The Allan Blank Papers

Discovering The Composer Through His Work


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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 →

Painting, Poetry and Music: the Cycle of Inspiration

Allan Blank was inspired by Paul Klee and Wallace Stevens. Wallace Stevens’ poetry was inspired by Paul Klee. Paul Klee’s painting was inspired by music. Recently, I discovered two works by Allan Blank, which were inspired by Paul Klee and… Continue Reading →

Lento the Snail

Much to my surprise and delight, I have discovered a snail! Luckily, it was not a live snail, but a drawing. Based on the context of the paper I found, it would seem that Dr. Blank was tinkering with various… Continue Reading →

Finding Bach in a Box

Underneath file folders, at the very bottom of a box, I discovered a collectible in the Allan Blank Collection. What I found is the first page from Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B minor for organ. According to the document… Continue Reading →

Discovering Hidden Music

Editing, or completely changing your work is a normal part of most creative processes. Over time, I lost track of how many times I altered, or scrapped entire sections of my thesis and it seems that the composer may have… Continue Reading →

An Old Cat’s Confessions

Here is an interesting poem I stumbled upon, maybe Mr. Blank meant to set it to music. Regardless, it’s a great read. Enjoy!   

What in the World is a Sarrusophone?

In a previous post, a quote from Allan Blank mentioned a sarrusophone and my curiosity was piqued. What kind of instrument is it? Is it found in often in orchestras? What does it sound like? I don’t profess to have… Continue Reading →

Finding Interesting Artifacts!

While processing the Allan Blank Papers I have stumbled across some very interesting objects. Here is one, a hand written music score with a purple hand print: As I get further along in the collection, I will share many more… Continue Reading →

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