Scope and arrangement
The Tom Brown papers consists of scores and parts of musicals as well as many orchestral pieces. Many of the musical pieces include financial materials and contracts. Several musical and orchestral pieces contain annotated published sheet music and librettos; there is also a separate series of sheet music. This published material provides insight into what music was utilized by Tom Brown’s Orchestra as well as what musicals were worked on by Tom Brown. There is also a small amount of personal materials and correspondence; most relates to specific projects.
The Thomas P. Brown papers are arranged in seven series:
- 1934 - 19801 box
This series primarily contains materials related to Tom Brown’s professional life. Most of these materials are lists, guides, and catalogues related to his career as arranger and copyist. In addition, this series contains some financial materials that do not relate to other pieces within later series.
- 1954 - 198222 boxes
This series contains materials related to Broadway, off Broadway, touring, and recorded musical theatre. Materials include piano conductor scores and parts as well as librettos, correspondence and financial materials.
- 1941 - 19444 boxes
This series contains materials related to orchestrations and band music. Materials include scores and parts mostly in manuscript form as well as financial materials and correspondence. Many pieces appear to have been used by the Tom Brown Orchestra.
- 1930 - 19441 box
This series contains published sheet music utilized by Tom Brown and Music Associates, Inc. Several pieces were composed by and/or arranged by Tom Brown.
- 1955 - 19711 box
By the mid 1950s, Tom Brown had formed Music Associates, Inc. This appears to have been a company of music copyists with Brown as president. The company also produced several opera focused projects including Let’s Understand Opera! and Opera of the Month.
Most of this series concerns Opera of the Month, a production of book and records of opera translated into English with the main aria’s left in their original language. This series contains recording scripts and notes from the ca. 1955 production of I Pagliacci. In addition, the series contains materials related to a 1970s attempt to interest the Silver Burdett Company in marketing the Opera of the Month series. Materials include scripts, notes, correspondence, and publicity materials.
See also Series VIII: Oversized-Sub-Series 3: Music Associates, Inc. Scrapbook, ca 1953.
- 19532 boxes
This series contains two distinct scrapbooks. The first scrapbook includes materials related to Tom Brown’s early career as a saxophonist and bandleader of the Tom Brown Orchestra. These materials were gathered in a loose scrapbook and have been arranged according to subject. Included are correspondence, contracts, financial materials, sheet music, score manuscripts, photographs, and publicity materials.
The second scrapbook contains materials related to Music Associates, Inc.’s marketing of the Opera of the Month. This series was advertised in popular magazines such as Family Circle and Fortnight. Many advertisements offered the series for purchase through Fisher’s Budgeteer Shopping Service while co-advertising it on advertisements for Fischer’s Zoom cereal. Materials include record labels, record slip case images, order forms, and publicity materials.
- 1936 - 19767 boxes
This series contains three sub-series of materials related to Tom Brown’s professional career. The Musicals and Orchestrations sub-series directly correspond to the individual series described above. Materials consist primarily of scores and parts.
The Fables of Shaesop/The Celestial Bed sub-series contains text and some correspondence related to an unsuccessful ideal for a play.