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Music Special Collections

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Historical Music Collections

The Music Special Collections of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh include historical material related to music groups, music organizations and societies, music educators, conductors, composers and musicians in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the surrounding area. Collections include vinyl records, original correspondence, music manuscripts, concert programs, oral histories, recordings, newspaper clippings, photographs, CDs, sheet music, scrapbooks, and much more. These collections are housed in the Music Department at CLP - Main.

For access to these resources, please call the Music Department at 412.622.3114 or email

The Bakaleinikoff Tablecloth: This tablecloth is framed and hanging in the front room of the Music Department. It was autographed by over 100 visiting classical musicians, composers and conductors who performed in Pittsburgh from 1946 to 1953, when Bakaleinikoff was a musical director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The signers were guests of the Bakaleinikoffs. Each signature was embroidered by Mrs. Julia Bakaleinikoff.

The Maurice Levy Oral History of Music in Pittsburgh Collection (OHMP): This collection consists of more than 300 interviews conducted by Mr. Maurice Levy (unless indicated otherwise) between 1991 and 2005. The interviews include a wide variety of people in Pittsburgh involved with jazz, classical, popular, folk and traditional music.

Musical Forecast: A Pittsburgh music magazine published monthly between 1921-1948, covering global events and world-famous musicians. The primary focus of the “Musical Forecast” was Pittsburgh’s musical life, leadership and supporting organizations.

Musical Pittsburgh: 1758-1908: The Music Department’s index covers all of the music-related entries in a lengthy essay on the history of music in Pittsburgh up to 1908. It is from the volume: “Sesqui-Centennial and Historical Souvenir of the Greater Pittsburgh,” edited and compiled by Henry Brownfield Scott.

Pittsburgh CD Collection: This index features musicians, musical groups and composers from Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. It also contains recordings of musicians from around the world but recorded in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Concert Programs: The Music Department houses a large collection of music concert programs from Pittsburgh dating back to the mid 19th Century. This includes individual programs held in a file cabinet, programs from specific organizations that have been bound together, and programs put into scrapbooks created by various individuals or organizations.

Pittsburgh International Contemporary Music Festival 1952: Held November 24-30, 1952, this event garnered the city’s musical community in performances of newly composed works from living composers in the western musical world. CLP holdings include a Program & Press Book, recordings, music manuscripts and a clipping file.

Pittsburgh Jazz Musicians: This webpage is a good place to start your research for information about jazz musicians from Pittsburgh. All of the artists listed here have contributed to Pittsburgh’s reputation as one of the most important cities in the history of jazz.

Pittsburgh Music Archival Material: This is an index to the archival material of Pittsburgh composers, music organizations and societies, music educators and administrators, music critics and journalists, and musicians, created primarily during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The archives consist of scrapbooks, recordings, concert programs, original correspondence, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, posters, photographs, meeting minutes from music societies, legal documents and much more.

Pittsburgh Music Information File: A large collection of newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and other ephemera. Subjects include Pittsburgh musicians, musical groups, orchestras, opera companies, music venues, night clubs, associations, societies, organizations, record companies, choral groups, events, and other topics and people with a connection to Pittsburgh. Coverage is strongest from the late 1930’s to 2004.

Pittsburgh Music Newsletters: Newsletters from Pittsburgh music organizations held by the Music Department.

Pittsburgh Orchestra Correspondence: The Pittsburgh Orchestra, in existence from 1896 – 1910, was Pittsburgh’s world renown, premier orchestra during Andrew Carnegie’s heyday. This archive of the Pittsburgh Orchestra includes correspondence, contracts, concert programs, newspaper clippings, notes, publicity flyers and other ephemera that have been bound together in 23 volumes.

Pittsburgh Vinyl Record Collection: Over 1000 vinyl records that feature musicians, musical groups and composers from Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. It includes 33 rpm and 45 rpm records.

Who’s Who in Pittsburgh Music Circles – by Ralph Lewando: Ralph Lewando, a music critic for the “Pittsburgh Press,” wrote a weekly column “Who’s Who in Pittsburgh Music Circles” from 1941 to 1954. Each article contains a photograph of the musician featured with a short piece on his or her contribution to the musical life of the city.

Sheet Music Collections

Barbershop Quartet Sheet Music Collection: A collection of a capella music arranged for a quartet of male singers (TTBB) or female singers (SSAA). All four vocal parts are arranged on a single piece of music.

Binder’s Collections: Made up of individually printed pieces of sheet music from the mid 19th to the early 20th centuries, that have been bound together subsequent to publication. CLP has 160 volumes, donated from many sources.

Dance Orchestra Sheet Music Collection: A collection of close to 300 titles containing music parts for a small orchestra.

Organ Sheet Music Collection: A non-circulating collection of over 1300 individual pieces of organ sheet music, made richer by numerous gifts from distinguished local organists, including Caspar Koch, the Pittsburgh City Organist from 1904 – 1954.

Pittsburgh Sheet Music Collection: A unique non-circulating collection of over 1000 titles of sheet music published in or near Pittsburgh since the early 19th century. Also included are titles by Pittsburgh composers published elsewhere.

Vocal Sheet Music Collection: A non-circulating collection of over 5700 individual pieces of sheet music of songs not easily found in songbook collections.

Music Journals and Magazines – Current and Historical

Music Periodicals – Current and Historical: Music magazines, in print and on microfilm, held by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Some of these periodicals can be accessed electronically.

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