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 6: Personal and Professional Reference Materials
Items in this series consist of papers documenting significant events in Allan Blank’s career, reviews written by Blank, and personal reference materials including music publications. Also contained within this series are photographs of Mr. Blank.
Box 30
Folder 1: Professional Documentation
Folder 2: Professional Documentation
Folder 3: Professional Documentation
Folder 4: Reviews written by Allan Blank
Folder 5: National Music Societies
Folder 6: Travel
Folder 7: Reference- Teaching
Item 1: The Bassoon Music of Allan Blank: A General Style Analysis and an Examination of Expressive Properties in Three Representative Works, Tina Marie Carpenter
Box 31
Folder 1: Photographs
Folder 2: Pan Pipes, 1981, 1989-1993
Folder 3: Pan Pipes, 2001-2009
Folder 4: Music Publications
Box 41: Oversize Photographs and Sketches

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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