Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Series 2
Scores, 1916-1980
Boxes 10 - 22; OP 1 - 20

Scope and Content Note

The series contains scores, drafts, and compositional sketchbooks of many of William Levi Dawson's compositions from about 1920 to 1980. The first subseries includes sketches, drafts, and handwritten scores of the Negro Folk Symphony, including scores of individual instrumental parts. Following a research trip to Africa, Dawson reworked the Negro Folk Symphony and composed a second version of his piece. The scores in this subseries have been preliminarily placed in chronological order, but only a cursory attempt has been made to distinguish between copies and different versions of the work. Scores of Dawson's shorter works are contained in a second subseries, which includes handwritten scores of many of Dawson's spirituals and art songs in addition to larger orchestral works such as A Negro Work Song. This subseries also contains a number of unidentified sketchbooks and composition notebooks that contain musical fragments and drafts of compositions. Dawson probably kept several of these sketchbooks during his musical training at the Horner Institute. The final subseries contains compositions originally written by other composers. Many of these scores may have been either copied or rearranged by Dawson, but unless it was clearly obvious that Dawson altered the scoring, compositions were filed in this subseries under the original author.

Arrangement Note

Arranged into three subseries: (2.1) Negro Folk Symphony, (2.2) Scores - Shorter works, and (2.3) Scores-Written by others.

Description of Subseries