Elaine Barkin musical compositions and papers, 1955-2010

Finding aid prepared by Melissa Haley, 2015; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
©2015 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Title: Elaine Barkin musical compositions and papers
Collection number: PASC-M 59
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 15.2 linear ft. (31 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1955-2010
Abstract: This collection primarily contains musical compositions and professional writings by composer Elaine Barkin.
Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Creator: Barkin, Elaine, 1932-

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Elaine Barkin Musical Compositions and Papers (Collection PASC-M 59). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Elaine Barkin, 1987-2010.


Composer, writer, and performer Elaine Barkin was born December 15, 1932 in New York City. She graduated from Queens College, CUNY and Brandeis University (MFA, 1954 and Ph.D, 1971) and studied composition at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik in the 1950s. Barkin taught at Queens College (1964-1970), the University of Michigan (1970-1974), and Princeton (1974), before joining the faculty at UCLA in 1974, teaching music composition and theory; she retired from UCLA in 1997. Barkin also served as an editor for the journal Perspectives of New Music from the mid-1960s to 1980s, and wrote numerous essays for the publication and other music journals, including Open Space Magazine, which she co-founded. In the 1980s, Barkin undertook several excursions to Bali to study gamelan music and interview Indonesian musicians.
Elaine Barkin has composed numerous musical works, including those for strings, piano, percussion, harp, woodwind, horns, gamelan, and voice.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of draft and reproduction scores, sketches, and some completed versions of Elaine Barkin’s musical compositions; writings and material relating to editorial work for the journal Perspectives of New Music; and writings for other publications. Also present is a small amount of material concerning Barkin’s other professional endeavors, including her involvement with the Society for Music Theory and her interest in Balinese music; personal correspondence; ephemera; and audio recordings of some of her works.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following series:
  • Series 1. Musical compositions
  • Series 2. Perspectives of New Music
  • Series 3. Other writings and professional endeavors
  • Series 4. Personal correspondence and files
  • Series 5. Audio recordings
  • Series 6. Film: Lapis

Related Material

UCLA Music Library  has individual scores and recordings of Barkin's work. Please search the UCLA Library Catalog. 

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4230355 

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Barkin, Elaine, 1932- --Archives.
Universities and colleges--California--Los Angeles--Faculty--Archives.
Women composers--United States--Archives.

Container List


Series 1. Musical compositions. 1955-2007.

Scope and Content

This series consists of draft and reproduction scores, sketches, and some completed versions of Barkin's compositions, arranged alphabetically by title. Material for a few titles includes related correspondence, notes, performance graphics and photographs.
Box 11, Folder 1

4 Little Machine Pieces. 2006.

Box 11, Folder 2

18 Easy and Moderately Difficult Pieces for Pedal and/or Lever Harp. 2003.

Box 1, Folder 1

At the Piano. 1982.

Box 11, Folders 3-4

Ballade. [2003].

Box 11, Folder 5

Barely There. 2006.

Box 3, Folder 1

[Be]coming Together Apart. [1987].

Box 1, Folder 2

Chaconne Variations. [1956].

Box 11, Folder 6

CODA: leave-taking. 2006.

Box 1, Folder 3, Box 11, Folders 7-10

De Amore. 1980.

Scope and Content

Material includes performance photographs and props (Box 11).
Box 3, Folder 2

Demeter and Persephone. [1986].

Box 11, Folder 11

Duo for Two Violins and Three Little Duos. 2007.

Box 1, Folder 4, Box 3, Folder 3

Ebb Tide. [1977].

Box 3, Folder 4

Essay for Orchestra. [1957].

Box 3, Folder 5

... For My Friends' Pleasure.... [1995].

Box 3, Folders 6-7

For Suite's Sake. 1975.

Box 4, Folder 1

Four Short Pieces for Piano. 1955.

Box 11, Folders 12-13

Gamélange. 1993.

Box 11, Folders 14-15

Harp Pieces. 2002-2003.

Box 4, Folder 2

Impromptu. 1981.

Box 4, Folder 3

...In Its Surrendering.... 1980.

Box 4, Folders 4-7

Inward and Outward Bound. 1975.

Box 4, Folder 8

Legong Dreams. 1990-1991.

Box 11, Folder 16

Libretto. 1982.

Box 1, Folder 5, Box 12, Folders 1-2

Media Speak. 1981, 1980s.

Scope and Content

Material includes clippings and notes (Box 12).
Box 5, Folders 1-3

Mixed Modes. 1975.

Box 12, Folder 3

Movement for String Quartet. [1955].

Box 12, Folder 4

Music for Piano 4-Hands. 2006.

Box 1, Folder 6

NB Suite. 1982.

Box 12, Folders 5-6

Ode. 2002-2003.

Box 12, Folder 7

...Out of the Air.... 1988-1989.

Box 4, Folder 9

Parlor Music. 1985-1986.

Box 12, Folder 8

Past Is Part Of (Graphics). [1984] .

Box 12, Folder 9

Piano Suite. [2007].

Box 12, Folder 10

Play and Ghost Sarabande for violoncello. 2009.

Box 12, Folder 11

play it AS it lays (Graphics). [1979].

Box 4, Folder 10

Plein Chant. 1977.

Box 5, Folders 4-5

Plus Ça Change [La Même Plus Changé]. 1971-1972.

Box 1, Folder 7, Box 2, Folder 1

...Poem.... [1999].

Box 5, Folder 6

Prelude & Suonata. 1977.

Box 6, Folder 1

Prim Cycles. [1972].

Box 6, Folder 3-4

Refrains. 1967.

Box 6, Folder 2

Quilt Piece. 1984.

Box 2, Folder 2

Rhapsodies. 1986.

Box 6, Folder 5

Six Compositions for Piano. 1969.

Box 6, Folder 6

Sketch. 2001.

Box 6, Folder 7

...The Sky.... [1978].

Box 7, Folder 1, Box 12, Folder 12

Song for Sarah. 2001.

Box 7, Folder 2

Sound Play. 1973-1974.

Box 7, Folder 3

Still Life. 1984.

Box 7, Folder 4

String Quartet. [1969].

Box 2, Folders 3-4, Box 8

String Trio. 1976, 1978.

Box 12, Folder 13

Suite for Piano. 2007.

Box 7, Folders 5-9

...The Supple Suitor.... [1978].

Box 9, Folder 1, Box 12, Folder 14

Tambellan Suite. [2003], 2004-2005.

Box 2, Folder 5

Three Cummings Sky Choruses. 1986.

Box 12, Folder 15

Time Out. 2007.

Box 2, Folder 6

Touching All Bases. 1995-1998.

Box 13, Folder 2

Two as One. 2007.

Box 9, Folders 2-3

Two Emily Dickinson Choruses. [1976-1977].

Box 13, Folder 3

Warna/Colors. 2004.

Box 9, Folder 4, Box 13, Folders 4-5

Sketches and unfinished works. 1974-2002.

Scope and Content

Includes [Interlude] (1974) and [Strings?] (2001-2002) [Box 13], and a sketch for a piece on solitude never composed (1983) [Box 9].
Box 9, Folders 5-7, Box 10, Folders 1-3

Unidentified drafts and sketches. undated .

Box 10, Folders 4-5

Works by others. 1992-1995.

Scope and Content

Includes Anne LeBaron's Solar Music, and Renee T. Coulombe's Four (and...) for Solo Piano, Triage I for Seven Performers, and Triage II: A Map of the Known Universe for Seven Performers. Also present are additional scores submitted by various composers to Perspectives of New Music for their tribute issue to Aaron Copland (see Box 17, folders 7-8 for related material).

Series 2. Perspectives of New Music. 1972-2004 .

Scope and Content

Barkin wrote numerous essays for Perspectives of New Music and also served as an editor for the journal from the mid-1960s to the 1980s. This series consists of her PNM writings and of correspondence related to her editorial work, in addition to production material for a few individual issues. Writings for other journals and publications are located in Series 3.

Subseries 1. Writings. [1975]-2004.

Scope and Content

Contains drafts, corrected proofs and notes for Barkin's essays and other works for PNM. Titles are arranged chronologically.
Box 14, Folder 1

Review of Charles Rosen's Arnold Schoenberg. [1975].

Box 14, Folder 2

Conversation Piece (for Milton Babbitt). 1976.

Box 14, Folders 3-6

Post Impressions: Arthur Berger's Trio, and a Postlude. 1978.

Box 14, Folder 7

A Dedication, Five ADmusements, & A Digression. 1980.

Box 14, Folder 8

Earl Kim's Earthlight. [1981].

Box 14, Folder 9

Conversations with Rachel Rosenthal. [1981-1983].

Box 14, Folder 10

Responses from Women Composers in the US. 1982, 1983.

Box 14, Folder 11

On Being a Composer. 1988.

Box 15, Folders 1-5

either/other (concerning the work of Susan McClary). 1989-1992.

Box 15, Folder 6

... typescript. 1992.

Box 15, Folders 7-9

reexperiencing Language, as a Music revisited. 1999-2001.

Box 15, Folder 10

9 Ben-Collages & VI Fragments from a Never-Ending Work in Progress for the Ben Boretz Festschrift. 2004.


Subseries 2. Correspondence. 1972-1993.

Scope and Content

Correspondence received also contain some copies of outgoing letters by Barkin.
Box 16, Folders 1-11

Letters received A-R. 1972-1984.

Box 17, Folders 1-3

Letters received S-Z. 1976-1984.

Box 17, Folder 4

Letters sent. 1977-1982.

Box 17, Folder 5

Correspondence. 1973-1993.

Scope and Content

Bulk is letters received by PNM; also includes letters sent to Barkin by PNM, mostly about her writings for the journal.

Subseries 3. Individual issues.

Box 17, Folder 6

Material related to Vol. 17 No. 1 (Fall/Winter 1978). 1978, undated .

Scope and Content

Notes, correspondence, and other material.
Box 10, Folder 5, Box 17, Folders 7-8

Material related to Vol. 19 No. 1/2 (Fall 1980/Summer 1981). 1980-1982.

Scope and Content

Correspondence and scores from composers for a tribute issue to Aaron Copland.
Box 17, Folder 9

Vol. 17 No. 2 (Spring/Summer 1979).

Scope and Content

Annotated published edition; contains Barkin's piece Play it AS it lays.

Series 3. Other writings and professional endeavors. 1968-[2010] .

Scope and Content

Series consists of Barkin's writings for other journals and publications, biographical entries for the Grove Dictionary of Music, and her dissertation. Also present is material related to Barkin's editorial work for the anthology Audible Traces: Gender, Identity, & Music; newsletters and other items for several music organizations including the Society for Music Theory; material concerning Barkin's interest in Balinese music; items related to her recordings and music publication; images of an art project; and several folders of ephemera that document Barkin's performances and professional activities.

Subseries 1. Writings. 1975-[2010] .

Scope and Content

Contains drafts, corrected proofs, notes, and scores for writings, some with related correspondence. Also included are biographical entries written for various editions of the Grove Dictionary of Music, and Barkin's dissertation Pitch-time Structure in Arnold Schoenberg's Opus 23, No. 1: A Contribution Toward A Theory of Nontonal Music.
Box 18, Folder 1

Analysis Symposium: Webern's Orchestra Piece Bewegt. 1975.

Box 18, Folder 2

Gesualdo's Moro Lasso. 1976.

Box 18, Folders 3-5

Analysis Symposium: Debussy's Pour Les Sixtes: Notes in Progress (3 fols). 1978.

Box 18, Folder 6

Arnold Schoenberg's Opus 19/6. 1980.

Box 18, Folder 7

Rhetorical Variations: The Composer in Society. 1981.

Box 18, Folder 8

A Text on the Music of Harry Partch. 1987.

Box 18, Folder 9

Colloquy and Review. 2000.

Box 18, Folder 10

Conjunctions, Affinities, and Loose Ends: A Text in Five Parts for G.E.M.S.. 2002, 2003.

Box 19, Folders 1-2

e: an anthology (volume 2), music texts & graphics (1967-2003). [2004] .

Box 19, Folder 3

Conversations (about Bob Paredes). 2005.

Box 19, Folder 4

The Open Space Magazine issue 7 (fall 2005).

Scope and Content

Includes Barkin's BAB's O, Milton Babbitt's Groupwise, and Conversations.
Box 19, Folder 5

Review of Phillip Ramey's Irving Fine. 2006.

Box 19, Folder 6

Review of Hollis Taylor's Post Impressions. [2009].

Box 19, Folders 7-12

Grove Dictionary of Music entries. 1971-[2010].

Scope and Content

Consists of drafts, notes, biographical information, and correspondence from composers relating to entries written by Barkin for various editions of the Grove Dictionary of Music. Some copies of Barkin's published entries, correspondence from Grove, and a contract are also present. Entries include Milton Babbitt, Allan Blank, David Burge, Roger Goeb, Donald Martino, James K. Randall, Henry Weinberg, Peter Westergaard, and Charles Whittenberg.
Box 20, Folder 1

Pitch-time Structure in Arnold Schoenberg's Opus 23, No. 1: A Contribution Toward A Theory of Nontonal Music (dissertation). 1971.

Scope and Content

Includes dissertation copy, scores, and critique.
Box 20, Folders 2-6

Subseries 2. Audible Traces: Gender, Identity, & Music. 1993-1999.

Scope and Content

Consists of material relating to publication of Audible Traces, co-edited by Barkin and Lydia Hamessley, published by Carciofoli Verlagshaus, 1999. Material includes drafts of Barkin's preface and Hamessley's introduction, contracts, and correspondence with authors and the publisher. Also included is a zip disk of material for the project (box 31).
Box 20, Folders 7-11, Box 21, Folder 1

Subseries 3. Society for Music Theory. 1977-1993.

Scope and Content

Barkin served on the Executive Board and the Program Committee for the Society for Music Theory. Material includes correspondence, minutes, membership and program material, and a newsletter. Also present is Barkin’s 1993 presentation Rules of One's Own, given to the SMT’s Committee on the Status of Women, which also appeared in Audible Traces and e: an anthology.
Box 21, Folders 2-4

Subseries 4. Balinese music. [1990]-1998.

Scope and Content

While at UCLA, Barkin was involved in the UC-wide New Music in Bali project, which promoted the creation of new works for gamelan and sponsored visiting composers from Bali. Barkin also received funding to travel to Bali, and conducted interviews with composers and musicians from 1988 to 1990. Material includes interview transcripts, items regarding the UC Pacific Rim Research Program, and correspondence.
Box 21, Folders 5-7

Subseries 5. Recordings and score publication. 1974-1984 .

Scope and Content

Includes correspondence and contracts from the Association for the Promotion of New Music; Boelke-Bomart, Inc. & Mobart Music Publications, Inc.; and Composers Recordings, Inc.
Box 21, Folders 8-9

Subseries 6. American Society of University Composers Newsletter. 1968-1986.

Box 21, Folder 10

Subseries 7. Contemporary Music Newsletter. 1968-1977.


Subseries 8. Ephemera. 1969-2009.

Scope and Content

Primarily contains programs, flyers, and other ephemera concerning performances of Barkin's music and professional activities. Some related correspondence and clippings are also included. Items are filed in rough chronological order (reverse order within some folders).
Box 22, Folders 1-6


Box 23, Folders 1-7

1990-1999 (fol 1).

Box 24, Folders 1-4

1999 (fol 2)-2009.

Box 31

Subseries 9. Hub cap masks (art project). 2006.

Scope and Content

Two CDs of jpg images of Barkin's hub cap masks, created 2002-2005.

Series 4. Personal correspondence and files. 1972-2004.

Scope and Content

Consists of letters received from colleagues and friends, primarily fellow composers. Barkin arranged her correspondence in rough chronological order (some folders are in reverse order).
Box 24, Folders 5-7

Correspondence. 1972-1980.

Box 25, Folders 1-8

Correspondence. 1980-1988.

Box 26, Folders 1-8

Correspondence. 1988-1999.

Box 27, Folder 1

Correspondence. 1988-2005.

Box 27, Folder 2

Correspondence: Jack Body. 1989-1994.

Box 27, Folder 3

Correspondence and subject file: Diamanda Galás. 1984-1995.

Scope and Content

Includes Barkin's lecture "Notes for Diamanda Galás and her Plague Mass" given at UCLA October 1993.
Box 27, Folder 4

Subject file: John Whitney. 1984, 2004.


Series 5. Audio recordings. 1969-2008.

Scope and Content

Contains recordings of Barkin's works in various formats, including reels (5 inch and 7 inch), CDs, and audio cassettes. Dates are those of recording.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Use of audio material requires production of listening copies.

Subseries 1. Reels.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Use of audio material requires production of listening copies.
Box 28

5 Inch.


Ebb Tide. 1980.


Ebb Tide, Sound Play. 1977, 1978.


Plein Chant. [1981] .


String Trio. undated .


... the Supple Suitor.... undated.


Three Poems by e.e. cummings. 1980.

Boxes 29-30

7 Inch.


Barkin - Sollberger (2 reels). undated.


De Amore. 1982.


Ebb Tide. undated .


Ebb Tide. 1982.


Five Compositions for Piano. 1969.


Media Speak. 1982.


Media Speak. 1982.


Plein Chant. 1979.


Prim Cycles. 1981.


Refrains. 1969.


Six Pieces for Piano. 1969.


Six Pieces for Piano. 1977.


String Quartet. 1973.


To Piety More Prone. 1983.


Two Dickinson Choruses. 1978.


Subseries 2. CDs.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Use of audio material requires production of listening copies.
Box 28

Ballade, Praeambulum for AB, Sara's Dance, Umbrella Steps, When the Wind Blows, Violin Duo, End Piece. 2007.

Box 28

Chaconne Variations. undated .

Box 28

Coda- Leavetaking, Barely There. 2006.

Box 28

Easy Harp Pieces and Tambellan Suite. undated .

Box 28

Four MIDI Pieces and Gamelan. undated .

Box 28

For My Friends' Pleasure. undated .

Box 28

Legong Dreams, Ebb Tide. undated .

Box 28

Midi and Ars Nova. 2008.

Box 28

Midi Pieces. 2006.

Box 28

Mixed Modes, String Trio, Song for Sarah. undated .

Box 28

Piano Music. [2007].

Box 28

Piano Music: One on One, Umbrella Steps, Postlude [for AB], Sara's Dance, When the Wind Blows. 2007.

Box 28

Piano Music: Step by Step, Whorl, From the Abbeys, Faygele's Footsteps. 2007.

Box 31

Six Pieces for Piano. undated .

Box 31

Three Rhapsodies, Poem, Ode, Song for Sarah. undated .

Box 31

Three Short Pieces. undated .

Box 31

Three Violin Duets and Essay for Orchestra. undated .

Box 31

Violin Duo: Two as One. 2007.

Box 31

Violin Duo: Two as One, MIDI. 2007.

Box 31

Subseries 3. Cassette tapes.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Use of audio material requires production of listening copies.

Bass/ gamelan sketches.


Touching all Bases, Sketch - Ode [or Wind Sketch].


Letter from Peri [?]. 1982.

Box 27, Folder 5

Notes for unidentified recording. undated.

Box 31

Series 6. Film: Lapis. undated.

Scope and Content

Most likely a 16 mm copy of James Whitney's 1966 experimental film Lapis. UCLA Film and Television Archives holds another copy.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Use of moving image material requires production of viewing copies.