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Robert Capanna scores

Ms. Coll. 1383

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Capanna, Robert, 1952-2018
Robert Capanna scores
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1383
2.5 linear feet (2 record center boxes, 2 oversize flat boxes)
Language Note:
English, some musical directions in Italian.
Robert Capanna (1952-2018) was an American composer and Executive Director of the Settlement School, a community school of the arts located within greater Philadelphia. This collection contains scores written by Capanna, both in draft and final, published forms.
Cite as:
Robert Capanna Scores, 1972-2016, Ms.Coll. 1383, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Robert Capanna was an American composer and director of music education. Born in 1952 in Camden, New Jersey, he spent his early musical life commuting to Philadelphia for music lessons. Originally a trombonist, he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in composition from the Philadelphia Music Academy, where he studied with Joseph Castaldo and Theodore Antoniou. In 1974, he was the Bruno Maderna Fellow in Composition at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he worked with Jacob Druckman and was awarded the Koussevitsky Prize in composition.

Capanna’s works have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Penn Contemporary Players, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, Amherst Music Center Orchestra, Dallas Civic Symphony, the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra, Network for New Music, the Trio di Milano, Colorado String Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet, Concerto Soloists, Orchestra 2001, and the Philadelphia Singers.

In 1976, Capanna became director of the Kardon-Northeast Branch of the Settlement Music School, a community school of the arts with branches throughout the greater Philadelphia region, and from 1982 to 2009, he served as the school’s executive director. During his tenure the school grew from three branches to six, launched an integrated arts preschool, Kaleidoscope, and founded the Joseph and Marie Field Chamber Music Center. Capanna passed away on January 26, 2018.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes scores by composer Robert Capanna. These are separated into six series: Solo instruments, Chorus, Instrumental ensembles, Voice and instruments, Large ensembles, and Arrangements. Scores written before or around 1995 often exist in pen or pencil on onion-skin and in final, published form; scores written after 1995 are generally printed, both in draft and final, published form. Because Capanna continually revised his works, some pieces appear in multiple versions. There is also a flash drive which contains PDF versions of the scores.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2018 February 22

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Sam Allingham

Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is open for research use. However, the PDFs on the flash drive in box 4 do not have digital copies; if access is requested, they will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services ( for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Cathryn Coate, 2018 August 15.

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Machine-readable artifacts
  • Scores
  • Sheet music
  • Composers--United States
  • Music
  • Music--United States

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Solo instruments.

Box Folder

"Phorminx" for harp, 1975.

3 1

"Phorminx II" for solo guitar, 1976.

3 2

"Remembrance," for solo bassoon, 1977.

1 1

"Sonata" for solo guitar, 1979, revised 1995.

1 2

"Remembrance 2" for solo cello, 1980, revised 1981.

1 3

"Stria" for flute, 1981.

3 3

"Thirteen Variations on a Moving Ground" for solo clarinet, 1996.

1 4

"Piano Sonata", 1996.

1 5

"Magic Numbers II: Reflections" for solo piano, 2003.

1 6

"Magic Numbers VI: Inventions" for solo piano, 2004.

1 7

"Three Pieces for Young Pianists", 2009.

1 8

"Piano Sonata #2", 2015.

1 9

"Three Concert Etudes" for clarinet, undated.

1 10

Series II: Chorus.

Box Folder

"Three Psalms", 2000.

1 11

"Six Songs", 2010.

1 12

Series III: Instrumental ensembles.

Box Folder

"Rota" for percussion quartet, 1973.

3 4

"Wind Quintet" for woodwind quintet, 1975.

3 5

"Trio 4" for flute, oboe, and cello, 1976.

3 6

"Sextet" for clarinet, trombone, viola, violincello, harp, and piano, 1976.

3 7

"Trio" for clarinet, tuba, and piano, 1977.

1 13

"Trio 2" for flute, oboe, and harp, 1977.

1 14

"Trio 3" for guitar, marimba, and harp, 1978.

3 8

"Trio 4" for flute, oboe, violincello, 1980, revised 1988.

1 15

"Duo" for two guitars, 1982, revised 1989.

1 16

"Variations" for flute and harp, 1986.

3 9

"Trio 5" for piano trio, 1989, revised 1995.

1 17

"Quartet" for saxophones, 1995.

1 18

"String Quartet #1", 1996.

1 19

"Five Serenades for Woodwind Quartet", 1999.

1 20

"String Quartet #2: Point of Departure", 2000.

1 21

"Variation" for flute and harp, 2002.

1 22

"Magic Numbers" for violin, viola, violincello, double bass, harp, and percussion, 2003.

1 23

"Magic Numbers III: Diversions" for woodwind quintet, 2003.

1 24

"Magic Numbers IV: Recollections" for brass quintet, 2003.

1 25

"Magic Numbers V: Hymns and Dances" for flute, clarinet, violin, and violincello, 2004, revised 2005.

1 26

"Moment of Refraction" for saxophone quartet, 2004.

1 27

"Duo" for violin and piano, 2006.

1 28

"Dance for Tony" for violin and marimba, 2006.

1 29

"Sonata" for violin and piano, 2007.

1 30

"Eight Impressions" for flute and piano, 2008.

1 31

"Diabelli Variant" for flute, clarinet, and violincello, 2009.

1 32

"Variation After Mozart" for woodwind quartet, 2009.

1 33

"Trio" for violin, viola, and violincello, 2012.

1 34

Too Light, Too Light, Like a Sudden Waking" for string trio, 2016.

1 35

"Song" for violin and piano, undated.

1 36

Series IV: Voice and instruments.

Box Folder

"Traveller" for baritone and mixed ensemble, 1975.

4 1

"Two Songs" for tenor and piano/baritone and string quartet, 1976.

1 37

"Reliquaries" for soprano and chamber orchestra, 1984.

4 2

"Six Significant Landscapes" for soprano, flute, violin, and violincello, text by Wallace Stevens, 1984.

4 3

"Two Blake Songs" for soprano, two guitars, harp, and marimba, 1985.

4 4

"Four Blake Songs" for soprano and piano, 1986.

4 5

"The Blue Guitar" for narrator and ensemble, 1991.

1 38-39

"Song on a Text by William Blake" for voice and violincello, 1996.

2 1

"Songs of an Ancient Mariner, Book One" for baritone and string quartet, 1999.

2 2

"Songs of an Ancient Mariner, Book Two" for baritone and string quartet, 2000.

2 3

"Songs of an Ancient Mariner, Book Three" for baritone and string quartet, 2001.

2 4

"Songs of an Ancient Mariner" for baritone and string quartet, full score, 2003.

2 5

"Songs of an Ancient Mariner," string parts, 2003.

2 6

"Reliquaries" for soprano and chamber orchestra, 2004.

2 7

"Rumplestiltskin" for narrator, violin, and violincello, 2005.

2 8

"The Meaning of Is" for soprano and piano, 2009.

2 9

"What I Know" for soprano and chamber ensemble, 2016.

2 10

Series V: Large ensembles.

Box Folder

"Day," rehearsal copy with texts, 1987.

4 6

"Day," full score, 1987.

4 7

"Chamber Symphony," individual parts, 1994.

2 11

"Chamber Symphony," full score, 1994.

2 12

"Three Pieces for String Orchestra", 1996.

2 13

"Day," unbound parts, 1998.

2 14

"Day," piano/vocal scores, 1998.

2 15

"Day," unbound score, 1998.

2 16

"Day," full score, 1998.

2 17

"Orchestral Overture" for full orchestra, 1999.

2 18

"In Summer Wind" for orchestra, 2001.

2 19

"Three Variants" by Jan Krzywicki, an adaptation of Robert Capanna's "Three Pieces for String Orchestra", 2009.

2 20

"Piccolo Concertante" for saxophone quartet and string orchestra, 2016.

2 21

"Piccolo Concertante" for saxophone and string quartet, 2016.

2 22

Flash drive with PDF of scores, undated.

4 9

Series VI: Arrangements.

Box Folder

"Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune" by Claude Debussy, arranged by Capanna, 1990.

4 8