Papers of Daniel Gregory Mason

Scope and Content

This small collection contains a variety of printed sheet music, original manuscript scores and copied (blueprint) scores with handwritten annotations and additions added by the composer.

The following MS and annotated works are contained: Requies for voice and piano (words by Arthur Symons); Soldiers (song cycle for baritone op. 42 nos. 1-3: 'Crazy Nick', 'Epitaph' and 'Who's Afraid', words by Thomas Rigg); My Love is gone into the East (op. 36, no. 1 (songs on texts by William Vaughn Moody (1869-1910)); Of Wounds and Sore Defeat (songs on texts from 'The Fire-Bringer' (1904) by William Vaughn Moody); Peering in the Dust I thought (op. 36, no. 4) (songs on texts from 'The Masque of Judgement: a masque-drama in five acts' (1900) by William Vaughn Moody).

The following printed scores are also contained: Twilight Song: part-song for mixed voices (text by Edwin Arlington Robinson), pub. New York: J. Fischer and Bro 1934; Russians: a cycle of songs for baritone and piano, op. 18 (in five vols.), pub. New York: G. Schirmer [1920].

The MS works represented in this collection demonstrate how heavily he drew inspiration from contemporary American creative figures of the period, setting the two completed poetic dramas of Vaughn Moody (1869-1910) to music. Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) was another major American poet of the early twentieth century, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems, and considered to be the greatest poet in America at his death.

Administrative / Biographical History

Daniel Gregory Mason (1873-1953) was born into a well-renowned musical family in Brookline, Massachusetts, and was the grandson of Lowell Mason, the musical educational pioneer (1792-1872). He was also the nephew of the concert pianist William Mason and son of Henry Mason, co-founder of the American piano company Mason and Hamlin. He was educated at Harvard University.

He was a composer chiefly of orchestral and chamber music, a pioneer of American symphonic music, with his best known works being his Clarinet Sonata (1915), String Quartet on Negro Thomas (1919), Second Symphony (1930) and Third Symphony ('Lincoln') (1937). Although he studied music in Paris, he was most influenced by the German classical and romantic tradition, and trained in European theory, composing in a conservative style modelled mainly on the early Romantic era.

He was also a well-published author and critic, contributing to the New Grove Dictionary, and also publishing works which focused on the Romantic era, especially Brahms and Beethoven. A renowned educator of classical music to the general public, he was also Professor of Music at Columbia University, New York, where he taught throughout his career between 1905 and 1942.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Listed by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 23 January 2004 and encoded into EAD 28 May 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Currently unlisted.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Transferred from EUL Reserve Collection. Previous history unknown.

Related Material

A few letters from Mason are held in the following collections: Papers of Adolfo Betti, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas Austin; Papers of Lawrence Gilman, George Mason University.


Not known.