Scope and arrangement
The Arnold Arnstein Collection contains music that was found in Arnold Arnstein's office when he died in 1989. Virtually all of it is undated. It is not known why these works were left in Arnstein's office, although it can be surmised that either copyist or customer were not satisfied with the result.
The composers represented in the collection are a cross section of contemporary composers of the 1950s through the 1980s as well as several pre-twentieth century composers. There are a number of composers associated with film or television (Alfredo Antonini, Sol Kaplan, Samuel Matlovsky, and Marc Wilkinson), and also several associated with the Broadway stage musical and popular song (Don Pippin, Charles Strouse, Alec Wilder, and Meredith Willson).
The material devoted to Charles Strouse is particularly interesting. There are many lead sheets for his songs to unproduced or little-known musicals, including several for Let's Go Steady, the earlier version of Bye Bye Birdie. There are also more unusual and obscure works of Strouse, including his piano concerto as well as Voices, a musical setting of two case studies by Sigmund Freud. There are less well-known or obscure composers as well, such as René Guirma, a diplomat who, in 1971, composed an extensive service in African ritual style for St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
In summary, the Arnold Arnstein Collection represents a sample of the music that passed through the offices of one of the leading music copyists in New York City.
The Arnold Arnstein collection of musical scores are arranged in twenty-two series: