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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: 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.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-01388
Language: English.
Access Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition Purchase, 1970
Processed by Dell Hollingsworth, 1998

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

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).

Scope and Contents

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: 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.

Index Terms


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


Volume List with Composer, Title and Date of Manuscript