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Finding Aid for the Hans J. Salter Collection 1935-1982
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing History
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hans J. Salter Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1982
    Collection number: 137-M
    Creator: Salter, Hans J. 1896-1994
    Extent: 180 boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: The collection consists of music, personal papers, correspondence, photographs, production materials, business papers and periodical clippings of one of Universal Pictures' film composers, Hans J. Salter. The various kinds of music are manuscript and published music including conductor's scores, orchestral parts, sheet music, published music books, and sound recordings on 7", 10", and 12" sound discs, 7" and 10" open reel analog tapes, and sound cassettes.
    Physical location: Collection is stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections for paging information.
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English , German


    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hans J. Salter Collection, 137-M, Performing Arts Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Processing History

    Processed by Collection processed and machine-readable finding aid created by Rachel Curtis of the Center for Primary Research and Training Plus, UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections, June 2009

    Biographical Note

    Hans Julius Salter (b Vienna, 14 Jan 1896; d Studio City, CA, 23 July 1994) was an film composer and conductor of Austrian birth. He studied at the University of Vienna with Guido Adler, Egon Wellesz and Hans Gál, and at the Vienna Music Academy with Franz Schreker, conducting with Weingartner, and composition with Berg. Later, Salter worked as an assistant conductor in at the Volks Opera in Vienna and other small opera companies. He then worked as a conductor at the State Opera in Berlin and later switched to conducting in movie houses in 1929. From 1930 to 1933 he composed musicals and dramatic motion picture scores for UFA Studios in Neubabelsberg. Before leaving Europe, Salter worked for the European Branch of Universal Pictures from 1933-1936. He emigrated to the United States in 1937 to work for Universal Pictures and became a U.S. citizen in 1942. (Letter written by Salter to ASCAP)
    Originally hired as an orchestrator for Universal Studios in 1938, Salter was soon promoted to the rank of composer. With composer Frank Skinner he wrote music for serials, westerns, dramas, Deanna Durbin musicals and Abbott and Costello comedies. Salter received six Academy Award nominations for his musical comedy and drama scores including: It Started With Eve (1942), The Amazing Mrs. Holiday (1943), The Merry Monahans (1944), Christmas Holiday (1944), Can't Help Singing (1945), and This Love of Ours (1945). Salter is remembered today for his contribution to horror films such as The Wolf Man (1941), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) and House of Frankenstein (1944). When he retired in 1967, he had completed scores for over 200 films. He was honored with lifetime achievement awards from the Society of Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films in 1982 and the Society for the Preservation of Film Music. He received an additional tribute at the Viennale, Vienna Film Festival in 1993. (New Grove Dictionary of Music)

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of printed and manuscript music composed and arranged by film composer Hans J. Salter. The bulk of music is published from Universal Pictures productions that were theatrically released between 1937-1964. Older music mostly from German and Austrian film productions dated 1923-1933 is also included in this collection. The music formats include orchestral parts, conductor's scores, sheet music, published books, and sound recordings in 7", 10", and 12" sound discs. The collection also contains personal and business correspondence, film review clippings, awards, copyright and license paperwork, and production materials.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Projects, 1930-1967
    • Series 2. Salter Music Ideas
    • Series 3. Non Film/Television Salter Compositions
    • Series 4. Sound recordings, 1941-1971
    • Series 5. Correspondence, 1940-1971
    • Series 6. Personal and Financial Papers, 1965-1977
    • Series 7. Photographs, 1930-1945
    • Series 8. Business Papers, 1954-1967
    • Series 9. Awards, 1993
    • Series 10. Clippings, 1925-1982
    • Series 11. Music by Other Composers

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Salter, Hans J. --Archives.

    Genres and Forms

    Composers --Archival resources.
    Motion picture music --Archival resources.
    Television music --Archival resources.
    Music --Manuscripts.