Inventory of the Charles Shere Collection, 1945-[ongoing]

Processed by Michelle Buchmeier; revised by Atsuko Tanida and Judy Tsou; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou
Hargrove Music Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-2623
© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Charles Shere Collection, 1945-[ongoing]

Collection number: ARCHIVES SHERE 1

The Music Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information

  • Hargrove Music Library
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
  • Phone: (510) 642-2623
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Michelle Buchmeier
Revised by:
Atsuko Tanida and Judy Tsou
Date Completed:
July 1998
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Charles Shere Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1945-[ongoing]
Collection number: ARCHIVES SHERE 1
Creator: Shere, Charles, 1935-
Extent: Number of containers: 6 document boxes and 1 oversize flat storage box

Linear feet: 2.417
Repository: The Music Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Charles and Lindsey Shere in October 1997.


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Music Library.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Shere Collection, ARCHIVES SHERE 1, The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.


Shere, Charles (b Berkeley, CA, 20 Aug 1935). Composer. He attended the University of California, Berkeley (BA in English literature, 1960), and then studied composition with Luciano Berio at Mills College, Oakland, and with Robert Erickson at the San Francisco Conservatory and privately, and conducting with Gerhard Samuel. He was music director for the radio station KPFA, Berkeley (1967-74), and later produced music programs for KQED, San Francisco (1967-1974). From 1973 to 1984 he lectured in composition and the history of music at Mills College. Admired as a writer, he was from 1972 music and art critic for the Oakland Tribune and from 1973 to 1978 edited and published Ear, a monthly magazine devoted to avant-garde music. His continuting interest in art led Shere to write and produce television programs on the artists Marcel Duchamp and Georgia O'Keefe, among others; he also lectures frequently on art and has done scholarly research on West Coast painting. Shere has received commisions from the San Francisco Comtemporary Music Players, and the Arch Ensemble, Berkeley, and in 1978 was awarded a composition grant by the NEA.
Shere's music is rooted in the experimentalism of the 1960's and owes something to Cage and Stockhausen in its technical procedures. But the principal creative model for him is Duchamp, whose perceptual conundrums and whimsical arcana are reflected in many of Shere's scores, especially his "Duchamp opera," The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (1964-; planned premiere 1986). Tongues (1978), and extended essay in glossolalia for chamber ensemble and speaker/singer, typifies his deft blend of wit, lyricism, and complex verbal and musical symbolism.
[From The New Grove Dictionary of American Music].

Scope and Content

The collection is divided into three series: Music Compositions, Sound Recordings, and Miscellany. The Music Composition series is further subdivided into seven subseries: Concertos, Other orchestral works, Stage music, Choral music, Chamber works, Instrumental works, and Songs. These subseries are designated by David Meckler, a student of Shere, who orignally arranged the collection before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley. Although the collection consists mainly of compositions by Shere, other materials such as correspondence, programs, and reviews may be added to the collection later and rearrangement of the Miscellany series may be warranted. The materials date from circa 1954 to the present.

Box 7: Oversize box




Box Box 1, Folder 1

Guitar Concerto(sketch) . Unbound, many blank leaves. Undated. [41 lvs; pencil and ink manuscripts].

Folder 2

Sketches for Concerto for Orchestra. Score and sketches.

Folder 3

Piano Concerti (1-3) (sketches). Loose lvs: Piano Concerto 1 A 1st state(1 lf) & Concerto no 2 for piano(2 lvs). Also: folder entitled Piano Concerto enclosing 15 manuscript leaves and 16 blank lvs. Undated. [34 total lvs in pencil and ink].

Folder 4

Piano Concerti (1-3) sketches. (Cont.) Some of the music is arranged into packets, several of which are entitled "Scene 4: Ballets of the Bachelors and the Bride (piano concerto)." Undated. [49 lvs, printer ink, ink and pencil].

Folder 5

Concerto for Piano and Touch, (with winds, percussion, and orchestra). Undated. [pen manuscript, 3 lvs].

Folder 6

Small Concerto. Scored for piano and orchestra.


I. Computer-generated score, with handwritten notes in orange pencil. Music dated 1964, notes dated 6/25/88. [13 lvs].


II. Computer-generated score, with some handwritten notes in red pen. Undated. [7 lvs]

Folder 7

III. Published version of Small Concerto. Includes notes on the piece and critical reviews of the work's performances. EAR Press, Berkeley, California, 1979. [6 lvs]


IV. Xerox copy of III. [12 lvs].

Folder 8

Small Concerto (cont.)


I. Copies of pages from Small Concerto, possibly the pre- printing version. Leaves are in no noticeable order. [59 lvs].


II. Folder containing the original from which the copies in I. were made, and a complete, organized copy of Small Concerto. [16 lvs].

Folder 9

Small Concerto(cont.) manuscripts and copies of all the individual instrumental parts. [ink manuscript with scattered pencil notes, 67 lvs].

Folder 10

Concerto(Uncataloged) for 2 pianos and orchestra. Long folded copy of manuscript with notes in pencil [14 lvs, connected] Also: Xerox copy [14 lvs, separate].

Folder 11

Concerto for Violin. 25-leaf bound printed copy of this piece with violin part and piano reduction. (1990)

Folder 12

Concerto for Violin(cont.)


I. 8-leaf bound copy of manuscript with notes in red pencil.


II. 2 lvs, unbound, of hand-written (ink and red pencil) notes on Concerto.


III. 14-leaf "bound" score of Concerto with attached hand- written (ink) additions. Notes in red pencil.

Folder 13

Concerto for Violin(cont.).


I. 38-leaf printed copy of complete Concerto score with notes in colored pencil.


II. 17-leaf copy of computer-generated score of 1st movement of Concerto.


III. 18-leaf computer-generated score of part of 1st movement of Concerto with notes in red pen.


IV. 8-leaf computer-generated score of part of Concerto with notes in red pen.


V. Copies of parts for orchestra [31 lvs].

Folder 14

Concerto for Violin(cont.). Notes in yellow folder. Some pages photocopied, some in pen, some in pencil, and some Type-written [65 lvs].



Box Box 2, Folder 1

Chamber Symphony sketches. Hand-written sketches in ink and red pencil. [30 lvs].

Folder 2

From Calls and Singing. 2 bound printed copies of work, copy has markings in red pencil. St. Heironymous Press 1975.

Folder 3

Large Vocal Torch Cycle. For voice and orchestra. German text. Sketches. [16 lvs, ink and pencil]

Folder 4

Music for Piano & Orchestra. 1 manuscript score and 1 photocopy. [5 lvs ink and pencil].

Folder 5

Fragment found with Music for Piano and Orchestra. [2 lvs ink and pencil]

Folder 6

Symphony in III.. Printed score with notes in red ink, accompanied by related letter from publisher

Folder 7

Symphony in III. (Cont.) Printed score, unbound.

Folder 8

Symphony, 1976. Handwritten manuscript with notes in red pencil and 1 photocopy of manuscript. (18 lvs ink and pencil).

Folder 9

Symphony, 1976. (Cont.) Manuscript parts. (69 lvs, ink)

Folder 10

Soigneur de Gravité--Frammento d'un Opera. Manuscript score. Work written for orchestra taken from Shere's opera, Handler of Gravity.



Box Box 2, Folder 11

The Box of 1914.


I. Printed score


II. Libretto (10 copies)


III. Programs for performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on Jan 30, 1981.


IV. Photos of the performance.


V. Reviews of the perfomance by the S.F. Chronicle and Examiner.


VI. Related correspondance.


VII. Notes on performance.

Folder 12

The Box of 1914 (cont.) Score with markings. Also includes resume of Jeanne Thomas.

Folder 13

The Box of 1914 (cont.) "Intermediate version" of Box bound in folder with loose leaves including notes on the percussion parts and a photocopied resume of Shere.

Box Box 3, Folder 1

The Box of 1914 (cont.) Notes and photos of performance on Jan. 30, 1981.

Folder 2

The Box of 1914(cont.) Unbound printed score with a photo of 1/30/8 performance.

Folder 3

The Box of 1914(cont.) Parts.

Box Box 7, Folder 1

Box of 1914 printed score. The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even. Opera in three acts after the painting by Marcel Duchamp.

Box Box 3, Folder 4

Ballet: Handler of Gravity. Master copy of printed score. Ear Press, Berkeley, CA 1979 [15 lvs].

Folder 5

Ballet: Handler of Gravity (cont.) One printed score, [Ink or copy?]. 1 manuscript.

Folder 6

I Like It To Be conversational opera, one printed study score.

Folder 7

I Like It To Be conversational opera. Computer-generated scores and parts, with markings in red pencil.

Folder 8

Ladies' Voices. One published, copy of score (copyright 1987), and one computer-generated score.

Folder 9

Ladies' Voices(cont.)Printed score, also several incomplete scores.

Folder 10

Ladies' Voices(cont.) Printed, bound score, cover dated: "Charles Shere 5 Sept 1987."



Box Box 4, Folder 1

Manieure de gravité. One-page piece for chorus à cappella "to accompany, precede or follow Handler of Gravity for organ or Soigneur de gravité for orchestra or ABCDEF for chorus and instruments or 5 pieces for piano after H of G." [9 copies].

Folder 2

Requiem with Oboe. 2 full scores for SSAATTBB chorus and oboe. Words of Requiem are both traditional Latin requiem text and 2 poems by Wallace Stevens--"Not Ideas about the Thing but the Thing Itself," and "Of Mere Being."



Box Box 4, Folder 3

Boone. Work for 6 drums. [2-leaf computer-generated score and 3 photocopies of score].

Folder 4

Ces Désires du quatuor: Quartet no.1 for 4 musicians. One-leaf score and many copies of score in various sizes. [17 lvs]

Folder 5

Collaborative String Quartet--Music 205. One-leaf and one copy.[2 lvs].

Folder 6

Divertissement(for the wedding of Charles Boone and Josefa Vaughan). 1-leaf score, and 1 copy of piece for string quartet.

Folder 7

Eight Banalities. For violin and piano. 1 4-leaf manuscript, and 3 photocopies.

Folder 8

En Balaçant: Quartet no. 9 for 2 or 3 pairs of strings. 1-leaf score and copy.

Box Box 7, Folder 2

Equals Quarter-tone Flat for horn and trombone. Dedication: For Nelson, 18 Nov., 1965. 1-leaf score and 1-leaf copy.

Box Box 4, Folder 9

Fast Movement. 5-part sketch. [2 lvs].

Folder 10

For Lou Harrison. Piece for clarinets, bassoon, viola, violin, and cello. [1 lf, 2 lvs copies].

Box Box 7, Folder 3

Fratture. For violin, cello, bass, piano, percussion, trumpet, clarinet. Bound manuscript score with markings. Biographical notes included in pocket. Also enclosed: unbound copy of score.

Box Box 4, Folder 11

Octet. For 2 violins, viola, 2 cellos, piano, and clarinet (string quartet and clarinet quartet). Score and string parts

Folder 12

Parergon to Wind Quintet: Flute. Flute part score and letter containing alternate fingerings for flute. [17 lvs].

Folder 13

Parergon to Wind Quintet: Trio. Score for wind trio: English horn, bass clarinet, and bassoon [21 lvs].


Quartet #1. See Ces Desires, folder 2

Folder 14

Quartet #2. Sketch.

Folder 15

Quartet #3. Sketch.

Folder 16

Quartet #7 "Like a piece of...." 2 copies of 1-lf score.


Quartet # 9. See En Balaçant, folder 6.

Folder 17

Quartet Sketches. Various sketches enclosed in folder.

Folder 18

String Quartet. Manuscript score [12 lvs] and copy .

Folder 19

Screen: Quartet No. 3 for strings. Score [1 lf].

Folder 20

Tender of Gravity. Piece for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, harmonium, violin, viola, cello, and bass. Manuscript score [12 lvs], and copy [9 lvs].

Folder 21

Tongues. Printed conducting score.

Folder 22

Tongues. Scenario for a concerto for poet speaking in tongues, live electronics, taped sounds and chamber orchestra. 3 photocopied scores.

Folder 23

Tongues(cont.) Notes, photos, letters, reviews, and program sketches.

Folder 24

Tongues (cont.) Score, letters, reviews, and notes.

Folder 25

Trio 6.20. Unfinished sketch dated 1985 [14 lvs].

Folder 26

Tristan and Isolde: Prelude and Transfiguration. Parts for viola, violin 1. [4 lvs].

Folder 27

Vie Lactée. Score of piece, as well as score of Screen. Notes on Vie Lactée, En Balaçant, and Screen. [16 lvs].



Box Box 5, Folder 1

Five Pieces after Handler of Gravity. For piano. Proofs of Five Pieces, and correspondence between the composer and printer regarding these proofs. Computer-generated scores of the pieces.

Folder 2

For Piano, November 1965. Two 1-lf scores of piece.

Folder 3

Handler of Gravity. Score of work for organ taken from text and drawing by Marcel Duchamp.

Folder 4

Rose. For clarinet (in A) solo. One leaf of music with markings. An identical leaf with no markings

Folder 5

Seven Bagatelles. Score of pieces composed December 5, 1996 while looking at a number of paintings by Patrick McFarlin. Dedication: "For Eliane Lust."

Folder 6

Sonata for Piano. Manuscript and photocopy. [15 lvs--i]

Folder 7

Three Pieces for Piano. Manuscript copy of score. Computer- generated score. Printed copy of score (copyright Ear Press, Berkeley, 1991).



Box Box 5, Folder 8

Alice's Pizza. Dedication: " To Alice" [Waters?] Manuscript of song for 2 voices. Some pages computer-generated, some hand- written, and some photocopied. Dated 26 March 1986 [7 lvs].

Folder 9

Bachelor Apparatus. Score of work and pre-printing score. [3 lvs].

Folder 10

Certain Phenomena of Sound. For high soprano and violin. Several scores of work written to words of a Wallace Stevens poem, some with notes in pencil or red ink. Poster announcing premiere of the work and other modern music performances at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Folder 11

Certain Phenomena of Sound(cont.)drafts of score. Program from premiere on Feb. 13, 1984.

Box Box 7, Folder 4

Le Chien et la Rose: Poème perpetuel for voice and piano. Words By Tristan Tzara. Score and Copy, 1-leaf each.

Box Box 5 , Folder 12

Classify combs. For soprano and viola. Fragment of music dated 14 Oct. 1973. "Classify combs by the number of their teeth."

Box Box 7, Folder 5

Dirt and Not Copper for tenor, bassoon, and trombone. Words from Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein. Dated 1975 1-leaf.

Folder 6

Ground Glass for soprano, piano, violin, flute, and cello. Sketch, 1-leaf.

Folder 7

Her hair does not move. Piece for voice alone.1-leaf. [*Note: the manuscript is very faded.]

Folder 8

J'ai tendu des cordes. "Dedication: 18 VII 64 for Sister & Michael." One-leaf piece for voice from the text by Rimbaud.

Box Box 5, Folder 13

Nothing Elegant. For soprano, oboe, and cello. On same paper sketch of Mildred's Umbrella for SAT.

Folder 14

Peeled Pencil, Choke. One-measure fragment and instructions.

Folder 15

Songs, various. Various songs and texts. Includes: Dirt and Not Copper; A White Hunter for heldentenor, piano, bassoon, and trombone (both from Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein); Peeled Pencil, Choke; A Carafe, That is a Blind Glass for voice and instruments (7 Nov. 1983); Nothing Elegant; Eye Glasses; Shoes; It was Black, Black Took. [18 lvs].

Folder 16

Three more Stein songs: Red Roses; It Was Black, Black Took; and You Can Only Say What You Know for voice, violin, bass clarinet, and piano. Ear Press, Berkeley, 1997.

Box Box 7, Folder 9

1914 (Mallarme: Le livre) for vocalist and piano. Dedication: "for Jim 10x64." Manuscript and 4 photocopies.



Box Box 6, Folder 1

Duchamp mix 1.

Folder 2

Rehearsal Tongues. Reel 1: rehersal 8/22/80.

Folder 3

Rehearsal Tongues.R eel 2: rehearsed 8/22/80.

Folder 4

Rehearsal Tongues. Reel 3: rehearsed 8/22/80.

Folder 5

Tongues performance tape. 8/23/80.

Folder 6

Schematic score, Tongues.



Box Box 5, Folder 17

List of Shere's works. Also a chronological list (1954-82) appended at the end of list. [131 leaves].

Folder 18

Acquisition Agreement

Folder 19


Folder 20

Writings/Papers: Modern Concert an appealing...

Folder 21

Writings/Papers: Remolif and Shere There and Near.