The Music Division holds several music manuscripts in Schoenberg's own hand. This page describes the Music Division's unique holdings: Schoenberg's holograph manuscripts and sketches for his own works, manuscripts of arrangements of works composed by others, and related manuscripts and arrangements in the hands of others.
The Music Division holds over 30 music manuscripts in Schoenberg's own hand. The physical manuscripts live in several different places in the Music Division's collections, a reflection of how they were acquired. Search for them using the following information:
The Music Division holds the holograph manuscripts of several of Schoenberg's most significant and celebrated works. Many—but not all—of these manuscripts have been fully digitized and are available online as part of the Music Treasures Consortium Digital Collection. Links to digital scans have been provided where applicable.
The earliest Schoenberg manuscripts held by the Music Division are:
The Music Division also holds the manuscripts for nearly all of Schoenberg's compositions for string quartet:
The Music Division also has a manuscript version of Schoenberg's "Introduction to the Four Quartets," in which he discusses aspects of his four numbered string quartets. This title links to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.
The Music Division holds several holograph manuscripts that are Schoenberg's own arrangements of works by other composers. Several of these manuscripts are arrangements by Schoenberg of partitas and a sinfonia by the 18th-century composer Franz Tuma (Call number: ML96 .S38). The manuscripts have no record in the Online Catalog. Schoenberg then penciled in his own realization of the figured bass. The manuscripts also include a sheet with handwritten comments on harmonic and formal problems in connection with the music's style. Schoenberg withdrew the arrangements from publication in 1918; they had been planned for Denkmäler der tonkunst in Oestereich, a historical edition of music from Austria covering the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods.
One of the most well-known Schoenberg arrangements held by the Music Division is of J.S. Bach's chorale, Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele (BWV 654).
Another manuscript arrangement in the Music Division's collections comes from much earlier in Schoenberg's compositional career. In 1902, Schoenberg took the Mädchenreigen [Maiden's Dance], originally written by composer Bogumil Zepler for three women's voices, and arranged it for orchestra.
The Music Division holds several other manuscript items relevant to Schoenberg: