Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Allan Blank Papers, 1958-2009 | Music Special Collections

By Jessica Mirasol in January 2010

Collection Overview

Title: Allan Blank Papers, 1958-2009

ID: 00.1/DCR MG 5

Primary Creator: Blank, Allan (1925-2013)

Extent: 40.0 Boxes


This collection has been organized into the following series:

I. Original Compositions

II. Sketches and Sketchbooks

III. Correspondence

IV. Programs

V. Publicity

VI. Personal and Professional Reference Materials

VII. Videos and Recordings

Date Acquired: 00/00/1999. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: 20th century music, Acoustic guitar, American String Teachers Association, Associated Music Publishers, Association for the Promotion of New Music, Baritone (Musical instrument), Bass clarinet, Bassoon, Blank, Allan, 1925-, Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Brass quartet, Brass quintet, Carl Fischer Inc, Clarinet, Cornell University, Dorn Publications, Double bass, Earnestly Music, Edition Pro Nova, English horn, Euphonium, Falls House Press, Flute, Hampton Roads Region (Va.), Harp, HoneyRock, Horn (Musical Instrument), Jazz band series, Music for Percussion, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Nichols Music, Oboe, Old Dominion University, Opera--Juvenile, Operas, Organ (Musical Instrument), Percussion, Piccolo, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Richmond (Va.), Roncorp Inc., Saxophone, Seesaw Music, Smith Publications, String quartet, String trio, Symphonic band series, Theodore Presser Company, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola, Violin, Violoncello, Virginia Commission on the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth Universtiy, Virginia Music Educators Association, Vocal Music - - 20th century, Wind quintets (Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Horn, Oboe) - - 20th century

Languages: English, French, German

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Allan Blank Papers consist primarily of scores (mainly in manuscript and facsimile formats) and materials related directly to his significant compositions and published materials, including programs, reviews and recordings. His compositions encompass a wide range of instrumentation and format. His works include pieces for a solo instrument, full orchestra, chamber ensemble, voice, music for children, and opera. Materials in this collection also document some of Mr. Blank’s personal and professional interests.

Biographical Note

Allan Blank was born in New York in 1925. His early musical training was on the violin, and he attended the High School of Music and Art where his interest in conducting and composition was fostered. He furthered his studies at the Juilliard School of Music (1945-1947); Washington Square College (B.A., 1948); University of Minnesota (M.A., l950) and the University of Iowa. He was a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1950-1952) and has taught at a number of schools and universities.

He was Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University where he taught from 1978-1996. He has a number of published works distributed among the following publishers: Carl Fischer, Theodore Presser, Seesaw Music, Music For Percussion, Dorn Publications, Nichols Music, Roncorp Inc., Falls House Press, HoneyRock, Boosey and Hawkes, Smith Publications, Association for the Promotion of New Music, Associated Music Publishers, American String Teachers Association, Edition Pro Nova and Earnestly Music.

Blank's awards include First Prize in the George Eastman Competition (1983), sponsored by the Eastman School of Music for his Duo for Bassoon and Piano; a grant (l983) from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of his one-act opera, The Magic Bonbons; three commissions (l979, l988, and l991) from the Virginia Music Teachers Association and two commissions to write music for the Virginia Shakespeare Festival at Williamsburg. In 1988 he won both the Eric Satie Mostly Tonal Award for his string trio, Fantasy on Cantillation Motives, and the Annual Choral Competition Contest, sponsored by the Chautauqua Chamber Singers, for his setting called Poor Richard's Almanack. In l989 he was a winner in the Lind Solo Competition, sponsored by Cornell University, and in 1990 he was awarded a grant from the Virginia Commission of the Arts for a Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra. Allan Blank is listed in a number of biographical references, including The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  He died November 12, 2013 in Bon Air, Virginia.

Subject/Index Terms

20th century music
Acoustic guitar
American String Teachers Association
Associated Music Publishers
Association for the Promotion of New Music
Baritone (Musical instrument)
Bass clarinet
Blank, Allan, 1925-
Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers
Brass quartet
Brass quintet
Carl Fischer Inc
Cornell University
Dorn Publications
Double bass
Earnestly Music
Edition Pro Nova
English horn
Falls House Press
Hampton Roads Region (Va.)
Horn (Musical Instrument)
Jazz band series
Music for Percussion, Inc.
National Endowment for the Arts
Nichols Music
Old Dominion University
Organ (Musical Instrument)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Richmond (Va.)
Roncorp Inc.
Seesaw Music
Smith Publications
String quartet
String trio
Symphonic band series
Theodore Presser Company
Virginia Commission on the Arts
Virginia Commonwealth Universtiy
Virginia Music Educators Association
Vocal Music - - 20th century
Wind quintets (Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Horn, Oboe) - - 20th century

Administrative Information

Repository: Music Special Collections

Accruals: Additions were made in 2000, 2009, and 2010.

Access Restrictions: Materials are available for room use only.

Use Restrictions: Copyright has not been assigned to the University Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the University Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Physical Access Note: Original reel to reel recordings are not available for use.

Acquisition Source: Allan Blank

Acquisition Method: Gift

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box Number [insert number], Allan Blank Papers, Old Dominion University Libraries, F. Ludwig Diehn Composers Room, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center, Norfolk, VA

Processing Information: The collection was processed by Jessica Mirasol in 2010.

Finding Aid Revision History: Major revisions to this finding aid occurred in 2010 after new additions were processed.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Original Compositions],
[Series 2: Sketches and Sketchbooks],
[Series 3: Correspondence],
[Series 4: Programs],
[Series 5: Publicity],
[Series 6: Personal and Professional Reference Materials],
[Series 7: Videos and Recordings],

Series 2: Sketches and Sketchbooks
Allan Blank kept very detailed sketches and sketchbooks for his original works. These sketches included notes from his research, musical motives, plans for forms, and works of inspiration. This series has been divided into dated notebooks and named sketches.
Box 16
Folder 1: Concertino for Oboe and String Orchestra
Folder 2: Two Pieces for Alto Sax and Piano
Folder 3: Sketchbook, 1984-1985
Folder 4: Sketchbook, February 4, 1985
Folder 5: Sketchbook, 1986
Folder 6: Sketchbook, 1989
Box 17
Folder 1: Unknown Sketches
Folder 2: Unknown Sketches
Folder 3: Unknown Sketches
Folder 4: Unknown Sketches
Box 18
Folder 1: Sketchbook, 1963-1974
Folder 2: Sketchbook, February 24, 1966- June 20, 1972
Folder 3: Sketchbook, December 1974
Folder 4: Sketchbook, April 1976- July 1977
Folder 5: Sketchbook, 1977
Folder 6: Sketchbook, 1978
Box 19
Folder 1: Sketchbook, 1980-1982
Folder 2: Sketchbook, 1982
Folder 3: Sketchbook, 1983
Folder 4: Sketchbook, 1985
Folder 5: Sketchbook, 1986
Folder 6: Sketchbook, 1992-1994
Folder 7: Two Articulation Studies for David van Hoesen
Folder 8: Two Pieces for Solo Clarinet
Folder 9: Two Sketches for Two Euphoniums
Folder 10: Three for String Trio
Folder 11: Three One-Noters
Box 20
Folder 1: Three Sketches for Bassett Horn
Folder 2: Three Songs of Shattering
Folder 3: Three Windgrams
Folder 4: Four Bagatelles for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon
Folder 5: Four Miniatures and a Refrain for Bass Trombone
Folder 6: Four Poems by Walt Whitman
Folder 7: Five Lines for French Horn
Folder 8: Five Sketches for Alto Saxophone
Folder 9: Five Sketches for Alto Saxophone
Folder 10: Six Miniatures for Bb Clarinet
Folder 11: Arabesques/Sprouts
Folder 12: Diptych
Folder 13: Duo Concertante Violin and Piano
Folder 14: Escapades
Folder 15: The Falling of the Leaves
Folder 16: In Memorium
Folder 17: Incomplete Sketch: Four Chinese Poems
Folder 18: Incomplete Sketch: Four Poems Walt Whitman
Folder 19: Interplay
Folder 20: Interplay
Folder 21: Interplay (Movement II)
Folder 22: Interval Studies for Violin
Box 21
Folder 1: Jane Kenyon Songs
Folder 2: Links
Folder 3: The Magic Bonbons
Folder 4: The Magic Bonbons Scenes I-IV
Folder 5: The Magic Bonbons Scene V
Folder 6: The Magic Bonbons Scene VII
Folder 7: The Magic Bonbons Scene VIII
Folder 8: Meditation for Piano
Folder 9: Music for Violin
Folder 10: Oboe and Strings Movement I, II, and III
Folder 11: Orr Songs
Folder 12: Orr Songs
Box 22
Folder 1: Piano Quartet Movement I, II, and III
Folder 2: Piece for Two Flutes
Folder 3: Playtime for Flute and Piano
Folder 4: The Pleasures of Merely Circulating
Folder 5: Saxophone Quartet
Folder 6: Scenes for the Ear
Folder 7: Soliliquy
Folder 8: Song
Folder 9: Song
Folder 10: To An Isle in the Water
Folder 11: Trio for Flute, Violin, and Harpsichord
Folder 12: Unfolding
Folder 13: Valerye
Folder 14: Vicissitudes
Folder 15: Vignettes

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Original Compositions],
[Series 2: Sketches and Sketchbooks],
[Series 3: Correspondence],
[Series 4: Programs],
[Series 5: Publicity],
[Series 6: Personal and Professional Reference Materials],
[Series 7: Videos and Recordings],

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