Library of Congress > Collections with Notated Music > The Gerry Mulligan Collection


[Portrait of Gerry Mulligan, ca. 1980s] by William P. Gottlieb. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

As a saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader, Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) is a jazz legend. The Library of Congress serves as the repository for the Gerry Mulligan Collection, which it obtained in the late 1990s. In this initial Web offering, the Library of Congress is making available excerpts from his autobiography and selected scores and sound recordings. From his involvement in The Birth of the Cool recordings with Miles Davis, to his legendary "pianoless" quartet in 1951, to the creation of the sound known as "West Coast Jazz," Mulligan played a vital role in the evolution of jazz. In addition to forming his own bands such as the Pianoless Quartet and the Concert Jazz Band (with other renowned jazz artists such as Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Bob Brookmeyer), he also collaborated with many prominent musicians during his career such as Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, Astor Piazolla, and Dave Grusin. A versatile musician, Mulligan also composed music for films and symphony orchestras.

The Library of Congress serves as the repository for the Gerry Mulligan Collection, which it obtained in the late 1990s. Consisting of approximately 700 items, the collection includes original scores, lead sheets, sketches, arrangements and parts, photographs, sound recordings, correspondence and papers relating to different concerts and projects, and an oral autobiography which Mulligan recorded shortly before he died. In this initial Web offering, the Library of Congress is making available excerpts from his autobiography and selected scores and sound recordings. Additional items from the Mulligan Collection will be added to this site in the near future.

Other sound recordings and photographs that are not expressly in the Mulligan Collection are also available on this Web site to further illustrate portions of Mulligan's life and career. Information on the provenance of these items is in the bibliographic record for each item.

Most of the items on this site have been made available through the kind permission of either Franca R. Mulligan or other rights holders. In some cases, the rights' owners of sound recordings have given permission to use only a portion of the material online. In those instances, only thirty seconds is used from a sound recording. Please check the accompanying bibliographic record for each item to determine if permission is needed to use the item.

Digitizing the Collection

[Mulligan in television studio -- 1957], Milt Hinton, photographer. The Gerry Mulligan Collection, Performing Arts Reading Room, Library of Congress.

Sound recordings

WAV files of Mulligan's interviews were made from original source tape by Jon Newsom. Sound recordings of Mulligan's music were digitized by IHAS staff as WAV files from cds and lps. MP3 and RealMedia streaming files were then created from the WAV files. The EQ was adjusted with Sound Forge 5.0. The files were de-clicked, amplified, and beginnings and ends faded using Cool-Edit Pro 1.0. The derivative files were generated using Sound Forge 5.0., the MP3s at 96K, the RealMedia files at 56K.


Manuscript scores in the Mulligan Collection were scanned by the ITS Digital Scan Center. An uncompressed TIFF scan of the original archival item with no compression was made. High resolution scans were made in color, with a few exceptions, at 24 bits-per-pixel and 300 dpi using the Phase-one FX camera. Derivative Truecolor images were made from the TIFF files by Library of Congress Network Development staff. The digital images online are jpeg images (quality level 80) in 5 sizes with an average compression ratio of 10:1 (the compression ratios may vary slightly depending on the size of the derivative).

The finale files for the score of "K-4 Pacific" were made by David Morse and Alan Gemberling at the University of Idaho.


Photographs from the Mulligan Collection were scanned by Lobsang Tshering as JPEG images. Derivatives were made by the Network Development team at the Library of Congress.

Rights and Access

[Gerry Mulligan, half-length portrait, seated, facing front, holding saxophone], 1954 (from the New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

The Library of Congress provides 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 permissions 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.

While every effort has been made to obtain permission to use these songs or portions of these songs, in some cases, the rights' owner may have only granted permission to use a portion of the material online. In those cases, only thirty-second excerpts of sound recordings and one or two pages of print or manuscript materials are used.

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.

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