Schelleng, John C. - Correspondence S3225-101

Placeholder Show Content


Correspondence between CMH and JCS (also his wife, Eleanor, sons, John and Charles and daughter, Florence Skiff). Others include Cramer and Lindsay of ASA and Scanlan, president of CAS, and George Bissinger.


Type of resource mixed material
Date created 1961 - 1980
Language English
Digital origin reformatted digital


Creator Schelleng, John C., 1892-1979

Bibliographic information

Biographical/Historical note A graduate in electrical engineering from Cornell in 1919, Schelleng was drafted by the Bell Telephone Laboratories to work on the overseas radio telephone and never pursued his plan for graduate study. He was a fine cellist and enjoyed playing chamber music with his wife Eleanor, a violist, and with his many friends. For years he was principal cellist in the Monmouth symphony. His pioneering application of circuit theory to the violin stems from this combination of engineering skills and lifelong interest in music. He retired from the Bell Laboratories in 1957 as Director of Radio Research and became actively involved in violin acoustics. He went to F A Saunders with some of his ideas on the acoustics of the cello and became a part of the small group working with Saunders which included R E Fryxell, C M Hutchins and A S Hopping (an engineer who had developed some test equipment for Hutchins). It was Schelleng who jokingly suggested that the group call itself the Catgut Acoustical Society. He was a founding member of the official CAS and, after Saunders' death in 1963, became its president and recognized leader of its technical activities. He also joined the Acoustical Society of America and was elected a fellow in 1974. Schelleng's monumental paper, "The violin as a circuit" represents the first time the functioning of the violin as a whole had been technically researched, and much of the subsequent research on the violin is based on Schelleng's thinking. CMH was fortunate to live close enough to the Schellengs so that she and John could collaborate in research for many years, until Schelleng's death in 1979. He contributed a great deal to the Benchmark volumes, and much of Hutchins' research is based on the helpful interchange of ideas with John as well as with A H Benade who often joined us. Schelleng's definitive papers on the bowed string, varnish and the violin as a circuit can be found in JASA, Scientific American and the CASJ, as well as in Benchmark volumes 5 and 6.
Finding aid
Location M1711
Repository Stanford University. Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Access conditions

Use and reproduction
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Special Collections Public Services Librarian at


Musical Acoustics Research Library collection, 1956-2007

Loading usage metrics...