Billy May musical scores
Scope and Contents
This collection contains musical scores and parts for songs arranged by American musical arranger Billy May (1916-2004), dating from the late 1930s to early 1970s. There are files for 567 titles from more than 100 different composers including Count Basie, Bob Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Glenn Miller, and Henry Mancini. For each title, there is typically a holograph score showing all of the parts for different instruments and holograph sheet music for individual instruments. The music includes popular songs, Big Band and Swing, jazz, Latin music, and music for television and movies.
Housed with the collection in Box 1 are some photocopies of Mays' arrangements and "As you remember them: volume 2" (1972) a Time-Life vinyl record set. It is unclear if the record was received with the collection or added later.
- 1937 - 1972
- May, Billy (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Advance notice required for access.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
Finding aid description and metadata are licensed under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
Conditions Governing Use
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Cinematic Arts Library at firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Cinematic Arts Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Biographical / Historical
Billy May (1916-2004) was an American musical arranger, composer, and trumpeter. May began arranging music in high school. He worked steadily as an arranger and musician during the Great Depression. May performed regularly as a trumpeter and toured during the Big Band era of the 1940s. In the 1940s, May moved to Los Angeles, California, and worked as an arranger and studio orchestra leader.
45 Linear Feet (40 boxes)
Language of Materials
This collection contains musical scores and parts for songs arranged by American musical arranger Billy May (1916-2004), dating from the late 1930s to early 1970s. The music includes popular songs, Big Band and Swing, jazz, Latin music, and music for television and movies.
This collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the composer in two groupings:
Boxes 1-24: Ambrose-Chick Web
Boxes 25-38: Herb Alpert-Roger Williams
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Billy May.
Transferred from the USC Music Library to the Cinema Arts Library. Some processing by USC students in 2019 as part of the "Piloting a Shared Practice for Accessible Archival Descriptions" Dean's Challenge Grant. Additional description by Diann Benti in 2021.
- Finding aid for the Billy May musical scores
- Diann Benti
- 2021 November
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the USC Libraries Cinematic Arts Library Repository
Doheny Memorial Library G4
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0185 United States