Charley Wilcoxon Papers

Identifier: MUSIC-005

Collection Overview

Scope and Contents

This collection contains original manuscripts for lesson plans, technical exercises, method books and original compositions from Charley Wilcoxon’s long career as a percussion pedagogue. Also included are drafts for several unpublished mallet instruction books, as well as Wilcoxon’s own arrangements of popular songs for marimba and vibraphone.


  • Creation: 1916 - 1975


3 Cubic Feet (6 boxes and two folders)


Biographical / Historical

Charles (“Charley”) Wilcoxon was born in Coshocton, OH on November 26, 1894. He began his musical career early on, playing drums for a local movie theater when he was only 8 years old; he began teaching his first students at age 12. When he was 14, he toured with a variety of traveling musical and theatrical groups, but eventually settled in Cleveland to play in the prestigious Palace Theater orchestra.

In Cleveland, Wilcoxon opened his own drum shop during the height of the Great Depression, where he sold instruments and music, and taught lessons. He is known for being a prolific teacher, and has written many technical books for rudimental drumming, many of which are still used by percussionists today. He passed away in 1978 and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society hall of fame in 1981.

Conditions Governing Access

The Papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers using this collection assume full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright, and are responsible for securing permissions necessary for publication or reproduction.

Language of Materials



The Papers are arranged in three series: I. Drafts and notes for published drum method books; II. Unpublished mallet material; and III. Miscellaneous documents.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Robert and Jeanette Romaniello in 2008.

Guide to the Charley Wilcoxon Papers
Compiled by Emily DiLeo and Frances Zengel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description