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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Harrington Shortall Papers 1907-1984

© 2009 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Shortall, Harrington. Papers

Dates:

1907-1984

Size:

26 linear feet (13 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Harrington Shortall (1895-1984) was a music composer and educator. Shortall studied under Nadia Boulanger, and went on to compose a diverse body of musical work. As an educator, Shortall taught at the Chicago Theological Seminary, and Rosary College. Shortall's papers contain a collection of material related to Nadia Boulanger, including correspondence; also included are teaching materials, compositions, journals and publicity material.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research, with no restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Shortall, Harrington. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Harrington Shortall was born to a wealthy Chicago family in 1895. He attended the Thatcher School in Ojai, California and Harvard University. Like many young American composers, Shortall studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. During World War I he served in the U.S. Navy, and afterwards began a life of music composition.

During the 1930s, Shortall’s work was included as part of the Federal Music Project Composer’s Forum, an event sponsored by the Works Progress Administration. In 1939 his "The Night is Well-Nigh Spent," was conducted by Nadia Boulanger at The Library of Congress Coolidge Theater.

Shortall was a composer for most of his adult life, although he rarely had his works published or performed after the 1940s. His work is characterized by its clarity, directness, and an embrace of pre-romantic compositional models. Simultaneously, it is music grounded in the everyday life and holiday celebrations of wealthy Chicagoans.

Shortall’s work as a music educator took two forms. He produced (although never published) a piano method book, and served as a lecturer at The Chicago Theological Seminary and Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois. Additionally, Shortall copied music from the collection of Chicago’s Newberry Library and produced his own treatises on music composition and theory.

During the 1940s, Shortall briefly taught courses at the Chicago Theological Seminary, Rosary College, and the Latin School. He died in Evanston in 1984.

Scope Note

The Harrington Shortall Papers span the years 1907-1984, with the bulk of material dating from 1920-1960. The collection is organized into three series.

Series I: Nadia Boulanger, contains documents relating to the relationship between Harrington Shortall and his piano and composition teacher. Material in this series includes correspondence from Nadia Boulanger to Harrington Shortall and to his mother, Mary Shortall. It also includes published piano reductions of Lili Boulanger’s music, dedicated to Shortall by Nadia Boulanger; clippings of magazine and newspaper articles; and a bound copy of course notes taken by Sister Edward Blackwell while studying musical analysis with Boulanger. The material in this series ranges from 1913-1979.

Series II: Compositions, contains completed compositions, revisions, unfinished compositions, and related notes. Compositions in this series range from 1907-1981, with significant concentrations from the 1920s-1950s. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series III: Teaching and Lecture Materials, contains material relating to Shortall’s piano method book "Singing Fingers," copies of works by other composers, and course lecture notes. Material in this series spans the 1940s-1950s.

Series IV: Personal, contains Shortall's journals and other personal writings, as well as correspondence and newspaper reviews relating to Shortall’s career as a composer. Also found in this series is an obituary and a photograph of Shortall. This series contains material from 1937-1984.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Nef, Elinor Castle. Papers

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Nadia Boulanger

This series contains documents relating to the relationship between Harrington Shortall and his piano and composition teacher Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979). Material in this series includes correspondence from Nadia Boulanger to Harrington Shortall and to his mother, Mary Shortall. It also includes published piano reductions of Lili Boulanger’s music, dedicated to Shortall by Nadia Boulanger; clippings of magazine and newspaper articles; and a bound copy of course notes taken by Sister Edward Blackwell while studying musical analysis with Boulanger. The material in this series ranges from 1913-1979, although the dedicated scores were likely not presented to Shortall until after 1934.

Box 1   Folder 1-2

Harrington Shortall, correspondence, 1934-1976

Box 1   Folder 3

Mary Shortall, correspondence, 1934-1954

Box 1   Folder 4

Clippings, 1946-1979

Box 1   Folder 5

Sister Edward Blackwell, notes from musical analysis class, 1941

Box 1   Folder 6

Lili Boulanger, "Fauste et Helene," 1913

Box 1   Folder 7

Lili Boulanger, "Vielle Priere Bouddhique," 1921

Box 1   Folder 8

Lili Boulanger, "Pie Jesu," 1922

Box 1   Folder 9

Lili Boulanger, "Psaume 24," 1924

Series II: Compositions

This series contains bound and completed compositions, revisions, unfinished compositions, and related notes. This series is organized chronologically; however, revised and alternate copies are grouped with the earliest version of the composition. Compositions in this series range from 1907-1981, with significant concentrations from the 1920s-1950s. There are multiple drafts, versions, and revisions of "Es Lachelt der See (Song in Search of English Words)," "Reed Song," "The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," "The West Wind," "Stabat Mater Speciosa," "Ad Romanos XIII 11, 12, 13, 14," "Music for the Order of the Burial of the Dead," "Round a 3," "Semi sentennial Hymn," and "Peaceful Cannon."

Box 2   Folder 1

"Early Songs," 1907-1924

Box 2   Folder 2

"Ghost Story," 1908

Box 2   Folder 3

"Reed Song," 1910

Box 2   Folder 4

"Reed Song," 1910

Box 2   Folder 5

"Reed Song," 1910, revised 1978

Box 2   Folder 6

"Reed Song," 1910, revised 1980

Box 2   Folder 7

"Reed Song," 1910, revised 1981

Box 2   Folder 8

"Es Lachelt der See (Song in Search of English Words)" 1916, revised 1948

Box 2   Folder 9

"Es Lachelt der See (Song in Search of English Words)" 1916, revised 1973

Box 2   Folder 10

"Madgrigal," 1917

Box 2   Folder 11

"Christmas Serenade," "The Sleighriders (For Christmas)" 1921,

  • revised 1937
Box 2   Folder 12

"The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," 1922

Box 2   Folder 13

"The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," 1923

Box 2   Folder 14

"The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," 1923

Box 2   Folder 15

"The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," 1923

Box 2   Folder 16

"The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," 1924

Box 3   Folder 1

"The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," undated

Box 3   Folder 2

"The Candidate’s Daughter or Love in Politics," undated

Box 3   Folder 3

"The West Wind," 1923

Box 3   Folder 4

"The West Wind," 1924

Box 3   Folder 5

"Stabat Mater Speciosa," 1924

Box 3   Folder 6

"Stabat Mater Speciosa," 1924

Box 3   Folder 7

"Stabat Mater Speciosa," 1924, revised1936

Box 3   Folder 8

"Stabat Mater Speciosa," 1924, revised 1951

Box 3   Folder 9

"Stabat Mater Speciosa," 1924, revised 1965

Box 3   Folder 10

"Stabat Mater Speciosa," 1924, revised 965

Box 3   Folder 11

"Stabat Mater Speciosa," no date

Box 3   Folder 12

"Two Sentimental Songs (Composed for Prize-money, Which They Failed to Win)," 1928

Box 3   Folder 13

"Excerpts from a Musical Diary," 1928, revised 1935

Box 3   Folder 14

"One Song from Three Poets," 1928, revised 1951

Box 4   Folder 1

"Songs," 1928-1930

Box 4   Folder 2

"Opus," 1933

Box 4   Folder 3

"Choral Memorial," 1934

Box 4   Folder 4

"27 Peaceful Canon and Rounds of Ammunition," 1934-1950

Box 4   Folder 5

"Second Rounds," 1934

Box 4   Folder 6

"The Roundhouse," 1934

Box 4   Folder 7

"Mother Goose Rhymes," 1935

Box 4   Folder 8

‘’Bird Songs," 1936-1938

Box 4   Folder 9

"Target Practice," 1936

Box 4   Folder 10

"The Indian Burying Ground," 1936

Box 4   Folder 11

"A Hymn," 1937

Box 4   Folder 12

"Ten Minute Trio (In One Movement)," 1937

Box 5   Folder 1

"Sketchbook," circa 1937

Box 5   Folder 2

"The Bells," 1937

Box 5   Folder 3

"New Years Antiphon," 1937-38

Box 5   Folder 4

"Semicentennial Hymn," 1939

Box 5   Folder 5

"Ad Romanos XIII 11, 12, 13, 14," 1938-1939, revised 1941

Box 5   Folder 6

"Romans XIII 11, 12, 13, 14," 1938-1939, revised 1941-1942

Box 5   Folder 7

"Advent Hymn (Epistle to the Romans XIII, 12, 13, 14)," undated

Box 5   Folder 8

"ABC (A Ballet Cantata)," 1939

Box 5   Folder 9

"Experiment in Plain Song Accompaniment (Adoro Te)," 1939

Box 5   Folder 10

"Sonata for Solo Violin (from Themes Variously Borrowed)," 1940

Box 5   Folder 11

"Of Glad Things There Be More," 1941

Box 6   Folder 1

"Ballad Symphony," 1940

Box 6   Folder 2

"Wreath of Variations (In Memory of Thomas Jefferson)," 1942

Box 6   Folder 3

"Xmas Round," 1942

Box 6   Folder 4

"Fanfare for Those Who Will Not Return," 1942

Box 6   Folder 5

"Six Pieces in One (For Those Who Will Not Return)," 1943

Box 6   Folder 6

"Innocents’ Day Carol," 1946

Box 6   Folder 7

"Waltz in the Pluperfect Subjunctive Mood," 1946

Box 6   Folder 8

"Hymn for Uncle Sam’s Nephews and Nieces," 1946

Box 6   Folder 9

"Peaceful Canon," 1947

Box 6   Folder 10

"Requiem, Introit, Kyrie, and Graduale," 1949

Box 6   Folder 11

"A New Arrangement of the Traditional American Birthday Song," 1950

Box 6   Folder 12

"Grace Round the Board," 1950

Box 6   Folder 13

"Christmas Comes Round Again," 1950

Box 6   Folder 14

"Air, Harmony and Round for Nearly Equal Voices," 1951

Box 6   Folder 15

"Recipe (For From Three to Eight Kindred Spirits)," 1951

Box 6   Folder 16

"Music for the Order of the Burial of the Dead," 1953

Box 6   Folder 17

"Music for the Order of the Burial of the Dead," 1953

Box 6   Folder 18

"Music for the Order of the Burial of the Dead," 1953

Box 7   Folder 1

"Round a 3," 1953

Box 7   Folder 2

"Round a 3," 1954

Box 7   Folder 3

"Christmas Round," 1956

Box 7   Folder 4

"Kitchen Round for 5, 4, or 3 Chefs, Psalm LXVIII, 13 (King James)," 1959

Box 7   Folder 5

"Ichtus," 1963

Box 7   Folder 6

"Happy Birthday to You (A New Variation)," 1964

Box 7   Folder 7

"Ten Hymns," 1967

Box 7   Folder 8

"Blessing Round the Board and Singing Grace Round the Board," 1977

Box 7   Folder 9

"I Sing of a Maiden," undated

Box 7   Folder 10

"Air & Round a 4," undated

Box 7   Folder 11

"Christmas Carol," undated

Box 7   Folder 12

"Another Spring Comes Round," undated

Box 7   Folder 13

"Brownies," undated

Box 7   Folder 14

"All Hail to Thee North Shore," undated

Box 7   Folder 15

"Rounds, Canons, and Toasts, undated

Box 7   Folder 16

"Sung- Recitativo," undated

Box 7   Folder 17

"Fantasia for String Quartet," undated

Box 7   Folder 18

Music sketchbook 1, undated

Box 7   Folder 19

Music sketchbook 2, undated

Series III: Teaching and Lecture Materials

This series is organized into three subseries. Subseries 1: Piano Method, contains material relating to Shortall’s piano method book "Singing Fingers." Subseries 2: Copies of Works by Others, contains compositions in a variety of formats, many of which are organized into anthologies. These items are undated, although are likely from the 1940s-1950s when Shortall began having his work professionally bound. Subseries 3: Lecture Notes, contains drafts and notebooks pertaining to course lecture, as well as a copy of a lecture delivered by Reverend Bernard J. Sheil. Material in this series spans the 1940s and 1950s.

Subseries 1: Piano Method

Box 8   Folder 1

"Singing Fingers," 1940

Box 8   Folder 2

"Singing Fingers," 1940

Box 8   Folder 3

"Singing Fingers," 1940

Box 8   Folder 4

"Singing Fingers (A Book for Supplementary Use)," 1940

Subseries 2: Copies of Works by Others

Box 9   Folder 1

"Thou Knowest Lord," score

Box 9   Folder 2

"Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn," score

Box 9   Folder 3

"Palestrina’s Hymns I," notebook

Box 9   Folder 4

"Palestrina’s Hymns II," notebook

Box 9   Folder 5

"Sweelinck, Palestrina, Praetorius, Schubert, de Lassus, Schutz," notebook

Box 9   Folder 6

"Tallis, Tavener, Palestrina, de Lassus, Scheidt, Schubert, Schutz, and Schmnidt," folio

Box 9   Folder 7

"Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky," score

Box 9   Folder 8

From Dunstable to Stravinsky: A Collection of Little Pieces for Observation, Analysis, and Comparison, folio

Box 10   Folder 1

"Orpheo," score

Box 10   Folder 2

"Greek Music," folio

Box 10   Folder 3

"Come Again! Sweet Love Doth Now Invite," sheet music

Box 10   Folder 4

"Paradise Lost," libretto

Box 10   Folder 5

"Greek Music," pamphlet

Box 10   Folder 6

"Folk Songs I," notebook

Box 10   Folder 7

"Folk Songs II," notebook

Box 10   Folder 8

"Folk Songs III," notebook

Box 10   Folder 9

"Music of K.S Dunbaugh," notebook

Box 11   Folder 1

"Hymnody," part 1, score

Box 11   Folder 2

"Hymnody," part 2, score

Box 11   Folder 3

"Hymnody," part 3, score

Box 11   Folder 4

"Folk Songs," folio

Box 11   Folder 5

"Concerning Origin," folio

Box 11   Folder 6

"Greek Music," folio

Box 11   Folder 7

"Concerning Scales," folio

Box 11   Folder 8

"Rise of Harmony," folio

Box 11   Folder 9

"Troubadours- Trouveres," folio

Box 11   Folder 10

"Ars Nova," folio

Subseries 3: Lecture Notes

Box 12   Folder 1

"Religion and Music," 1946

Box 12   Folder 2

"Religion and Music Course Notes," part 1, 1946

Box 12   Folder 3

"Religion and Music Course Notes," part 2, 1946

Box 12   Folder 4

"Religion and the Arts," 1947

Box 12   Folder 5

"Religion and Music," lecture, 1947

Box 12   Folder 6

"Religion and Music II," 1947

Box 12   Folder 7

"Can Religion Tolerate Mediocrity?" 1948

Box 12   Folder 8

"Lecture for Institute for Religious and Social Studies," 1948

Box 12   Folder 9

"Hymnody," circa 1940s

Series 4: Personal

This series contains Shortall's personal writings, as well as correspondence and newspaper reviews relating to Shortall’s career as a composer. The correspondence folder also includes the collection’s only photograph of Shortall. The journals include Shortall’s copies of essays and articles on history, music, psychology, theater, and politics, as well as his reflections on these subjects. This series contains material from 1937-1984.

Box 13   Folder 1

Correspondence, 1946-1971

Box 13   Folder 2

Concert reviews, 1937-1939

Box 13   Folder 3

Concert programs, 1937-1971

Box 13   Folder 4

Journal 1, undated

Box 13   Folder 5

Journal 2, undated

Box 13   Folder 6

Journal 3, 1965

Box 13   Folder 7

Journal 4, 1966

Box 13   Folder 8

Journal 5, undated

Box 13   Folder 9

Travel notebook, 1964-1971

Box 13   Folder 10

Obituary, 1984