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John Sebastian papers

Identifier: HC.MC-828

Scope and Contents

Sebastian's papers consist of musical scores, many in manuscript form, and some letters. Musical composers include: Anthony Burgess, Luciano Chailly, Norman Dello Joio, Alan Hovhaness, Darius Milhaud, Alexander Tcherepnin, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and others. Letters writers include: Donald Martino, Tom Scott, and Alexander Tcherepnin.

The scores are arranged alphabetically by composer within six series:

I. Works Written for Harmonica

II. Arrangements for Orchestra and/or Instruments Including Harmonica

III. Manuscript Scores Not for Harmonica

IV. Fragments and Unknown Manuscripts

V. Works Transcribed for Harmonica or Transposed to a New Key

VI. Other Scores Belonging to John Sebastian.


  • 1940 - 1974


Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English; one in Italian.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright and Rights Information

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (US. Title 17). Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce the material.

Biographical / Historical

John Sebastian (1914-1980), who graduated from Haverford College in 1936, was a harmonica virtuoso and composer. Born in 1914 in Philadelphia, né Pugliese, Sebastian helped make the harmonica a classically-oriented instrument and advocated for composers see it as a serious instrument. He performed in many concerts on the harmonica. Sebastian died in France in 1980.


5 boxes (5 boxes and 1 package)


Sebastian's papers consist of musical scores, a number of them in manuscript form, and some letters. Some scores are written for harmonica, some for other instruments, some arranged for orchestra. Many written and dedicated to composer and harmonica virtuoso John Sebastian.

Works are arranged first in series, then alphabetically by composer. Composers include: Anthony Burgess, Luciano Chailly, Norman Dello Joio, Alan Hovhaness, Darius Milhaud, Alexander Tcherepnin, Heitor Villa-Lobos and others. Letters included from: Donald Martino, Tom Scott and Alexander Tcherepnin.


Finding aid arranged alphabetically by series, but not by physical location, which is noted by instance.


The John Sebastian papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1986 by John Ferguson.

Processing Information

Processed by Diana Peterson and Janela Harris; Completed 2013.
John Sebastian papers, 1940-1974
Under Revision
Diana Peterson and Janela Harris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US