Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Pauline Oliveros Papers
Oliveros, Pauline, 1932-2016
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0102
20.4 Linear feet
(31 archives boxes, 7 flat boxes, 2 map case folders, and 2 card file boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1946-1981
Abstract: Papers of Pauline Oliveros, American experimental musician, composer and key figure in the development of contemporary electronic
music. The collection contains Oliveros' original writings, compositions, correspondence and sketches. Also included are interviews,
programs and reviews, teaching materials and writings about and relating to Oliveros' work.
Film located in Box 1, Folder 21 is restricted. Researchers must request a user copy to be produced.
Pauline Oliveros Papers, MSS 102. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Scope and Content of Collection
Papers of Pauline Oliveros, composer, accordionist and former music professor at UCSD. Materials include correspondence,
works and writings by Pauline Oliveros and others, manuscripts of Oliveros' compositions, subject files, reel-to-reel audio
tapes and ephemera. These materials were originally located at UCSD's Music Library.
The papers are arranged in eleven series: 1) WORKS BY PAULINE OLIVEROS, 2) WRITINGS, 3) PROJECTS, 4) INTERVIEWS AND CRITICISMS,
5) PROGRAMS AND REVIEWS, 6) UNIVERSITY MATERIALS, 7) WORKS BY OTHERS, 8) WRITINGS BY OTHERS, 9) CORRESPONDENCE, 10) BIOGRAPHICAL
and 11) ELECTRONIC MUSIC SYSTEMS.
SERIES 1: WORKS BY PAULINE OLIVEROS
The WORKS BY PAULINE OLIVEROS series includes two subseries: A) Compositions and B) Sketches.
A) The Compositions subseries consists of Oliveros' catalog of musical compositions from 1951-1980, manuscript scores, drafts,
sketches and related programs, correspondence and photographs. Notable works include
Sound Patterns, and
Theater of Substitution series.
B) The Sketches subseries includes primarily interpretive artwork and composition notes from 1957-1960. Some unidentified
and oversized sketches are also included.
SERIES 2: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series is arranged alphabetically and includes manuscript drafts, typescripts and some supporting correspondence
and notes. Included is material for Oliveros' book,
Software for People: Collected Writings 1963-80, published in 1984.
SERIES 3: PROJECTS
The PROJECTS series includes various documents on some of the early projects Pauline Oliveros was involved with. This series
includes three subseries: A) San Francisco Tape Music Center at Mills College, B) Meditation Projects, and C) The Woman's
A) The San Francisco Tape Music Center, of which Oliveros was one of the original members, was an important resource for electronic
music during the 1960's. The Center later moved to Mills College. This subseries includes typescript articles and miscellaneous
materials relating to the Center's proposal for an environmental exhibit, Summer Tour 1964 information, concert reviews, publicity
information and other documents.
B) The Meditation Projects subseries includes outlines and reports, journals, questionaires and meditation materials relating
to Oliveros' work exploring mental and physical exercises in concentration and how that affects techniques for rehearsal and
performance of music. Materials include Oliveros' notes, reports on the Meditation Project, and other materials on awareness
and meditation. Materials date from 1972-1975.
C) The Women's Ensemble was a group formed by Oliveros to explore sonic meditations. The materials in this subseries include
texts and brochures of the ensemble, group meeting notes, Oliveros' diary, photographs, reviews and some related correspondence.
SERIES 4: INTERVIEWS AND CRITICISMS
INTERVIEWS AND CRITICISMS includes three subseries: A) Interviews with Pauline Oliveros, B) Interviews by Pauline Oliveros,
and C) Writings about Pauline Oliveros. The date range for these materials is 1963-1981.
A) Interviews with Pauline Oliveros subseries is arranged in alphbetical order by author and includes published interviews
with Oliveros relating to her career and electronic music. The date range for these materials is 1976-1981.
B) Interviews by Pauline Oliveros subseries are interview typescripts arranged in alphabetical order by interviewee and include
interviews of colleagues and musicians involved in electronic and experimental music such as fellow Deep Listening Band member
Stuart Dempster. These interviews are from 1978-1979.
C) Writings about Pauline Oliveros subseries are published articles and criticisms about Oliveros and her work and are arranged
alphabetically by author. These materials date from 1963-1980.
SERIES 5: PROGRAMS AND REVIEWS
PROGRAMS AND REVIEWS are divided into two subseries: A) Programs and B) Reviews. Each subseries is arranged chronologically.
A) The Programs subseries ranges from 1949-1982 and includes programs of Oliveros' concerts, performances, recitals and workshops.
B) Reviews include primarily newspaper clippings of reviews of Oliveros' musical performances. Materials are arranged chronologically
and range in date from 1945-1981.
SERIES 6: UNIVERSITY MATERIALS
UNIVERSITY MATERIALS illustrate part of Oliveros' teaching career. The bulk of the materials are from Oliveros' tenure as
a faculty member at UCSD and include course materials, reports, and grants/teaching proposals which range from 1964-1981.
This series is broken down into five subseries which include: A) Teaching Materials, B) Teaching by Others, C) Administrative
Materials, D) Center for Music Experiment (CME), E) Committees and F) Other.
A) Teaching Materials include class materials, course plans and exercises primarily from Oliveros' classes at UCSD and are
arranged chronologically from 1964-1981.
B) Teachings by Others includes bibliographies, course materials and some teaching exercises from Oliveros' colleagues.
C) Administrative Materials include proposals, resoures for research and development, guidelines and questions for the Graduate
D) Center for Music Experiment (CME) materials span from 1975-1979 and include Advisory Committee notes, CME proposals, reports
and other administrative documents relating to the establishment of the Center.
E) The Committees subseries includes Electronics Committee materials, of which Oliveros was a member, and document her involvement
from 1968-1979; material relating to the Committee on Space from 1976-1977; and materials relating to Electronics Environment
research project, 1969-1971.
F) Other Materials include other Oliveros' teaching projects and workshop materials, as well as conference and festival materials,
miscellaneous student projects, leave forms and other UCSD related correspondence.
SERIES 7: WORKS BY OTHERS
The WORKS BY OTHERS series is arranged alphbetically and includes works by fellow composers and musicians involved in experimental
electronic music. Some notable works by Robert Erickson and Jackson Mac Low are included. A good portion of this series are
oversize holograph scores. This series ranges from 1966-1981 and also includes some unidentified scores.
SERIES 8: WRITINGS BY OTHERS
The WRITINGS BY OTHERS series is arranged in alphabetical order and includes articles, essays and interviews relating to electronic
and experiemental music by Oliveros' colleagues, fellow composers and musicians from 1961-1981.
SERIES 9: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged in alphbetical order by correspondent and includes letters to Oliveros and also some
correspondence between Oliveros and fellow musicians, university departments and colleagues, and other entities such as Bell
Electronic Music Review, and League of Women Composers. This series includes materials from 1968-1979.
SERIES 10: BIOGRAPHICAL
The BIOGRAPHICAL series is divided into two subseries: A) General and B) Grants and Awards.
A) The General subseries includes Oliveros' early childhood scrapbook from 1946, high school and college memorabilia, her
career narrative and curriculum vitae from 1957-1980, as well as miscellaneous drawings, oversize artwork, and Oliveros' sketchbook.
B) The Grants and Awards subseries includes various documents relating to grants, awards and panels which Oliveros participated
in, including the National Endowment for the Arts - Composers, Librettists and Translators Panel and Music Advisory Panel.
These materials date from 1961-1981.
SERIES 11: ELECTRONIC MUSIC SYSTEMS
This series holds materials on the Buchla Electronic Music System, 1969 and the Ionic Industries, Inc. electronic music synthesis
system, 1972. Files include users manuals, correspondence and other information annotated by Oliveros on these electronic
Pauline Oliveros was born in Houston, Texas in 1932. An accomplished accordianist, composer and teacher, she is an instrumental
figure in the world of electronic music. Oliveros was a founding member of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, a resource
for electronic music in the 1960s. Later, the Center moved to Mills College and became the Center for Contemporary Music where
Oliveros was the Center's first director.
Oliveros' teaching career spans several decades. She left Mills College in 1967 when she accepted a faculty position at the
University of California, San Diego. From 1976-1979 Oliveros served as the director of the Center for Music Experiment (CME),
later renamed The Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at UCSD.
In 1981 she moved to upstate New York to work as an independent composer and performer. She then became the Distinguished
Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York and the Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence
at Mills College.
Oliveros is the founder of The Deep Listening Institute, formerly the Pauline Oliveros Foundation. In 1991 she coined the
term "Deep Listening". The Institute explains Deep Listening philosophy , stating that it "distinguishes the difference between
the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary selective nature of listening. The result of the practice cultivates appreciation
of sounds on a heightened level, expanding the potential for connection and interaction with one's environment, technology
and performance with others in music and related arts." Out of this philosophy, Oliveros formed the Deep Listening Band with
fellow musicians David Gamper and Stuart Dempster.
Oliveros has been a great influence on American electronic and experimental music. In 2009, she won the William Schuman Award
for lifetime achievement from Columbia University and in 2010, a retrospective of her work from 1960 to 2010 was performed
in honor of the award.
On March 19th, 2012, Oliveros became the recipient of the John Cage Award from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts. Also
in 2012, Pauline Oliveros celebrated her 80th birthday with year long celebration performances, Deep Listening activities
Some of her notable works include
Sound Patterns, and
Theater of Substitution series. She has also written several books on music theory and electronic music including
Sounds the Margins: Collected Writings 1992-2009,
Deep Listening: A Composer's Sound Practice,
Roots of the Moment,
Software for People: Collected Writings 1963-80.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Music -- 20th century
Avant-garde (Music) -- United States -- 20th century
Composers -- United States -- 20th century
Deep Listening Band
Deep Listening Institute
University of California, San Diego. Center for Research in Computing and the Arts
University of California, San Diego. Center for Music Experiment