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Mary Sue Sklarevski papers

Identifier: PIMS-0014

Scope and Contents

The Mary Sue Sklarevski papers contain material created in what can be presumed as the height of her career, 1960-1984. The majority of the collection consists of manuscript compositions, many if not all of which were performed during her lifetime. There are various personal papers (letters, photos, newspaper clippings) relating to her music education career and performances. A 3.5-inch floppy disk is included which contains photos of Sklarevski and Marjorie Joy Turner Mele. These photos were published in the May/June 2002 issue of Peabody News, along with an article detailing their work with the color chart and “Quarter-Tone Scale.” The photos were transferred to a CD in 2016 which is also included with the collection. A 45-rpm record of her song Into the House can also be found in the collection.


  • Creation: 1960-1984


Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Sue Fielding Sklarevski (1917-2007) was an avid musician, composer, and poet in the Baltimore area. Passion for music was shared in her family, with her father-in-law being Alexander Sklarevski, head of the piano department at the Peabody Institute. She played violin in the Gettysburg Symphony, but focused much of her energy on writing, composing, and teaching. She attended the Johns Hopkins University to earn her BS in 1938. She then returned to the John Hopkins University to earn her BM in Music Education in 1966, while also studying composition at Peabody Institute. Sklarevski remained an active donor and member of the Peabody and John Hopkins community, participating as a lifetime member of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association.

In her career, Sklarevski taught music at a handful of local schools including Towsontown Junior High School and Cockeysville Junior High School. A talented composer, Sklarevski published countless works and had them performed in the community. Performances include those done by the Allegany Community College Singers as well as her own students. One particular song, At the Inn, was picked up by Voice of America and broadcast around the world.

Many of Sklarevski's poems have also earned her acclaim. As a distinguished member of the International Society of Poets, Sklarevski published several poems in a national anthology of poetry.

In 1965, Sklarevski worked with visual artist Marjorie Joy Turner Mele to create a color chart of the Bach inventions. The chart shows the duration and relationship of the melodic and harmonic lines in a piece of music. Sklarevski and Mele copyrighted the “Quarter-Tone Scale” which was used to enhance various half-tone scales.


0.47 Cubic Feet (1 legal size box)

Language of Materials



The Mary Sue Sklarevski papers consists of material relating to Sklarevski's career as a musician, composer, and poet. The majority of the collection consists of manuscript and published scores. Various personal papers, photographs, and published poetry are also included.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mary Sue Sklarevski in 1991.

Processing Information

Processed by Grace Ming-hsuan Tsai in 2016.



Guide to the Mary Sue Sklarevski papers
Kerri Sheehan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Peabody Institute
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA