Manuscripts Collection

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DENES AGAY PAPERS                                                                                                                                          92-071



Agay, Denes


 Type of Material:

Manuscript Papers, Manuscript Sheet Music, Sheet Music,


 Physical Description:

.5 linear feet



circa 1938-1988


Abstract (Descriptive Summary):

These papers consist primarily of manuscript materials used by Denes Agay in the preparation of his published piano teaching anthologies and musical compositions.



The collection is open for research use.


Provenance and Acquisition Information:

These papers were given by Denes Agay, May 1993, along with a collection of scores and sheet music.


 Subject/Index Terms:

Agay, Denes

Piano music

Piano instruction and study


Agency History/Biographical Sketch:

Denes Agay was born in Hungary 10 June 1911, and studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest and received his doctorate from the University of Budapest.  He began his career as a composer and educator in his native country, but in 1939 immigrated to the United States where he continued to work as an arranger for music publishers, conductor for radio shows, and a teacher.

 Agay has written compositions for piano, band, orchestra, chorus, and keyboard, but is best-known for his teaching collections, anthologies, and texts for piano studies.  He has been honored by Piano Quarterly with several "Best of the Year Citations" and has been designated one of the top American composers of piano music by the National Guild of Piano Teachers.  Among these compositions are more than 100 published works, perhaps the most widely recognized is Best-Loved Songs of the American People.

For additional biographical information see ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, fourth edition, page 4 and pamphlet, distributed by Agay's publisher, Music Sales Corporation, which is filed in the first folder of the papers.


Scope and Content:

These papers, which were received with a collection of scores and sheet music, consist primarily of materials used by Mr. Agay in the preparation of his anthologies, including notes, title lists, and lyric sheets; manuscript arrangements; sheet music with holograph arrangements and annotations; photocopies of sheet music; a notebook of song sheets; and a folder containing six printed pieces of music composed by Agay, as well as a copy of "Wish You Were Here" from the play of the same name autographed by Leland Hayward, Arthur Kober, Joshua Logan, Harold Rome, Jo Mielziner, and Jay Blackton.  They are arranged in eight folders in the order listed.


Collection Contents (Folder/Box List):

Box #  Folder #           Description

Box 1                         

            Folder 1          Manuscript materials for published anthologies      

            Folder 2          Manuscript arrangements

            Folder 3          Sheet music with holograph arrangements and annotations (1)

            Folder 4          Sheet music with holograph arrangements and annotations (2)

            Folder 5          Copies of sheet music

            Folder 6          Photocopies of sheet music

            Folder 7          Notebook of song sheets

            Folder 8          Printed sheet music composed by Agay


Materials Cataloged Separately:

The sheet music received from Mr. Agay has been filed with appropriate Center collections; a title list will be made available when the sheets are entered in the sheet music database.  

 All but four of the scores received from Mr. Agay have been transferred to the Center's collection of scores; a title list will be made available when the scores are cataloged.  Three issues of the Army-Navy Hit Kit (July and November 1943, March 1957) and Al G. Field Minstrels Song Book were transferred to special collection scores.

For information on the location of circa 25 ephemeral items which were received and transferred to other Center collections, consult staff.



Unless otherwise noted in the folder and box list, the arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order.



These papers are filed by accession number with other manuscript groups.


Processed by Ellen Garrison, June 1993

Revised by Rachel K. Morris, June 2011