Biographies In Memoriam: John E. Gillespie, Professor of Music, Emeritus, Santa Barbara, 1921-2003

Image: The Musical Experience (book cover)
The Musical Experience [book cover], by John Gillespie. Performing Arts Reading Room, Library of Congress.

John E. (Jack) Gillespie was born in Greencastle, Indiana, where he received his early education and degrees (A.B. in German, 1941, and B.M. in piano, 1942) at DePauw University. Like others of his generation he saw service in the U. S. Army during WW II in Belgium and France, as a chaplain's assistant. At the end of hostilities, he spent two years at the Conservatoire Nationale de Paris, studying organ with André Marchal and Marcel Dupré. He studied at the University of Southern California and earned an M.M. degree in piano, 1947, and an M.A. in musicology, 1948. A Fulbright Grant returned him to Paris for two years of study at the Sorbonne preparatory to doctoral studies at USC, where he received the Ph.D. in musicology in 1951.

Thus armed with a rich background in music history and keyboard performance, Jack was appointed Assistant Professor of Music at the newly emerging campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. It was a time of energetic growth and expanding vision for the campus, and within a short time, Jack moved to a position of leadership, assuming the chair of the department already establishing its reputation as a center for musical scholars and performers. At the center of his teaching were courses in the history and literature of music, which gave birth to a number of books: most notably, Five Centuries of Keyboard Music (1964), The Musical Experience (1968), and a series of anthologies on European and American music for the piano. In addition, he made a series of recordings of a wide range of harpsichord music, played on his own concert Pleyel harpsichord, an acquisition during his Paris studies. In retirement, Jack continued his research and writing, with the publication of the two volume Notable Twentieth-Century Pianists: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook (1995). But his research interests were not limited to the Western tradition: he devoted a long period of study and writing to music of more exotic cultural traditions, especially resulting in a detailed essay and extensive set of recordings of music of the Egyptian Coptic Church.

The campus concert life was enriched by his frequent recitals, both as soloist and in collaboration with his colleagues. Of historical remembrance were the series of concerts with some of his colleagues of the concertos for one, two, three, and four harpsichords by Johann Sebastian Bach. One concert was especially memorable: coming to the concert hall, the performers discovered a large overflow audience standing outside, unable to enter. A quick consultation decided that if the unlucky members of the audience would return in two hours, the entire program would be repeated immediately following the first. The second concert was rewarded with a nearly full house.

Jack possessed a brilliant keyboard technique and an astonishing ability to read at sight almost any score. With this, he was a generous collaborator with his colleagues. His keyboard skills illuminated his classroom lectures which were often miniature concerts to illustrate a musical or historical point. He established warm bonds with many of his students, bonds which continued after his retirement. In the Santa Barbara community, he had a long association as organist for All Saints Episcopal Church, and until shortly before his death he served as organist for St. George's Anglican Church in Ventura.

He and his wife, Anna, were warm and welcoming hosts to their home on Santa Barbara's Riviera. Following his retirement, visitors to their home would often be rewarded with an impromptu concert. His comment, "Guess what I've been working on?" would be followed by a Bach Partita or Chopin Etude, always played from memory.

He is survived by his wife, Anna, who assisted him in many of his scholarly works, his daughter, Frances, and his son, John.

Selected Works at the Library of Congress

About this Item

Title
In Memoriam: John E. Gillespie, Professor of Music, Emeritus, Santa Barbara, 1921-2003
Contributor Names
Rutkowski, Geoffrey (author)
Zytowski, Carl (author)
Created / Published
2003.
Subject Headings
-  Gillespie, John E., 1921-1923
-  Biographies
-  Songs and Music
Genre
biography
Notes
-  Courtesy of Professor Geoffrey Rutkowski and Professor Emeritus Carl Zytowski, USCB Music Department, 215 Music Building, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-6070. (Copyright Notice)
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/inmemoriam/johngillespie.htm External (uri)
Online Format
online text
Description
Biography. Courtesy of Professor Geoffrey Rutkowski and Professor Emeritus Carl Zytowski, USCB Music Department, 215 Music Building, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-6070. (Copyright Notice). John E. (Jack) Gillespie was born in Greencastle, Indiana, where he received his early education and degrees (A.B. in German, 1941, and B.M. in piano, 1942) at DePauw University. Like others of his generation he saw service in the U. S. Army during WW II in Belgium and France, as a chaplain's assistant. At the end of hostilities, he spent two years at the Conservatoire Nationale de Paris, studying organ with André Marchal and Marcel Dupré. He studied at the University of Southern California and earned an M.M. degree in piano, 1947, and an M.A. in musicology, 1948. A Fulbright Grant returned him to Paris for two years of study at the Sorbonne preparatory to doctoral studies at USC, where he received the Ph.D. in musicology in 1951.
Additional Metadata Formats
METSXML Record

Rights & Access

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes and makes no warranty with regard to their use for other purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as holders of publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. There may be content that is protected as "works for hire" (copyright may be held by the party that commissioned the original work) and/or under the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations.

Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permission ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. Users should consult the bibliographic information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding items and may assist users in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items as related to their desired uses.

Items included here with the permission of the rights holders are indicated as such in the bibliographic record for each item.

Thanks go to the following persons and organizations for granting permission for the use of items in the online presentation Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody.  Users may need to contact these rights owners for any re-use of materials:

Wassif Boutros-Ghali, President, Société d’Archéologie Copte, Cairo, for permission to reproduce articles on O.H.E. Burmester by Otto Meinardus, an atlas of Christian sites in Egypt by Meinardus, a photograph of O.H.E. Burmester, and a brochure on a map of Christian Egypt by Burmester, all published by the Société d’Archéologie Copte. 

Yasmine El Dorghamy, Turath, for permission to reproduce the article on Ragheb Moftah by Dr. Raymond Stock from Turath, August 2008.

Estate of John E. Gillespie, for permission to use two articles by John Gillespie and to reproduce the Gillespie correspondence in the American Folklife Center.

Chi Keat-Man, Syndication Account Manager, Telegraph Media Group Limited, London, for permission to reproduce three 1931 and 1932 articles on Newlandsmith from The Daily Telegraph

Claire Lamont, The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, for permission to reproduce Oriental Hymn Tunes by William Henry Temple, 1930.

Karen Lee of Cengage Learning, Belmont, California, for permission to use a selection of texts from The Coptic Encyclopedia.

Father Charles Libois, S.J., Collège de la Sainte-Famille, Cairo, and Lebanon, for photographs of Fathers Jules Blin and Louis Badet, as well as biographical sources on them.

Stephen McArthur of Multicultural Media, for permission to digitize four tracks from Echoes of the Nile: Aspects of Egyptian Music.

MVF - Michael Video, Heliopolis, for permission to reproduce film of Moftah’s funeral, 18 June 2001.

Simon O’Neill, Group Editor, The Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times, for permission to reproduce two articles on Newlandsmith’s lectures in England in  May 1931.

Alan Powell, The Star, Sheffield, for permission to reproduce an article on Newlandsmith in the Sheffield Mail, 1931.

Sinead Porter, NI Syndication, London, for permission to reproduce an article on Newlandsmith from The Daily Herald, 1931.

David Ramm, Editor-in-Chief, AMS Press, Brooklyn, New York, for permission to reproduce The Coptic Morning Service for the Lord’s Day by the Marquess of Bute.

Dr. Geoffrey Rutowski and Dr. Carl Zytowski, University of California, Santa Barbara, for permission to reproduce their memorial article on John Gillespie.

Father Thomas Sable, S.J., Director, Center for Eastern Christian Studies and Editor of Diakonia, The Theology Department, University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania, for permission to reproduce Marian Robertson’s article on Newlandsmith’s transcriptions, and for giving us a copy of Diakonia.

His Grace, Bishop Serapion, Bishop of Los Angeles, and His Grace, Bishop Youssef, Bishop of Southern USA, for permission to reproduce The Divine Liturgies of Saints Basil, Gregory and Cyril, 2001.

Youssef Sidhom, Editor-in-Chief, Watani Newspaper, for permission to use the documentary film, Eminent Copts in Egyptian History: The Power of Coptic Music, Ragheb Moftah 1998, which includes an interview with Moftah by the late Egyptian musicologist, Dr. Adel Kamel.

Welcome Video Film, Cairo, for permission to reproduce film of Moftah’s 100th birthday, 21 December 1998.

In some cases, the Library was unable to identify a possible rights holder and has elected to place some of those items online as an exercise of fair use for strictly non-commercial educational uses. The Library of Congress would like to learn more about these materials and would like to hear from individuals or institutions that have any additional information or know of their history. Please contact:  Performing Arts Reading Room.

Suggested credit line: Library of Congress, Music Division.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Rutkowski, Geoffrey, and Carl Zytowski. In Memoriam: John E. Gillespie, Professor of Music, Emeritus, Santa Barbara, 1921 to 2003. 2003. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200155649/. (Accessed November 23, 2017.)

APA citation style:

Rutkowski, G. & Zytowski, C. (2003) In Memoriam: John E. Gillespie, Professor of Music, Emeritus, Santa Barbara, 1921 to 2003. [Online Text] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200155649/.

MLA citation style:

Rutkowski, Geoffrey, and Carl Zytowski. In Memoriam: John E. Gillespie, Professor of Music, Emeritus, Santa Barbara, 1921 to 2003. 2003. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200155649/>.