The Warren D. Allen Music Library's Special Collections is a valuable resource for the Florida State University community, and especially for the FSU College of Music. Included are items of local interest, signed items, fragile items, rare items, and "truly unique/rare/valuable" items. Valuable and unique autograph-manuscripts, first edition copies of major treatises, high-quality reproductions of major works, piano rolls, Braille music, and items from as early as 1562 are among the many items contained within.
Most of the items (over 5,000) appear in our online catalog, though many do not. The purpose of this page is to showcase some of the library's most interesting and unusual holdings, and provide information about collections not detailed in our catalog.
Please note that additional rules and regulations apply to the use of Special Collections.
Nathan Lupu (1906–2000) was an American composer who trained in Chicago from 1928‐1935 with Danish‐born composer and theorist Thorvald Otterström. He composed actively during this period and assisted Otterström with his 1935 manual A Theory of Modulation. Lupu then spent the remainder of his professional life working as a draftsman for Bethlehem Steel, during which time he stopped composing.
He retired to Boynton Beach, Florida in 1967, resumed composing, and studied piano under the late Florida Atlantic University professor Raul Spivak in order to refine his piano technique. Lupu’s Improvisation in G Minor, which he dedicated to Spivak, was selected by the Bicentennial Committee of the Performing Arts to be played on American public radio stations during the 1976 celebration.
Lupu’s music is tonal and lyrical, yet heavily chromatic and adventuresome in its use of harmony; it constantly weaves and shifts from one harmony or key to the next. It is clear that Otterström’s theories, which sought to greatly expand possibilities for modulation and harmonic exploration, had a profound effect on Lupu.
The Nathan Lupu Collection contains the original manuscripts of his 25 known compositions (written almost exclusively for solo piano), manuscripts and exercises on theory, published works by Thorvald Otterström, and biographical material about Nathan Lupu.
The collection was obtained in March 2013 from Florida Atlantic University.
A finding aid for this collection is available: