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H. Owen Reed papers

Identifier: UA-17.375

Scope and Contents

The H. Owen Reed collection contains correspondencedate books, sheet music, audio recordings and photographs. Sheet music consists of Reed's compositions including manuscripts, published versions, and transparencies used to make the published versions. Audio recordings include cassettes of performances of Reed's music by various groups. There are also cassettes of music by Reed's pupils and Michigan State University bands and groups. Also included are electronic records consisting of audio of Reed's cello recordings and other compositions. Other electronic records include PDFs of sheet music of some of Reed's compositions. The photogrpahs included two images taken at Tangelwood, Massachusets and show Reed, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, H. Owen Reed and Serge Koussevitzky. The phootograph album shows Reed and his wife Esther vacationing as well as images of Reed with his band including an image with a sign that says Owen Reed and His Band.


  • Creation: 1934 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University. Researchers should also contact the estate of H. Owen Reed.

Biographical Note

Herbert Owen Reed was born on June 17, 1910 in Odessa, Missouri. He attended University of Missouri from 1929 and then transferred to Louisiana State University in 1933. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1934 and a Master's degree in Music in 1936. From 1937 to 1939 he attended the Eastman School of Music and received a Ph.D. in Composition. In 1942, at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, he studied with Bohuslav Martin?, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and Stanley Chappel.

In 1948-1949 Reed spend six months in Mexico studying folk music. He returned to Mexico in the summer of 1960 for a month. In February 1976 he went to the Caribbean to study folk music and also studied folk music in Norway in 1977. He also studied American Indian music in New Mexico and Arizona.

Reed was a Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Michigan State University from 1939 to 1976. He served as acting head of the School of Music from 1957 to 1958.

He passed away on January 6, 2014.

(Sources: and )


19 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Preservica Public URL|8bae03c3-d202-41c1-8759-6a024d7465c6/

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred from the MSU Fine Arts Library to the MSU Archives.

Legal Status

Copyright: The Estate of H. Owen Reed.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

General Note

Research guide available at

H. Owen Reed Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
March 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US