Skip to main content

Max Pottag papers

Identifier: SPEC-007

Scope and Contents

This collection contains horn sheet music (with inventory lists), exercise books, and other study materials collected by Max Pottag; musical compositions created by Pottag; and certificates, performance programs, correspondence, and newspaper clippings ranging from 1892 to 1985.


  • Creation: 1892 - 1985

Language of Materials

Materials in English, German, French, and Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections. For sheet music and published study books, literary rights, including copyright reside with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Max P. Pottag was born in Forst, Germany, on June 22, 1876. As a child, Pottag had a natural inclination for music. He would play with a toy violin and accordion, and by age 14, he began to play the trumpet with the city band. After a year, he changed to the french horn, which would become his instrument of expertise. He entered the Leipzig Conservatory in 1899 as a scholarship student and graduated with honors in 1901.

Pottag played with a number of prolific ensembles in his lifetime. At 19, he was playing for Kaiser Wilhelm in the band of the German Navy in Wilhelmshaven. He also played as first horn in the Hamburg Symphony before emigrating to the United States. While in the US, he played second horn in the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and eventually retired in 1947 after playing for 40 years in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While in Chicago, he was also associated with the Little Symphony Orchestra of Chicago and taught horn at Northwestern University. He also composed and arranged many pieces of music and designed horns for Reynolds Musical Instruments. He was cited by Ball State University as a "Master Musician, Master Teacher, Teacher of Master Teachers."

Pottag died in November 1970 in Indianapolis at the age of 94.


11 Cubic Feet


Arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Sheet music and study books, 1892-1985

Subseries 1.1: Methods books, 1892-1985

Subseries 1.2: Studies and etudes, 1903-1985

Subseries 1.3: Solos with piano, 1902-1985

Subseries 1.4: Ensembles, 1926-1985

Subseries 1.5: Solos without accompaniment, 1899-1985

Subseries 1.6: Trios, duets, quartets, and chamber music, 1892-1985

Subseries 1.7: Orchestral studies, 1910-1914, 1985

Subseries 1.8: Other sheet music and music notes, 1897-1915, 1940-1942

Series 2: Personal papers, 1896-1971


No further additions are expected.

Max Pottag papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA