Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Tibor Serly papers, 1905-1992

Submit a request for access to the archival material. All users will need to register the first time they make a request. Columbia-affiliated users may login with their uni and password. Unaffiliated users may create a new account.

Series I: Writings and Music by Serly

Series I includes unpublished drafts of books written by Serly, and musical scores and sketches in his personal collection. The series is arranged into two subseries: Writings by Serly and Musical Scores.

Subseries 1: Writings by Serly, 1905-1978

Serly spent the better part of his last decade researching and writing a biography of Béla Bartók, a theory text about melody, and a personal memoir, all of which are included here in draft form. The extensive materials for the Bartók biography include: Serly's translations from Hungarian of musical essays written by Bartók; interviews with friends and family of Bartók; and unpublished historical and musicological essays written by Serly about Bartók. The Bartók material also contains the only known copy of a 16mm color home movie, without sound, of an informal performance by Bartók from 1944; with documents and correspondence from the 1970s between Serly and the Bartók estate concerning ownership of the film. Subseries 1 also includes the final draft versions of the unpublishedRhetoric of Melody,with voluminous correspondence between Serly and his co-author, Norman Newton, on the development of the text.

Box 2 Unfinished Bela Bartok Biography, Drafts and Notes

Box 2 Typescript draft, (2 Folders)

Box 2 Original Bartok writings, translated by Serly

Box 2 Misc. research notes, interviews, and translations

Box 2 Typescript draft essays for biography

Box 2 Bartok 16mm home movie, 1944

Box 2 Correspondence and contracts related to Bartok film

Box 5 Rhetoric of Melody written with Norman Newton,, 1976-1978

Box 5 Bound final drafts

Box 5 Correspondence with Norman Newton and others

Box 3 Notes and research

Box 3 Other Writings

Box 3 Musings of an Angry Musician --notes and essays for memoir

Box 3 Modus Lascivus --notes, drafts, microfilm, publicity

Box 3 Miscellaneous program notes for Serly compositions

Subseries 2: Musical Scores, 1925-1978

A collection of original scores and arrangements from the entire length of Serly's career. The works include ballets, songs, chamber music, symphonies, and experimental music, all in different states of completion: parts, conductor scores, revisions, sketches, microfilms, and transparencies. Several pieces also demonstrate Serly's expertise as an arranger, with works by Bartók, Bach, Schubert, and his father, Lajos Serly.

Box 5 Songs--manuscript and printed scores

Box 5 "Angie Mimey"

Box 5 "Birthday Song"

Box 5 "Forest Lullaby"

Box 5 "Forget-Me-Not" (Lajos Serly, arr. by Tibor Serly)

Box 5 "Lady Alice"

Box 5 "Longview Song"

Box 5 "The Needle's Eye"

Box 5 "Oh, Miss Mary"

Box 5 "The Old Man Who Lived in the Wood"

Box 5 "The Old Woman and the Preacher"

Box 5 "Slave Song"

Box 5 "Two Little Sisters"

Chamber, Orchestral, and Theatrical Works

Box 6 Adagio and Scherzo for Flute Solo--score

Box 6 American Quodlibet--score

Box 6 Canonic Prelude for Four Harps--scores

Box 6 Castout--ballet score

Box 6 Concerto for Viola and Orchestra--score

Box 6 Divertimento for Wind Instruments--parts

Box 6 Five Consovowels in Modus Lascivus--notes, parts, score

Box 6 Five Pieces for Trombone and Piano--parts

Box 6 Five Pieces for Violin and Piano--parts

Box 6 40 Etudes--score

Box 6 Fughatta for Orchestra--(Bach, arr. by Serly); manuscript parts and score

Box 6 Ghidonis Sonata for Strings--score, parts

Box 6 Instruments of the Symphony Orchestra--notes, score, parts, transparencies

Box 6 Into the Heavens (Celestial Music)--score

Box 7 Menuet in Bi-Modals--printed score

Box 7 Mischianza--bound ballet score

Box 7 Modus Lascivus--chart

Box 7 Piano Sonata in Modus Lascivus--parts

Box 7 The Pleiades--score

Box 7 Rondo Fantasy in Stringometrics--score

Box 7 Scherzo--(Schubert, arr. by Serly); score

Box 7 Sea-side Suite--scores

Box 7 Sonata in B for Violin and Piano--photocopied score

Box 7 String Quartet--parts

Box 7 Suite from Mikrokosmos--(Bartok, arr. by Serly); parts

Box 7 Symphony in Two Movements--bound score

Box 7 Tap Dance From Six Dance Designs--parts

Box 7 Twilight--score

Box 7 Viola Concerto--(Bartok, arr. by Serly); microfilm and printed score

Box 7 The Wayworn Traveler--score, parts

Box 7 Xmas Quodlibet--score

Box 5, 7 Miscellaneous parts and scores--manuscript and printed