Penn Library

Hidden in Plain Sight:
Musical Treasures in the Penn Library

Curated by Marjorie Hassen

Otto E. Albrecht Music Library
University of Pennsylvania

Vivaldi's Vth Concerto

Vivaldi's Vth Concerto [L'estro armonico no. 5]
Copied by Francis Hopkinson in his Lessons
Manuscript, ca. 1760
Folio M 1 A11 H6 v. 12

A lawyer by profession and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the patriot and poet Francis Hopkinson was also an accomplished amateur organist, harpsichordist, and composer. Hopkinson was born in Philadelphia and graduated what was then the College of Philadelphia--later the University of Pennsylvania. He stood at the center of musical life in colonial Philadelphia, serving as organist for Christ Church and joining with professional musicians to present concerts of secular music. With the 1788 publication in Philadelphia of his Seven songs for the harpsichord or forte piano, Hopkinson credited himself with being "the first native of the United States who has produced a musical composition."

Hopkinson assembled a personal music collection of great breadth and sophistication, most of which is now housed in Penn's Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Large bound volumes preserve hundreds of eighteenth-century editions of the Italianate music favored in London drawing rooms. Hopkinson himself copied out four manuscript volumes for his own use. Among the composers represented are Handel, Scarlatti, Stamitz, Vivaldi, and the composer and harpsichordist James Bremner, with whom he studied.

Table of Contents
Manuscript Collections:
Manuscript Collections:
Sheet Music
Conducting Scores
Music Manuscripts:
15th-18th Centuries
Music Manuscripts:
19th & 20th Centuries
Landmarks of Music Theory

Last update: Monday, 03-Feb-2003 11:09:53 EST
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