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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2377

Aaron Copland transcripts for Music in the 20s


Transcripts taken from unedited filmed interviews with American composer Aaron Copeland, recorded at the WGBH studios in Boston, Massachusetts. These tapes formed the basis for the later television series, Music in the 20s.


  • 1964-1965

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Formerly restricted from use or publication during the lifetime of the composer. Restriction removed upon the death of Aaron Copland in 1990.


All rights in these materials are owned by Houghton Library.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Typescript mimeograph copies of transcripts from the films of twelve informal, unedited, script conference interviews with Aaron Copland, held at the WGBH TV studios in Boston, Massachusetts. These transcripts include what is called "Copland's text," as well as pre- and post-session conversations among various persons present in the studio including: David M. Davis, Curt Davis, [?] Sloss, and others. The topics of the transcripts concern all variety of issues and personalities in the field of western music in the decade of the 1920s. Prominent persons discussed are: Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg,Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger, Maurice Ravel, George Gershwin, Serge Koussevitsky, and many others. Included in this discussion is American jazz.

Biographical / Historical

Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was an American composer.

During the years 1964 and 1965 Copland wrote, conducted, narrated, and hosted a series of twelve television programs entitled Music in the 20s = Music in the Twenties. The transcripts described in this collection were transcribed from filmed interviews recorded live at the WGBH studios in Boston, Mass. between 1964 Nov. 11 and 1965 Jan. 26. These unedited, preliminary tape recordings later formed the basis of the series of twelve half-hour television shows created by WGBH (Television station : Boston, Mass.). The shows were broadcast during 1965-1966 by the National Educational Television network that at that time consisted of more than 90 affiliated educational TV stations in the United States.


Arranged chronologically.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

65M-94 (1-12). Gift of Mr. Aaron Copland, R.F.D. 1, Peekskill, New York 10566; received: 1965 December 23.

NOTE: 27 reels of preliminary filmed tapes (1,200 ft. per reel in 3 boxes) were also given to the Houghton Library at the same time as the transcripts (*65M-94 (13-39)) but were not found during a search in June 2005.

Related Materials

The broadcast program tapes are available at the Library of Congress, TV and Motion Picture Reading Room (viewing copies VBM 5704-8, 6409-10, 6869-73).

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990. Aaron Copland transcripts for Music in the 20s, 1964-1965: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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