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H. Owen Reed papers

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Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

H. (Herbert) Owen Reed was born June 17, 1910 in Odessa, Missouri, where he grew up influenced by his parents' musical talents: his father played the fiddle, and his mother the piano. He began formal music studies at the University of Missouri School of Music in 1929, but transferred to Louisiana State University in 1933, earning his Bachelor and Master of Music in 1934 and 1936, respectively. He then received a Ph.D. in music composition at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in 1939. That same year he began his tenure as a professor of music theory and composition at the Michigan State University College of Music, where he remained until his retirement in 1976. During this time, he served as a mentor to numerous future composers and musicians. After retirement, he continued to compose music, guest conduct, teach and perform, maintaining a strong connection to Michigan State University and founding and performing with the faculty jazz ensemble "The Geriatric Six."

Throughout his life, Reed composed and published works for orchestra, band, voices, opera and chamber music, and wrote eight books on music theory and composition. His best-known work, "La Fiesta Mexicana" (1949) resulted from his study of folk music in Mexico for a period of six months from 1948 to 1949. He also undertook extensive study of Native American music in New Mexico and Arizona, composing a series of chamber operas based on Native American legends: "Earth Trapped" (1960), "Living Solid Face" (1974), and "Butterfly Girl and Mirage Boy" (1979-80). His interest in American fiddle music, inspired by his father's skills as a fiddler, led him to collect and transpose various American fiddle tunes. In addition to his work as a composer, Reed studied and played piano and trumpet. He died January 6, 2014. Prior to his death, he began to deposit his published works and papers at Michigan State University, which is the primary repository for his papers (see Related Archival Materials).

The H. Owen Reed papers consists of biographical materials, correspondence and music compositions created or collected by Reed and primarily provide insight into his work as a composer, conductor, and music educator. Materials in this collection document Reed's professional life, accomplishments, professional and personal relationships, and extensive output as a composer.

This collection is organized into two series: I. Biographical materials and correspondence and II. Music compositions, which is further divided into subseries A. Works by Reed (comprising the majority of the collection) and B. Works by others. This collection also includes digital materials including images, textual documents, music compositions and audio recordings, which are included as folders in each series. Please see "Conditions governing Access" for more information regarding accessing digital files.

Series I. Biographical materials and correspondence contains promotional materials such as ads and announcements, clippings and copies of articles, press releases, programs, and webpage printouts. Other biographical items include biographical statements and resumes/curricula vitae; lists of music compositions, publications, and professional accomplishments; transcripts of interviews Reed gave; and didactic materials from his work as a music educator. Correspondence folders include letters, cards, emails and bills. Folders in this series mainly follow the original grouping of materials, but have been renamed for accuracy and clarity. An exception to this is the "Correspondence" folder, which was gathered together from various files and loose papers and organized chronologically. Materials in this series are arranged chronologically by earliest creation date.

In Series II. Music compositions, researchers will primarily find printed music or photo reproductions of manuscripts, although several folders do contain original manuscripts, which is noted in folder titles. Textual or musical annotations are likewise noted in folder titles. The bulk of the series consists of full scores, reduced scores, piano-vocal scores and vocal and instrumental parts. A significant amount of the material is published music, oftentimes with performance instructions or other textual notes. Subseries A. Works by Reed contains all music compositions for which Reed had a role as a creator, including composer, arranger or contributor to a music compilation. All other creators are listed in folder titles after the name of the composition. Of note in this subseries is the digital folder "Music compositions and audio recordings," which contains a large number of scanned manuscripts, published music and audio files relating to 36 music compositions by Reed. Some match compositions found in other folders, and others are unique to the digital folder. This subseries is organized alphabetically by composition title. Subseries B. Works by others is organized alphabetically by composer last name. Of note, some materials in this subseries are inscribed with messages written to Reed by the composers

Gift of Brent Wetters (grandson of Reed), 2017 April.

Publisher
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Anna Juliar
Finding Aid Date
2022 August
Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is open for research use. However, born digital files (indicated as "digital content" within the collection inventory) are restricted from access until a copy is made. If the original does not already have a copy, it may be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items will depend on the nature of the material and is subject to review for condition. Please contact the Kislak Center (kislak@upenn.edu) for cost estimates and ordering. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Photographs (some annotated), 1920, undated.
Box 1 Folder 1
Correspondence, letters, cards and printed emails, 1942 November 24, 1955, 1958, 1966-2008, undated.
Box 1 Folder 2
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, correspondence regarding fellowship, 1947-1949, 2004.
Box 1 Folder 3
Programs, essays and articles describing compositions and performances by Reed, 1968 March 27, 1980 November 2, 1988 October 30, 2004, undated.
Box 1 Folder 4
Interviews, articles and photographs ("for Leif Juhl who planned to do a biography"), 1975, 1996, 1998, undated.
Box 1 Folder 5
Miscellaneous biographical materials, advertisements, announcements, articles (some annotated), pamphlets, programs, webpage printouts, 1977, 1986, 1998, 2000-2001, 2004-2008.
Box 1 Folder 6
Career Biography, Society of Green Valley Celebrity series, preparatory materials regarding Dr. Owen Reed, 1995 February 28, 2001 August 1, undated.
Box 1 Folder 7
"Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, H. Owen Reed: La Fiesta Mexicana and More," biographical and instructional materials, 2003 December 19.
Box 1 Folder 8
"H. Owen Reed: Composer, Author, Conductor," biography and curriculum vitae, 2004 January.
Box 1 Folder 9
"Tempo: The Official Magazine of the New Jersey Music Educators Association" (includes essay "Considering H. Owen Reed), 2004 October.
Box 1 Folder 10
Blue Lake Fine Arts camp, summer arts festival booklet (includes dedication essay to Reed) and related article, 2007.
Box 1 Folder 11
H. Owen Reed website pages ("from MSU hosted website"), lists of recordings, publications and honors, interview transcript and photographs (2.5 megabytes/MB), 2016.
Digital Content (Reading Room Access Only) pusp-2018-000341-001
Music composition lists and copyright documentation (51.2 megabytes/MB), 2009-2016.
Digital Content (Reading Room Access Only) pusp-2018-000341-002
Billing correspondence from Greg A. Steinke, three letters (37.2 kilobytes/KB), 2010.
Digital Content (Reading Room Access Only) pusp-2018-000341-003
"Herbert Owen Reed Portrait: Musiker, aktiver Komponist und," article (German) (923.2 kilobytes/KB), 2011.
Digital Content (Reading Room Access Only) pusp-2018-000341-004
DVD ("H. Owen Reed digital files") [RESTRICTED], 2016.
Box 1 Folder 12
Photograph of a group of people in traditional Mexican costumes dancing on a stage, undated.
Box 2 Folder 1
Song index and inventory of books and music compositions ("to MSU"), undated.
Box 2 Folder 2

"All Through the Day," (John Jennings and H. Owen Reed), piano-vocal score, 1954 December 9.
Box 2 Folder 2
American Cello recording, five audio recordings (800.2 megabytes/MB), 2006 December 4.
Digital Content (Reading Room Access Only) pusp-2018-000341-005
"The Awakening of the Ents," full score, 1987.
Box 2 Folder 3
"Battle Hymn of the Republic," (Julia Ward Howe, arranged by H. Owen Reed), choral scores, 1972.
Box 2 Folder 4
"Blue Skies," manuscript instrumental parts (with musical annotations and corrections), undated.
Box 6 Folder 1
"Butterfly Girl and Mirage Boy, a chamber dance opera based on the American Indian Spirit Legend by Hartley B. Alexander," (choreography by Forrest W. Coggan), full score with illustrated cover, 1979.
Box 6 Folder 2
"Butterfly and Mirage Boy," (Hartley B. Alexander and H. Owen Reed), condensed scores, 1980.
Box 6 Folder 3
"Christmas Eve," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), instructions for a dramatic presentation, 1954, 2001 May 23, undated.
Box 2 Folder 5
"Christmas Eve," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), photocopies of manuscript drafts (some with musical annotations), 2001, undated.
Box 2 Folder 6
"Christmas Eve for male and female vocalists and a large jazz ensemble," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), full scores, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 7
"Christmas Eve for male and female vocalists and a large jazz ensemble," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), instrumental parts, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 8
"Christmas Eve for male and female vocalists and a large jazz ensemble," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), instrumental and vocal parts ("corrected"), 2001, 2004.
Box 2 Folder 9
"Christmas Eve for male and female vocalists and a large jazz ensemble," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), lead sheets, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 10
"Christmas Eve for male and female vocalists and a large jazz ensemble, version with strings," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), full scores, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 11
"Christmas Eve for male and female vocalists and a large jazz ensemble," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), vocal and piano parts, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 12
"Christmas Eve for male and female vocalists and a large jazz ensemble," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), vocal rehearsal score, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 13
"Christmas Eve" and "The Song of Acapulco," (Johnny Kidd and H. Owen Reed), piano-vocal scores, 1954, 1992.
Box 2 Folder 14
"Concerto for cello and orchestra," solo cello part (photocopy of manuscript), 1951.
Box 2 Folder 15
"Concerto for violoncetto as arranged by the composer for violoncetto and piano," piano score and cello part, 1951.
Box 2 Folder 16
"Concerto for Violoncetto and Orchestra," full score (photocopied), 1951.
Box 6 Folder 4
"Deed I Doodle," manuscript instrumental parts (with musical annotations and corrections), undated.
Box 6 Folder 5
"Dusk," (Tom Boggs and H. Owen Reed,) piano-vocal score, 1947.
Box 2 Folder 17
"Dusk," (Tom Boggs and H. Owen Reed,) piano-vocal score, 1947.
Box 6 Folder 6
"Earth-Trapped, a chamber opera in one scene," (adapted from Manito Masks by Hartley Alexander), condensed score, 1960.
Box 6 Folder 7
"Earth-Trapped, a chamber opera in one scene," (adapted from Manito Masks by Hartley Alexander), full score, 1960.
Box 6 Folder 8-9
"Evangeline," full score, 1938.
Box 2 Folder 18
"Evangeline," full score, undated.
Box 6 Folder 10
"Fanfare for Remembrance (In memory of lost friends - yours and mine)," full score, 1986.
Box 2 Folder 19
"Fanfare for Remembrance (In memory of lost friends - yours and mine)," full score, 1986.
Box 6 Folder 11
"Fanfare for Remembrance (In memory of lost friends - yours and mine)," full scores (photocopies of manuscripts), 1986, 1992.
Box 2 Folder 20
"Fanfare for Remembrance (In memory of lost friends - yours and mine)," instrumental parts, 1986.
Box 3 Folder 1
Fiddle music, manuscript, undated.
Drawer OS FF 02
Fiddle music, notes, correspondence, newspaper articles, song list, printed music and manuscripts (original and photocopied), 1971-1972, 1977, 1978, undated.
Box 6 Folder 12
"La Fiesta Mexicana," full score, 1964.
Box 6 Folder 13-14
"La Fiesta Mexicana," full scores, 1954, 1982.
Box 3 Folder 2
"La Fiesta Mexicana for orchestra," full score, 1954-1964.
Box 7 Folder 1
"For the Unfortunate," full scores (includes photocopies of handwritten scores), 1975, 1992, undated.
Box 3 Folder 3
"For the Unfortunate personal conducting score," full scores (some with textual annotations), 1975.
Box 7 Folder 2
"For the Unfortunate personal conducting score," manuscript full score (with musical annotations), 1975.
Box 7 Folder 3
"Living Solid Face, a chamber dance-opera," (libretto by Forrest Coggan, music by H. Owen Reed), full score (one sheet), 1974.
Box 3 Folder 4
Music compositions and audio recordings, scores, parts and audio files for 36 works by Reed (2.2 gigabytes/GB), 2001-2011.
Digital Content (Reading Room Access Only) pusp-2018-000341-006
"New Orleans," manuscript instrumental parts (with musical annotations and corrections), undated.
Box 7 Folder 4
"Panorama: A Collection of American Piano Music," (compiled and edited by Alice McElroy Procter, includes Nocturne by H. Owen Reed), 1953.
Box 3 Folder 5
"Ripley Ferry for women's chorus and wind septet," (lyrics by Merrick F. McCarthy, music by H. Owen Reed), full score (with musical annotations), 1948.
Box 3 Folder 6
"Ripley Ferry for women's chorus and wind septet," (lyrics by Merrick F. McCarthy, music by H. Owen Reed), full score and related written materials, 1958, undated.
Box 3 Folder 7
"Scherzo for B flat clarinet and piano," clarinet part and piano score, 1959.
Box 3 Folder 8
"School of Love," (Marvin Hughes, H. Owen Reed, John W. Kidd), piano-vocal scores, undated.
Box 3 Folder 9
"Sonata in C Minor for piano," photocopy of manuscript (with musical annotations), 1934.
Box 3 Folder 10
"Songs of Michigan State," (includes M.S.U. Shadows and Close Beside the Winding Cedar arranged by H. Owen Reed), piano-vocal scores, 1957.
Box 3 Folder 11
"Spiritual for band," full score, 1951.
Box 3 Folder 12
"Symphonic Dance," full score and instrumental parts (photocopies of manuscripts), 1942, 1954.
Box 3 Folder 13
"Symphonic Dance for wind quintet and piano," full scores and instrumental parts, 1963, 2004.
Box 3 Folder 14
"Symphony No. 1," full score (photocopy of manuscript), undated.
Box 7 Folder 5
"Tabernacle for the Sun, an oratorio," (book and libretto by Merrick Fifield McCarthy, music by H. Owen Reed), piano-vocal score, 1964.
Box 3 Folder 15
"Theme and Variations from String Quartet, Opus 18, No. 5," (Ludwig van Beethoven, transcribed by H. Owen Reed), reduced scores and piccolo part, 1954.
Box 3 Folder 16
"Three Nationalities suite for piano", 1951.
Box 3 Folder 17
"The Touch of the Earth for band, chorus and soloists," (words by John Jennings, music by H. Owen Reed), choral score and piano score for rehearsal, 1972.
Box 3 Folder 18
"The Touch of the Earth," (music by H. Owen Reed, book and lyrics by John Jennings), manuscript piano score, 1972.
Box 7 Folder 6
"The Turning Mind," full score, 1967.
Box 7 Folder 7
"The Turning Mind," full score, 1967.
Box 7 Folder 8
"The Turning Mind," instrumental parts (copies of manuscripts), 1967.
Box 7 Folder 9
"The Turning Mind," instrumental parts (photocopies of manuscripts), undated.
Box 4 Folder 1
"Two Tongue Twisters for mixed voices," piano-vocal scores and performance instructions, 1950, 1951, 2000, undated.
Box 4 Folder 2
"Ur Re Mi," score (two sheets), undated.
Box 4 Folder 3
"Ut Re Mi: A Variation on the Hymn "Ut queant laxis" for wind ensemble and men's chorus," full score, 1962.
Box 7 Folder 10
"Ut Re Mi: A Variation on the Hymn "Ut queant laxis" for wind ensemble and men's chorus," parts, 1979.
Box 4 Folder 4
"Ut Re Mi: A Variation for Orchestra on the hymn "Ut queant laxis," full scores, 1962, 1979.
Box 7 Folder 11
"Ut Re Mi," parts (photocopies of manuscripts), undated.
Box 7 Folder 12
"Wondrous Love for tenor and woodwind quintet," full score, instrumental and tenor parts, 2004, undated.
Box 4 Folder 5
"You're a Rare One," (John Jennings and H. Owen Reed), piano-vocal score (copy of manuscript with musical annotations), undated.
Box 7 Folder 13
Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mario, "Suite 508 for viola and piano ("Greeting Cards" op. 170, no. 21)," piano score and viola part (with textual and musical annotations), 1960.
Box 7 Folder 14
Constantinides, Dinos, "Symphony No. 2: Introspections for orchestra," full score, 1983.
Box 4 Folder 6
De Pue, Wallace, "Creative Music Theory Skills," instructional book, 1997.
Box 4 Folder 7
De Pue, Wallace, "Sonata Lycanthrope piano solo", 2000.
Box 4 Folder 8
Fischer, Clare, "alone together just me: solo piano improvisations," transcribed by Bill Dobbins, 1997.
Box 4 Folder 9
Gillingham, David R., "Return to Innocence for SATB voices and percussion ensemble," full score, 1995.
Box 4 Folder 10
Kimmell, Jack Normain, "Scherzino and Suite for four trumpets," full scores, 1993.
Box 4 Folder 11
Koch, Frederick, "Reflections on Composing: Four American Composers: Elwin, Shepherd, Rogers, Cowell," instructional book, 1983.
Box 4 Folder 12
McPartland, Marian, "The Artistry of Marian McPartland," transcriptions by Don Sickler and John Oddo (for piano), 1985.
Box 4 Folder 13
Miyoshi, Akira, "Trois Mouvements Symphoniques," full score, 1962.
Box 5 Folder 1
Penn, William, "A Cornfield in July and The River for medium voice and twenty-five performers," based on the poetry and writings of Hamlin Garland, full score, 1991.
Box 5 Folder 2
Sanders, Joe, "Johnny and Captain Bill," vocal score (photocopies of manuscript) and related letter, 1963 April 3, 1993.
Box 5 Folder 3
Unidentified composition in Latin, vocal and instrumental score (two sheets), undated.
Box 5 Folder 4

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