Finding Aid for the Elaine Barkin Musical Compositions and Papers PASC-M.0059

Finding aid prepared by Melissa Haley, 2015, Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Online finding aid last updated 201.
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Business Number: 310-825-4988
Fax Number: 310-206-1864

Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Title: Elaine Barkin musical compositions and papers
Creator: Barkin, Elaine
Identifier/Call Number: PASC-M.0059
Physical Description: 15.2 Linear Feet (31 boxes)
Physical Description: 9 Audiovisual Carriers (4 records, 5 open reel audiotapes)
Physical Description: 12 Born-digital Carriers (12 optical discs)
Date (inclusive): 1955-2010
Abstract: This collection primarily contains musical compositions and professional writings by composer Elaine Barkin.
Physical Location: Stored off-site. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Property rights to the physical objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other 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.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Elaine Barkin, 1987-2010.

Preferred Citation

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

Processing Information

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UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 9942303553606533 


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. 

Subjects and Indexing Terms

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


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, folder 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, folder 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 3, folder 3, box 1, folder 4

Ebb Tide [1977]

box 3, folder 4

Essay for Orchestra [1957]

box 3, folder 5

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

box 3, folder 6-7

For Suite's Sake 1975

box 4, folder 1

Four Short Pieces for Piano 1955

box 11, folder 12-13

Gamélange 1993

box 11, folder 14-15

Harp Pieces 2002-2003

box 4, folder 2

Impromptu 1981

box 4, folder 3

...In Its Surrendering... 1980

box 4, folder 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, folder 1-2

Media Speak 1981, 1980s

Scope and Content

Material includes clippings and notes (Box 12).
box 5, folder 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, folder 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, folder 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 12, folder 12, box 7, folder 1

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, folder 3-4, box 8

String Trio 1976, 1978

box 12, folder 13

Suite for Piano 2007

box 7, folder 5-9

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

box 12, folder 14, box 9, folder 1

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, folder 2-3

Two Emily Dickinson Choruses [1976-1977]

box 13, folder 3

Warna/Colors 2004

box 9, folder 4, box 13, folder 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 10, folder 1-3, box 9, folder 5-7

Unidentified drafts and sketches undated

box 10, folder 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, folder 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, folder 1-5

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

box 15, folder 6

... typescript 1992

box 15, folder 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, folder 1-11

Letters received A-R 1972-1984

box 17, folder 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 17, folder 7-8, box 10, folder 5

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, folder 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, folder 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, folder 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, folder 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 21, folder 1, box 20, folder 7-11

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, folder 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, folder 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, folder 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, folder 1-6


box 23, folder 1-7

1990-1999 (fol 1)

box 24, folder 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, folder 5-7

Correspondence 1972-1980

box 25, folder 1-8

Correspondence 1980-1988

box 26, folder 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

box 29, box 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.