Earle Brown Collection

Collection of American Composer Earle Brown new at the Paul Sacher Foundation


The archive of the American composer Earle Brown (1926–2002) has been transferred from the Earle Brown Music Foundation Charitable Trust to the Paul Sacher Foundation. The collection will be available for research immediately. It contains musical autographs (sketches and drafts, as well as fair copies), text manuscripts, correspondence, sound recordings and photographs, and program brochures, reviews, and other documentary material. The transfer was made possible through a generous gift by the philanthropist Sabine Duschmalé.

Earle Brown is considered one of the major innovators of twentieth-century music. He was one of the first composers to develop graphic notation in the 1950s as well as “open form” works, compositions containing fixed elements that can be combined and juxtaposed in any order by the performer(s).

The acquisition allows for multiple connections and references within the spectrum of collections at the Paul Sacher Foundation. Brown’s archive expands the Foundation's existing emphasis on American composers and also allows for cross references to the archives of composers who were close to Brown, including Cathy Berberian, Bruno Maderna, and Edgard Varèse, among others.

The collection’s holding can be searched provisionally through the catalogue of the Earle Brown Music Foundation here