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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Thomas Sample Turner
RG 99.0133
Collection Dates: 1935-1982
14.5 ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: Processed by Denise Anderson, December 2000 and January 2005. Guide posted to the Internet December 2000; updated January 2008.

Photographs: None









Scope and Contents

The papers of Thomas Sample Turner relate to his career as a composer of music at the University of Iowa. His eight compositions span his career from the mid-1930s until his retirement in 1982. The collection fills nineteen boxes with musical scores, conductor's copies, audio reels, cassette tapes, microfilm, a songbook, handbooks, class lecture notes, playbills, B.A. and M.A. diplomas, and art work by Alice Turner.

Biographical Note

Thomas Sample Turner was born April 21, 1914 in Corning, Iowa.  His parents were Alice (Sample) Turner, and Daniel W. Turner, Iowa's governor from 1930 until 1932.  Turner attended high school in Corning, followed by the University of Chicago, where he was president of Chi Psi fraternity.  Turner married Isabel Lambly in 1936, and they raised two children, Norman and Alice. 

With his master's degree in hand, Turner became Professor of Music at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa, in June 1938. On September 18, 1939, professor Turner began working as a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa, earning his Ph.D. in 1942. "Symphonic Suite in F Major" was submitted as his dissertation, and was first performed by the University Symphony Orchestra at the Iowa Union on May 26, 1943. The piece was dedicated to the composer's mother and father.

Other compositions by Dr. Turner include: "Ground Bass and Fugue in G Minor," "Suite for Four Clarinets," "Fantasy for Violin and Piano," "Symphony in E Minor," "Quartet in E Minor for Strings," "Concerto for Wind Bands," and "$4000," an opera in one act, set by Turner.

Dr. Turner became a music instructor at the University of Iowa in 1942. He was enlisted in the army from May 1944 until January 1946, when he returned to Iowa as an assistant professor of Music.  Turner was a Professor of Music from 1960-1982, and Professor emeritus 1982-1994.  He was a member of the American Musicology Society.  Dr. Turner was the founder and first chairman of the Theory-Composition Section of the Iowa Music Teachers Association.  Thomas Sample Turner died on April 17, 1994.

[D. Anderson; 01/2008]

Related Materials

Folder, "Turner, Thomas Sample," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files Collection (RG 01.15.03)

Box Contents List


Box 1

$4000 musical scores

---. Bass, stand 1

---. Bassoon I

---. Bassoon II, Contrabassoon

---. Clarinet I, Bb and Eb

---. Clarinet II, Bb; Bass Clarinet, Bb; Contrabass clarinet, Eb

---. Flute I, Piccolo

---. Flute II, Alto flute in G

Box 2

$4000 musical scores, cont.

---. Horn I

---. Horn II

---. Horn III

---. Horn IV

---. Oboe I

---. Oboe II, English Horn

---. Orchestral Piano

---. Percussion I

---. Piano Coach and Conductor, Mr. Dixon

---. Saxophone I

---. Saxophone II

Box 3

$4000 musical scores, cont.

---. Trombone I

---. Trombone II

---. Trombone III, bass

---. Trumpet I

---. Trumpet II

---. Tuba

---. Viola, stand 1

---. Violin I, stand 1

---. Violin II, stand 1

---. Violoncello, stand 1

---. Vocal Score, First Poker Player, No.8, sect. 1

Box 4

Pencil scores, unlabeled

Box 5

Symphony No. 2 musical scores

---. Bass 1

---. Contrabass

---. 1st Bassoon

---. 2nd Bassoon

---. 3rd Bassoon

---. 4th Bassoon

---. Cello, 2 copies

---. 1st Bb Clarinet

---. 2nd Bb Clarinet

---. 3rd Bb Clarinet

---. 1st Flute

---. 2nd Flute

---. 3rd Flute

---. 1st Horn in F

---. 2nd Horn in F

---. 3rd Horn in F

---. 4th Horn in F

---. Kettle Drums

---. 1st Oboe

---. 2nd Oboe

---. 3rd Oboe and English Horn

---. 1st Trombone

---. 2nd Trombone

---. Bass Trombone

---. 1st Bb Trumpet

---. 2nd Trumpet Bb

---. 3rd Bb Trumpet

---. Tuba

---. Viola I, 2 copies

---. 1st Violin I, 2 copies

---. 2nd Violin II, 2 copies

---. Xylophone, Chimes, Triangle, Cymbals, Gong or Tam Tam, Glockenspiel, Piano

Symphony in E Minor, John Brown musical scores

---. Cellos

---. Double Basses

---. Violas

---. 1st Violins

---. 2nd Violins

---. Bass Drum

---. Bassoon 1

---. 2nd Bassoon

---. Contrabassoon, interchangeable with Third Bassoon

---. 1st Clarinet in Bb

---. 2nd Clarinet in Bb

---. Eb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and 3rd Bb Clarinet, interchangeable

---. Bass Clarinet in III, extra part

---. Cymbals

---. Flute 1

---. Flute 2

---. Flute 3 and Piccolo, interchangeable

---. 1st Horn in F

---. Horn 2

---. 3rd Horn in F

---. 4th Horn in F

---. Kettle Drums

---. Oboe 1

---. Oboe 2

---. Oboe 3, and English Horn, interchangeable

---. Small Bells, may be played by Bass drummer

---. Snare Drum, may be played by Bass drummer

---. Tam Tam, may be played by triangle player

---. Triangle

---. Tenor Trombone 1

---. Tenor Trombone 2

---. Bass Trombone

---. 1st Trumpet Bb

---. Trumpet II Bb

---. 3rd Trumpet Bb

---. Tuba

Box 6

Correspondence, Dmitri Mitropoulos; 1949-1959

Correspondence, 1959-1982

$4,000 Opera

---. Correspondence, July 20, 1969-August 8, 1969

---. Miscellaneous photos and slides

---. Playbill

---. Press releases and reviews, June 1969 -- November 1969

---. Sketches and play parts

---. Correspondence and interviews of libretto writer Vance Bourjaily, September 17, 1976-December 30, 1976

Box 7

Concerto for Wind Bands musical scores

---. 1st Baritone

---. 2nd Baritone

---. 3rd Baritone

---. 4th Baritone

---. 1st Bassoon

---. 2nd Bassoon

---. 3rd Bassoon

---. Contra Bassoon

---. Castanets

---. Celesta

---. Chimes

---. 1st Bb Clarinet

---. 2nd Bb Clarinet

---. 3rd Bb Clarinet

---. 4th Bb Clarinet

---. Eb Alto Clarinet

---. Bass Clarinet in Bb

---. Contra Bass Clarinet in Bb

---. Eb Clarinet

---. 1st Bb Cornet

---. 2nd Bb Cornet

---. 3rd Bb Cornet

---. English Horn

---. Field Drum

---. 1st C Flute

---. 2nd C Flute

---. 3rd C Flute

---. Glockenspiel

---. Harp

---. Harpsichord

---. High Gong

---. Low Gong and Bass Drum

---. 3 High Kettle Drums

---. 1st Horn in F

---. 2nd Horn in F

---. 3rd Horn in F

---. 4th Horn in F

---. 3 Low Kettle Drums

---. 1st Oboe

---. 2nd Oboe

---. 3rd Oboe

---. Pianoforte

---. C Piccolo

---. 1st Alto Sax in Eb

---. 2nd Alto Sax in Eb

---. Eb Baritone Sax

---. Bb Bass Saxophone, Bb Tenor Saxophone

---. Snare Drum

---. String Bass

---. Tambourine, Suspended Cymbals

---. Triangle, Plate Cymbals

---. 1st Trombone

---. 2nd Trombone

---. 3rd Trombone

---. Bass Trombone

---. 1st Trumpet in C

---. 2nd Trumpet in C

---. 3rd Trumpet in C

---. Tuba

---. Xylophone

Box 8


---. Fantasy for Violin and Piano

---. Ground Bass and Fugue in G Minor

---. Passacaglia and Fugue,

---. Psalm XX II

---. Quartet in E Minor,
two copies

---. Quintet in D Major

---. Suite for Four Clarinets

---. Suite for Small Orchestra

---. Fantasy for violin and piano,

Box 9

Art work by Alice Turner

Non-opera. Chronicles of Clovis, Acts I-III, sketches and play parts

Opera. Incomplete vocal score with lyrics

Correspondence of Henry Reese. Chronicles of Clovis libretto writer, June 19, 1975 -- April 4, 1984

Handbook of Musical Forms. Tom Turner and Eldon Obrecht

---. Original typed manuscript with revisions

---. Handbook of Tonal Forms, revised copy

He is despised, beginning of lyrics to a musical score

Mountain Meadows musical score

New Musical Theories and Phantasies, Part III: Free Composition, by Heinrich Schenker; translation to English by Oswald Onas and T. Howard Krueger (1956-1960)

---. 2nd draft with revisions (i-chapter 6) folder 1

---. 2nd draft with revisions (i-chapter 6) folder 2

Non-chord tones

Box 10

American Society of University Composers

B.A. and M.A. diplomas

Background, education, etc.

Carlo Tresca, memorabilia

Center for New Music

Class lecture notes and reserved book lists


Poor Old Harmony Book, original manuscripts, 2 edited copies

Playbills for operas and concerts


Box 11


---. Complete production copy, vol.1-3

Box 12

$4000, cont.

---. Original conductor's copy

---. Final conductor's copy

Box 13

Concerto For Band

---. Original conductor's copy

---. Final conductor's copy

---. Performance lay-out

Symphony No. 2

---. Pencil score

---. Revised conductor's copy

---. Final conductor's copy

Symphony in E Minor, John Brown

---. Conductor's copy

Box 14

Miscellaneous pages of Chronicles of Clovis musical score

Musical score for Baker's Dozen, Act I

Miscellaneous unlabeled and incomplete compositions

Songbook, Songs of Gentility

Box 15


---. 7 ½-inch audio reels

---. Piano

---. Scene I, original tape

---. Scene I, copy 1-3

---. Scenes II and III, original tape

---. Scenes II and III, copy 1

---. Scenes II and III, copy 2

---. Scenes II and III, copy 3

---. Scenes IV and V, original tape

---. Scenes IV and V, copy 1

---. Scenes IV and V, copy 2 or 3 No. 1

---. Scenes IV and V, copy 2 or 3 No. 2

Concerto for Band

---. 7 ½-inch audio reels

---. Reel tape, I through Air

---. Reel tape, II the rest of the piece

---. Deteriorating reel tape of Quartet, ca. 1955

Box 16

$4000, parts I and II, cassette tape

Chronicles of Clovis, cassette tape

Band piece I, 7 ½-inch audio reel

Band piece II, 7 ½-inch audio reel

Band piece Code III, 7 ½-inch audio reel

Band piece Code IV, 7 ½-inch audio reel

Microfilm labeled Bravo!, number 1

Microfilm labeled Bravo!, number 2

The Craft of Musical Composition: Book I, Theoretical Part, by Paul Hindemith

Quartet in E Minor, 7 ½-inch audio reel

Symphony, 7 ½-inch audio reel 1958, 2 copies

Symphony in E Minor
, microfilm

3 unmarked cassette tapes

Box 17

Sound Recordings

Box 18

Sound Recordings, cont.