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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

LE CAINE, HUGH, 1914-1977
MUS 107

Thumbnail[65K] Hugh Le Caine playing the electronic saqueboute, National Research Council, Ottawa, [1954]. Photo: NRC Canada.  (by permission of the National Research Council Canada)

Hugh Le Caine fonds.  - 1943-1977.  - 4 m of textual records.  - 597 photographs.  - 54 slides.  - 59 negatives.  - 346 audio tape reels.  - 1 audio tape cassette.  - 6 audio discs. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay, Ontario), Hugh Le Caine received a dual education as a physicist and a musician.  In 1937 he designed an electronic organ, and in 1952 worked on the manufacturing of other instruments of original design, this time for the National Research Council, where he headed the electroacoustic music laboratory for some 20 years.  One of his creations was the electronic sackbut (begun in 1945), which he used in a number of his compositions.  He also had a role in the installation of the first electronic music studio in Canada in 1959 at the University of Toronto, and in that of another, in 1964 at McGill University in Montréal.  In 1978, the members of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble of Toronto set up the Hugh Le Caine Project to publicize the achievements of this pioneer of electroacoustic music. 

Scope and content
The fonds contains records illustrating the musical and scientific activities of Hugh Le Caine.  In addition to his musical works, his design of electronic instruments and search for new sounds reveal Le Caine's avant-gardism.  The fonds consists of:  biographical records; correspondence; memorandums (National Research Council); notebooks; personal diary; writings; course and lecture notes; patents; notes on compositions and instruments; press clippings; drawings (spirograph) by Le Caine; diagrams and scores; photographs of the composer and his instruments; sound recordings of compositions and experiments in electroacoustic music. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Trudi Le Caine, the composer's widow, in several accessions, between 1986 and 1995. 

Restrictions:  none. 

Finding aids:  cards; provisional description. 

Proactive Disclosure