Julia Smith Collection (Music), 1920-1989Add to your cart.

By Katie Buehner and Maristella Feustle

Collection Overview

Title: Julia Smith Collection (Music), 1920-1989Add to your cart.
ID: 06/ 021
Primary Creator: Smith, Julia (1905-1989)
Extent: 67.0 Boxes
Date Acquired: 00/00/1989
Subjects:
Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of approximately 67 boxes of music books, scores, correspondence, memorabilia, manuscripts, photographs, and recordings relating to the career of composer and University of North Texas alumna, Julia Smith (1905-1989), as well as Smith's handwritten transcriptions of more than a dozen scores by Aaron Copland.

Biographical Note

While some sources give Julia Smith's birth date as 1911, her birth certificate confirms a date of January 25, 1905 in Caldwell, Texas, to James Willis Smith and Julia Miller Smith of 1105 Mulberry Street in Denton, Texas. She took her first piano lesson from her mother, and later studied piano with Harold von Mickwitz of Dallas while she was a student at North Texas State Teachers' College.  Smith graduated in 1930 with a degree in English and went to New York to study piano performance at the Juilliard School of Music.  Her teacher, Carl Friedberg, encouraged her to pursue composition at the School.  Smith became a composition fellow and spent five more years at Juilliard studying with Rubin Goldmark and Frederick Jacobi. In 1938, Smith married architect Oscar Vielehr.  The following year, Smith's first opera, Cynthia Parker, received its premiere at her alma mater.  The opera was based on the legendary Texas abduction and recapture of its title character.  Cynthia Parker enjoyed a much-publicized premiere.  Smith's next opera, The Stranger of Manzano, was also premiered at NTSTC (1945).  She is best known for her six operas and biography of Aaron Copland (1955), and spent over fifty years as a composer, pianist, and advocate of American music. Smith's date of death is recorded as April 18 or April 27, 1989, with her gravestone displaying the latter date.

Subject/Index Terms

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

Access to this collection is provided only by special arrangement. Please contact the Music Library for more information.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Music Library. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

Collection is housed in remote storage and in the UNT Music Library. Advance notice for use is required. Please contact the Music Library for further information.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: Music Library
Acquisition Source: Gift
Related Materials: See also: the Carl Friedberg Collection in the UNT Music Library.
Finding Aid Revision History:

This finding aid was initially compiled by Katie Buehner, and adapted for this finding aid platform by Maristella Feustle.

Item-level description added in Series 18 on January 22, 2019.

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Box and Folder Listing

The listing below is a partial representation of this finding aid's total contents. To see other series/containers, select an option in Browse by Series, above.
  • Series 19: Aaron Copland ManuscriptsAdd to your cart.

    Manuscript scores most likely transcribed in Julia Smith's hand.
    • Box 67Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access

      Barcode 706916.
      • Folder 1: Preamble Hymn, 1949Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        "For the United Nations, for orchestra with speaking voice."

        Text from the Preamble to the United Nations Charter. Orchestral score, commisioned by the National Broadcasting Company.

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. 15 pages of music, with 2 additional pages of "Themes in Sextette."

        Completed at Sneden's Landing (now Palisades), NY, August 16-September 5, 1949.

      • Folder 2: Symphony for Organ and Orchestra (First Symphony), ca. 1924Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        Prelude and fragments of other movements.

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. Six pages of music with blank pages at end.

      • Folder 3: A Defeated Katherine, 1951 AprilAdd to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        From the film The Heiress, based on the novel Washington Square by Henry James. Contents:

        "A Defeated Katherine"

        "The Heiress"

        "The Garden Waltz"

        "Fortune Hunting" (based on "Ring-Ching-A-Chin" folk song)

        "The Proposal, Part 2"

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. 3 pages of music.

      • Folder 4: Music for Movies, 1942 December 19Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        "To Darius Milhaud"

        I. New England Countryside [from The City]

        II. Barley Wagons [from Of Mice and Men]

        III. Sunday Traffic [from The City]

        IV. Story of Grover's Corners [from Our Town]

        V. Threshing Machines [from Of Mice and Men]

        Autograph score in pencil and black ink, 34 x 27.5 cm. 29 pages of music.

        Completed at Oakland.

      • Folder 5: Fanfare for the Common Man, 1942Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        For brass and percussion.

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. Two pages of music.

      • Folder 6: Quiet City, 1940 SeptemberAdd to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        Dedicated to Ralph Hawkes

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. Six pages of music.

        Completed in September of 1940, in Lennox, Massachusetts and New York City.

        Copyright 1941 by Boosey & Hawkes.

      • Folder 7: Children's Suite, 1948Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        From The Red Pony, based on stories by John Steinbeck.

        I. Morning on the Ranch

        II. The Gift

        III. "Dream March or (+) Circus Music"

        IV. Walk to the Bunkhouse

        V. Grandfather's Story

        VI. Happy Ending

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. 71 pages of music.

      • Folder 8: Our Town: Music from the Film Score, 1940Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        "To Leonard Bernstein"

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. 4 pages of music.

        Copyright 1945 by Boosey & Hawkes.

      • Folder 9: John Henry, 1940 February 25Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        "CBS Commission." For chamber orchestra. "Written on Hal Roach Studios [illegible] paper."

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. Three pages of music.

      • Folder 10: Letter from Home, 1944Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        "Complete piano score by J.S." "Original version for radio orchestra commissioned by the American Broadcasting Co."

        Autograph score in pencil, 34 x 27.5 cm. 5 pages of music.

      • Folder 11: Quartet for Piano and Strings, 1950 October 20Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        "To Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge."

        Manuscript score in pencil and black ink, 34 x 27.5 cm. 26 pages of music.

        Completed at Sneden's Landing (now Palisades), NY.

        Note likely from Smith: "I copied this between Jan 1-15, '51."

      • Folder 12: Tone row sketch for Piano Quartet, ca. 1950Add to your cart. Request Reading Room Access Request Duplication Services

        Manuscript in pencil. Includes tone row and several transformations of tone row from Piano Quartet (1950). Row is represented as 11-tone row (Bb-Ab-Gb-Fb-D-B-C#-D#-E#-C-G-Bb), with "A" noted as the missing twelfth tone on same line.

        20 x 26.5 cm.

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