Jean Sibelius, Masonic Ritual Music Collection (AR 1996.3)

AR1996.3
Records of the Publication of
“Masonic Ritual Music”
by Jean Sibelius

1934-present
26 folders (53 items)

IntroductionHistorical Note<br /> Scope and Content Note</p> <p>Description of Series</p> <p>
The documents related to the Grand Lodge of New York publication of “Masonic
Ritual Music” by Jean Sibelius were donated to the Robert R Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York on July 28, 1951, by Marshall Kernochan. Because of space and time constrictions, this collection was moved to the offsite storage space in Utica, New York in the 1980’s. Volunteers at the Utica facility recently discovered this collection, which had never been inventoried. A Sibelius researcher named Hermine Williams became interested in the collection, and prepared a preliminary inventory of the documents. The collection was moved to the Livingston Masonic Library in late 1995.
In September 1997 more information related to this collection was found at the Masonic Home in Utica, NY. It was added to the other materials in November 1997. Where applicable, two copies of each document were saved. The collection was separated into 5 series. Restrictions may apply to some documents.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is thought by most scholars to be Finland’s greatest composer. While his most popular and best known work is the orchestral tone poem “Finlandia,” it is his piece “Masonic Ritual Music” that Freemasons in general, and the Grand Lodges of Finland and New York in particular, are most grateful for.
In 1922 Sibelius was made a Mason in Helsinki, Finland, under the ritual of the Grand Lodge of New York. He was a co-founder of Suomi Lodge #1 in Helsinki, and later served as the Grand Organist of Finland. To express his love for Masonry, in 1927 Sibelius composed “Masonic Ritual Music,” a small collection of vocal and instrumental pieces. A signed manuscript copy was later presented to the Grand Lodge of New York as a symbol of the brotherly love and affection between the two countries. This music was accompanied by a request from Sibelius that it only be used “for Masonic purposes.” In 1950 a revised edition was published by the Grand Lodge of New York, which contained extensive expansions and revisions by Sibelius. He added three pieces to the work, including one set to the tune of “Finlandia” with Masonic lyrics. While the 1935 manuscript is of value because of Sibelius’ signature, it was not created specifically for the
Grand Lodge of New York. The 1950 revised edition signifies the special relationship between Sibelius and the Grand Lodge of New York during the first half of the twentieth century.

This collection comprises .33 linear feet of the records of the publication of “Masonic Ritual Music,” written by Jean Sibelius for the Grand Lodge of New York. The collection contains materials from 1934 to the present. The records are in fair to good condition, and are arranged in five series. They are housed in one records carton, in the stacks with the
archives (last row on the right). Many of the documents were originally housed in manila envelopes, which were discarded because of their acidity. However, annotations written
on the envelopes were photocopied onto acid-free paper and retained as part of the collection. These annotations provide helpful insights as to the contents of each envelope, and their research value should not be overlooked.
Series 1–Music Scores/Proof Sheets
This series is comprised of the various music scores and proof sheets associated with the publication of “Masonic Ritual Music.” The documents are arranged chronologically in the front of the records carton.
Series 11–Correspondence
This series is comprised of any correspondence or memoranda dealing with Sibelius, the Grand Lodge of New York, and the publication of “Masonic Ritual Music.” The preliminary inventory and explanation of the collection by Hermine Williams is included in this series. The documents are arranged chronologically.
Series Ill–Copyright Information
This series is comprised of any information relating to the copyright of “Masonic Ritual Music,” and is arranged chronologically.
Series IV–Published Scores
This series is comprised of published scores of music by Sibelius and is arranged chronologically.
Series V–Miscellaneous
This series is comprised of miscellaneous documents relating to the publication of “Masonic Ritual Music.”
Also included in the collection is the Sibelius autographed copy of the 1935 edition of
“Masonic Ritual Music,” which was presented to the Grand Lodge of New York. It is
housed in the safe of the Grand Lodge of New York.