142 · Representative Documents: Finding Aids and Guides
American Musicological Society records
American Musicological Society records, 1934-1992
http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/ead/ead.html?q=american%20musicological%20society&id=EAD_upenn_rbml_MsColl221&%23ref8[6/23/15, 2:33:45 PM]
musicologists faced such difficulties in the larger academic community, an
organization specifically devoted to music research became an important vehicle for
providing support (both moral and financial) to music scholars. The AMS constantly
discussed and redefined the parameters of the field, and looked towards the future
of the profession. Also in the 1970s the ever-tightening job market for academics
forced the AMS to rethink their role in providing guidance for young Ph.D.s. This
situation led to the establishment of the Placement Service, a joint service with the
College Music Society which served as a clearing house for jobs and candidates. The
AMS also established committees on job placement and careers, and published
several guides to careers in musicology, in and out of academics. Outside the field of
musicology, the AMS played a larger role in monitoring trends in intellectual life in
general, and in implementing change in the American University system.
In the 1960s as government played a more and more substantial role in funding for
the arts and humanities, the AMS was concerned with the establishment and
management of such organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities,
and the National Council for the Arts in Education. It fell to scholarly organizations
such as the AMS to monitor the methods and means of the NEH and NCAE for
supporting music scholarship, both by advising and protesting the actions of these
groups. In the 1970s and 80s the AMS took a serious step for the advancement of
research on American composers with the establishment of their Committee on the
Publication of American Music, and the resulting monographic series on American
studies in music.
In the 1980s and 90s trends in American intellectual life led to changing concerns for
the AMS as well. Rising awareness of minorities and women’s issues, multi-
culturalism, gay and lesbian issues, and interdisciplinary studies influenced the
formation of committees to address the concerns of the membership, and sparked
ongoing discussion. Throughout its history, the choices the AMS made in focusing
their creative energies and their financial resources helped to shape the
development of American musicological publication and research through the
twentieth century.
[1] Bulletin of the New York Musicological Society, No. 1, November, 1931.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Einstein, Alfred, “The New Outlook of Musical Scholarship in Europe and
America,” in Musical America, September 1939.
[5] Palisca, Claude, “A Brief History,” in Musicology, ed. Harrison et al.
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The records of the American Musicological Society were donated to the University of
Pennsylvania in 1989, with the understanding that the processing and maintenance
of the collection would be the shared responsibility of the Curator of the Music
Library and the Curator of Manuscripts. While much of the material has a purely
administrative interest, the collection as a whole reflects the history of musicology in
America through the course of the twentieth century. The names which run through
the collection are the eminent music scholars of our age it was these individuals
who shaped the course of musicology in America, both through their scholarship and
also through their administrative vision within the AMS. Some of the most significant
figures in this collection are Presidents Charles Seeger, Curt Sachs, Gustave Reese,
Donald Grout, William Mitchell, William S. Newman, Oliver Strunk, Jan LaRue, James
Haar, Claude Palisca, Margaret Bent, H. Wiley Hitchcock, Janet Knapp, and Lewis
Lockwood. Otto Albrecht was Treasurer and Business Manager. Rita Benton served
as secretary, and Alvin Johnson was long-time Executive Director. Paul Henry Lang
served as Treasurer. Nino Pirrotta, Manfred Bukofzer, Alfred Einstein, Arthur Mendel,
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