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Allan Sly Papers


Pianist and composer Allan Bernard Sly taught music at Black Mountain College from 1935-1939. Black Mountain College was an experimental school located in Black Mountain, N.C.Allan Sly's papers include audiotapes of commentary by Sly about his experiences at Black Mountain College, two essays by Sly concerning music and the college, and a dissertation by Anna M. Hines about music at Black Mountain.

Title

Allan Sly Papers

Collection Number

PC.1538

Date(s)

1936 - 1973

Language

English

Physical Description
Genre/Physical Characteristic

Photocopy

Genre/Physical Characteristic

Essays

Genre/Physical Characteristic

Audio tapes

Genre/Physical Characteristic

Letters

Physical Description
Items
9
Genre/Physical Characteristic

256 page dissertation, 2 essays, 2 photocopied letters, 3 audiotapes, 1 manuscript

Physical Description
Items
9.00
Abstract

Pianist and composer Allan Bernard Sly taught music at Black Mountain College from 1935-1939. Black Mountain College was an experimental school located in Black Mountain, N.C.

Allan Sly's papers include audiotapes of commentary by Sly about his experiences at Black Mountain College, two essays by Sly concerning music and the college, and a dissertation by Anna M. Hines about music at Black Mountain.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Western Regional Archives.

Physical Location

WRA:5A05

Creator

Sly, Allan Bernard

Repository

Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by Ashley Yandle, February, 2002

Encoded by Ashley Yandle, June 1, 2002; additional encoding, May, 2010

Note: This collection was processed with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Allan Bernard Sly (1907- ), pianist and composer, was born in England and educated at the University of Reading, the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Concord Summer School of Music. He studied piano with Evlyn Howard-Jones and composition with Gustav Holst and Benjamin Dale. In 1926 his composition  Holiday Tune was performed by Sir Adrian Boult at the Royal College of Music in London. He taught at Toronto Conservatory of Music, as well as private schools in Canada and the United States. In 1935 Sly joined the faculty of Black Mountain College (BMC) as a music professor. He composed some of his most important works during his time at the college, including his  Symphony (1935-36) which was rehearsed by the newly formed North Carolina Symphony. His wife Elizabeth Ware Sly tutored in music and performed in some college concerts. In 1939 Sly resigned from Black Mountain College to accept a position at the College of William and Mary.


Three audiotapes, gift of Allan Sly, 39 Bay Street, Squantum, Mass. 02171, August 27 1973.

Dissertation, gift of Allan Sly, February 1974; accessioned February 18, 1974.

Three pages of typescript, gift of Allan Sly, April 18, 1975; accessioned May 14, 1975


[Identification of item], PC.1538, Allan Sly Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, NC, USA.


Three audiotapes, gift of Allan Sly, Mass. 02171, August 27 1973. Dissertation, gift of Allan Sly, February 1974; accessioned February 18, 1974. Three pages of typescript, gift of Allan Sly, April 18, 1975; accessioned May 14, 1975. During March-April, 2012, these records were moved from the State Archives building in Raleigh to the Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C.


available at PC.1678,, Martin Duberman Collection


Black Mountain College Records


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://mars.archives.ncdcr.gov.

  1.  List of Black Mountain College collections at the State Archives of North Carolina.
  2.  Black Mountain College Records, 1933-1956, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C. (These records have been described in the online Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS). See link above.)
  3.  Martin Duberman Collection, 1933-1980, PC 1678, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C.
  4.  North Carolina Museum of Art, Black Mountain College Research Project, 1933-1973, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C.

The Allan Sly Papers contain audiotapes of commentary by Sly about Black Mountain College, two essays by Sly, and a dissertation about music at BMC by Anna M. Hines. The two of the audiotapes were made by Sly in 1972 in response to a request from Anna Hines for information about the college. The tapes include commentary on the origins of the college, music during the Lee Hall years (1933-1940), visitors and visiting performers, college life, college curriculum, Thomas Whitney Surette, Bela Martin, Morton Steinau, John Evarts, Dante Fiorillo, Xanti Schawinsky and  The Danse Macabre: A Sociological Study, various other students and faculty members, drama productions, the art department, Martin Duberman's book  Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community (1972), and several short descriptions of the musical background of Elizabeth and Allan Sly [tape 2]. The third tape (referred to as "the final tape") was recorded by Sly during the years 1972-1973 in response to Martin Duberman's book. Subjects covered in the final tape include critiques of the book, music at the college, inter-personal conflicts, John A. Rice, Josef Albers, Dante Fiorillo, college life, curriculum, folk dancing at the college, visitors and visiting performers, various students and faculty members, the Black Mountains, and the Slys' departure from BMC. Listening copies of the tapes are available for researchers, but the originals are restricted for preservation reasons. A manuscript note by Sly concerning the tapes is also included in the same folder.

The first essay, "The Place of Music, As Is Seen in Life at Black Mountain College" (1936?), is a three page typescript which deals with the role of music in self-development. "Black Mountain College: A Monograph" (1973?) was written after the commentary tapes were made and discusses musical performances, college life, John A. Rice, Josef Albers, Thomas Whitney Surette, Theodore Dreier, and other individuals associated with BMC.

The dissertation  Music at Black Mountain College: A Study of Experimental Ideas in Music by Anna M. Hines was presented in 1973 to the faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts. It covers music at the college from 1933 to 1956 including the educational philosophy of BMC, the role of music in the daily life of the school, Music Institutes and Summer Sessions in the fine arts, faculty and guests, music curriculum, and examinations. The appendixes reprint several essays and college publications including "The Composer and the Interpreter" and "Arnold Schoenberg at Seventy" by Ernst Krenek, concert programs (1940-1950), and miscellaneous documents by faculty and students. Original copies of most of these materials can be found in the Black Mountain College Records. Four photocopied pages of letters (August 1973) from Allan Sly to Paul Hoffman of the State Archives of North Carolina concerning the Hines' dissertation are also included in the papers.


  • Albers, Josef
  • Dreier, Theodore, 1902-1997
  • Duberman, Martin B.
  • Evarts, John
  • Fiorillo, Dante, 1905-
  • Hines, Anna M.
  • Krenek, Ernst, 1900-1991
  • Martin, Bela John
  • Rice, John Andrew, b. 1888
  • Schawinsky, Xanti, 1904-1979
  • Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951
  • Sly, Allan Bernard, 1907-
  • Sly, Elizabeth Ware, 1913-
  • Steinau, Morton J.
  • Surette, Thomas Whitney, 1861-1941
  • Sly, Allan Bernard, 1907-
  • Fiorillo, Dante, 1905-
  • Surette, Thomas Whitney, 1861-1941
  • Martin, Bela John
  • Evarts, John
  • Steinau, Morton J.
  • Must Assign Value.
  • Albers, Josef
  • Must Assign Value.
  • Must Assign Value.
  • Rice, John Andrew, 1888-
  • Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951
  • Hines, Anna M.
  • Must Assign Value.
  • Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)
  • Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)
  • Art--Study and teaching--North Carolina--History--20th century
  • College students--North Carolina--Social life and customs--20th century
  • College teachers--North Carolina--Social life and customs--20th century
  • Dance of Death
  • Folk dancing
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Music--Instruction and study--North Carolina--History--20th century
  • Universities and colleges--North Carolina--Curricula
  • Universities and colleges
  • Music
  • College students
  • College teachers
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Art
  • Folk dancing
  • Education, Humanistic
  • Black Mountains (N.C.)
  • Black Mountain (N.C.)

Box: P.C.1538.1  
Commentary by Allan Sly ()
1972-1973

Scope and Content

Listening copies of tapes [the originals are stored in the 2b Cage and are restricted].

27139  
Essay, "The Place of Music, As Is Seen in Life at Black Mountain College" by Allan Sly.
1936?

27140  
Essay, "Black Mountain College: A Monograph" by Allan Sly.
1973?

27141  
Dissertation, "Music at Black Mountain College: A Study of Experimental Ideas in Music" by Anna M. Hines, pages 1-164.

27142  
Dissertation, "Music at Black Mountain College: A Study of Experimental Ideas in Music" by Anna M. Hines, pages 165-256.

27143  
Photocopied letters, Allan Sly to Paul Hoffman
August 1973