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Timothy Mather Spelman scores

Identifier: PIMS-0061

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Scope and Contents

The Timothy Mather Spelman scores (1910-1962) are arranged in three series. Series 1 includes manuscript scores written for orchestra. Series 2 contains manuscript scores written for chorus, opera, and piano and voice. Series 3 contains miscellaneous scores, including unidentified sketches, published scores, and printed scores written by other composers. Also included in this series is a composition for guitar by Spelman.


  • Creation: 1910-1962


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Peabody Archives. Contact for more information.

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

Timothy Mather Spelman (b Brooklyn, NY, Jan 21, 1891; d Florence, Aug 21, 1970) was an American composer. He studied with Shelley in New York (1908), with Spalding and Hill at Harvard University (1909–13) and with Courvoisier at the Munich Conservatory (1913–15). On his return to the USA in 1915 he became assistant director of band musicians’ training in the War Department. In 1918 he went back to Europe with his wife, the poet Leolyn Louise Everett, and settled in Florence, where he remained for the rest of his life, with the exception of the period 1935–47, which he spent in New York. Spelman's music, most of it programmatic, blends elements of Italian Romanticism and French Impressionism. In 1920 he wrote his first opera, La magnifica. Set to a libretto by his wife, it is a tale of intrigue set in South America. The Spelmans collaborated on many songs and at least two other dramatic works: The Sea Rovers, a three-act opera strikingly reminiscent of the Boito-Verdi Otello, and Babakan, a one-act lyric comedy with an Arabian setting. Among his most significant works are Pervigilium veneris and the tone poem Assisi: the Great Pardon of St Francis from Saints' Days.

Glanville-Hicks, Peggy, and Harry Haskell. "Spelman, Timothy." Oxford Music Online. Accessed 4 January 2018.


19.2 Cubic Feet (10 custom score boxes, 1 records center box, 5 small flat boxes, 20 large flat boxes, 2 oversize legal boxes)

Language of Materials



Timothy Mather Spelman was an American-born composer who spent much of his career in Florence writing operas and vocal music. The collection includes manuscript and published scores of his compositions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to the Friedheim Library by Johns Hopkins University Special Collections, probably in the late 1980s.

Related Materials

Special Collections at the Sheridan Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University holds a large collection of material by Timothy Mather Spelman and his wife, Leolyn Louise Everett Spelman. The guide to the Spelman papers, MS.0392, is available at

The manuscript score of "To Helen," a song by Spelman with words by Edgar Allan Poe, can be located through the library catalog at

Processing Information

Processed by Carlos Zabala in 2014.

Guide to the Timothy Mather Spelman scores
Kerri Sheehan
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

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