Fonds SC058 - Charles Hofmann fonds

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Charles Hofmann fonds

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  • 1922 - 1974 (Creation)

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35 cm of textual records and other material

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Charles Hofmann was born in Tampa, Florida. and moved to Canada in 1972, where he has lived in Victoria and Toronto. He was a noted writer of piano scores for many silent films including D.W. Griffith's Intolerance. The Canadian Encyclopaedia states that in Toronto Hoffman "called himself an 'instant composer,' since he never played the piano with a score in front of him. He would sit down in front of the screen and improvise the musical commentary. In the 1960s Lapp and in the 1970s Hoffmann began practising their art once more with the showing of silent films in film-clubs, festivals, and schools." As a musicologist, he has lectured and published widely on art history, music history, ethnomusicology, cinema history and literature since 1934. Among his many activities, he was Musical Director of the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In Ottawa on the National Film Board production of Dreamland. While living in Victoria in the late 1970s, Hofmann hosted regular lectures and screenings of early films. Hofmann wrote many books about American Indian music and Eskimo songs and ceremonies, and also studied the customs of native peoples of Africa, Australia and China.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of subject files of lecture notes and essays by Hofmann, and articles on ethnic and music studies; correspondence to Hofmann from Andre Renaud regarding Indian music and from R. Tully regarding Mexican Indians; catalogues, magazine articles, supply lists and publicity material; scrapbooks containing clippings, copies of Hofmann's lecture and radio programmes, photographs and essays; photographs of aboriginal people in Africa, Alaska, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and New Guinea; and stills from National Film Board of Canada productions.

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Physical description

Includes ca. 400 photographs.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised by JF, June 24, 2013.

Language of description

  • English

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