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Archive Record

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Title Music Collection
Collection Music Collection
Object Name Manuscript
Extent of Description 200 c.f. (247 boxes)
Scope & Content This collection is a compilation of 25 collections of sheet music, band books and original manuscript musical compositions. The collection represents a wide variety of musical styles including but not limited to marches, waltzes, polkas, gallops, Foxtrot, Blues, and Fanfares. A number of traditional circus music scores including hand written manuscripts can be found throughout the collection.

The database contains personal music collections of several noted circus bandleaders including Charles E. Post, O.A. Gilson and Merle Evans. The music library of Merle Evans (CWM Mss 18) includes original compositions written by Evans and documents his 50 years of leading the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus band from 1919 to 1969. The Evans collection includes original fanfare scores, arrangements for spectacles and production numbers as well as original handwritten scores for the Barnum and Bailey Circus Mahdi Spec from 1898.

Of particular note the Fred Pfening Collection (CWM Mss 58) contains original musical scores dating between 1894-1906 for several Ringling Bros. Circus Spec productions including the Field of the Cloth of Gold, King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, The Crusades, and Cinderella. The manuscript compositions are believed to be written in the hand of Al. Ringling.

The database uses Excel as a base and is searchable only within the database itself using the "control F" search function and cannot be reviewed using the keyword search function of either the Circus World Online Catalog or the Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center Finding Aids website.
Location Archives Stacks 15/1/1 thru16-5-2
Finding Aid Finding Aid Available:Click Here
Subjects Band books
Barnum and Bailey Circus
Evans, Merle
Gilson, O.A.
Guilford, E.R. "Doc"
King Solomon and Queen of Sheba
Mahdi Spec
Musical compositions
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Ringling Bros. Circus
Al. Ringling.
Sheet music
Smith, Ron
The Crusades
The Field of the Cloth of Gold
Marshall, Archie
Halvorsen, C.C.
Pruyn, William G.
Parfrey, Fred
Lucky, Paul
Dillon, Marion
Mills, Bob
Marshall, W.C.
Hoe, Robert,
MacLeod, Douglass
Ille, James
Geiger, Loren
King, Karl L.
Chandler Band
Allentown Band
Nash, Dane
Pfening, Fred
Clauder, Joseph
Post, Charles E.
Johnson, Glen