Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Theodore M. Finney:

An Inventory of Music Manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Finney, Theodore M.
Title: Theodore M. Finney Music Manuscript Collection
Dates: ca. 1700-1850
Extent: 53 bound volumes, 3 document cases (5.04 linear feet)
Abstract: The collection consists primarily of music manuscripts in English, Italian, French, and German.
RLIN Record ID: TXRC98-A25
Language English.

Open for research


Purchase, 1970

Processed by

Dell Hollingsworth, 1998

Repository: :

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Theodore Mitchell Finney, American musicologist and educator, was born in Fayette, Iowa, on March 14, 1902. He studied at the University of Minnesota (B.A. 1924), the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, the Stern Conservatory in Berlin, and the University of Pittsburgh, earning his Master of Letters degree there in 1938. He taught at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, from 1925 to 1932 and was supervisor of music for the public schools in Council Bluffs, Iowa, from 1933 to 1936; during that time he was also a lecturer at the Smith College Summer School. From 1936 to 1968 he was professor and head of the music department at the University of Pittsburgh.

Finney retired in 1968 and became curator of the Warrington Collection of Hymnology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His career encompassed a wide range of musical interests including performance, research, music education, and librarianship. He played violin in the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1923 to 1925, and was also active as a choral conductor, founding the Heinz Chapel Choir at the University of Pittsburgh in 1939. He died in Pittsburgh on May 19, 1978. He was the brother of composer Ross Lee Finney.

Finney's publications include A History of Music (New York, 1935, 1947), Hearing Music (New York, 1941), We Have Made Music (Pittsburgh, 1955), and A Union Catalogue of Music and Books on Music Printed Before 1801 in Pittsburgh Libraries (Pittsburgh, 1959, 1963). He also served as editor for J. Warrington's Short Titles of Books Relating to or Illustrating the History and Practice of Psalmody in the United States, 1620-1820 (Pittsburgh, 1970).

The collection consists of 53 bound volumes and 3 document cases of music manuscripts, primarily English, Italian, French, and German, dating from around 1700 to the middle of the 19th century. In addition, there is a manuscript catalog of an unidentified private music library, dated 1816 (Finney 26). Collected and bound by various former owners, the music manuscripts include anthems, glees, sacred and secular songs, masses, opera arias, chamber music, didactic works, and music for keyboard, harp, guitar, and mandolin. The materials were purchased from Finney himself, and his handwritten notes on various items are in the collection files. The order and numbering of the volumes are Finney's.

Among the major composers represented are Tallis, Purcell, Corelli, Handel, J. C. Bach, and Haydn. (There is an index of composers, authors, copyists, and former owners at the end of the finding aid.) For the most part the manuscripts are the work of copyists, but holographs include William Boyce's arrangement in full score of Purcell's Te Deum & Jubilate, Samuel Wesley's Magnificat and Carmen Funebre, Adalbert Gyrowetz's piano trio op. 22, and possibly Maurice Greene's Te Deum. Also among the more important items are several volumes of English sacred music and a full score for Handel's Coronation Anthems in the hands of Handel's principal copyists, bearing the bookplate of the Oxford Musical Society (where Handel conducted a performance of the work).

The Finney collection has been cataloged by staff at Harvard University as part of their work with RISM A/II, a joint international project to locate and catalog music manuscripts dating from 1600 to ca. 1825. Detailed catalog records describing the Finney manuscripts are accessible on the World Wide Web at: http://www.rism.harvard.edu/rism/DB.html. See the Appendix for an overview of the RISM Project and for information on how to search online for Finney manuscripts.

Other early music manuscripts collected by Finney are housed at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library and the Music Library at UCLA. Printed scores, books, and other materials once belonging to Finney are in the Music Library of the University of Pittsburgh (which is named after him) and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

In the volume list which follows, titles in quotation marks are taken from the manuscripts themselves; other information has been supplied by the cataloger.


Abel, Karl Friedrich, 1723-1787

Anfossi, Pasquale, 1727-1797

Arne, Michael, 1741?-1786

Arne, Thomas Augustine, 1710-1778

Arnold, Samuel, 1740-1802

Bach, Johann Christian, 1735-1782

Beehoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827

Boccherini, Luigi, 1743-1805

Boyce, William, 1711-1779

Byrd, William, 1542 or 3-1623

Clarke, Jeremiah, 1669?-1707

Corelli, Arcangelo, 1653-1713

Corri, Domenico, 1746-1825

Croft, William, 1678-1727

Dibdin, Charles, 1745-1814

East, Michael, ca. 1580-ca. 1640

Eccles, John, ca. 1668-1735

Galuppi, Baldassare, 1706-1785

Geminiani, Francesco, ca. 1680-1762

Gibbons, Orlando, 1583-1625

Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787

Greene, Maurice, 1696-1755

Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813

Gyrowetz, Adalbert, 1763-1850

Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759

Hasse, Johann Adolf, 1699-1783

Haydn, Joseph, 1732-1809

Hook, Mr. (James), 1746-1827

Jommelli, Nicolò, 1714-1774

Kelly, Michael, 1762-1826

Lawes, William, 1602-1645

Linley, Thomas, 1756-1778

Marcello, Benedetto, 1686-1739

Martini, Johann Paul Aegidius, 1741-1816

Moore, Thomas, 1779-1852

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791

Pachelbel, Carl Theodor, 1690-1750

Paisiello, Giovanni, 1740-1816

Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista, 1710-1736

Philidor, F.D. (François Danican), 1726-1795

Pleyel, Ignaz, 1757-1831

Purcell, Henry, 1659-1695

Rameau, Jean Philippe, 1683-1764

Rossini, Gioacchino, 1792-1868

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1712-1778

Salieri, Antonio, 1750-1825

Scarlatti, Domenico, 1685-1757

Shield, William, 1748-1829

Stanley, John, 1712-1786

Stevenson, John Andrew, 1761-1833

Storace, Stephen, 1763-1796

Tallis, Thomas, 1505(ca.)-1585

Webbe, Samuel, 1740-1816

Weelkes, Thomas, 1575(ca.)-1623

Wesley, Samuel, 1766-1837

Wise, Michael, 1646?-1687



Vocal music

Instrumental music

Keyboard instrument music

Document Types