Collection 68 - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation dance band collection

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Canadian Broadcasting Corporation dance band collection


  • 1833-1980, predominantly 1926-1951 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

10,763 titles (198 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is Canada's national broadcasting system, created in 1936. It replaced the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC), established in 1932.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Leonard "Len" Shoprio was a Toronto musician who played with various army bands (Irish Regiment of Canada, the Queen's Own Rifles, and the RCAF 411 Squadron) as well as his own Lenny Shopiro Rehearsal Band. He also worked as a music teacher for the Metropolitan Separate School Board. Over his lifetime, he developed an extensive music library of arrangements and charts, which he bequeathed to the University of Toronto Music Library.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The Music Library, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation donated their collection of dance music arrangements to the University of Toronto Music Library (then the Faculty of Music Library) in 1992. The collection was accompanied by an index that listed each piece by name, composer and/or arranger, publisher, year, and CBC catalogue number (1 to 10220). Additional titles from CBC were added later (nos. 10221 to 10424).

Further additions to the collection were made in 1997 and 1998 from the National Library of Canada (nos. 298, 10425 to 10724, 10770 to 10799), and in 2000 from the Estate of Leonard "Lenny" Shopiro (nos. 10725 to 10769, 10800 to 10821).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of dance band arrangements of popular songs amassed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The arrangements are predominantly foxtrots, but other dance forms are also represented: beguine, bolero, bossa nova, calypso, cha cha, gavotte, guaguancó, guajira, guaracha, habanera, jig, jump dance, mambo, march, mazurka, one-step, paso doble, polka, rumba, samba, serenade, son, swing, tango, two-step, waltz, and more.

The majority of arrangements are American imprints, but the collection also includes publications from Europe, Mexico, Cuba, and Canada. Many items also include a copy of the sheet music for voice and piano, and some also include manuscript parts, created or copied by Louis Waizman, who worked as a staff arranger from 1933 to 1951 for the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC, renamed CBC in 1936).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Items are arranged in ascending accession number order, as organized by CBC. CBC stored the collection in 33 filing cabinets, which were transferred as is to the Music Library in 1992 (stored in the Robarts Library basement). All items were transferred to archival boxes and folders in 2022-2023 for preservation purposes and relocated to the University of Toronto Libraries' offsite facility (Downsview).

The original CBC index is organized in rough alphabetical order by song title. For a complete listing of title and physical storage information, see PDF finding aid.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

The majority of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation dance band collection is stored offsite at Downsview. To access these materials, please contact the Music Library at least two weeks in advance of your visit.

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

CSV and Excel versions of the index are also available upon request.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

This collection includes an arrangement of Kay Wells' (nee Kathleen Irwin) "I Could have Cried." For other songs by Kathleen Irwin, see the Kathleen Irwin fonds (OTUFM 24).

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Accession area

Retrieval Code

  • Box: 068/197

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