Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt papers

Musical Edition

Collection 0867

( Bulk, 1879-1950 ) 1769-1950, undated
(18.2 Linear feet ; 39 boxes, 29 volumes, 23 flat files)

Series VII

Artifacts , scrapbooks, paintings, drawing, blueprints 1769-1933, undated; 6 boxes, 24 volumes, 9 flat files

Scope and Contents

This series offers materials reflecting Greenewalt’s early attempts to incorporate color and light in her performances. Included are pastels on cardboard, some with musical notations, painting on woven material, and a tube of Kodak film. Paper graphs and color charts indicate markings Greenewalt used to work out a color notation system. Several scrapbooks that document Greenewalt’s career also contain letters and materials about her parents, Samuel Hallock and Sara Tabet Hallock. Blue prints and tissue drawings depict the interior and exterior of Greenewalt’s color console. Other items include Greenewalt’s Bridal Souvenir booklet, the Sesqui-Centennial diploma and gold medal awarded in 1926, books printed in Arabic and French, and Greenewalt’s sound recording of works by Chopin, created in 1920, which has been reformatted from phonograph disk to CD.

Musical Guide by Andrea Clearfield

Music may take a moment to load, so please be patient if it does not play immedietly upon opening a series.

The inspiration for this piece came from selected writings and graphs by Mary Hallock Greenewalt, as well as one of her small paintings with a small fragment of a score by Claude Debussy (Volume 25). Ms. Greenewalt indicates “music for the ‘sigh’” under the sketch. My work is built around excerpts from Debussy’s "Soupir" (Sigh), for soprano and piano, set to the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé in 1864. The title of my piece is taken from a line in Mallermé’s beautiful poem (see below.)

The music from "Soupir" is alluded to throughout the work. I also recorded myself at the piano, playing the musical excerpt that she transcribed, a series of descending dream-like chords. In her writings, she references music with a “moon” theme: “Et La Lune” by Debussy and the “Moonlight” Sonata by Beethoven. Layered in the music are fragments of these works and others, including Ms. Greenewalt's own performances of Chopin and Beethoven. Also woven through the texture are various sounds of organ music.

I wanted to create a luminous soundscape, reminiscent of the “jeweled world” that Ms. Greenewalt describes in her vision of a new art form: Nourathar (essence of light). She imagines people “sitting within a huge living every-color jewel" while this “spoke the music of one’s soul”. She also speaks of the “shifting tones of light and color”, the “now brightening, now darkening, now a Jasper sea on the warm water”. Moon, soul, pulsing rhythm, color, light, dream, gems and water are recurring themes in her writings.

This piece is a creative response to her words, sketches and vision. In addition to the elements above, my own synesthesia (seeing colors to musical notes) helped inform the musical “color” of the work. There is a fluid progression from Debussy’s sigh-like chords to a high female voice singing “mon âme” (my soul) appearing and retreating into the distance like fleeting memories, an hommage to Mary Hallock Greenewalt and her extraordinary vision and creation.

SOUPIR (Sigh) by Stéphane Mallarmé
Translation from French to English copyright © by Nicolas Gounin

My soul rises towards your brow o calm sister, where there lies dreaming
An autumn strewn with russet freckles,
And towards the restless sky of your angelic eye,
As in a melancholy garden,
A white fountain faithfully sighs towards the Azure!
Towards the compassionate azure of pale and pure October,
Which mirrors its infinite languor in the great pools
And, on the stagnant water where the tawny agony
Of the leaves stirs in the wind and digs a cold furrow,
Lets the yellow sun drag itself out in a long ray.

• Translation from French to English copyright © by Nicolas Gounin, nicolas (AT) gounin (DOT) net,, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. Please contact the copyright-holder when requesting permission to reprint.

Andrea Clearfield is an award winning American composer of music for orchestra, chorus, mixed chamber ensembles, dance and multi-media collaborations. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “virtuosity”, “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces” and by the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration”. Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. She has composed 7 cantatas for chorus and orchestra and is working on a cantata to the French poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke for premiere at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts this spring. Other upcoming premieres include Kawa Ma Gyur, a chamber work inspired by her recent trek documenting the Tibetan music in the restricted northern Himalayan region of Lo Monthang, Nepal, commissioned by Network for New Music. She serves on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts and is the pianist in the contemporary music ensemble, Relâche. She is also the founder and host of the Salon concert series featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, multimedia and world music, celebrating its 24th year and winner of the Best of Philadelphia Award, 2008. She is currently an Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy of Rome. More information at

Box Folder

Scrapbook: Clippings, “Earliest Press Notices of Piano Recitals” 1891-1898 

30 1

Scrapbook: Clippings, “Earliest Press Notices of Piano Recitals” (Originals) 1891-1898 

30 2

Scrapbook: “Press Clippings of Mary Hallock Greenewalt’s Concerts, Pulse and Rhythm Research and Light Color Play as Fine Art the Sixth” 1895, 1903-1923, 1932, undated 

30 3

Scrapbook: “Mary Hallock Greenewalt and Light Color Play,” Copies of Published Articles, News Clippings 1899-1927, 1934, undated 

30 4

Scrapbook: “Mary Hallock Greenewalt and Light Color Play,” Published Articles, Press Releases, Program Notes 1899-1927, 1934, undated 

30 5

Scrapbook: “Mary Hallock Greenewalt, See the Who’s Who and Other Reference Works," Clippings, Miscellaneous Correspondence 1931, 1933, undated 

30 6

Scrapbook: “Mary Hallock Greenewalt, See the Who’s Who and Other Reference Works," Articles, Clippings, Programs, Miscellaneous Correspondence, Ephemera 1895-1932, undated 

30 7-8

Scrapbook: “Samuel Hallock Facts of Importance to the First Printing Press in Beyrouth, Syria,” Sara Hallock Correspondence 1870, undated 

30 9

Scrapbook: “Samuel Hallock Facts of Importance to the First Printing Press in Beyrouth, Syria,” Correspondence, Hallock Genealogy 1836-1886, 1932, undated 

30 10

Scrapbook: “Samuel Hallock Facts of Importance to the First Printing Press in Beyrouth, Syria,” Articles, News Clippings, Arabic Ephemera 1836-1903, 1931-1932 

30 11

Diploma, Sesqui-Centennial International Convention, Philadelphia 1926 

Flat File 15

Tube that contained Sesqui-Centennial Diploma 1926 

Box Folder

Concert program with Biographical Data and Picture, Handwritten Musical Score 1907-1908, undated 

31 1

Schematic Diagram of Motor Control undated 

31 2

Scrapbook, “See the Who’s Who and Other Reference Works Two copies, “Light Score for the First Movement Moonlight Sonata,” one copy with Small Daily Diary 1919, undated 

31 3

Record Holder for Original Recording with note by Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt 1905 

31 4

Two Articles: “A Souvenir of the Color Organ,” by Banbridge Bishop and “The Romance of Colour-Music,” Sara A. Tooley 1893, 1912 

31 5

Poster board illustrating patent 1,945,635, Titled: “M.H. Greenewalt” “Light Color Instrument” Filed Jan. 29, 1927 1934 

31 6

“Chicago’s Century of Progress, 1833-1933” 1933 

31 7

Theremin, Leon: “Inventor of the Victor Theremin” (Originals) 1929, undated 

31 8

Four Photostatic Negatives “Original drawings on reduced scale, Beau’s complete Specifications. April, 11, 1902. No. 8479” 1902 

31 9

Pedal Mechanism for Rheostat, Wiring Diagram, Light Control, Motor and Hinges, Base, Partial Photostat of Blueprint 12-A-214 (Part of Sarabet Light Player, 1919-1921 1919-1920, 1930, undated 

31 10

Various blueprints and schematics (FRAGILE!—inventories available in Appendix) 1919-circa 1930, undated 

Flat Files 16-18

Miscellaneous drawings on spectrums, scales, arcs, etc. (inventory available in Appendix) undated 

Flat File 19

Paper/pencil sketches of console interior and exterior undated 

Flat File 20

Miscellaneous drawings on tissue undated 

Flat Files 21-22
Box Folder

Letter on Birch Bark, Lock of Hair, Frank L. Greenewalt, M.D. Receipt 1894, undated 

31 11

Musical Courier 1912 

31 12

The New Delawarean, “A House in the Valley” undated 

31 13

The New Delawarean, “A New Fine Art Arrives” 1939 

31 14

Scrapbook: “Mary Hallock Greenewalt and Light Color Play,” Etude Articles 1899-1905, undated 

31 15

Design and Notes for Color Tints, for Debussy Composition, “And the moon descends on the temple which was” 1906 

31 16

Scrapbook: “Who’s Who and other Reference Works,” Publications of “Pulse and Rhythm,” and “Pulse in Verbal Rhythm” 1903, 1905 

31 17

Scrapbook: “Who’s Who and other Reference Works,” Poster, “Third International Patent Exposition,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1932 

31 18

Scrapbook: “Samuel Hallock,” Patent No. 63,512, “Improved Surface Conductor for Electrotyping” 1867 

31 19

Folder: “Text Book for Light Color Play Instruction” 1920 

32 1

Design, Notes for Color Tints, Published Light Score for Debussy and Beethoven Compositions 1906, 1919, undated 

32 2

Notes for “Text Book or Instruction Method” 1920, undated 

32 3

“Method of Instruction in the use of a light player table,” Lesson I 1920 

32 4

Notes on and Examples of Color Symbolisms for Scoring Music 1920 

32 5

“Methods of Playing the Sabaret” 1920 

32 6

Photostats, Lamp and Switch Diagrams; Printed Notes: “Suggested Paragraph to Follow Reference in the Specification to a Light Mechanism” 1920, undated 

32 7

Notes on Conducting with Light 1920 

32 8

Notes and Sketches for Color History and Symbolisms 1920 

32 9

“Text Book for Light Color Play Instruction” Originals 1920 

32 10

Painting, Black background with color rays, note: “1,793,284” undated 

33 1

Lithograph, “Hallock” 1912 

33 2

Pastel, Stage Scene, 20” x 28” undated 

33 3

Pastel, Stage Scene, 20” x 28” undated 

33 4

Pastel, Stage Scene, 20” x 28” undated 

33 5

Negatives (Nitrate) 1921 


Blueprint – reflector undated 

Flat File 23

Printing Blocks (1 lg. 2 sm.) Piano and Playing Hands undated 


Printing Blocks (1 lg. 2 sm.) Silhouettes undated 


Souvenir Album (Cards, cartoons, poems) 1880-1887, undated 


Alfred de Musset, “ Contes et Nouvelles” 1894 


Arabic book undated 


Arabic book (Mary Hallock in pencil on inside, back cover) undated 


Nouvelle Methode Facile Et Curieuse, Pour Connoitre Le Pouls Par La Musique 1769 


Wallet Sized Account Book, dried flowers 1910 


Bridal Souvenir. Hard bound, gold leaved pages. Writing on front cover: “Certificate of the marriage of Miss Mary E. Hallock to Dr. Frank Lindsay Greenewalt 1898 


Hawthorne, Julian, The Golden Fleece 1896 


Sesqui-Centennial Gold Medal (Eagle) 1926 


Film Year Book, Ninth Edition, 1927. Kann, Maurice, ed. New York, Los Angeles: John W. Alicoate Publisher 1927 


Hard bound Book of Music, “Symphonies de Beethoven, Arrangée par W. Mever, Vol. 1 undated 


Hard bound book of music, “Property of Mary Hallock, Chelten School, Wyncote, Penna.,” Sketches, Brochures, Dried Flowers undated 


Two medals, Musical Prizes, from Scrapbook, “Mary Hallock Greenewalt, See the Who’s Who and Other Reference Works” 1895, undated 


Mary Hallock Greenewalt v. Stanley Company of America, Trial at Wilmington, Delaware 1929 


Binders: “Light Color Play Notes, Mary Hallock Greenewalt” 1929, undated 


Three Small Pastels on Cardboard with Suggested Musical Accompaniment undated 


Colored Kodak Film and Kodak Tube undated 


Two Rolled, Colored Materials undated 


Five Acetate or Cellulose Rolls, used for Demonstration at Bellevue-Stratford, Philadelphia; Paper Chart of Color Symbols with Note by Greenewalt on Two Index Cards 1916, undated 


"Album of very old and quaintly old music" circa 1850-circa 1880 


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