Scope and arrangement
The Gilbert Chase papers consists of materials that span the years 1920 - 1992, the bulk of which was produced between 1945 and 1989. The papers document the broad spectrum of Chase's career from articles of musical criticism or history, to essays, teaching materials, radio scripts and lectures and speeches. The materials include: incoming and outgoing correspondence, typescripts (or photocopies) of books, articles, essays, poetry, research materials, subject files, published articles, newspaper clippings, lectures or lecture notes or announcements, class syllabi, book reviews, scripts for radio broadcasts, speeches, interviews, yearbooks, newsletters, bibliography, flyers, programs, invitations, personal reflections, parts of musical scores, and photographs.
The earliest of the materials are correspondence with Latin Americans, particularly Manual de Falla, book reviews written for the Book of the Month Club monthly selections booklets, and articles written about Chase in American and Latin American newspapers, where he was held in high esteem as a musicologist and author. (Most of these are in Spanish, without translations.)
The subject files are the largest portion of this collection and reflect many of Chase's interests and projects, particularly chapters materials for his opus, American Music: from Pilgrims to Present. These files document a strong interest in 20th century music as well as Latin American composers.
The Gilbert Chase papers are arranged in six series:
- 1920-19921.77 linear feet (4.2 boxes
The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent, name of business, or under a subject headings such as America's Music: from the Pilgrims to Present or the National Music Council. The majority of the correspondence is of a professional nature, discussing issues relating to conferences, publications, teaching positions, or speaking engagements, though many letters are to people in the field who were friends as well as colleagues and thus offer some personal references within them. Correspondence of interest includes Latin American musicians such as Manual de Falla, Frederico Mompou and Miguel de Unanmuno, correspondence relating to the Yearbook of Inter-American Musical Research and the Society of Ethnomusicology. Please note that small amounts correspondence is also found in individual files in the Subject Files or with particular published works.
- 3.32 linear feet (8 boxes
The "Writings" series is divided into seven sub-series: books, articles, essays, lectures, speeches, reviews, teaching materials or other (written materials produced by Chase or about him). Please note that several items of his writing are not included in this series, in order to preserve Chase's original order. A folder of his published newspaper articles is in the "Clippings" sub-series, and an introductory essay written for the Grove's Dictionary of Music is in the Subject Files (b.19, f.3).
For the purposes of this collection, articles and essays were separated to reflect work written with a scholarly or more informative presentation in mind, such as the article, "A Dialectical approach to Music History," and pieces written with more of a personal opinion or reflection on a particular subject or person, for example, "Remembering Alberto Ginastera," or the liner notes to an album of Spanish music.
Some of Chase's earliest published writings are the reviews he wrote for the Book of the Month Club and in short articles he wrote for Musical America, which were written in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Unfortunately, none of his articles from the Continental Daily Mail are included in this collection, though one or two letters from this time period are found in the Correspondence series.
- 0.42 linear feet (1 box
The materials in this series document the weekly radio broadcasts Chase presented on musical subjects. Music of the New World includes program lists for the first two years of the broadcast, which consisted, at first, of random subjects of interest. Items labeled "Programs" are play lists of recordings with timings for each piece. Theme-driven programs, documented by scripts of the text read to introduce musical selections, include the subjects like "Fokways in Music," and "Music in American Cities."
- 6.25 linear feet (15 boxes
The subject files contains materials relating to subjects or persons of interest to Chase, mostly within the disciplines of music. Also included are folders on conferences Chase may have spoken at or attended. Chase's original titles have been preserved, except for a few titles that were elaborated upon for clarity.
Folders may contain information about the subject title or, in the case of a name, articles about that persons or written by that person, or, in a small number of cases, a musical composition by the named person. Subjects of note in this series are: William Brooks (in relation to Ives, box 14, folders 16-19); Charles Ives' centenary celebration (b.20, fs.4-10); The Sonneck Society (b.25, fs.15-20); Chase was instrumental in founding this organization in honor of Oscar George Theodore Sonneck, bibliographer of American music, head of the Music Division of the Library of Congress (1902-17), and founding editor of Musical Quarterly); and information on Structuralism (b.26, fs.6-17).
- 0.41 linear feet (3/4 box)
These records document Chase's private life and include a bibliography and biographic materials, an appointment calendar, flyers, brochures, and programs relating to seminars or lectures he presented or attended, invitations to special events here and abroad, and photographs, often of others with him. It includes also no information about his home and family life, except for a folder containing materials on the 50th class reunion of Boonton High School (NJ) is included. It also includes a set of pages by him that appear to be a journal of sorts, c.1970s.
- 3.5 inches (7 folders
The clippings are grouped as follows: articles authored by Chase, articles about Chase, articles about musical subjects in general, and Spanish language articles from South American papers.