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Brandeis Electronic Music collection

Identifier: 08-MWalB01315A

Scope and Contents

With funding from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., the University Archives has preserved a collection of pioneering electronic music recordings. Selected from the Brandeis University Music School Sound Recording collection, the Brandeis Electronic Music collection is comprised of 72 musical performances that have been reformatted from reel-to-reel tape onto CD. Many of the works were recorded at the former Brandeis Electronic Music Studio and date from the early period of American electronic music (1958-1968). Prominent composers such as Alvin Lucier, Ernst Krenek, Luciano Berio, and John Cage were invited to the Brandeis campus to compose and perform their works. Many of the recordings are one of a kind or represent the only known copies of particular versions of compositions, because of the unique improvisional elements they contain. Also included is a 1964 paper by Robert M. Voss, describing the early history of the Brandeis Electronic Music Studio and the technology used there. Voss recorded electronic music at Brandeis, and one of his recordings is housed in this collection.


  • Creation: 1960-1969, undated


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use and has no known restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Recordings cannot be reproduced without permission of the creators or their estates. Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.


10.5 Linear Feet (10 record center boxes, 1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



The finding aid is arranged alphabetically by recording title, however, the physical materials are arranged according to internal program numbers.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The recordings in this collection are preserved on analog media, and many have not been digitized in full-length format. Sample clips of some recordings can be accessed through the University Archives & Special Collections website.

Custodial History

The recordings in this collection were selected from the Music School Sound Recordings collection and reformatted in two phases, with funding from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, in 2000 and 2003. Professor Eric Chasalow, the Irving Fine Professor of Music at Brandeis, provided consultation during the selection process. The Music School Sound Recordings collection itself was originally transferred to the Archives in 2001.

"The Brandeis University Electronic Music Studio," by Robert M. Voss was transferred to the Archives by Paul Cary, Director of the Music Library at Baldwin Wallace University, in 2007. The paper was originally part of the estate of Raymond Wilding-White, a composer whose papers were donated to Baldwin-Wallace College.

Existence and Location of Copies

Recordings from the Brandeis Electronic Music Collection are available for listening through the Brandeis University Library's CD browsing collection and may be searched in the Brandeis University Library's online catalog by performance title or performer name.


Date refers to date item was recorded.

Processing Information

These materials were arranged and described by a previous processor, though the date of that work is unknown. A digital finding aid was written and authority records added in 2020. Updates to the finding aid were made in 2022.

Folder titles were assigned by an earlier processor. It is unclear whether the recording titles were original or assigned by Archives staff.

Brandeis Electronic Music collection
Unknown original authors. Subsequently authored by Bruce Rosen, archives volunteer. Authority work by Joanna Fuchs, cataloger. 2022 updates by Kate McNally.
ASpace finding aid created 2020-12-17, updated 2022-03-16
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Edition statement
Web finding aid moved to ArchivesSpace 2020

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections