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Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

H-55. History of American Music Printing and Publishing

D. W. Krummel

An historical introduction intended both for those with institutional responsibilities for American printed music, and for collectors and scholars with a personal or professional interest in the subject. The course includes an overview of the history of music printing and publishing in the U.S. from its beginnings to about 1970. Topics include the crafts of printing and engraving music, and illustrating music covers; bibliographical description; distribution, as defined geographically and by medium; preservation; changing tastes, in repertories and in musical instruments (parlor piano, guitar), and reflecting the impact of European practices and styles and of the commercial forces of radio, movies, and other media. The course will be built around Rare Book School's extensive collection of music printing surfaces and materials, and packets of original copies of sheet music arranged by topic.

Applicants should have a basic knowledge of music history and some fluency in reading music, as well as experience in work with original copies of American music. In their personal statements, applicants should describe their background and interest in the field, and mention topics they would particularly like the course to cover.

Course Resources

Course History


D. W. Krummel teaches this course for the first time.