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Series VIII: Music, 1889-1976

Call Number: YCAL MSS 436, Series VIII

Scope and Contents

This series consists of manuscript music and related materials which document the creation, rehearsal, and performance of music composed and/or arranged for theatrical productions conceived of and produced by the Theatre Guild from the 1920s to 1976. Included is music composed specifically for Theatre Guild operas, musicals, and revues including Porgy and Bess, Carousel, and Garrick Gaieties, as well as incidental music consisting of original compositions and/or arrangements. Most productions are represented by piano-conductor parts; some are represented by full orchestral scores, vocal scores, and a complete set of parts used in performance. Many scores and parts contain annotations and/or notes on separate pieces of paper attached with fasteners and adhesives which were made by composers, conductors, and musicians to indicate changes, additions, and deletions. In addition to original manuscript music and music produced by copyists, there are many reproductions using standard 20th century mechanical reproduction techniques, including positive and negative photostatic and diazo copies.

Published music in the series includes individual songs and scores from both Theatre Guild productions and other sources, some with illustrated covers; songbooks; and compilations of classical works. Annotations on original folders and some music indicate the use of music by musicians who played for Theatre Guild productions on tour. Copies of published arrangements of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Save the Queen" are included with some production scores, indicating the playing of these anthems during some performances in the United States and Great Britain. Composers and lyricists represented in this series include Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Dubose Heyward, Ira Gershwin, Meredith Willson, Arthur Guiterman, Macklin Marrow, Philip Moeller and others. Orchestrators and arrangers include Russell Bennett, Herbert Greene, Deems Taylor, and others. Additional materials may include typed and manuscript music cue sheets, typescript lyrics, song lists, and other notes. A prompt copy of the vocal score for Porgy and Bess is annotated with cues, blocking, etc., and includes a production program, property plot, ground plans, and light cues.


  • 1889-1976


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 1267-1269, 1289-1292, 1303, 1319, and 1328-1333 are restricted pending preservation treatment.

Boxes 1483-1490 (audiovisual materials): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Art 1570-1572, 1599: Restricted fragile. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 1597: Restricted fragile. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Broadside 1598: Restricted fragile. For further information consult the appropriate curator.


Series VIII is arranged alphabetically by title of production. Miscellaneous music that is not associated with a production follows production music.


31.17 Linear Feet (122 boxes)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Processing Information

Names of composers and lyricists are attributed when noted on the music, on a production program, or on another reliable source. Full scores are described as scores unless otherwise indicated. Dates following production titles indicate date of productions. Music is dated according to information found on the music; most manuscript music is undated. Copyright dates of printed items are noted as c. [year].

Oversize and special formats of material (production designs, music, audiovisual material, for example) found within this series has been removed from the files and placed in either the Oversize section of the collection or with material in an appropriate series with which it is associated. In the list, references noting the location of the oversize or special format material follows the description of the material from which it was separated.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.