Scope and arrangement
The Tom Scott papers contain scores, correspondence, photographs, biographical and publicity files, a scrapbook, and project and subject files documenting Scott's career as a folk-singer, arranger, and composer of symphonic, chamber, television and film music.
Scores comprise the bulk of the collection and include score manuscripts and parts for the most of Scott's known output. While the scores include arrangements and television/film cues, most are for symphonic, chamber and vocal music. Among the orchestral pieces are Colloquy, Concord Suite, Fanfare and Cantilena, From The Sacred Harp, Hornpipe and Chantey, and Trajectories. Scores for Scott's opera, The Fisherman, and for other vocal works for soloist or chorus and orchestra, such as Sourwood Mountain, The Creation, and Lincoln Montage, are also in the collection.
Correspondents include George Antheil and Leopold Stokowski, as well as several of Scott's publishers. Photographs hold both publicity and personal prints and negatives. Biographical and publicity files hold flyers, promotional biographies, clippings, concert programs, and a scrapbook. The project files contain information on particular compositions, recording or television projects with which Scott was involved. Subject files hold folders documenting such topics as Scott's publishing career, his activities with CBS, and his marriage, divorce and estate. All papers dating from after Scott's death came from his ex-wife, Ruth, who administered his estate.
The collection also holds audio recordings consisting of 102 open reel tapes, ranging in size from three to ten inches. Seventy-one of the tape boxes have labeled content, while the rest are unlabeled or have unclear labeling. Many tapes may have duplicate content. The known content consists mostly of recordings of the music Scott wrote for films and television (or, possibly, recordings of the television soundtracks). Among the tapes are two Camera 3 and eight Robert Herridge Theater productions, and music for the films Little World, No Man Walks Alone, A Stranger Returns, and To Serve The Living.
The tapes also contain some of Scott's compositions, including Colloquy; Fanfare and Cantilena; Go Down Death; Lento for Saxophone and Strings; Procession, Canon and Jig; String Quartet No. 2; The Ballad of the Harp Weaver; The Fisherman; and the Coney Island movement of This Is My Country. There is also a tape of a concert of Scott's music held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1954.
Inquiries regarding audio materials in the collection may be directed to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound (email@example.com). Audio materials will be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
The Tom Scott papers are arranged in two series:
- 1912-19708 boxes
This series holds correspondence, photographs, publishing files, biographical and publicity files, a scrapbook, composition/project files, and subject files. All content is in one alphabetical listing.
The correspondents include the composer George Antheil, the conductors Leopold Stokowski and Izler Solomon, and the folk singer John Jacob Niles. The Solomon file has an autographed photo of the conductor, and the folder of general correspondence contains Scott's contract with Fred Waring.
The photographs hold prints and negatives. Most of the photographs are loose, but some are compiled in an album consisting primarily of publicity shots. Loose photographs are in two divisions, personal and publicity. Personal photographs include a picture of Scott with his parents not long after his birth; wedding photographs; and pictures of Scott with his wife and daughter. The publicity photographs contain head shots of Scott as well as pictures of him with other people, including Fred Waring.
The publishing papers are filed by company name. Publishers include Carl Fischer Inc., Charles H. Hansen, Harold Flammer, John Church, Meridien Music, and Shawnee Press. These files hold contracts and correspondence regarding Scott's music. The Shawnee Press file has an essay by Scott detailing his history and problems with the company.
The biographical/publicity files contain clippings, promotional biographies, flyers, concert programs, and a scrapbook with a combination of those elements. The files also hold composition lists, discographies, and a poster from Scott's German tour of 1948.
The composition and project files mostly contain non-score material for pieces and projects, many of which have corresponding score files in Series II. Among these files are the libretto for the opera The Fisherman; and scripts and notes for some of the teleplays for which Scott wrote music. For two of these titles, no scores exist: notes with these folders specify the producing network or series. The project files also have the libretto for an oratorio by Scott called The Song of Moses, for which no score is in the collection. The American Story file documents a recording project by that name which may never have been produced. It contains a project description, and a list of proposed recording scripts and performers. The file for a film score, Summer Sequence, has an essay by Scott about the project.
Other notable files in this series are those for CBS, which contain correspondence, contracts, scripts and other information regarding Scott's television and film work; the file for James Weldon Johnson, which holds correspondence with the author's widow; a file on Scott's German tour of 1948 containing programs, correspondence, posters, and Scott's essays about the tour; and a file for the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation containing a grant application. There are also files documenting Scott's wedding and divorce. The wedding file has a congratulatory letter from Henry Cowell; the file for Scott's ex-wife Ruth contains estate information. The file of writings and illustrations are all humorous and were most likely meant for Scott's daughter.
- 1939-196024 boxes
Most of the folders in this series contain score manuscripts and often have parts and sketches as well. In a few cases there are also published scores present, which may differ slightly from the manuscripts. The scores are arranged in three sections: arrangements; compositions; and film, television and theatrical scores. Some of the compositions or film/television projects documented in this series have parallel files in Series I under the heading "Compositions and Projects."
The arrangements contain four collections, as well as individual song arrangements. The first collection is a set of folk songs set for guitar or banjo, bass, and drums. The second collection holds arrangements of Stephen Foster songs for vocalist, chorus and orchestra. The third set has Scott's pre-publication manuscripts for songs (traditional unless the composer is noted), set for various vocal and instrumental orchestrations. The fourth collection consists of sea shanties arranged for solo vocalist, male chorus, strings and, occasionally, reeds. The individual arrangements are of traditional folk songs, with the exception of Where E'er You Walk, by George Frideric Handel. The orchestrations vary in size from voice and piano to chorus to concert band.
Among Scott's compositions are works for full or string orchestra such as Colloquy, Concord Suite, Fanfare and Cantilena, From The Sacred Harp, Hornpipe and Chantey, and Trajectories. He also wrote an opera, The Fisherman; several works for chorus and orchestra (often for male chorus); pieces with jazz influenced orchestrations such as Set Down Servant; songs for voice and piano (often settings of poems); and chamber works.
Scott's chamber music often used traditional instrumentations, such as his three string quartets and the Binorie Variations (for solo violin with cello, harp and strings, derived from his score for the film Summer Sequence). But he also wrote Lento (for tenor saxophone and strings), and his folk-music influence is evident in pieces like the unfinished suite This Is My Country, for harmonica and orchestra; and in his pieces for vocal soloist/narrator and chorus or chorus and orchestra, such as Lincoln Montage, The Creation (a setting of a James Weldon Johnson text), and The Prodigal Son.
The television, film and theatrical scores mainly contain scripts, notes and manuscripts for the incidental music cues Scott wrote for live television plays. These were mostly produced by Robert Herridge at CBS, particularly the series Camera 3 and Robert Herridge Theater. Other scores were for single episodes of series such as You Are There and Robert Montgomery Presents.
The film scores include music for No Man Walks Alone, a documentary about paraplegics; High Places of the Mind, produced for the United States Information Agency; and the film A Stranger Returns. Several scores did not have sufficient information to determine whether they were for film or television projects, or to identify the producer. These are filed under "Unidentified Format." One, for a film entitled Summer Sequence, has a corresponding file in Series I.
There is a single theatrical score for the play Claytus and Cordelia. There are no scores in the collection for the Broadway play Gloriana.
The final two folders of the series contain sketches and orphan score pages, and two pieces of music by other composers: one a manuscript by Edward French Hearn, the other a published song by Amber Roobenian inscribed to Scott.