Penn Library

Hidden in Plain Sight:
Musical Treasures in the Penn Library

Curated by Marjorie Hassen

Otto E. Albrecht Music Library
University of Pennsylvania


The prospect of discovery is arguably the driving force behind archival research. Uncovering an unknown or long-lost item rewards patience, erases disappointment, and immediately compensates for years of tedium. Unsuspected connections among disparate items or collections offer, perhaps, the greatest potential for new directions.

This exhibit not only highlights the richness of the Library's music-related collections but also draws attention to the treasures "hidden" in less-than-obvious places. Here are unexpected riches from among the Library's collections of books and scores and from the letters, papers, photographs, and printed and manuscript music that together document the career of an individual or the history of a cultural organization. These are random samplings, then: we wait to see where they will lead.

Table of Contents
Manuscript Collections:
Manuscript Collections:
Sheet Music
Conducting Scores
Music Manuscripts:
15th-18th Centuries
Music Manuscripts:
19th & 20th Centuries
Landmarks of Music Theory

Alphabetum Hebraicum; Graecum; Italicum . . .
Manuscript, 1682
1 v. (120 leaves) : paper, ill., music ; 17 cm.
U. of Penn. Ms. Codex 436

Written in one hand in Latin and Italian, with examples in Hebrew and Greek, this volume is a handbook on alphabets, letter writing and language, calendars, chronology, and music theory. The first part of the volume includes Giovanni Andrea Salici's Osservationi nella lingua vogare and Girolamo Capharo's Orthografia, as well as alphabetical tables and astronomical diagrams. The final twelve leaves of the manuscript are devoted to music theory: Regola per imperare il canto figuarto and Regola per impare il canto gregoriano.

A Miscellany of Treasures

Last update: Monday, 03-Feb-2003 11:09:49 EST
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