The Allan Blank Papers

Discovering The Composer Through His Work

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Love Poems and Yeats Songs

  Happy Valentine’s Day music lovers, archive lovers and lovers of Allan Blank! To celebrate this day of love, I wanted to share a composition by Mr. Blank based off the poem Brown Penny by William Butler Yeats from “Four… Continue Reading →

Art in the Archives

Usually, cats aren’t allowed in the library, but Special Collections made an exception for this one! Clip art at it’s finest!

Writing Music for a Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a play written by Annette Merkur Schwartz called ‘The Passionate Saxophone Player’. In the tale, a very talented young man plays the saxophone with such ability that villagers dance, squirrels stop gathering nuts and… Continue Reading →

Hitting the Road: A Research Trip to Richmond

Well kind reader, it is time for this Archivist to pack some bags and hit the road…to Richmond! Thanks to my amazing employer, Old Dominion Special Collections & University Archives and the generosity of the Allan Blank Fund, I get… Continue Reading →

Mr. Blank and the Blank Notebooks

  I have noticed a trend with Allan Blank’s working style. Usually when inspiration struck, he would grab any piece of paper at hand and write. Conversely, he would start a sketch, or score in a notebook, but then fail… Continue Reading →

Are You Feeling Sassy? Allan Blank Was!

Stay Sassy Norfolk!

Ask This Archivist: What’s the Hardest Part of Processing?

Happy International Archives Day! In celebration I will answer a question posed to be a few months ago. What was the most difficult part of your job? Since, my work is comprised primarily of processing the Allan Blank Papers Collection… Continue Reading →

A Centuries Old Instrument Meeting a Modern Composer

Over the weekend, I visited the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Colonial Williamsburg. There, I was greeted by a fantastic exhibit of harpsichords and piano fortes. Usually, when I think of the harpsichord, I envision men in powdered wigs… Continue Reading →

The Composer and his Songs for Children

According to the sketches I’ve found so far, Allan Blank decided in the mid-1980’s to write music for children. His compositions were meant for a children’s chorus accompanied by a piano. After finding a poem or nursery rhyme, Mr. Blank… Continue Reading →

Corresponding with the Composer

About a week ago, I found a letter written to Allan Blank from bassist David Murray. In the letter, Professor Murray asks Mr. Blank if he would be interested in writing a piece for the bass and perhaps either the… Continue Reading →

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