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Paul Harder papers

 Collection — Box: 5702, Folder: 1
Identifier: UA-17.384

Scope and Contents

The Paul Harder collection consists of scores and parts for a variety of chamber music combinations as well as band, chamber orchestra and orchestra works. Those labeled “transparencies” are original copies on onionskin paper, which were used to make reproductions. Any item marked “reproduction” is copied from the transparency by the diazo (or ozalid) process. A few items are original manuscripts, on music manuscript paper. If the individual who prepared the manuscript is known, that information is noted. Two pieces are compositions by his students. One copy of a book prepared for Michigan State University music theory students is included.


  • Creation: 1949 - 1970


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.

Biographical Note

Paul O. Harder (1933-1986) taught theory at Michigan State University from 1945 to 1973. He also played oboe in the Richards Quintet (the faculty wind quintet) until 1965 and played in local orchestras and ensembles. He earned his master’s degree in music theory in 1945 from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, and his Ph.D. in music theory in 1959 from the University of Iowa. Following his career at Michigan State University, he accepted a position as Vice President and Professor of Music at California State University, Stanislaus.

Harder was very interested in the pedagogical aspects of music theory and developed a series of programmed learning texts in the 1960s. He worked in parallel with Merrell Sherburn; Harder focused on the intellectual aspects of theory, while Sherburn was concerned with aural harmony. Both men lectured around the country, separately and together, and had numerous publications and reviews of their material. Revised editions of several Harder texts, variously edited by H. Owen Reed and Greg Steinke, are still available and in use in 2016. Harder also composed approximately 50 works for various ensembles.

Paul Harder married Mildred Hart (widow of Weldon Hart), whose daughter, Margaret (Peggy) Dionise, is employed at Michigan State University. Paul and Mildred’s daughter is Kristin Hawks.


3.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Preservica Public URL|7caff10c-bd94-4de5-80a5-bb7792dd70b5/

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University except where noted.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Paul Harder Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
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