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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

PRICE, PERCIVAL, 1901-1985
MUS 133


Percival Price fonds.  - 1914-1985.  - 17 m of textual records.  - 6,012 photographs.  - 2,077 slides.  - 2,362 negatives.  - 2 drawings.  - 427 audio tape reels.  - 3 audio discs. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Percival Price studied music in Toronto, Vienna, Basel, and Belgium.  In 1921 he began his career as a carillonneur at the Metropolitan Church in Toronto, the only musician to hold a position of this type outside Europe at that time.  He performed as a recitalist on more than 100 carillons throughout the world.  His contribution as a composer, arranger and researcher in the field of carillon music was exceptional:  thanks to his advice, the modern instrument has itself undergone certain modifications.  In 1927 he was named Dominion Carillonneur, in charge of the carillon at the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings, a position he retained until 1939.  However, he spent most of his career (1939-72) in Ann Arbor as carillonneur and professor at the University of Michigan.  Percival Price composed many pieces for carillon, a Concerto for carillon, brass and percussion, and also works without carillon, such as the Saint Lawrence Symphony

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining to the professional activities of Percival Price and the world of carillonneurs.  This extensive documentary collection provides researchers with information on the carillon, its evolution and large quantity of works for this instrument.  The numerous visual documents, consisting of photographs, maps, plans and designs, clearly demonstrate the manufacturing procedures of different types of carillons and bells. 

The fonds contains:  diplomas; letters of recognition; diaries; research files consisting of correspondence, reports, talks, notes on carillons and carillon manufacturers; correspondence with various carillonneurs; articles on bells, taken from various print sources; writings by Price including manuscripts of lectures, articles and books, such as the unpublished Carillons of North America (1933); musical scores for carillon, including copies of compositions by various composers, autograph compositions and arrangements by Price and works in his repertoire; manuscript compositions by Price other than for carillon; concert programmes; posters; scrapbook documenting the fire of 1916 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa; maps and plans showing sketches of bells and European sites with carillons; drawings of Price, one by Stein and the other by Varley; photographs of Percival Price, personalities of the music world, carillons, towers, bells, foundries, a museum (Apolda) and the Metropolitan Opera; sound recordings of carillon music, including recordings of recitals by Price and American and European carillonneurs. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Percival Price in 1981 and from Daphne McCree, daughter of Percival Price, in 1999. 

Restrictions:  none.

Finding aids:  provisional description. 



Proactive Disclosure