R. Nathaniel Dett Papers
c.00206

Summary Information

Repository
Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator
Dett, R. Nathaniel, 1882-1943
Title
R. Nathaniel Dett papers
ID
c.00206
Date [inclusive]
1913-1943
Extent
1.0 Cubic feet , 34 folders
Language
English

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

R. Nathaniel Dett, the eminent black composer, was born in Drummondville, Canada, on October 11, 1882. He attended the Lockport Conservatory of Music and later received a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College. He earned his M. A. at the Eastman School. Further musical studies were undertaken in Paris, France, where Dett studied under Boulanger. In 1920 Harvard awarded him the Bowdoin Prize for his essay "The Emancipation of Negro Music." Seven years later he received the first presentation of the Harmon Foundation for creative music. Dett has been credited as the first to write black folk songs for classical development. In addition to his outstanding compositions, Dett wrote five books on the development of black music.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection includes scores of Dett's music, autographed sheet music, newspapers clippings, a program from a concert of Dett's music, and a copy of the Fisher Edition News, a music industry publication.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections September 1997

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824
517-355-2330
archives@msu.edu

Revision Description

  March 2000

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Paul Eckmeyer, 1970-07-23.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Concert programs
  • Microfilms
  • Publications
  • Sheet music

Personal Name(s)

  • Dett, R. Nathaniel, 1882-1943

Subject(s)

  • Folk songs
  • Music -- United States
  • Musicians, Black

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Collection Inventory

Dett Compositions 

Box Folder

"Listen to the Lambs", 1914 

1 1

"O Holy Lord", 1916 

1 2

"I'll Never Turn Back, No More", 1917 

1 3

"America the Beautiful", 1918 

1 4

"Weeping Mary", 1918 

1 5

"Gently, Lord, O Gently Lead Us", 1924 

1 6

Let Us Cheer the Weary Traveler", 1926 

1 7

"As Children Walk Ye in God's Love". 1930 

1 8

"Ave Maria", 1930 

1 9

"Don't you Weep No More, Mary", 1930 

1 10

Brooks Miller" (handwritten), 1930-1940 

1 11

"God's Trumpet Wakes the Slumbering World" (handwritten), 1930-1940 

1 12

"As By the Streams of Babylon", 1933 

1 13

"Go Not Far From Me, O God", 1933 

1 14

"Wasn't That a Mighty Day", 1933 

1 15

The Dett Collection of Negro Spirituals 

1
Box Folder

First Group 1936 

1 16

Second Group 1936 

1 17

Third Group 1936 

1 18

Fourth Group 1936 

1 19

"Ask For the Old Paths" (autographed), 1941 

1 20

"Heavenly Union" (autographed), 1941 

1 21

"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross", 1941 

1 22

Eight Bible Vignettes for the Piano 

1
Box Folder

No. 1 "Father Abraham" 1941 

1 23

No. 2 "Desert Interlude" 1942 

1 24

No. 3 "As His Own Soul", 1942 

1 25

No. 4. "Barcarolle of Tears", 1943 

1 26

No. 5 "I Am the True Vine", 1943 

1 27

No. 6 "Martha Complained", 1942 

1 28

No. 7 "Other Sheep" 1943 

1 29

No. 8 "Madrigal Devine" 1943 

1 30

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Miscellaneous Documents 

Box Folder

"A Concert of Dett Compositions" Program Guide", June 11, 1943 

1 31

Fischer Edition News June-December, 1940 

1 32

Autographed Envelope 1930-1940 

1 33

Newspaper Clippings 1939-1943 

1 34

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Microfilm 

Drawer
Microfilm

Reel #1: Papers 

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