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Henry CowellA Man Made of Music$

Joel Sachs

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195108958.001.0001

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(p.565) Selective Bibliography

(p.565) Selective Bibliography

Henry Cowell
Oxford University Press

Note Concerning the Sources Listed

The sheer massiveness of the sources for this book makes it impossible to list all of the material consulted. Bruce Saylor’s The Writings of Henry Cowell: A Descriptive Bibliography lists 237 items; a few more escaped his notice. Martha L. Manion’s Writings about Henry Cowell: An Annotated Bibliography lists 1,359 items through 1974, and many more have appeared since then. Although all of Cowell’s books and articles, and the vast majority of the writings about him, were consulted for this book, this bibliography can show only the ones that were most important. Writings devoted solely to his compositions are, in general, not included. Some references that were of momentary importance are listed in relevant endnotes only.

The interested reader should consult Saylor’s and Manion’s bibliographies for full coverage through 1974, and standard bibliographies and encyclopedias for newer literature.


Cowell family manuscript material, interviews, letters, and other writings reside in the Henry Cowell papers at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center

Henry Cowell papers

John Becker papers

Olive Thomson Cowell papers

New Music Society papers

Wallingford Riegger papers

Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archive

Charles Ives papers

Anna Strunsky Walling papers

Carl Ruggles papers

Library of Congress

Aaron Copland papers

Sidney Robertson Cowell papers

Oliver Daniel papers

Richard Franko Goldman papers

(p.566) Percy Grainger papers

Charles Seeger papers

Fabien Sevitzky papers

The Allen Mason Chesney Medical Archives, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Adolph Meyer papers

Stanford University Library

Ernest Bacon papers

Varian family papers

Jewish National University Library, Jerusalem

Lan Adomian Collection

Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel


Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna


Writings by Henry and Sidney Cowell


New Musical Resources. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930; 2nd ed., with introduction by Joscelyn Godwin, New York: Something Else Press, 1969; 3rd ed., with introduction by David Nicholls, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969.

American Composers on American Music. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1933; reissue, New York: Frederick Ungar, 1961.

Charles Ives and His Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 1955.

The Nature of Melody (1937, unpublished).

Rhythm (late 1930s, incomplete).

Henry Cowell

Articles by Henry Cowell of Special Relevance to This Book (listed chronologically)

“The Process of Musical Creation.” American Journal of Psychology 37 (June 1926): 233–36.

“Modern Amerikai Zeneszerzök [Modern American Composers].” Uj Föld (April 1927):62–63.

“Moravian Music.” Pro-Musica Quarterly 5/2 (June 1927): 25–29.

“New Terms for New Music.” Modern Music 5/4 (May 1928): 21–27.

“Conservative Music in Radical Russia.” The New Republic (August 14, 1929).

“Music.” Encyclopedia Americana, annual supplements for 1929–36.

“Kto Kompositori v’Amerikye” [Who Are the Composers in America]. Muzika i Revolutsiya 6 (Fall 1929): 34–38.

“Vocal Innovators of Central Europe.” Modern Music 7/2 (February–March 1930): 34–38.

“A Musician’s Experiences in Russia—Some First-hand and Unbiased Impressions.” The Churchman (April 26, 1930): 10–11.

“Adventures in Soviet Russia.” San Franciscan (December 1930): 16–17; (January 1931): 12.

“The ‘Sones’ of Cuba.” Modern Music 8/2 (January–February 1931): 45–47.

“Creation and Imitation: A Dissertation on New Music.” Fortnightly 1/6 (November 20, 1931): 5–6.

“Why Modern Music.” Women’s City Club Magazine 5/11 (December 1931): 16–17.

“Who Is the Greatest Living Composer?” Northwest Musical Herald (January 1933): 7.

(p.567) “Towards Neo-Primitivism.” Modern Music 10/3 (March–April 1933):149–53.

“Irish Traditional Music.” Irish Review (May 1934): 21, 30.

“How Relate Music and Dance?” Dance Observer 1/5 (June–July 1934): 52–53.

“An American Composer on Yugoslav Folk-Music.” Balkan Herald 1/5 (August 1935): 5.

“The Scientific Approach to Non-European Music.” Music Vanguard: A Critical Review 1/1 (Summer 1935): 62–67.

“O novoi musike—pis’mo Genri Cowella” [On New Music—letter from Henry Cowell]. Sovyetskaya Muzika 9 (September 1936): 92–94.

“The Music of Iceland.” Musical Mercury 3/3 (September 1936): 48–50

“Drums Along the Pacific.” Modern Music 18/1 (November–December 1940): 46–49.

“Creating a Dance: Form and Composition.” Educational Dance 3/7 (January 1941): 2–3.

“New Sounds in Music for the Dance.” Dance Observer 8/5 (May 1941): 64.

“Music in Soviet Russia.” The Russian Review 1/2 (April 1942): 74–79.

“Improving Pan-American Music Relations.” Modern Music 19/4 (May–June 1942): 263–65.

“A Conservative Interprets the Modern.” Saturday Review 26/5 (January 30, 1943): 25.

“Report of the Inter-American Activities of the Committee Members of the Music Educators National Conference” submitted by Henry Cowell, chairman (Music Educators National Conference, mid-1940s).

“The Use of Music by the OWI.” MTNA Proceedings, 1946 [no month]: 56–65.

“What Should Composers Study.” Peabody Notes 6/3 (Fall 1952).

“How and Why I Compose,” an address to the annual Conference of the National Committee on Art Education, 5/6/60, at the Museum of Modern Art. (Reprint of a 1953 interview).

“Freedom for Young Composers.” Music Journal (March 1962): 29–30, 70.

“The Composer’s World.” In The Preservation of Traditional Forms of the Learned and Popular Music of the Orient and Occident, ed. William Kay Archer, 99–113. Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois, Center for Comparative Psycholinguistics, Institute of Communications Research, 1964.

Collaborative Articles

Henry Cowell and Robert Duffus. “The Process of Musical Creation.” The Freeman 3/55 (March 30, 1921): 63–65; 3/56 (April 6, 1921): 85–87; 3/57 (April 13, 1921): 111–13.

Henry Cowell and Sidney Robertson Cowell. “Our Country Music.” Modern Music 20/4 (May/June 1943): 243–47.

Bibliographies of Cowell’s Writings and Writings about Him

Manion, Martha. Writings about Henry Cowell, an Annotated Bibliography. I.S.A.M. Monographs No. 16. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn College, Institute for Studies in American Music, 1982.

Saylor, Bruce. The Writings of Henry Cowell, a Descriptive Bibliography. I.S.A.M. Monographs No. 7. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn College, Institute for Studies in American Music, 1977.


Higgins, Dick. Essential Cowell: Selected Writings on Music by Henry Cowell, 1921–1964. Kingston, NY: McPherson, 2001.

Catalog of Music

Lichtenwanger, William. The Music of Henry Cowell: A Descriptive Catalog. Brooklyn, NY: Institute for Studies in American Music, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, 1986.

Interviews Conducted by Joel Sachs

Mildred Baker, Jack Beeson, Henry Brant, John Cage, Sidney Cowell, Lou Harrison, John Kirkpatrick, Mehrdad Pahlbod, C. Robert Payne, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Nicolas Slonimsky, Harold and Barbara Tufty, Jean Seward Uppman, Frank Wigglesworth, Dr. Joseph Wortis.

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