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Don Messer

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Archival Description

Musical scores written, annotated and accumulated by Messer

1883-1973

7.02 m of textual records

Series forms part of the Don Messer fonds and consists of published, unpublished, and hand-written musical scores and adaptations for instruments and voice collected, copied, annotated and written by Messer. This series is Messer's personal music library which was formed over a nearly fifty year period for purposes of performance and recording. The majority of scores are by traditional or unknown composers, including composers not known outside their own communities. Because Messer was performing on national radio and later television, he tried to incorporate music which was popular and well known into his broadcast and touring programming and his groups' recordings. Some Canadian composers of note represented in the series include: Hank Snow, Alberta Slim (Wilf Carter), Stu Davis, Victor Pasowisty, the Happy Gang, Al Cherny, Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem, Andy DeJarlis, Paul Anka, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Bruce Murray, Graham Townsend, Moe Koffman, Jean Carignon, Fred McKenna, Olaf Sveen, Gaby Haas and Sir Ernest MacMillan. Some international composers include: Scott Joplin, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, George and Ira Gershwin, Elvis Presley, Gene Autry, Roy Orbison, and Smiley Bates. Also includes Messer's program notes for television and radio, as well as correspondence accompanying some of the music scores.

Notes:
Includes: 9727 items of sheet music, 6 volumes of bound sheet music and 527 music books.

Some of the music books are in fragile condition.

The bulk of the musical scores are arranged in order by decade and alphabetically by the name of the piece. However, a section near the end of the series consists of Messer's musical arrangements for his group Don Messer and His Islanders. A numerical order has been imposed by the archives.

File list available.

The Don Messer fonds consists of four series and multiple files and items. Below are a search template and a navigation tool that links to the fonds, series and lists. Search the database to view file lists or click on one of the navigation levels.

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manuscript music textual records photographs sound recordings




url: http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/messer/description.asp?Series=1