Last week one of our new student workers asked me what I was working on. I explained that I am the Archival Processor for the Allan Blank Collection and my job is to preserve and organize the composer’s work. Picking up a copy of “A Miscellany for Saxophone Quartet” he began to sight read the score and wanted to hear the piece. Unfortunately, Mr. Blank did not save any of his music digitally for me to simply pull up (actually most of the recorded part of the collection is on cassette…for my Millennial and Gen Z readers below is a picture of a cassette)

Cassette of Allan Blank’s String Quartet 1989, from the Allan Blank Papers Collection. I’m so old I remember playing music on these! 

Between the two of us, we tried to find Mr. Blank’s compositions on Spotify, Pandora, iTunes and finally had luck on Youtube. (I had written a post two years ago about where to hear the composer’s music online and sadly nothing has changed since then)

A Miscellany for Saxophone Quartet: Introduction, Soprano Saxophone Part by Allan Blank. Part of the Allan Blank Papers Collection.

My goal for the collection has always been to digitize the scores for preservation. Now, thanks to an ODU student, I want to find a way to save the recordings for future use as well.

Click HERE to listen to samples of Allan Blank’s work from the American Composers Alliance.

Click HERE to Listen to A Miscellany for Saxophone Quartet provided to Youtube by The Orchard Enterprises.


Update: My coworker in the Diehn Composers Room has a cassette player that also digitizes!