Guide to the Arrand Parsons (1918-2001) Papers

Collection Title: Arrand Parsons (1918-2001) Papers
Dates: 1942-1988
Identification: 19/3/2
Creator: Parsons, Arrand
Extent: 7 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Arrand Parsons papers fill six and one-half boxes and span the period 1942-1988. They are arranged in two major categories: correspondence and teaching and professional files. Included as well are a few folders of biographical materials and one of publications.
Acquisition Information: Don Roberts of the Northwestern University Music Library transferred the Parsons papers to the University Archives on March 30, 1989 (Accession #89-49).
Processing Information: William K. Beatty; January - February, 1990.
Separated Materials: Three audio tapes and one audio record have been removed to the University Archives' audio collection. Five linear inches of materials not pertinent to Parsons but relating to University activities have been added to the Archives' general reference collection. Approximately forty-five linear inches of extraneous and duplicate materials have been discarded.
Conditions Governing Access: Teaching and professional files may be used only with permission of the University Archivist.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Arrand Parsons was born on July 26, 1918, in Ellerbe, North Carolina. Parsons devoted his life to the study and teaching of music theory, joining the faculty of Northwestern University in 1946 and remaining until his retirement in 1984. He died on June 22, 2001.

Parsons was given the first name of Pleasants but dropped it early in life. Parsons obtained a B.S. degree in music education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1939, and an M.Ed. from Graduate Teachers College in 1944. From Northwestern University he earned an M.Mus. in theory and composition in 1946 and a Ph.D. in 1953. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Dissonance in the Fantasies and Sonatas of Henry Purcell.”

From 1938 to 1943 and 1944 to 1945 Parsons served as director of music at the Pleasant Hill (Tennessee) Academy. He came to Northwestern University as an instructor in 1946 and was promoted to assistant professor (1954), associate professor (1958), and professor (1964). All his appointments were in the theory of music. Parsons served as assistant dean of the School of Music from 1964 to 1967. He retired from Northwestern University in 1984 with the rank of professor emeritus.

Parsons annotated the programs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for thirty years and of the Ravinia Festival for almost as long.

He and Margaret Hutchinson were married on June 10, 1944. They had two children: Mary Agnes Nichter and Martha Weiland. Arrand Parsons died on June 22, 2001.

Scope and Content

The Arrand Parsons papers fill six and one-half boxes and span the period 1942-1988. They are arranged in two major categories: correspondence and teaching and professional files. Included as well are a few folders of biographical materials and one of publications.

Correspondence is divided into general and subject categories. The general correspondence, arranged chronologically, primarily concerns Parsons' teaching and speaking activities. Subject correspondence pertains mainly to Northwestern-related matters.

The teaching and professional files form the bulk of the series. These include some lecture notes and other materials related to courses Parsons taught, a few folders concerning a proposed program of graduate study at Northwestern for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and nearly four boxes of correspondence and teaching materials pertaining to the Contemporary Music Project. Established in 1963, the Contemporary Music Project was supported by the Ford Foundation and administered by the Music Educators National Conference. It represented a major enhancement of the Ford Foundation's Young Composers Project instituted in 1959. That program placed young composers in public schools to write for their performing groups. The Contemporary Music Project expanded these activities, supported additional seminars and workshops, and inaugurated pilot programs relating to music education at the elementary and secondary school levels. Parsons served as Midwest Regional Director of the Project's Institute for Music in Contemporary Education. Regional institutes were established in 1966 to emphasize creativity in musicianship and to broaden methods and goals of music education. Parsons also worked directly with the Contemporary Music Project in other roles and through participation in several of its committees.

Of interest in the teaching and professional files is a folder of materials on Northwestern School of Music master classes. The folder includes two letters to Parsons from Lotte Lehman.

Arrangement of Materials

Teaching and professional files are topically arranged. Within folders, materials are in chronological order. The general correspondence files are arranged chronologically. Subject correspondence is arranged alphabetically by topical heading.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). School of Music--Faculty

Personal Name

Lehmann, Lotte--Correspondence

Parsons, Arrand


Container List / Contents

  • Biographical Materials
    • General, 1951-1964Box 1, Folder 1
    • Clippings, 1956-1988Box 1, Folder 2
    • Programs, 1967-1968Box 1, Folder 3
  • Correspondence
    • General, 1963-1965Box 1, Folder 4
    • General, 1966Box 1, Folder 5
    • General, 1967Box 1, Folder 6
    • General, 1968Box 1, Folder 7
    • General, 1569-1971Box 1, Folder 8
    • General, n.d.Box 1, Folder 9
    • Brown, Harold F., 1967Box 1, Folder 10
    • Honorary Degree Committee, 1970-1974Box 1, Folder 11
    • School of Music: Curriculum Committee, 1967-1969Box 1, Folder 12
    • School of Music: Doctoral Study Committee, 1957-1965Box 1, Folder 13
    • Barrett Spach Memorial Concert, 1964Box 1, Folder 14
    • Iannis Xenakis, 1967Box 1, Folder 15
  • Teaching and Professional Files
    • Evening Division, 1964-1966Box 6, Folder 7
    • Graduate School Admissions, 1965-1966Box 6, Folder 8
    • Hammond Organ Company, 1964-1965Box 6, Folder 9
    • Master Classes, 1964-1966Box 6, Folder 10
    • Mozart, n.d.Box 6, Folder 11
    • Music Aptitude Test, n.d.Box 6, Folder 12
    • Pleasant Hill Academy, 1942Box 6, Folder 13
    • Pleasant Hill Academy, 1945Box 6, Folder 14
    • Ravinia Summer Festival, 1956-1965Box 6, Folder 15
    • Course Materials
      • Music A10, 1967-1968Box 1, Folder 16
      • Music A10-3, 1963-1964Box 1, Folder 17
      • Music A11, 1968-1969Box 1, Folder 18
      • Music A11, 1974-1976Box 1, Folder 19
      • Music A11, 1975-1976Box 1, Folder 20
      • Music A11-1, 1968-1969Box 1, Folder 21
      • Music A11-2, 1974-1975Box 1, Folder 22
      • Music A15-3, n.d.Box 1, Folder 23
      • Music B3: Examinations, 1954-1956Box 1, Folder 24
      • Music B3: Keyboard, 1954-1956Box 2, Folder 1
      • Music B3: Musical Citations, 1954-1955Box 2, Folder 2
      • Music B3: Syllabus, 1954-1955Box 2, Folder 3
      • Music B10, 1966-1967Box 2, Folder 4
      • Music B20, n.d.Box 2, Folder 5
      • Music C55, 1969Box 2, Folder 6
      • Music COI, 1960; 1968-1969Box 2, Folder 7
      • Music D10, n.d.Box 2, Folder 8
      • African Studies, 1966-1969Box 2, Folder 9
      • Civic Orchestra of Chicago: Budget, 1966-1968Box 2, Folder 10
      • Civic Orchestra of Chicago: Choral Conducting, 1966Box 2, Folder 11
      • Civic Orchestra of Chicago: Proposals, 1966-1969Box 2, Folder 12
    • Contemporary Music Project
      • Band Directors Workshop, 1969Box 2, Folder 13
      • Music B10-1: Experimental Theory, 1967-1968Box 2, Folder 14
      • Music B10-2, 1, 1967-1968Box 2, Folder 15
      • Music B10-2, 2, 1967-1968Box 3, Folder 1
      • Music B1O-2, 2, 1967-1968Box 3, Folder 2
      • Budget: Correspondence, 1966-1968Box 3, Folder 3
      • Budget: Statements and Related Materials, 1966-1968Box 3, Folder 4
      • Conference on College Music Curricula, 1970-1971Box 3, Folder 5
      • Conference on Graduate Education, 1972-1973Box 3, Folder 6
      • Contemporary Music Project Day, 1968Box 3, Folder 7
      • Correspondence, 1966-1967Box 3, Folder 8
      • Correspondence, 1968-1969Box 3, Folder 9
      • Correspondence, 1970-1973Box 3, Folder 10
      • Council on Comprehensive Musicianship, 1971-1973Box 3, Folder 11
      • Eastman Group, 1967Box 3, Folder 12
      • Eastman School Workshop, 1968-1969Box 3, Folder 13
      • Elementary School Music Institute, 1968Box 3, Folder 14
      • Evaluative Criteria for Music in Education, 1967Box 3, Folder 15
      • Illinois Music Educators Association, 1967-1969Box 3, Folder 16
      • Indiana University, 1966-1969Box 3, Folder 17
      • Institute for Music in Contemporary Education: Correspondence and Related Materials, 1965-1966Box 3, Folder 18
      • Institute for Music in Contemporary Education: Correspondence and Related Materials, 1967, 1970Box 3, Folder 19
      • Institute for Music in Contemporary Education: Correspondence and Related Materials, n.d.Box 4, Folder 1
      • Institute for Music in Contemporary Education: Midwestern Region: Meetings, 1965-1967Box 4, Folder 2
      • Institute for Music in Contemporary Education: Midwestern Region: Proposals, 1967-1969Box 4, Folder 3
      • Institute for Music in Contemporary Education: Midwestern Region: Reports, 1966-1969Box 4, Folder 4
      • Music Educators National Conference: Detroit Meeting, 1967Box 4, Folder 5
      • Music Educators National Conference: Fargo Meeting, 1969Box 4, Folder 6
      • Music Educators National Conference: New York Meeting, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 7
      • Music Educators National Conference: Seattle Meeting, 1967-1968Box 4, Folder 8
      • Music Educators National Conference: Washington Meeting, 1967Box 4, Folder 9
      • National Association of Schools of Music, 1965-1967Box 4, Folder 10
      • Northwestern Program, 1966Box 4, Folder 11
      • Planning and Publicity, 1966-1973Box 4, Folder 12
      • Pre-College Institutes: General, 1967Box 4, Folder 13
      • Pre-College Institutes: Avoca School., 1966-1968Box 4, Folder 14
      • Pre-College Institutes: Chicago, 1966-1967Box 4, Folder 15
      • Pre-College Institutes: Elk Grove, 1966-1968Box 4, Folder 16
      • Pre-College Institutes: Evanston Township High School, 1966-1967Box 4, Folder 17
      • Pre-College Institutes: Francis Parker School, 1966-1967Box 4, Folder 18
      • Pre-College Institutes: Highland School, 1966-1968Box 4, Folder 19
      • Pre-College Institutes: Lake Forest High School, 1967-1968Box 4, Folder 20
      • Pre-College Institutes: Lincolnwood School, 1966-1968Box 4, Folder 21
      • Pre-College Institutes: New Trier High School (East), 1966-1967Box 5, Folder 1
      • Pre-College Institutes: New Trier High School (West), 1967-1968Box 5, Folder 2
      • Pre-College Institutes: North Shore Country Day, 1966-1967Box 5, Folder 3
      • Pre-College Institutes: Plainfield School, 1966-1967Box 5, Folder 4
      • Pre-College Institutes: Winnetka, 1966-1967Box 5, Folder 5
      • Project Policy Committee, 1968-1973Box 5, Folder 6
      • Seminar on Comprehensive Musicianship: Attendance, 1965Box 5, Folder 7
      • Seminar on Comprehensive Musicianship: Correspondence and Related Materials, 1964Box 5, Folder 8
      • Seminar on Comprehensive Musicianship: Correspondence and Related Materials, 1965Box 5, Folder 9
      • Seminar on Comprehensive Musicianship: Position Paper and Recommendations, 1965Box 5, Folder 10
      • Seminar on Comprehensive Musicianship: Publicity, 1972Box 5, Folder 11
      • Seminar on Comprehensive Musicianship: Seminar on Curriculum Planning, 1966-1967Box 5, Folder 12
      • Seminar on Curriculum Planning, 1966-1967Box 5, Folder 13
      • Travel and Entertainment Expenses, 1966-1960Box 5, Folder 14
      • University of Chicago, 1967-1968Box 5, Folder 15
      • University of Illinois, 1966-1967Box 5, Folder 16
      • University of Michigan, 1966-1967Box 6, Folder 1
      • Workshop on Comprehensive Musicianship: Applicants: A-K, 1971Box 6, Folder 2
      • Workshop on Comprehensive Musicianship: Applicants: L-Z, 1971Box 6, Folder 3
      • Workshop on Comprehensive Musicianship: Correspondence, 1971Box 6, Folder 4
      • Workshop on Comprehensive Musicianship: Participants, 1971Box 6, Folder 5
      • Workshop on Comprehensive Musicianship: Student Statements, 1971Box 6, Folder 6
      • Recitals, 1967Box 7, Folder 1
      • Rhythm, n.d.Box 7, Folder 2
      • Southern Illinois University: Theory Workshop, 1968Box 7, Folder 3
      • Student Projects: Arnold, Janice M., n.d.Box 7, Folder 4
      • Student Projects: Bosits, Marcia L., 1974Box 7, Folder 5
      • Student Projects: Mayne, Mary Jane, 1969Box 7, Folder 6
      • Student Projects: Parham, Jim, 1963Box 7, Folder 7
      • Student Projects: Rashid, Steve, 1987Box 7, Folder 8
      • Student Projects: Ruback, Randy, 1983Box 7, Folder 9
      • Student Projects: Unidentified, 1979Box 7, Folder 10
  • Publications, 1966, 1968Box 7, Folder 11