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The Berklee Oral History Project is a Stan Getz Library-supported initiative to chronicle the rich and diverse history of Berklee and Boston music from those who have lived, shaped and defined it. Join liberal arts faculty and journalist Fred Bouchard as he interviews some of the greats.

From 1957 to 1980 Jazz in the Classroom was produced as an innovative educational method that combined scores and recordings that demonstrated jazz writing and performance techniques. Additionally, these albums often featured the finest student composers and performers from each of the thirteen school years represented, such as: Toshiko Akiyoshi, Gary Burton, Sadao Watanabe, Kenny Werner, Abe Laboriel, Joe Zawinul, John Scofield, Henry Mancini, Alf Clausen, and many others.

During the mid to late 1930s, college founder and first president Lawrence Berk studied with Russian born composer, theorist, and educator, Joseph Schillinger. Schillinger was a controversial figure as was his elaborate system of composition that employed mathematical permutation and combination process to generate rhythms, harmonies, and melodies. (From: Hazell, Ed, and Lee Eliot Berk. Berklee: the First Fifty Years. Boston: Berklee Publications, 1995. Print. P. 10) This link contains Lawrence Berk’s notes from private study with Schillinger. These eleven notebooks contain the foundation of the Berklee method.

This collection is comprised of materials documenting correspondence, coursework, and memorabilia produced and collected by Bert Henry and Dr. Jerome Gross, as students and proponents of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SSOMC). The Schillinger System of Musical Composition, was invented by Russian composer and theorist Joseph Schillinger. The system is modeled on mathematical processes and includes theories of rhythm, harmony, melody, counterpoint, form, and semantics.

These arrangements were created by distinguished pianist, faculty member, and alumnus Dean Earl as teaching aids for Berklee Piano Department courses in harmony and piano performance. They are presented here in the original order received. In addition to these scans, archival copies of the original mimeographs (approximately 3 cubic feet) are also available for viewing on site by appointment.

The college archives houses the photo archives of the Office of Public Information, Communications office, and the Alma Berk Photograph Collection. Alma Berk served as the publicity officer for Berklee from the beginning of the college up to 1985. Click the link to the left to view featured photographs from the Alma Berk Photograph Collection.

Memorabilia created by Franklin McGinley for and by Duke Ellington, including a scrapbook, additional clippings and various commemorative materials. The scrapbook, presumably put together by McGinley, documents the rise of swing music and Duke Ellington and includes autographs by Ellington and other musicians of the period. The remaining loose materials document Ellington's posthumous legacy, with the majority of the clippings consisting of obituaries or coverage of Duke Ellington’s passing in 1974.

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