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Music (Special Collections): Sheet Music

This research guide highlights primary sources and research materials in Special Collections regarding various forms of music.

Manuscript Resources

Plantation Melodies Sheet Music, 1884, MS.2928

This collection includes sheet music sung by the Nashville Student's Choir. The Nashville Student's Choir was an African American spiritual choir, a choir comprised of former slaves that traveled the states singing hymns.

Myrtle Velma Lebow Hentry Collection of Sheet Music, 1886-1954 (MS.3814)

This collection contains a large variety of sheet music, including Appalachian music, American patriotic war music, and concerto pieces. This material belonged to Myrtle Velma Lebow Henry who was a piano teacher. 

20th Century Sheet Music Collection, 1895-1986 (MS.3876)

This collection contains various pieces of popular sheet music from the 20th century.

Also see: Sheet Music Collection (MS.3042; MS.2187; MS.1575; MS.1231)

Rare Books and Facsimiles

Cantigas de Santa María, 1989. Rarebooks Folio ML96.5.A54 C3 1989 (1989 facsimile of a 13th century manuscript)

Chansonnier de Jean de Montchenu, 2007.  Folio M2. C428C4 2007 (2007 facsimile of 15th century manuscript)

The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript, 2014. Folio M3. G9 2014 (2014 facsmile of a 14th century manuscript)

Le chansonnier de l'Arsenal, 1909. M2.8 C33 (1909 facsimile of a early 14th century manuscript)

Liber Ymnorum of Notker Balbulus I, 2016BV170.H5 v. 121 and v. 122 (2016 facsimile of a 9th century manuscript) 

Digital Collections

scanned cover of "my man" or "mon homme" sheet music.
My Man, 1920. From the University of Tennessee Sheet Music Collection.

University of Tennessee Sheet Music Collection 

This digital collection includes published sheet music ranging from the 1800s to mid-1900s. Some of the works in this collection include lyrics or illustrations that, while representative of the times in which they were published, may be offensive to users.

Other resources: Sheet Music Consortium


Artist Books

A Pocket Hymnbook, John Wesley, 1787. (BV459.W47 1787)

Covered with brown calico, laced on with twine

The Jolly Beggars: A Cantata, Robert Burns, 1963. (PR4311.A1 1963)

Handmade paper, red print headings and colophon, music tucked into back pocket

Eco Songs: A Song Cycle, Dimitrije Bužarovski, et al., 1998. (N7433.3.B89 1998)

Handmade paper from fibers sent from around the world, Pyracantha Press 

Special Collections and University Archives

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Special Collections
121 Hodges Library
1015 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37996

Go to Special Collections for more information.