Guide to the John Rogers Music Collection, 1960-1999

Collection number: UA 9/7/2
Size: 11 boxes (4.5 cu.ft.)

About John E. Rogers (1938-2016)

Composer John E. Rogers was an early pioneer in electronic and dodecaphonic instrumental music. He studied with Milton Babbitt, Elliot Carter, Robert Sessions, and other significant figures in 20th century composition. He held degrees in music composition from the Yale School of Music (MM, 1962) and Princeton University (FMA, 1965). After graduation he established the computer music department at the University of New Hampshire in 1967 and started the University of New Hampshire Summer Electronic Music Festivals beginning in 1969. During his time at UNH, Rogers served as Chair of the Music Department, Chair of Academic Senate, designed UNH’s first webpage in 1998, and taught extensively. He was an active performer on trombone and bass sackbut, instruments which appear frequently in his compositions. Rogers published extensively in the areas of dodecaphonic theory and computer music programming.

Many of his compositions are constructed around very strict tone rows and employ extended techniques, non-standard seating arrangements, and multiple simultaneous conductors. Despite these 20th century traits, they are also firmly rooted in the Baroque and Classical periods through use of familiar forms such as sonata, fantasia, passacaglia, and standard ensemble types like chamber orchestras and string trios.

About the John Rogers Music Collection (1960-1999)

The John Rogers Music Collection consists of approximately 40 original compositions by Rogers for computer, electronica, and instruments. Ensembles range from solo works and vocal lieder to chamber and orchestral works. Major works include Movements for Chamber Orchestra (1963), Rotational Arrays for Wind Quintet (1966), his Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1969), Isorhythms for percussion ensemble (1962), and the Prolation Suite for Brass (1988). Most works include working composition notes, several versions of the score, instrumental parts, and/or a complete printout of the computer code for electronic works. One work may appear across several boxes.

In addition to compositions, there are extensive analyses of both dodecaphonic and functionally harmonic composers from the 18th through 20th centuries. Examples include J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, Arnold Schoenberg, Milton Babbitt, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern.

Dates are given where they were indicated by the composer. Many works were left undated, and likely fall outside of the dates specified for each box.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the estate of the creator.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder number], [Box number], John Rogers Music Collection, 1960-1999, UA 9/7/2, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Transferred from UNH Music Department, 2017

Separated Material

Duplicates and mildewed items were separated and discarded.

Collection Arrangement

Collection is roughly divided into two parts: Analysis and Composition. Original compositions are boxed by size.

Collection Contents

Box 1
1960-1999Music Analysis

Works and subjects covered:

  • Schumann: Ich Grolle Nicht
  • Generating 12-Tone Arrays
  • Schoenberg: Fourth String Quartet
  • J.S. Bach: Chorales (mostly No. 251)
  • Babbitt: Playing for Time
  • Babbitt: Composition for Four Instruments
  • Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
  • Stravinsky: A Sermon, A Narrative, and a Prayer
  • Rogers: Ricercar
Box 2
1960-1999Music Analysis and Dodecaphonic Sets

Works and subjects covered:

  • Stravinsky: Movements for Piano and Orchestra
  • Mozart: Piano Sonata K. 545
  • Mozart: “Jupiter” Symphony No. 41, K. 551
  • Webern: String Quartet, Op. 22
  • Webern: Five Piano Pieces, Op. 23
  • Rogers: Rotational Arrays
  • Rogers: C-Sound Orchestra
Box 3
1973-1993Electronic and Computer Music Papers and Analysis

Works and subjects covered:

  • Rogers: C-Sound Orchestra
  • Rogers: Reverb
  • Uses of Computers in Electronic Music (Rogers, 1973)
  • Score Time and Real Time (Rogers, 1983)
  • Digital Simulation of the Piano (Rogers and Carrier, 1982)
  • Music, MIDI, and the IBM-and-Compatibles PC (Rogers, 1993)
  • History of Computer Music at UNH (1967 onwards)
  • Misc. notes on teaching theory, tonesets, figured bass and electronic music publicity
Box 4
1963-1995Analysis and Compositions
  • La Spanga for Cornetto, Sackbut, and Percussion
  • Allusions (1983-1985)
  • Two Fragments and a Classical Rotation
  • Fragments for Piano
  • Theory Exercises and Variations on a Beethoven Motif
  • Movements for Chamber Orchesetra (1963)
  • NW for Synthesizer
  • Amphibach (1967)
  • Motet on Victimae Paschali Laurdes for Cornetto and Three Sackbuts
  • Two Part Invention for Trombone and Clarinet
  • Computer Piece for Bob Stibler (unfinished)
  • Hemi Demi (unfinished)
  • Trombone Duets II and III
  • Canonic Structure for 6 computer voices (1973)
  • 34 Ways Of for wind quartet
  • Trio for piano
  • Rotational Arrays for Wind Quintet (1966)
Box 5
1960-1980Compositions
  • Early notes for Rotational Arrays (1966)
  • Blue Guitar for Soprano and Piano
  • The Snow-Man for SATB Chorus
  • Prolation Suite for Brass (analysis, program notes, music)
Oversize Box 1
1960-1974Compositions
  • “Why Do You Love Me: An Affirmation”
  • Computer Notes (1974)
  • Rotational Array generating program
  • Misc. musical sketches
  • Allusions for solo piano (1985) (both piano and computer version)
  • Second Coming for Orchestra and SATB Chorus, based on text by William Yeats
  • Piano Sonata No. 1 (1960)
  • Movements for Chamber Orchestra (1963)
Oversize Box 2
1961-1963Compositions
  • Movements for Chamber Orchestra (1963)
  • Symmetries (fragments for chamber orchestra)
  • Incidental Music to Troilus and Cressida
  • Fantasy for String Trio (1961)
Oversize Box 3
1961-1966Compositions
  • Misc. sketches and performance directions
  • Piano Sonata No. 2
  • Trombone Quartet (1961)
  • Jazz arrangements
  • Old Sonata for Trombone and Piano
  • Trombone Duet Nos. I, II, III
  • Woodwind Quintet (1961)
  • Rotational Arrays (1966)
Oversize Box 4
1961-1969Compositions
  • Rotational Arrays – final score and computer code (1966)
  • Garden Abstract for high voice and piano
  • Simples for voice and piano (1961)
  • Mary Magdalene for voice and piano
  • Gloria Deo for voice and piano (1960)
  • A Fish Scale Sunrise for soprano and piano
  • After A Long Silence for high voice and piano
  • Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1969)
  • Of Mere Being for soprano and piano
  • Sonata for Trombone and Piano
  • Hettinger’s Birthday for Band
  • Rain Has Fallen All The Day for voice and piano
  • Isorhythm for percussion ensemble (1962)
Oversize Box 5
1961-1988Compositions
  • Quartet in Memorium Anton Weburn
  • Rogers and Babbitt Test
  • Music for PBUZZ for computer (1984)
  • Music4
  • 2nd Happy Birthday Piece
  • Trombone Quartet (1961)
  • Passacaglia for piano
  • Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1969)
  • Prolation Suite for brass band (1988)
  • Fanfare (1988)
  • Isorhythms for percussion ensemble (1962)
Oversize Box 6
1969-1969Compositions
  • Canonic Variations on a Familiar Tune for small ensemble
  • Five Reminiscences for Piano
  • Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1969)
  • Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano - piano score (1969)