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COLLECTION Identifier: Ms. Coll. 104

Joyce Mekeel manuscript scores, recordings, and other material, 1961-1996.


Manuscript scores and related materials of the American composer and harpsichordist Joyce Mekeel.


  • Creation: 1961-1996.

Conditions on Use and Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.


1 collection (26 file boxes and 7 sound tape reels)

This collection was donated to the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library at Harvard University by Joyce Mekeel in 1997. The collection primarily includes manuscript and printed scores, manuscript and printed parts, copies of scores, of Mekeel's compositions. Also included are sketches, notes on composition and performance, correspondence, concert announcements and programs, reviews, articles about the composer, composition and theory notebooks.

Biographical / Historical

Joyce Mekeel. (b. New Haven, CT, 6 July 1931; d. Watertown (?) MA, 29 December 1997). American composer, harpsichordist, anthropologist, assistant professor. She studied at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA (1952-1955); with Nadia Boulanger at the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris (1955-57); at Yale University, receiving a B. M. in 1959 and a M.M. in theory and composition in 1960; and at Boston University, receiving a Ph.D. in 1983. Her other teachers included Earl Kim (composition); Ralph Kirkpatrick and Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord); and David Kraehenbuehl (theory). From 1960-1964 she taught piano and theory privately in Princeton; from 1967-1970 she taught at the New England Conservatory of Music; and from 1970-mid 1990's was assistant professor of composition and theory at Boston University where she was director of the Electronic Music Studio. She was awarded fellowships to the MacDowell Colony in 1963, 1964, and 1974 and to Yaddo in 1974. Her other awards included the Ingram-Merrill grant in composition in 1964; the Sigma Alpha Iota Inter-American Music Award in 1965; the Radcliffe Institute grant from 1968-1970; a research grant in anthropology in 1971 from Boston University; and a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1975. Her commissions included those from the Boston Musica Viva, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University. Her works are known for treating conventional voices and instruments in unconventional ways, such as requiring instrumentalists to walk, whisper, or sing, or singers to shriek, declaim or gesticulate. The vocal pieces often employ multilingual texts.

Physical Location

Merritt Room

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Joyce Mekeel, 1997

Processed by:

Sarah Adams and Catherine Gibbes-Klenov

Joyce Mekeel manuscript scores, recordings, and other material, 1961-1996.
Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library Repository

The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library is the primary repository of musical materials at Harvard. The Music Library’s collecting mission is to serve music teaching and research programs in the Music Department and throughout the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In addition, it supports the musical needs of the broader Harvard community as well as an international scholarly constituency. We collect books, musical scores, serial titles, sound recordings and video formats, microforms, and rare and archival materials that support research in a wide variety of musical disciplines including historical musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, composition, and historically informed performance practice, as well as interdisciplinary areas related to music. The special collections include archival collections from the 19th, 20th and 21st century.

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