Scope and arrangement
The Arthur Cohn collection, dating from 1923 to 1941, mainly holds notes, drafts, illustrations, and research clippings for Cohn's unpublished book, The Art and Science of Orchestration, a guide meant for the professional or advanced student orchestrator or arranger. It also contains scores for nine of Cohn's compositions.
The files for The Art and Science of Orchestration consist of chapter notes; note cards; a file of notes, resources, and outlines; drafts and completed manuscripts of chapters; illustrations; and clippings used while researching the book. The Music Division produced a detailed list of the folder contents for this portion of the collection that can be viewed through the archival portal. The alphabetically-arranged chapter notes are a set of folders holding notes and articles on over 600 musical topics, such as instruments, composers, styles, or compositional and theoretical concepts. The note cards cover similar information, and also include a bibliography. The notes, resources, and outlines file includes articles by other writers as well as Cohn's notes on the structure of the book. The chapter drafts and completed manuscripts are heavily annotated and edited by Cohn. Illustrations are filed separately from the chapters, but bear identifying titles.
The scores, all manuscripts, largely date from the early 1930s. They include a flute concerto, two string quartets, a piece for string orchestra, and incidental music for a play titled Too Late To Die, by Christopher Wood. Some scores have more than one orchestration, and most have edits or other written notes.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by file title. The arrangement of the files for The Art and Science of Orchestration was not altered from the Music Division's order.