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December 01, 2010

Let the Music Move You

Archives Month is celebrated annually in October as a way of raising awareness of the collections and services of America’s archives. Ohio’s celebration centers around a theme which, in 2010, was Let the Music Move You. As part of our participation, CWRU’s Archives explored some of the aspects of the university’s musical life - curriculum, concerts, clubs & organizations, and our radio station.

Our curriculum inquiry focused on beginnings. Musical instruction was first offered at Western Reserve University through an affiliation with the Cleveland Conservatory of Music in 1888. Courses in piano, violin, and voice were offered. But, according to the Catalog, those courses "must be considered as extra work, which will not be received as equivalent for the regular or elective work of the college curriculum."

It was not until 1899 that the regular curriculum of the College for Women included music. The two courses offered were History of Music and Harmony and Counterpoint. All the music classes were taught by Charles E. Clemens, professor of music for 30 years. Adelbert College began offering music courses in 1924 and Cleveland College followed in 1927.

At Case School of Applied Science, the Department of Language and Literature began offering Appreciation of Music in 1946. The Catalog described the course as, “...an introductory course...covering elements of composition and performance and giving their historical background. Illustrations will be by phonograph records and actual performance.”

The Catalog, aka General Bulletin, is one of our best sources for researching the curriculum. It includes policy (requirements for degrees and majors), programs (degrees, majors, minors, and courses offered by each school and department), and people (the faculty of each department and school and their teaching areas). Because it is such a rich resource, this series is on our priority list of records to be digitized.

But I digress - back to Archives Month and music. We were pleased that one of our images, the College for Women Guitar and Mandolin Club of 1899, was chosen for the Ohio Archives Month poster.


Posted by jmt3 at December 1, 2010 04:25 PM

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