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Esther Williamson Ballou Papers

Biographical Note

Esther Williamson Ballou was born in Elmira, New York on July 17, 1915 to E. Duff and Marbury Clark Williamson. She earned degrees from Bennington College in 1937, Mills College in 1938, and the Julliard School of Music in 1943. She married Harold Ballou in August 1950. She died in March 1973.

Ballou was an educator, composer, and organist. She began piano lessons at age 4, organ lessons at age 13, and composing in her twenties. Her career as an organist was cut short due to arthritis.

Ballou taught at Julliard (1943-1950), Catholic University (1951-1954), and American University (1955-1972). She experimented with different methods for teaching theory at the college level which she codified in her textbook Creative Explorations of Musical Elements (1971). Her Capriccio for Violin and Piano was the first work by an American woman composer to have its premiere at the White House (1963).

Scope and Content Note

The Esther Williamson Ballou Papers consist of audiotapes, biographical materials, correspondence (1935-1980), writings and compositions (1936-1972), photographs, programs, and teaching materials. Her work as an educator at the Julliard School of Music, Catholic University of America and American University is documented through course notes and outlines, class materials, and exams including student work such as arrangements for instrumentation, compositions, exams and other assignments. All graded material is restricted. The audiotapes feature performances of Ballou’s works, interviews, and Ballou performing. This collection includes correspondence with Harold Ballou (1973-1979) and the American Composers’ Alliance about copyright and other legal issues (1944-1991) as well as files and scores by assorted composers.

Inventory

Biographical Materials

  • Biographical Materials
  • Biographical Articles 1936-1990 (3 folders)
  • Biographical Articles: Student Work
  • Biographical Articles: Undated
  • Student Files: Catholic University 1963
  • Julliard School of Music 1947-1950
  • Faculty Files: Catholic University of America 1954
  • Faculty Files: American University 1959-1973
  • Resume, Honors, Memberships
  • The Edward MacDowell Association, Inc.
  • Catalogues of Work- Music
  • Works in American Composers Alliance
  • Notes, Lists Concerning Ballou Interviews 1961-1986
  • Performance Programs 1932-1972
  • Photos, Graphics
  • Esther Ballou Memorial Collection
  • Esther Williamson Ballou: A Bio-Bibliography by James R. Heintze

Correspondence

  • Correspondence 1935-1980 5 folders
  • Correspondence (undated)
  • Harold Ballou Correspondence 1973-1979 (2 folders)
  • Acquaintance Correspondence re: Esther Ballou
  • Heintze Correspondence 1973-2003 (2 folders)
  • American Composers’ Alliance (Copyright and legal documents), 1944-1991 (3 folders)

Writings

  • Book and Movie Reviews 1949-1968
  • Paper Drafts 1963, 1967 (undated)
  • Published Articles 1964-1969
  • Published Articles “Theory with a Trust”, parts I-IV 1968-1969
  • Short Stories 1949-1951
  • Textbook- Creative Explorations of Musical Elements (2 Folders)
  • Textbook- Theory I (2 Folders)

Sketch Pads of Course Exercises 1960-1969

  • Sketch Pads of Class Exercises 1960-1969 (2 folders)
  • Undated Sketch Pads (3 folders)

File of Course Notes, Class Materials, Course Outlines, and Exams

  • Class Materials: 12 Tone Basics
  • Class Materials: Acoustics
  • Class Materials: Electronic Music
  • Class Materials: Intersession Course
  • Course Outlines and Exams: 18 th Century Counterpoint
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Advanced Harmony
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Chamber Music Literature
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Form and Analysis
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Fugue
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Honors Colloquium in Music and Literature
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Keyboard Harmony
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Music Appreciation
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Orchestration
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Theory I
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Theory II (Medieval)
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Theory III (Renaissance)
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Theory IV (Baroque)
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Theory V (Classical and Romantic)
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Theory VI (20 th Century)
  • Course Outlines and Exams: Variations

Student Work

  • Student Assignments A-C
  • Student Assignments D-H
  • Student Assignments J-L
  • Student Assignments M-S
  • Student Assignments Dated
  • Student Assignments Unidentified

Student Compositions and Arrangements (Graded) RESTRICTED

  • Student Compositions B-F
  • Student Compositions H-L
  • Student Compositions M-W
  • Arrangements for Instrumentations Class A-D
  • Arrangements for Instrumentation Class F-K
  • Arrangements for Instrumentation Class U-W

Student Work (Graded) RESTRICTED

  • Assorted Student Assignments A-C
  • Assorted Student Assignments D-H
  • Assorted Student Assignments K-M
  • Assorted Student Assignments O-W
  • Honors Colloquium: B-G
  • Honors Colloquium: H-J
  • Honors Colloquium: K-M
  • Honors Colloquium: R-W

Final Exams (Graded) RESTRICTED

  • Advanced Harmony January 1965
  • Form and Analysis January 1965
  • Advanced Harmony June 1965
  • Advanced Harmony May 1966
  • 43.507 Variations January 1969
  • Theory I December 1971

Files on Assorted Composers

Box 1

  • Babbit, Milton
  • Babbit, Milton and John Cage
  • Bartok, Bela
  • Berg, Alban
  • Boulet, Pierre
  • Cage, John
  • Carter, Elliot
  • Debussy, Claude and Impressionism
  • Hindemith, Paul
  • Ives, Charles
  • Les Six

Box 2

  • Messiaen, Olivier
  • Satie, Erik
  • Schenker, Heinrich (Bach, Haydn, Chopin)
  • Schoenberg, Arnold
  • Stravinsky, Igor
  • Varese, Edgar
  • Webern, Anton
  • Files on Various Composers

Completed Scores and Parts, Sketches

Box 1

  • 5-4-3 1966
  • 11 Piano Teaching Pieces 1962
  • Accompaniments for Modern Dance Technique
  • Adagio for Bassoon and String Orchestra 1962
  • Allegro for String Quartet
  • The Art of the Fugue 1963
  • A Babe is Born 1959
  • Bag of Tricks 1956

Box 2

  • The Beatitudes 1963
  • Beguine 1960 (3 folders)

Box 3

  • Beguine for Two Pianos 1958
  • Berceuse for Piano Forte 1956
  • Blues 1944 (2 folders)
  • Brass Sextette with Piano Forte 1962
  • Bride 1963
  • Capriccio for Violin and Piano 1963
  • Christmas Mass (Palestrina)
  • Chromatic Invention

Box 4

  • Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra 1964 (6 folders)

Box 5

  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra 1964 (4 folders)
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra 1965

Box 6

  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra 1964 (6 folders)
  • Concerto for Viola and Orchestra 1969

Box 7

  • Dance Suite for Piano 1956
  • Dance Suite for Piano 1960
  • Dance Suite for Piano 196)
  • Dialogues for Oboe and Guitar 1966
  • Dialogues for Oboe and Guitar 1967
  • Discussion of Maan
  • Divertimento for String Quartet 1958 (2 folders)
  • Early American Portrait 1962

Box 8

  • Early American Portrait 1962
  • Early American Portrait 1964
  • Early American Portrait, Wild Geese 1964
  • Elegy for Cello Solo 1969
  • Fantasia Brevis for Oboe and Strings 1952
  • Fantasia Brevis II 1952
  • For Art Nagle on His Birthday January 30, 1968
  • Forty Finger Beguine 1952
  • Four Hand Suite September 1957
  • Fugue from the Score for an Educational Animated Film

Box 9

  • Haiku 1968
  • Hear Us! 1968
  • I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes 1965
  • If Truth in Hearts that Perish 1937
  • Impertinence for Clarinet and Two Pianos 1936
  • Impromptu for Organ 1968
  • In Memoriam
  • In Memoriam 1960
  • In Memoriam 1962

Box 10

  • Intermezzo for Orchestra 1943 (4 folders)
  • Jazz Theme and Variations 1936
  • Konzertstuck
  • Konzertstuck 1972

Box 11

  • Let-Down 1937
  • Look Not in My Eyes 1937
  • Loveliest of Trees 1937
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • May the Words 1967
  • Merely a Beginning 1937
  • Minutiae for Flute and Piano 1953
  • Un Morceau d’Ensable sur le Nom d’Elmira 1972
  • Music for the Theatre 1952
  • Nocturne for String Quartet
  • O the Sun Come Up-Up-Up in the Opening 1966

Box 12

  • Oboe Concertino 1953 (4 folders)

Box 13

  • Passacaglia and Toccata 1962
  • A Passing Word 1960
  • A Plaintive Note 1952
  • Pocahontas- Incomplete Opera (Orchestration by Esther Williamson Ballou)
  • Pop Goes the Weasel 1943
  • Portrait I 1968
  • Prelude
  • Prelude I for Piano 1960
  • Prelude 1, 2, and 3 for Piano 1939
  • Prelude and Allegro for String Orchestra and Piano 1949
  • Prelude and Allegro for string Orchestra and Piano 1952 (3 folders)

Box 14

  • Prelude and Allegro for String Orchestra and Piano 1952
  • Prelude and Allegro for String Orchestra and Piano 1959
  • Prelude and Gigue 1948
  • Pride, Envy, Sloth, Lust, Anger 1960
  • Prism for String Trio (3 plus 1 or 1 plus 3)
  • Prism for String Trio 1969

Box 15

  • Quest for the Dance 1960
  • Romanza 1969
  • Rondino for Harpsichord 1961
  • Rumba on Riverside Drive
  • The Sandbox (Orchestra by Esther Williamson Ballou)
  • The Sea in Maine
  • The Shepherd 1944
  • Sonata for Piano 1955
  • Sonata for Piano 1959
  • Sonata for Two Pianos 1949
  • Sonata for Two Pianos 1959

Box 16

  • Sonata No. 2 for 2 Pianos 1959
  • Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte 1937
  • Sonatina 1941
  • Sonatina No. 2 1967
  • A Song 1938
  • A Song 1949
  • Street Scenes 1960

Box 17

  • Suite for Chamber Orchestra 1939
  • Suite for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra
  • Suite for Cello and Piano
  • Suite for Winds 1956
  • Suite for Winds 1957 (3 folders)
  • A Telephone Number
  • Themes and Variations on Shenandoah Alma Mater 1959
  • Time 1937
  • Trial Run 1969

Box 18

  • Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano 1958 (3 folders)
  • Trio for Violin, Cello, and Pianoforte 1956
  • The Trumpet Blues 1946
  • Up to the Silence 1968
  • Variation for Gail 1964
  • Variations, Scherzo, and Fugue on a Theme by Lou Harrison 1959
  • Violin Sonatina 1959
  • War Lyrics: Bacchanal, Blues Duet, Norse Duet 1940
  • What if a Much of a Which of a Wind 1959
  • Whip-Pour-Will
  • Wind Quintette 1953

Box 19

  • Sketches and Finished Compositions 1938-1972
  • Sketches and Finished Compositions, Unidentified (4 folders)

Programs

  • Performance Programs 1932-2003 (6 folders)

Scores

  • Aaron Copland Quartet for Piano and Strings
  • Ellis B. Kohs Piano Variations
  • Music for Study 6 Demonstrations for Piano Opus 6, Norman Cazden
  • Mozart 19 Sonatas for Violin and Piano
  • Samuel Barber Adagio for Stings
  • Isaac Albeniz Selected Compositions for Piano Solo
  • Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Richard Franko Goldman Le Bobino: Burlesque in Three Scenes
  • Brahms Klavier Quartett Op. 25
  • Brahms Piano Quartet in A major Op. 26
  • Chopin Etudes
  • Debussy Clair de Lune
  • Debussy String Quartet No. 1
  • Clementi 32 Sonatinen
  • Lukas Foss Four Two-Voiced Inventions and Grotesque Dance
  • Tchaikovsky Concerto Op. 23
  • Concone 15 Etudes de Style, Op. 31 for Pianoforte
  • Wallingford Riegger Dichotomy
  • Bernard Wagenaar Eclogue
  • Carl Ruggles Evocations Four chants for Piano Revision of 1954
  • Alan Stout Fantasy for Piano, Op. 62, No. 2
  • Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit
  • Holiday at the White House
  • Ross Lee Finney Inventions
  • Ravel Jeux d’eau
  • Modena Scovill Keyboard Harmony
  • Lilliburlero
  • Mozart Klavier Quartette
  • Mozart’s First Five Compositions for Piano Forte
  • Brian Kelly Nativity Scenes for Organ
  • New Music: A Quarterly of Modern Compositions
  • Wallingford Riegger New and Old Twelve pieces for Piano
  • Piano Quartet
  • Piano Sonata
  • Quintet
  • Debussy Six Epigraphes Antiques
  • Richard Franko Goldman Sonata for Violin and Piano
  • Stravinsky Sonata for Piano
  • Sonaten und Stucke fur Pianoforte
  • Mozart Sonatas Vol. 1
  • Ravel Sonata for Piano
  • Soneto de Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  • Songs of Sigma Alpha Iota
  • Tarantella
  • Ellis B. Kohs Toccata for harpsichord or piano solo
  • Ravel Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello
  • Scriabine Trois Morceaux pour Piano
  • Anton Webern Variations for Piano Op 27
  • Wallingford Riegger Variations for Two Pianos Op. 54
  • Liszt Forest Murmurs for Piano Solo
  • La Bohème: Opera Completa per Pianoforte Solo (1898)

 

Books

  • American Composers Alliance Bulletin February 1952
  • Composers of the Americas Vol. 9 1963
  • The Julliard Review 1964-1965
  • The Julliard Review Winter 1957-1958
  • Mills Quarterly August 1973
  • Music Clubs Magazine Summer 1972
  • Bennington College Quadrille Spring 1978
  • Verdi: A Novel of the Opera by Franz Werfel
  • The Wonderful World of Culture by Richard Franko Goldman
  • The New York Diary by Ned Rorem
  • Counterpoint by Walter Piston
  • Applied Harmony by George A. Wedge
  • Music Composition by George Thaddeus Jones
  • American Folk Songs for Children by Ruth Crawford Seeger
  • Tonal Counterpoint by Leland H. Procter
  • Gullers Sweden by Eric Linklater and Stieg Trenter
  • Pronouncing Musical Dictionary by H.A. Clarke

Recordings

Box 1

  • Cassette 1 (Street Scenes, Rigaudon from Dance Suite, Rondino for Harpsichord, 5-4-3, Capriccio, In Memoriam, Bride Song, Divertimento for String Quartet, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme)
  • Cassette 2 ( The Beatitudes, Capriccio, Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano, Street Scenes)
  • Cassette 3 (Divertimento for String Quartet, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lous Harrison Theme, Sonata for Two Pianos No. 2, Trip for Violin, Violoncello and Piano, Suite for Winds, Sonata for Two Pianos No. 1)
  • Cassette 4 (Dialogues for Oboe and Guitar, A Passing Word, What if a Much of a Which of a Wind, Capriccio, Capriccio, Dance Suite)
  • Cassette 5 (Beguine for Orchestra, Guitar Concerto, Prelude and Allegro, In Memoriam, Beguine for Orchestra, Piano Concerto)
  • Cassette 6 (5-4-3, Passacaglia and Toccata for Organ, Sonata for Two Pianos No. 1, Sonata for Piano No. 1, A Song, Hear Us!, Prism for String Trio)
  • Cassette 7 (Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme, Prism for String Trio, Up into the Silence, Five Songs for Soprano, Elegy for Violoncello, Capriccio, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme)
  • Cassette 8 (Sonata for Two Pianos No. 1, Prelude and Allegro for Strings and Piano, Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano, Five Songs for Soprano)
  • Cassette 9 (Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme, Un Morceau d’ensemble sur le nom d’Elmira, 5-4-3, Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano, Forty-Finger Beguine, Adagio for Bassoon and Orchestra, Prism for String Trio)
  • Cassette 10 (Hear Us!, Variation, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme, Up into the Silence, Prism for String Trio, Passacaglia and Toccata for Organ, Tree of sins, lament for Violoncello, Allegro in the first position, Bride Song)
  • Cassette 11 (Sonata for Two Pianos No. 2, 5-4-3, Romanza, Konzertstuk for Viola and Orchestra)
  • Cassette 12 (Prelude and Allegro, Prism for String Trip, String Trio, Forty finger Beguine, Piano Sonata, Piano Sonata)
  • Cassette 20 (Capriccio April 22, 1965 AU)
  • Capriccio 1963 (recorded 1998)
  • “Ballou”
  • Ives- The Alcotts, Beethoven 5 th Symphony, Ballou talking
  • Tape 1 (Esther Ballou on PBS, Rondino for Harpsichord, Street Scenes)
  • Tape 2 (TV Panel discussion WRC-TV, University Colloquium: “Music in the Atomic Age”)
  • Tape 3 (Interview on Voice of America, “The Feminine Touch No. 69”)
  • Tape 4 (Interview at The Phillips Gallery; Host: Dr. Gordon Smith, 5-4-3)
  • Tape 5 (Interview; Host: Dr. Gordon Smith)
  • Tape 6 (Interview with Ivan Romanenko, Host: Dr. Gordon Smith, Capriccio)
  • Tape 7 (Voice of America Broadcast, U.S. Composers No. 47, Four Works by Ballou, In Memoriam)
  • Tape 8 (Bride Song)
  • Tape 9 (Divertimento)
  • Tape 10 (Capriccio, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme, The Beatitudes)
  • Tape 11 (Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano)
  • Tape 12 (Street Scenes)
  • Tape 13 (Divertimento for String Quartet)
  • Tape 14 (Sonata for Two Pianos, No. 2, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lous Harrison Theme)
  • Tape 15 (Piano Trio, Suite for Winds)
  • Tape 16 (Sonata for Two Pianos, No. 1)
  • Tape 17 (Dialogues)
  • Tape 18 (A Passing Word)
  • Tape 19 (What if a Much of a Which of Wind)
  • Tape 20 (Capriccio)
  • Tape 21 (Capriccio)
  • Tape 22 (Dance Suite)
  • Tape 23 (Beguine)
  • Tape 24 (Guitar Concerto, Prelude and Allegro for Piano and Strings)
  • Tape 25 (Concerto for Piano)
  • Tape 26 (In Memoriam, Piano Concerto III, Beguine)
  • Tape 27 (Passacaglia and Toccata or Organ)
  • Tape 28 (5-4-3)
  • Tape 29 (Passacaglia and Toccata for Organ)
  • Tape 30 (Sonata for Two Pianos, No. 1)
  • Tape 31 (Sonata for Piano, No. 1, A Song, Hear Us!)
  • Tape 32 (Prism for Sting Trio)
  • Tape 33 (Variation, Scherzo and Fugue on a Theme by Lou Harrison)
  • Tape 34 (Prison for String Trio)
  • Tape 35 (Up into the Silence)
  • Tape 36 (Five songs for Soprano: “The Christening” and “Democracy”)
  • Tape 37 (Elegy May 1969, Capriccio September 6, 1963, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Theme by Lou Harrison May 1960, Bride Song February 1963)
  • Tape 38 (Sonata for Two Pianos, No. 1 October 24, 1970)
  • Tape 39 (Prelude and Allegro for Piano and Strings December 4, 1959)
  • Tape 40 (Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano January 18, 1974, Five Songs for Soprano)
  • Tape 41 (Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme January 18, 1974)
  • Tape 42 (Un Morceau d’ensemble sur le nom d’Elmira April 11, 1972)
  • Tape 43 (5-4-3 October 16, 1974)
  • Tape 44 (Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano October 16, 1974)

Box 2

  • Tape 45 (Forty-Finger Beguine, Adagio for Bassoon and Strings)
  • Tape 46 (Prism for String Trio)
  • Tape 47 (EWB Memorial Concert: Hear Us!, An Evaluations, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme)
  • Tape 47 (EWB Memorial Concert: Hear Us!, An Evaluations, Variations, Scherzo and Fugue on a Lou Harrison Theme)
  • Tape 48 (Tree of Sins, Informal)
  • Tape 49 (Lament for Violoncello and Piano, Informal)
  • Tape 50 (Allegro in the First Position, Informal)
  • Tape 51 (Bride Song, informal)
  • Tape 52 (Sonata for Two Pianos, No. 2, informal)
  • Tape 54 (Elegy, informal, Romanza, informal, Konzertstuck, informal)
  • Tape 55 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 56 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 57 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 58 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 59 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 60 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 61 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 62 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 63 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 64 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 65 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 66 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 67 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 68 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 69 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 70 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 71 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 72 (EWB Playing Informally)
  • Tape 73 (Familia)
  • Tape 74 (Familia)
  • Tape 75 (Familia)
  • Tape 76 (Familia)
  • Tape 77 (Familia)
  • Tape 78 (Familia)
  • Tape 79 (Familia)
  • Tape 80 (Familia)
  • Tape 81 (Familia)
  • Tape 82 (Familia)
  • Tape 83 (Familia)
  • Tape 84 (Familia)
  • Viola Suite 1970
  • Harry McClure—Piano (2 tapes)
  • Withering Year for Two Pianos (Record)
  • Not Quite Cinderella (3 Records)
  • David Baker-Esther Ballou (2 CDs)