, Alexander Courage, Leon Dallin, Robert Delaney, R. Nathaniel Dett, D. Lee Gannon, David Geppert, Howard Hanson, Sydney Hodkinson, Michael Isaacson, Gomer Llywelyn Jones, Louis Karchin, Harry Kaufman, Homer Todd Keller, Wolfgang Knittel, Boris Kremenliev, John La Montaine, W. Francis McBeth, Louis Mennini, Robert Mols, Walter Mourant, Burrill Phillips, Gardner Read, Verne Reynolds, Bernard Rogers, Herman Rudin, P. Peter Sacco, Allan Schindler, Joseph Scianni, Malcolm Seagrave, Stanley Sussman, Donald White, Alec Wilder, and Rayburn Wright.


The holdings of the Wayne Barlow Collection are organized around definite series based on performing forces. Within each series, the holdings have been placed in chronological sequence insofar as that sequence can be discerned. Years of composition or of completion are provided whenever they appear on the given holdings; such years are rendered within square brackets when they have been provided based on other sources.


Series 1: Early Works
This series holds a number of juvenilia and student compositions, all pre-dating the conferral of Wayne Barlow’s baccalaureate (1934).

Series 2: Dramatic Works
This series is comprised of the small number of works that Dr. Barlow composed for ballet or other dramatic performing contexts.

Series 3: Works for Instrumental Ensemble
This series is comprised of compositions for any ensemble larger than that of a chamber group, whether orchestra, chamber ensemble, or wind ensemble.

Series 4: Vocal and Choral Works
This series is comprised of works for vocal forces, whether for solo voice or for choral ensemble, with any type of accompanying forces.

Series 5: Chamber Works
This series is comprised of works for instrumental groupings most clearly identified as “chamber”, i.e. smaller than a chamber orchestra.

Series 6: Keyboard Works
This series is comprised of works for piano or organ.

Series 7: Publications for Liturgical Use
This series is comprised of settings prepared by Dr. Barlow for publication, including four of the five collections of his Voluntaries on the Hymn of the Week (Concordia).

Series 8: Sketches and Miscellanea
This series is comprised of pencil sketches and manuscript books, not all of which are readily identified with respect to date or intended work.

Series 9: Oversized
Created for convenience, this series preserves those items that would otherwise have belonged to any of the other series, but which require special housing consideration on grounds of their oversized dimensions or other physical characteristics.


Series 1: 5” reels

– Sub-sub-series i:  Single works
– Sub-sub-series ii:  Compilations (i.e., two or more works)

Series 2: 7” reels

– Sub-sub-series i:  Single works
– Sub-sub-series ii:  Compilations (i.e., two or more works)

Series 3: Audio-cassettes

Series 1 and Series 2 have both been further sub-divided into two sub-series: original works by Wayne Barlow; and other composers’ content. Within both of the Sub-series B (Other composers’ content), a synthetic order has been imposed by alphabetizing the items based on [the side captions appearing on the recording containers]. Where Dr. Barlow happened to enter a composer name, title, or collective rubric/heading, those same keywords have been cited herein. In instances of compilations of content, the first composer’s name cited has been used as the basis for alphabetizing.

In rendering the item descriptions, two sources of information have been taken into consideration for each recording:

  1. the side caption, i.e., that title or rubric appearing on the side of the container, such as would be legible when reading the containers as shelved.
  2. label description, i.e., that description (usually more extensive) appearing on the body of the container’s label.

In rare instances, descriptive notes have been transcribed from labels that were affixed directly to the tape reels.

The convention within the finding aid has been to present on the first line of each entry a transcription of whatever caption appears on the side of the container (which is most often a short-form description), i.e., that description that is eye-legible when reading the contents on a shelf; and then to present on each entry’s second and subsequent lines that descriptive information that appears on the container’s main label area (which is usually more complete). Finally, any technical data and comments such as may appear on the container or on the reel itself are presented on the last line, italicized.

Entries and descriptive notes left by Dr. Barlow have been transcribed as they appear, including any abbreviations and other short-form renderings.