Unique Resources for the Study of Music History at the University of Louisville School of Music

The University of Louisville Music Library holds a number of unique resources for original research in music history, including the Grawemeyer Collection of Contemporary Music, which comprises over 2,500 items by major composers submitted to the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition since its inception in 1985. Each year the composer of the work awarded the prize presents a lecture for the University of Louisville School of Music community. The most recent works receiving the Grawemeyer Award have included Sur incises: pour trois pianos, trois harpes et trois percussions-claviers by Pierre Boulez and L'Amour de loin: Opera in Five Acts by Kaija Saariaho.

The Ricasoli Collection

The Ricasoli Collection, also among the holdings of the School of Music library, is a private music library of over 400 rare manuscripts and early prints assembled by the Florentine branch of the Ricasoli Zanchini family between 1750 and 1860. It includes both sacred and secular repertory. Contact Dr. John Karr for further information.

The Gerhard Herz Collection

The Gerhard Herz (1911-2000) Collection, a valuable University of Louisville resource for the study of the music of Bach, includes photographic reproductions of most of Bach's manuscripts from 1704 to 1750 and Herz's lecture notes and notes supporting his published work.

Gerhard Herz was an internationally recognized authority on Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Over the course of his career Herz managed to acquire photographic reproductions of most of Bach's manuscripts from 1704 to 1750, notably those in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. These remain the most significant documents for the study of the works of Bach. Also present are Gerhard Herz' lecture notes and the notes supporting his extensive body of published work. This collection contains 2,065 photographic reproductions of manuscripts, mostly autographs, of Johann Sebastian Bach; eight reels of microfilm, positive prints of Bach manuscripts; and offprints of articles written by Gerhard Herz. The collection currently resides in the Dwight Anderson Music Library.

The Collection for the Study of Danish Music

The Collection for the Study of Danish Music, comprising approximately 100 scores and 200 recordings by Danish composers from the 16th to the 20th Century, is located in the University of Louisville Music Library and offers further opportunities for original research. Other collections include the Isidore Philipp Archive, the Jean Thomas (Traipsin' Woman) Collection of materials related to her role as director of the American Folk Song Festival, and the Kentucky Sheet Music Collection of some 1,500 Louisville imprints from the mid-nineteenth century.

The Collection for the Study of Danish Music has been created to serve as a "bridge" between Denmark and the US for the dissemination of Danish music and culture. The goal is to serve both American and Danish musical communities. The first scores and recordings for the collection were brought to the Anderson Music library in summer 1993; the latest addition of about 50 scores and 50 recordings was made in the fall semester 1999.

The heart of the project is the collection of approximately 100 scores and 200 recordings of music by Danish composers from the 16th - 20th centuries located in the library's collection where they can be used by any patron. Danish soloists, small instrumental and vocal chamber groups, and large ensembles are represented by excellent recordings. The collection of scores includes works by young, lesser known composers and mature composers (among them Poul Ruders, Per Nørgård, Karl Aage Rasmussen, Vagn Holmboe) whose work is known beyond the Scandinavian boundaries. Old music is not neglected either, with collections of 16th-17th century vocal music, and instrumental music from the court of Christian IV included in the collection. Many of the scores are "matched" by recordings, facilitating study. Faculty and students have expressed interest and we have begun to hear some of this music on recitals.

Historian Anders Beyer, who visited in 1993, and a high school teacher from Jutland have come to the University of Louisville to present papers, interview local scholars and to study music in the library collections. Ensembles such as the New Danish Saxophone Quartet and the New Jungle Orchestra have performed at the School of Music. In the fall of 1999 the composers Karl Aage Rasmussen, the critic Anders Beyer, and a representative from the Danish Music Information Center, Jens Rossel visited and interacted with students, faculty, and leaders of established performing organizations on campus and in the city of Louisville. Interest in study in Denmark is growing and efforts to find financial support and to inspire students to seek educational opportunities are being made.

Early Music Instrument Collection

Students in the Early Music Ensemble have access to over forty instruments in the School of Music's Instrument Collection. The collection includes krumhorns, shawms, sackbutts, harpsichords, and Baroque and Renaissance flutes and recorders and is administered by Dr. Jack Ashworth, director of the Early Music Ensemble.