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Gordon Childs papers on the Viola d'Amore

Identifier: MSS 8507

Scope and Contents

Contains materials pertaining to Gordon Childs’ research on, experience with, and study of, the viola d’amore. It includes his personal collection of viola d'amore music, his research on the viola d'amore, and other materials related to well-known contemporary viola d’amore players and composers. Dated 1602-2014 with the bulk being from 1935-1997.


  • Publication: 1602-2014
  • Publication: Majority of material found within 1935-1997


Language of Materials

Materials in English, German, and Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Gordon Childs papers on the Viola d'Amore must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Gordon Childs (born 1927) is a well-known viola d'amore performer and teacher and was one of the co-founders of the International Viola d'Amore Society/Congress.

Born on October 22, 1927 in Springville, Utah, Gordon B. Childs has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music Education and Musicology from Brigham Young University and the Ed.D. degree in Music Administration from the University of Montana.

A violist and violinist, he was introduced to the Viola d'Amore by Homer Wakefield in a music history class at BYU in the fall of 1951. He subsequently wrote his master's thesis on the History, Technique and Literature of the Viola d'Amore, and played a graduate recital of viola d'amore music using Wakefield's instrument.

From solo to chamber music to concerti, he has given solo recitals, chamber music concerts and played concertos with symphony orchestras in most of the mid-west and western states in America and in Mexico, Poland and Germany.

Assisted by Myron Rosenblum of New York and Daniel Thomason of California, the directors of the Viola d'Amore Society of America, Childs hosted the first International Viola d'Amore Congress in 1982 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie where he was on the music faculty. Since the success of this first Congress, others have been held every other year in many cities in the United States, in England, Germany, and Poland including two he organized in Utah after retiring there in 1993.

Even after 21 years of retirement in Orem, Utah, Childs still teaches and performs on this beautiful "Viola d'Amore, Viole d'Amour, Viola of Love."


5 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)

2 oversize boxes (3.32 linear ft.)


Arranged into 16 series: 1. Gordon Childs' Arrangements and Edits, Approximately 1700-1999, bulk 1935-1999. 2. Gordon Childs Collection on Fellow Violists, 1782-2014, bulk 1900-2014. 3. Gordon Childs Collection on "In The Pasha's Garden", 1934-1986. 4. Gordon Childs Complete Photocopies, 1602-1987, bulk 1890-1987. 5. Miscellaneous Excerpts from Gordon Childs' Musical Library, 1690-1947, bulk 1879-1947. 6. Gordon Childs Performance and Publicity papers on the Viola d'Amore, 1954-2014. 7. Gordon Childs papers on Ancient Instruments, 1971. 8. Gordon Childs Correspondence on the Viola d'Amore, 1969-2014. 9. Gordon Childs papers on the International Viola d'Amore Congresses, 1926-2014, bulk 1996-2014. 10. Gordon Childs collection of visual material on the International Viola d'Amore Congresses, 1982-2006. 11. Gordon Childs photographs of Viola d'Amore performances in Wyoming and Utah, 1990-1997. 12. Gordon Childs papers on the discovery of Walter Voigtlander's Viola d'Amore and music, 2001-2009. 13. Gordon Childs Viola d'Amore papers from Karl Stumpf, 1968-2005. 14. Gordon Childs papers on the Viola d'Amore Society Newsletters, 1977-2014. 15. Gordon Childs papers on the research of the Viola d'Amore for master's thesis, 1952-1954, bulk March 1952-July 1952. 16. Miscellaneous Excerpts from Gordon Childs' Musical Library, approximately 1661-2006, bulk approximately 1913-2006.

Custodial History

Donated by Gordon Childs in 2014.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Gordon Childs; 2014.


Prominent Violist (Section IV Primrose International Viola Archive Collection Development Policy January 2011).

Processing Information

Processed; Caryn Jackson, student manuscript processor, and David Day, curator; 2014.

  • MSC Stamitz, Karl/3te Sonata per la Viola d'Amore Geier, Oskar/Kleine Suite im alten Stil Sigwart, Botho/Sonate für Viola D'Amore und Klavier Quantz, J.J./Trio Marais/Air für Viola d'Amore u. Harfe (Klavier) Bach/Gavotte I per la Pomposa Lully/Arioso Lorenziti/Sonata "La Chasse" für Viola d'Amore solo Haydn, Jos./Zwei Menuette für Viola d'Amore Milandre/Andante et Menuet Hoffmeister, F.A./Divertimento No. 2 per la Viola d'Amore Extra (Library already has 2+ copies) Woita, D./Partie amabiles für 2 Violen d'Amore Shirley, Paul/The Study of the Viola d'Amore Exact copy (Library has 1 copy) Corras, A./Méthode de Viole d’amour Meyer, Clemens/Alte Meister des Violaspiels Huberty, Anton/Drei Stücke für Viola d’amore Lidarti, Christian Guiseppe/Sonata per la Pomposa Different Edition Francaix, Jean/Trois Duos pour Deux Sopranos et Quatuor A Cordes New Add Vannini, Elia/Et Exultavit (Aria dal “Magnificat” per Soprano, Viola d’amore e Basso Continuo) Ariosti, Attilio/Cantata á voce sola con la Viola d’amore “Pur al fin gentil Viola” (Sopran, Viola d’amore und B.C.) Albrechtsberger Partita No. 1 for Viola d’amore, Violin, and ‘cello (Continuo) Vivaldi, Antonio/Concerto in A Major Graupner, Christoph/Concerto D-Dur (Nr. 19)
Register of Gordon Childs papers on the Viola d'Amore
Caryn Jackson
2014 July 8
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States