Roman Ryterband Collection

Jon M. Fletcher
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum
901 E Tahquitz Canyon Way Ste C-204
Palm Springs, California 92262
Phone: (760) 778-1079
Fax: (760) 322-7724
(c) 2009
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. All rights reserved.

Roman Ryterband Collection

Accession number: 2009.067

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

ACCM Archives

Palm Springs, California
Processed by:
Jon M. Fletcher
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Jon M. Fletcher
(c) 2009 Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Roman Ryterband Collection
Dates: 1978-2002
Accession number: 2009.067
Creator: Agua Caliente Cultural Museum
Collection Size: 1 linear feet
Repository: Agua Caliente Cultural Museum
Palm Springs, California 92262
Abstract: Collection of sheet music, articles, and ephemera documenting the influence of Agua Caliente (Cahuilla) music on the life and music of composer Roman Ryterband (1914-1979). Materials span the years 1978-2002."
Physical location: Stored off site. Advance notice required for access.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Ownership of the physical collection belongs to the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. 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 Agua Caliente Cultural Museum does not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Roman Ryterband Collection, 2009.067, Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

Acquisition Information


Biography / Administrative History

Roman Ryterband (1914-1979) was born in Lódz, Poland to a Jewish family of musicians and lawyers. Having a great love for music at an early age but pressured by his feather to earn a law degree, Ryterband rebelled and pursued his dream of a career in music with encouragement from composer Alexander Glazounov. He received his education at the State Academy in Lódz and the University of Warsaw. In the years leading up to World War II, Ryterband traveled around Europe, gaining fluency in six languages. In 1939, as bombs were falling in Warsaw, he found himself on a deserted beach near Nice, France. From there he hopped the last train to Geneva, Switzerland before the border closed. He continued his studies at the University of Berne in musicology, laying the groundwork for a career that would span more than 500 public appearances and concerts around the world, garnering him numerous awards and prizes. Following careers in both Canada and Chicago, Roman Ryterband made his last move to Palm Springs, California in 1967. Being a composer and a musicologist, Ryterband researched the musical folklore of many nations in both hemispheres and adapted elements from these other cultures into his own works. Ryterband studied the musical heritage of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and integrated his findings into his compositions. The influence of Agua Caliente songs are found in the work Two Desert Scenes; this work features the use of a Cahuilla gourd rattle. Two Desert Scenes premiered at the Moorten Botanical Gardens in Palm Springs, California.

Scope and Content of Collection

Collection of sheet music and related musical ephemera documenting the influence of Agua Caliente (Cahuilla) music on the life and music of Polish composer Roman Ryterband (1914-1979). Includes both audio recordings and paper materials.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection.
Ryterband, Roman
Ryterband, Clarissa
Bogert, Frank
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Palm Springs
Native American
Gourd Rattle


Series I: Musical Recordings 2002

Physical Description: .5 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Audio recordings of Roman Ryterband compositions.
2009.067.001 1

Compact Disc

Scope and Content Note

Audio recording (Compact Disc) of Roman Ryterband compositions. Produced by Clarissa Ryterband. Performances/tracks include: 1. Two Desert Scences, 2. Sonata Breve, 3. Piece Sans Titre, 4. Deux Sonnets, 5. Trois Ballades Hebraiques, 6. Suit Polonaise. Performed at Carnegie Hall. Published by Palm Springs Records, P O Box 2428, Palm Springs, CA 92263. (2002)

Series II: Musical Ephemera 1978-2002

Physical Description: .5 linear ft.

Scope and Content Note

Collection of sheet music and other ephemera documenting the influence of Agua Caliente music on the life and music of composer Roman Ryterband.
2009.067.002 1

Compact Disc Inserts

Scope and Content Note

Paper jewelcase inserts accompanying the Compact Disc "Two Desert Scenes and Other Selections" by Roman Ryterband. Two copies. (2002)
2009.067.002 2


Scope and Content Note

States that original Roman Ryterband manuscripts (1914-79) are housed in the Houghton Library at Harvard University.
2009.067.002 3


Scope and Content Note

"Ethnic Influences in Contemporary Harp Music: Eastern and Amerindian Attributes in Selected Compositions by American Composers" by Elizabeth Anne Cox-Cabrera. Two copies. (December, 1989)
2009.067.002 4


Scope and Content Note

Brochures entitled "Sinatra Stylings and Smoke Tree Dreams" featuring the music of Frank Sinatra and Roman Ryterband. Published by the Rancho Mirage Cultural Commission. Two copies.
2009.067.002 5

Sheet Music

Scope and Content Note

Sheet music entitled "Two Desert Scenes" by Roman Ryterband. Includes "Smoke Tree Dreams" and "Tahquitz Falls." Published by MG Music Graphics Press. (1978)
2009.067.002 6

Magazine Articles

Scope and Content Note

Indian Historian magazine article "Agua Caliente and Their Music" by Roman Ryterband. Two copies. (1979)
2009.067.002 7

Magazine Article

Scope and Content Note

Palm Springs Life magazine articles entitled "Unknown Composer, Part I. The Revival of Desert Classical Composer Roman Ryterband is Nigh. Meet Him Here First" and "Unknown Composer, Part II. Writing 'Harlem Nocturne' was Only the Start of Earle Hagen's Remarkable Career." (March, 2002)
2009.067.002 8


Scope and Content Note

Essay entitled "Roman Ryterband's Music and History" by Nick Eisele. (July 15, 2000)
2009.067.002 9

Photographs (Surrogates)

Scope and Content Note

Photoraph surrogates (print-outs) fetauring Roman Ryterband, Clarissa Ryterband, Frank Bogert, and others in front of an adobe home.