Music and Conservatorium


Music was first taught at McGill in 1899 when Clara Lichtenstein established a music department in Royal Victoria College. In 1904 the McGill Conservatorium opened, with Charles Harriss as Director and Clara Lichtenstein as Vice-Director. The University established a Faculty of Music in 1920 with the Conservatorium as one of its components. The Faculty's records reflect its administration, teaching, supervision of a local examination system, and its participation in concerts and lectures. The administrative functions of the Conservatorium and Faculty overlapped and were often dealt with by the same staff members. From 1920 to 1928 H.C. Perrin combined the duties of Director of the Conservatorium with those of the first Dean of Music. Douglas Clarke likewise combined the two positions from 1929-1930 to 1954. The dual nature of their offices are reflected in the records of both men. In addition, some of the records were later rearranged according to subject headings, with the result that some of the series below contain both Conservatorium and Faculty material.


1904-1906 Charles Harriss

1908-1929 H.C. Perrin

1929-1954 Douglas Clarke


1920-1928 H.C. Perrin

1930-1954 Douglas Clarke

1955-1956 Marvin Duchow, Acting Dean

1957-1962 Marvin Duchow

1964 Helmut Blume, Acting Dean

1964-1976 Helmut Blume

1976- Paul Pedersen

MINUTES, 1904-1963

Minutes of the Faculty of Music, 1904-1963, 10 cm (c.5)

These are the minutes of the Conservatorium Committee before May 1920. Some of the minutes are in draft form. Listed.

Minutes of the Organizing Committee, 1904-1907, 1 vol, 1 cm (c.5)

This body was also known as the Advisory Board. The volume also contains minutes of juries for competitions. Listed, but not indexed.


Correspondence, 1904-ca 1970

General Correspondence, 1904-ca 1970, 6 m (c.2-c.5, c.11, c.30-c.35, c.82-c.88)

This series comprises incoming letters and copies of replies of the Director/Dean and the Secretary of the Conservatorium. The arrangement is alphabetical by senders in blocks of one or two years. There are also three letterbooks of the Secretary of the Conservatorium, 1904-1910, indexed. As well, there is correspondence with other McGill offices and societies 1924-1963 (c.34-c.35); with students, 1905-1962 (c.32-c.34); about scholarships, 1905-1961 (c.30-c.31); other Schools of Music, 1926-1962 (c.30) and with social, professional and musical organizations outside the University, 1910-1961 (c.11). Partly listed.


Records of the Director and Dean, 1904-ca 1960, 85 cm (c.1, c.5-c.7) PARTS RESTRICTED

These records fall into the following main groups: announcements, syllabi and related memoranda, 1904-1950 (c.1); annual and other reports, 1920-1961, (c.1); correspondence, brochures relating to 50th Anniversary, 1954, (c.1); files concerning departmental administration, inventories, specimens of forms; 1913-1963, (c.1); estimates and correspondence about the use and expenses of the physical plant of the Music Faculty, 1913-1963, (c.6-c.7); financial records, including a cash journal, 1927-1954, and fee and salary statements, (c.5-c.6).

Records of the Dean, 1955-1966, 3 m (c.44-c.57)

Various files relating to the meetings of the Music Faculty, Senate; to the curriculum and various courses; and annual reports. There are two series, arranged alphabetically.

Subject and Information Files, ca 1903-1963, 40 cm (c.28)

Correspondence, publicity, scores concerning music in Canada, Montreal and music festivals; music books, and testimonials and letters relating to Montreal music teachers.

Staff and Personnel Records, 1910-1963, 1.5 m (c.31-c.34) RESTRICTED

Correspondence on staff, policy, and salaries, arranged chronologically and listed; enquiries, applications, and testimonials, arranged chronologically and listed; and files containing correspondence and information on individual staff members, arranged alphabetically.

Records of Committees of Inquiry, 1926, 1937, 1955, 1 cm (c.1)

These include correspondence, agendas, minutes and reports on the "present conditions of music in the University".


Curriculum Records, 1906-1964, 2.8 m (c.13-c.14, c.36, c.76-c.81)

These include reports, correspondence, standards for various existing and proposed courses, instructors' timesheets and lists of students. Listed.

Teaching Aids, 1912-1963, 10 cm (c.35)

Correspondence about textbooks, films, slides and disc recordings. Listed.


Registers, 1911-1963, 22 vols, 6 cm (c.6, c.36)

These consist of a register of degrees and diplomas 1911-1963 and attendance registers kept for varous courses, 1931-1960. Listed.

Admissions and Registration Records, 1910-1966, 1.6 m (c.7-c.9, c.90-c.91) RESTRICTED

Correspondence about admission, statistical returns, as well as registration cards arranged alphabetically by session recording student's name, address, course, names of teachers and fees. Both full time and partial students are included. Listed.


Music Faculty Examinations, 1912-1972, 6.5 m (c.14-c.15, c.36, c.38-c.43, c.45-c.57, c.59-c.67, c.75) PARTLY RESTRICTED

Specimen and worked examinations papers for various courses given in the Music Faculty, arranged by subject until 1957 and by year afterwards. Included are essays and compositions. Listed. Worked examinations are restricted.

Local Examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, 1898-1958, 1 m (c.9-c.11, c.89) PARTLY RESTRICTED

The records consist of correspondence, lists of candidates, and examinations given under McGill's auspices in cooperation with the Associated Board ca 1902 to 1909 when the University set up its own local examination system. There is also later correspondence between the Music Faculty and the Associated Board, 1925-1958. Access to worked examinations and grade results is restricted.

Local Centre Examinations, 1909-1963, 4 m (c.19-c.28) PARTLY RESTRICTED

These records consist of correspondence, grade lists, printed examination questions and correspondence concerning their preparation, worked examinations at various levels, results files, and correspondence with examiners and teachers. All the sub-series are arranged chronologically, except for the last one which is arranged alphabetically by local centre. Listed. Access to worked examinations and grade results is restricted.

CONCERTS, 1906-1963

Administrative Records, 1906-1963, 1.5 m (c.11-c.13, c.19, c.36)

There is one series of correspondence and programmes concerning concerts and lectures held under the auspices of the Faculty of Music (c.11-c.13) and a second series for externally sponsored concerts and lectures (c.19, c.36). Listed.


McGill Conservatorium Orchestra, 1912-1934, 10 cm (c.28-c.29)

These records include publicity, correspondence with musicians and subscription cards. Listed.

Other McGill Groups, 1931-1961, 15 cm (c.29)

These consist of correspondence and reports of several specialized musical groups including the McGill String Quartet, 1931-1947. Listed.

SCRAPBOOKS, 1904-1962

Scrapbooks, 1904-1962, 60 cm (c.68-c.74)

There are 7 volumes of newsclipings about the Music Faculty and its staff and concerts. Arranged chronologically and listed.


Annual Announcements of the Faculty and Conservatorium, 1904-1956, 30 cm (c.1)

These give details of courses offered. Listed.

Concert Programmes, 1972-1977, 25 cm

Bound volumes of programmes of concerts given in the Faculty.