Restrictions

Audiovisual materials, including VHS, Beta, audiocassettes, LPs, and reel-to-reel recordings, are restricted. Patrons must request user copies be produced.

Abstract

Papers of Robert Erickson, American composer and co-founder of the Music Department at the University of California, San Diego. The collection is comprised of correspondence, holograph music scores, materials relating to Erickson's teachings at UCSD and his work with the Center for Music Experiment, and recordings of performances and appearances on several media formats including audio cassette, VHS, Beta, and reel-to-reel.

Biography

Born in Marquette, Michigan on March 7, 1917, Erickson studied composition with Austrian composer Ernst Krenek at Hamline University in St. Paul and graduated in 1943. After three years in the Army, he returned to Hamline, receiving an M.A. in music in 1947.

Erickson began his career teaching composition at the College of St. Catherine's in St. Paul. He then taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before becoming one of the founders of the Department of Music at the University of California, San Diego, in 1967.

Erickson is known for his use of the 12-tone system, sounds recorded on tape, and self-made instruments. His works have been performed and commissioned by the Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras, the American Composers Orchestra, and ensembles including the Arch Ensemble, Continuum, the Kronos Quartet, the Sequoia Quartet and SONOR.

In addition to receiving the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Yaddo fellowships, Erickson has been the recipient of numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Drew Prize in Music Composition, and, in 1985, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award for excellence in chamber music for his string quartet, Solstice.

Throughout his career, Erickson published numerous articles and authored two books: The Structure of Music: A Listener's Guide in 1957 and Sound Structures in Music in 1975.

Erickson died on April 24, 1997.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Robert Erickson Papers document Erickson's career as a composer, musician and faculty member at the University of California, San Diego. The papers are arranged in six series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) MUSIC, 4) UCSD MATERIALS, 5) WRITINGS, and 6) MEDIA.

SERIES 1: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS

The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series includes articles about Erickson, family photos, documents on Erickson's family history, and datebooks and journals dating 1940 to 1981.

SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE

The CORRESPONDENCE series dates from 1940 to 1996. This series contains letters from professional colleagues including mentor Ernst Krenek, fellow composers Will Ogdon and Charles Shere, musicians Stuart Dempster and Bert Turetzky, American music critic Alan Rich, and photographer and supporter Betty Freeman, among others.

Erickson's original order has been maintained: correspondence is filed chronologically with the exception of one folder containing Erickson's correspondence with Ernst Krenek.

SERIES 3: MUSIC

The MUSIC series is comprised of three subseries: A) Compositions, B) Programs and Reviews, and C) Other Projects.

A) The Compositions subseries is arranged chronologically from 1961-1990, and contains mostly handwritten sheet music and music sketches for single instruments, ensembles, and orchestras. A sub subseries of Compositions includes Oversized music scores which make up the a sizable portion of the materials.

B) The Programs and Reviews subseries is arranged chronologically from 1941-2001, and includes both original and photocopied programs and reviews of live and recorded performances of Erickson's work.

C) The Other Projects subseries contains grant applications, research proposals, and Erickson's research notes on instrument and speaker system ideas.

SERIES 4: UCSD MATERIALS

The UCSD MATERIALS series is comprised of two subseries: A) Teaching Materials and B) Music Department.

A) The Teaching Materials subseries contains syllabi, handouts, and lecture notes grouped by class and arranged chronologically. Also included are annotated writings by others and subject files of research notes and article clippings used in Erickson's teachings. These materials are arranged alphabetically by subject or author.

B) The Music Department subseries, dating from 1973 to 1987, contains correspondence, meeting minutes, and reports and proposals documenting the early years of the UCSD Music Department.

SERIES 5: WRITINGS

The WRITINGS series is arranged into three subseries: A) Sound Structure in Music, B) Articles and Books, and C) Notebooks.

A) The Sound Structure in Music subseries includes handwritten and typed drafts of chapters of Erickson's book, photocopied reviews, and correspondence regarding publishing matters.

B) The Articles and Books subseries is arranged chronologically and includes typescript and handwritten drafts and research notes. Included are Erickson's unpublished memoirs, "Remembered Sounds and Hearing Things: Autobiographical Essays."

C) The Notebooks subseries includes a series of nineteen notebooks wherein Erickson recorded his research, thoughts, experiment ideas, diagrams, and article clippings on the subject of timbre. Other notebooks, arranged by date, contain similar content on subjects ranging from orchestra to texture to composition ideas.

SERIES 6: MEDIA

The MEDIA series is arranged by format into five subseries: A) Images, B) VHS and Beta Cassette Tapes, C) Audio Cassettes, D) Reel-to-Reel, and E) LPs.

A) The Images subseries containing mostly black and white prints, is organized by subject, and includes portraits of Erickson and candids of him in workshop and classroom settings. Four folders contain images relating to articles found in the WRITINGS series.

B) The VHS and Beta Cassette Tapes subseries include a recording of New World of Sound, dated 1969, some undated videos and undated tapes of "Erickson Archive" number 1-6.

C) The Audio Cassettes subseries includes "Erickson Archive" numbers 1-12 which date from 1968-1984 and undated as well as other audio cassettes from various sessions and performances, including Erickson Festival: Kronos Quartet dated March 1, 1987.

D) The Reel-to-Reel subseries includes 30 audio reels (fourteen 10 1/2", thirteen 7", and three 5") which span from 1957-1984 of performances, sound studies and recordings of his music.

E) The LPs subseries consists of 7 LPs created during Erickson's time at Hamline University (1940s).

BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS

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Box Folder Oversize
1 1 Biographical information.
1 2 College diplomas, 1946-1948.
1 3 Erickson's uncle Harold's diary, 1919-1930.
1 4 FB-506-01 Erik-Alt, Lenore (wife of Robert Erickson) - Notes and drawing; New Year's Greeting (Bob and Lenore, 1968), 1940-1955.
1 5 Family documents - Photocopies, 1898-1906.
1 6 Family photos.
1 7 Interviews of Robert Erickson, 1982.
1 8 Media appearances, 1956-1970.
1 9 School and university papers.
1 10 University of California at San Diego Robert Erickson celebration - Booklet, 1987.
2 1-4 Articles and newsclippings about Erickson, 1946-1987.
Datebooks and journals.
2 5 Journals, 1940-1948.
Datebooks.
2 6-7 1962-1970.
3 1-3 1970-1981.

CORRESPONDENCE

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Box Folder Oversize
3 4-9 1941-1977.
4 1-8 1978-1982.
5 1-9 1983-1986.
6 1 1987-1989.
6 2 1991-1996.
6 3 Undated.
6 4 Correspondence with Ernst Krenek, 1940-1985.

MUSIC

Compositions

Box Folder Oversize
6 5 List of compositions, 1940-1980.
6 6 Program notes.
6 7 Timings for the music of Robert Erickson.
6 8-17 1961-1968.
7 1-19 1969-1976.
8 1-13 1977-1979.
9 1-14 1980-1983.
10 1-10 1984-1990.
10 11-15 Undated.
11 1-14 Undated.
11 15 MC-021-01 Graphic score for a chamber ensemble, various parts, 1965.

Oversize music scores

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Box Folder Oversize
FB-496-01 1940-1947.
FB-496-02-04 1953.
FB-497-01 1954.
FB-497-02 1956.
FB-498-01 1957-1959.
FB-498-02 1960.
FB-498-03 1961.
FB-498-04 1962.
FB-498-05 1963.
FB-499-01-02 1973.
FB-500-01-02 1973.
FB-501-01 1975.
FB-501-02 1976.
FB-501-03 1978.
FB-502-01 1980.
FB-502-02 1982.
FB-503-01-02 1982.
FB-504-01 1983.
FB-504-02 Undated.
FB-505-01-02 Undated.
FB-506-01 New Year's Greetings- Robert and Lenore Erickson, 1968. Portrait of Robert Erickson- Pen drawing on rice paper by Lenore Erik-Alt, 1955.
FB-506-02 Sound Structure in Music - Illustrations.
FB-506-03 Undated.
FB-506-04 1963.
FB-506-05 1971-1977.
FB-506-06 Oversize music theory charts, undated.

Programs and Reviews

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11 17-22 1941-1963.
12 1-11 1964-1975.
13 1-10 1976-1985.
14 1-2 1986-2001.
14 3 Undated.

Other Projects

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14 4 Artifact - Musical theory reference tool.
14 5 Computer research proposals.
14 6 "Empirical Studies Introductory to a Theory of Timbre Music", undated.
14 7 "Ensemble Timbre Experiments", 1974.
14 8-9 Grant applications, 1966-1984.
14 10 Electronic organ/speaker system - Plans and research notes.
14 11 Instrument project - Plans and research notes.
14 12 "Making Music on Homemade Instruments", 1980.
14 13 "Open Your Ears", undated.
14 14 Patent fund application for speaker system.

UCSD MATERIALS

Teaching Materials

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Box Folder Oversize
Class Materials.
14 15 Music 27, 1956.
14 16 Music 10, 1969.
15 1 Seminar 206: Timbre, 1969-1985.
15 2 Graduate seminars, 1974-1978.
15 3 Music 102: Music Theory, 1974-1984.
15 4 Music 209: Contemporary Orchestral Music, 1975-1979.
15 5 Melodic tonality seminar, 1978.
15 6 Musicianship seminar, 1978.
15 7 Musicianship I and II, Book.
15 8 Untitled class, 1978-1979.
15 9 Music 210: Music Analysis, 1978-1979.
15 10 Music 6: Musical Masterworks, 1980.
15 11 Orchestra seminar, 1980.
15 12 Composition seminar, 1981-1982.
15 13 Music 3: Bali Lecture, 1982.
16 1 Seminar 209B: The Opulent Orchestra, 1982-1986.
16 2 Seminar 209B: The Orchestra Between the Wars, 1982-1987.
16 3 Seminar 209A: The Orchestra Since 1945, 1983.
16 4 Untitled class, 1983.
16 5 Seminar 209, undated.
16 6 Theory III, undated.
16 7 Miscellaneous lectures.
Subject Files.
16 8-12 B-D.
17 1-5 G-K.
17 6-7 FB-506-06 M.
18 1-9 N-V.
Writings by Others.
18 10 Babbit, Milton - "Who Cares if You Listen?" Annotated, 1958.
18 11 Balzano, Jerry - Untitled. Chapter excerpts with correspondence, 1980.
18 12 Barzun, Jacques - "The Meaning of Meaning in Music: Berlioz Once More", 1980.
18 13 Birnbaum, Daniel "Lost Hills", 1980.
18 14 Duberman, Martin - "Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community", 1972.
18 15 Grey, John M. - "Musical Timbre Discrimination in Temporal Contexts." With correspondence, 1977-1978.
19 1 Griffin, Elinor - Untitled. Chapter excerpts with correspondence, 1976.
19 2 Johnson, Mark - " 'Jeffered' by Peter: An Analysis of Musical Organization." With correspondence, 1979.
19 3 Plomp, R. and Bouman, M.A. - "Relation Between Hearing Threshold and Duration for Tone Pulse." Annotated, 1959.
19 4 Rush, Loren - "Mandala Music", undated.
19 5 Schoenberg, Arnold - "Erecting the Sound Image", 1946.
19 6 Stewart, John L. - Outline of Krenek book. With correspondence, 1979.
19 7 Tuzin, Donald - "Sound, Ritual and 'Peak-Experience' ", 1973.

Music Department

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Box Folder Oversize
19 8-9 Correspondence, 1973-1984.
19 10 Department seminar, 1978-1984.
19 11 Meeting minutes, 1974-1984.
19 12 Reports and proposals, 1973-1984 and undated.
19 13 MC-21-06 Erickson UCSD Music Department posters, 1987.
19 14 Miscellaneous.

WRITINGS

Sound Structure in Music

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20 1-2 Typescript draft.
20 3-4 Edited typescript.
20 5 Chapter 1 typescript with Will Ogdon's edits.
20 6 Introduction - Typescript draft.
20 7 "Timbre: What is it?" - Typescript and handwritten notes.
20 8-9 "Timbre and Pitch" - Typescript and handwritten notes.
21 1-2 "Timbre and Time" - Typescript and handwritten notes.
21 3-4 "Timbre in Texture" - Typescript and handwritten notes.
21 5-6 "Klangfarbenmelodie: Problems of Linear Organization" - Typescript and handwritten notes.
21 7 "Drones" - Typescript and handwritten notes.
21 8 Bibliography, 1972.
21 9 Research notes - Typescript and handwritten.
21 10 Contracts, 1972.
21 11 Illustrations.
22 1-2 Illustrations.
22 3 FB-506-02 Oversize illustrations for book.
22 4 Mock-up with negatives and handwritten notes.
22 5 Reviews and correspondence.

Articles and Books

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Box Folder Oversize
22 6-16 1962-1969.
22 17-18 1973.
23 1-17 1974-1980.
24 1-10 1982-1989.
24 11-14 Undated.
25 1-11 Undated.
25 12 Miscellaneous writings.
25 13 Miscellaneous notes.

Notebooks

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Box Folder Oversize
Timbre notebooks.
26 1 Vol. I-IV, 1970.
26 2 Vol. V-VIII.
26 3 Vol. IX-XII.
26 4 Vol. XIII-XVI.
27 1 Vol. XVII-XIX.
Notebooks.
27 2-3 1980-1985.
27 4 Undated.

MEDIA

Box Folder Oversize
27 5-6 Photographs of Robert Erickson.
28 1-2 Portraits of Robert Erickson.
28 3 Events, 1982 and undated.
28 4 Instruments.
28 5 "Ad Hoc Musical Instruments" - Black and white prints, 1968.
28 6 "Back in the Shop" - Black and white prints and one slide, 1975.
28 7 Greek music - Black and white prints.
28 8 "Tunable Tube Drums" - Black and white prints.
MC-21-07 Robert Erickson in his studio, portrait, undated.

VHS and Beta Cassette Tapes

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Box Folder Oversize
31 1-4 New World of Sound - KOGO TV Channel 10, 1969.
31 5-6 Robert Erickson videos, undated.
31 7-12 Erickson Archive number 1-6.

Audio Cassette Tapes

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Box Folder Oversize
29 1-12 "Erickson Archive" number 1-12, 1968-1984 and undated.
29 13 "Robert Erickson", undated.
29 14-15 "Auroras", 1984 and undated.
29 16 "Dunbar's Delight" - First performance, May 6, 1985.
29 17 Erickson program - KFAC, March 10, 1987.
29 18-19 "Focus", 1992-1996.
29 19-20 "The Idea of Order at Key West", 1979-1980.
29 21 "Night Music" and "Garden", undated.
30 1 Petersen "Monopoly Mix" and Erickson "Do It", 1966.
30 2 "Postcards", 1982.
30 3 "Sierra", undated.
30 4 "Solstice" (1985) and "Sequoia Quartet", undated.
30 5-6 Trio, 1987.
30 7 "Summer Music", 1975.
30 8 Erickson Festival: Kronos Quartet - "Solstice", March 1, 1987.
30 9 Krenek - "Concerto for Violin", undated.
Box Folder Oversize
28 9 "Five Prayers", undated.
28 10-11 "Job Choruses" by Robert Erickson, undated.
28 12 "Little Trio" for violin, viola and piano, undated.
28 13 "Pastorale," music by Robert Erickson, undated.
28 14 "The Star Song" and "I Saw a Sweet Silly Sight" by Robert Erickson, undated.
28 15 Untitled, undated.

Reel-to-Reel

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Box Folder Oversize
7 1/2 IPS, 1/4", 7" diameter.
32 1 "Peter," Movie Tape I (a).
32 2 "Peter," Movie Tape I (b).
32 3 "Peter," Movie Tape II.
32 4 "Peter," Movie Tape III.
32 5-7 "Time and Chance in Contemporary Music".
32 8 "Down at Piraeus," Performance Tape.
32 9 "Down at Piraeus," Performance, May 14, 1970, Jerome Rosen, Conductor.
32 10-11 "I am R.E.'s Keeper," July 23, 1984, Reel 1 and 2.
32 12 "White Lady," for wind emsemble.
32 13 "LOOPS," an informal timbre experiment, Master.
7 1/2/ IPS, 1/4", 5" diameter.
32 14 "Elegy for solo percussion," Jerome Rosen.
32 15 "Nine and a Half for Henry".
32 16 Sound examples illustrating "Computer Study of Trumpet Tones".
32 17 Notes relating to reel to reels, 1956 and undated.
32 18 "Computer Study of Trumpet Tones," Risset, J.C., 1969.
Relates to reel to reel recording "Sound Examples Illustrating..." Box 32, Folder 16
15 IPS, 1/2", 10 1/2" diameter.
33 1 "4 track Bells Master," Jack Williams.
33 2 "Bialka P/22 Mix".
33 3 "Forks," 1972.
33 4 "Mixes: La Jolla Cove".
33 5 "Nine and a Half for Henry," Master.
33 6 "Wave Mix," 4 tracks.
15 IPS, 1/4", 10 1/2" diameter.
33 7 "Babbitt: Ectro".
33 8 "Ch Concerto," Stereo.
33 9 "Down at Piraeus," Stereo Dub 15.
33 10 "The End of the Music," from concert March 19, 1967.
33 11 January ACA Composer Program, "Chamber Music," January 6, 1957.
34 1 Music Improvisations from Griffin Nursery School, January 22, 1964.
34 2 Piano improvisations by Claudia and Betsy and group drumming. Griffin Nursery School, May 1955.
34 3 "String Quartet".


Finding aid generated: 2013-01-31