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Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century

GUEST,Jed on a borrowed PC 03 Nov 08 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 03 Nov 08 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Judy Cook 03 Nov 08 - 04:10 PM
Richie 03 Nov 08 - 04:16 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Jed again 03 Nov 08 - 04:49 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 03 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM
Joe_F 03 Nov 08 - 08:29 PM
Jack Campin 03 Nov 08 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Nov 08 - 10:24 AM
Will Fly 04 Nov 08 - 10:31 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Nov 08 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Nov 08 - 02:33 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Nov 08 - 05:08 PM
JedMarum 04 Nov 08 - 05:26 PM
Jack Campin 04 Nov 08 - 08:20 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Nov 08 - 08:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Nov 08 - 12:36 AM
Darowyn 05 Nov 08 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 05 Nov 08 - 06:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Nov 08 - 10:45 PM
Jack Campin 06 Nov 08 - 05:30 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Nov 08 - 02:59 PM
MissouriMud 06 Nov 08 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Les B 06 Nov 08 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,DWR 06 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Les B. 06 Nov 08 - 04:02 PM
Jack Campin 06 Nov 08 - 05:47 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Nov 08 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Les B. 07 Nov 08 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,Les B. 07 Nov 08 - 12:55 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 08 - 12:57 AM
JennieG 07 Nov 08 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,Les B. 07 Nov 08 - 01:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 08 - 02:13 PM
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Subject: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Jed on a borrowed PC
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 03:47 PM

Where do I begin a search for an academic discussion of Popular music in the mid-19th Century? I am especially interested in what people were singing, dancing to and playing in their parlors - in the US in the years up to and including the Civil War.

What instruments would I hear at local gatherings in Kansas? Missouri? Texas? Louisiana? Massachusetts? etc. What songs or tunes? Someone must have published serious research on the subject ... and I'll bet some Mudcatters have a suggestion or two.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 03:52 PM

Several early Woody Guthrie songs were parlour songs from the 1800s.
As for instruments, I would assume fiddle, banjo, guitar and piano.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Judy Cook
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 04:10 PM

Stephen Foster was incredibly popular during that time.

--Judy


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Richie
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 04:16 PM

Hi,

I think you need to define what you mean by Popular music. Do you mean folk music?

One of best sources for sheet music is American Memory and also the Levy site.

If you don't know how to find these I can provide a link.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM

Depends which class of people you're talking about and which region.
The middle classes would have been playing parlour music, waltzes, polkas, etc, Stephen Foster, Jenny Lind. The poorer folk would have been playing the music predominant in their area and culture. The minstrel stuff would have crossed the barriers and been fairly universal.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Jed again
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 04:49 PM

I don't mean folk music. I mean popular music - the songs and tunes that were in the national consciousness during that period.

Yes, in deed Stephen Foster was popular. And there were many songs that recent immigrants brought along with them, Annie Laurie, Kathleen Mavourneen, etc ... and there would be piano pieces, I'm sure and band brass music ... There's a lot we know about from recent film and books. And I've scanned the various lists I know of (Contemplator, and a couple of Civil War sites).

But I wonder how much is myth and how much is history when it comes to our modern understanding of music and instruments from the period. How likely would it be for me to see a banjo player at a wedding in St Jo Missouri, or a mandolin being played at a wake in Boston? What sort of band might be playing at a 4th of July celebration on Sherman TX in 1855?

Now-a-days we presume that guitars, for example would all be gut stringed - but I know that steel strings were available for the music market at least a decade before the war. But guitars were more commonly used as a parlor instrument, and typically played by women.

Likewise for banjos - steel strings were available - and frets. But the banjo was a pretty popular instrument and quite common, especially for Minstrel Show and other stage performances. How did the steel string and fretted version creep onto the national scene, and when?

What about harmonica? What about accordion (button box)? Cello was more common and normally played the bass - what about Upright Bass? What about penny whistle, recorder, fife?

There must be a scholar or two who has researched the subject. I'd like to know a little more about what we actually know about the period.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM

You can have a look at what was being published in the American Historic American Sheet music collection at Duke - here's a link to the date ranges: Historic American Sheet Music

Mick


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 08:29 PM

A book I came by a while ago is Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America: Complete Original Sheet Music for 64 Songs: Selected, with an introduction and commentary, by Richard Jackson (Dover, 1976). Most of them, in fact, are from toward the middle of the century.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 08:35 PM

You're talking about a period of rapid change. Brass bands and the accordion were marginal in 1840, universal a generation later. The piano spread very widely at the same time - in the US, it probably followed the railway, as they were hard to shift any other way. The guitar was a parlour curiosity of no significance at all until very late in the century, and really didn't take the place of the banjo until after WW1. After the piano, the violin and flute were the most important instruments. The recorder had more or less gone, I've only seen one advertisement for them in a 19th century English-language publication. The penny whistle was invented around 1840 but didn't seem to make much impression for a long time. Ditto the harmonica, the early ones were too flaky and expensive to work as folk instruments - probably the first free-reed to be generally popular was the flutina (whose nearest present-day equivalent is the Cajun accordion). The cello seems to have had very sporadic distribution, there's at least a PhD's worth of research in getting an accurate picture of how many there were and how they were used.

One of the best ways to get a feel for this stuff is to look at local newspapers and see what sort of instruments were offered for sale at what prices. Music shops would usually try to provide a complete service, so they'd also sell the popular music sheets of the time and offer lessons.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 10:24 AM

Just for laughs, I googled "1850's Greatest Hits," and to my surprise it came up with this:

1850's greatest hits

Amazing.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 10:31 AM

GUEST,leeneia: Just for laughs, I googled "1850's Greatest Hits," and to my surprise it came up with this:

1850's greatest hits

Amazing.


Stephen Foster really seemed to be "Top of the Pops" here, didn't he? It certainly is a weird mix of songs in the list - amazing indeed.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 02:29 PM

From about 1843 onwards the minstrels were immensely popular on both sides of the Atlantic, until the Music Hall boom c1850 in fact. Minstrel songs largely consisted of pseudo darky songs in a playful dialect, and sentimental songs about loved ones dying or being far from home. Once the Music Hall took off there was a much greater 'variety'. Comic songs in character, moral songs, still lots of sentimental stuff, patriotic, occupational, dialect songs.
there are plenty of books on the minstrels and the Music Hall.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 02:33 PM

Let me go out on a limb and take a stab at some generalities.

Most of what popular music history tells has to do with public performance venues such as the music hall, the musical stage and vaudeville, before these were driven out by acoustic recording (1890s-1920s), radio (1920s onward), then electrical recordings, and eventually the electronic media that blanket us today.

Sadly there is relatively little hard detail on what music in the average home was like, how it sounded, what it was played on, what the singing styles were, etc. etc. Vogues in upper middle-class to upper-class homes for the spinet, piano, virginals and guitar, among other instruments, have been noted, and rather elegant, mannered performance styles apparently prevailed, as compared to the more casual "natural" singing styles made popular after about 1920.

The masses, however, did music very differently. By contrast with the well-to-do, the poor performed on what they could afford: cheap violins, button accordions, the occasional banjo, slide whistle or fife, harmonica, even homemade instruments such as drums. Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward cheap instruments led to a huge boom in banjo and guitar playing once these became available in the late 19th century, but before that, virtually all instruments were custom-made, scarce, and expensive.

Most often the lower classes sang unaccompanied -- both because instruments cost money they didn't have, and because they had inherited a vital tradition of unaccompanied singing stretching back centuries. A capella was their normal way of singing not just traditional songs, but such popular songs, novelties, hymns, etc. as came their way.

All this is common knowledge. But it is based on fragile, incomplete information. For example, there are few detailed written first-person accounts of what music made in the home actually was like for populations in different parts of urban and rural America --

-- or any other country for that matter, except possibly some European countries where, dominated by long-standing conservatory-style approaches, classical music and classical-styled arrangements were far more integrated into the general population. In America what made the difference was relatively less intensive, less far-reaching music education for the general population before, say, 1900, which allowed Americans to remain freer and more individualized in their way of making music for themselves in private.

Sources worth checking: Among the few who have really gone into some depth about the history of American popular music is Sigmund Spaeth.

His books, if you can find them at all (I believe they're all out of print, but are available from used-book sites like www.abe.com and www.alibris.com) will give you some detail on what Americans were singing, though less on what instruments they were playing. His "Popular Music in America," for instance, gives both lists and narratives covering popular songs decade by decade from the country's earliest days.

For individual songs and genres his work can be supplemented at sheet music sites like American Memory, as mentioned by others in this thread. But Spaeth is important for perspective and a framework. Wish there were more popular music historians of his caliber today!

Great research topic for someone to tackle, but very hard to research due to the scarcity of good evidence.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 05:08 PM

Also don't forget that a large slice of the population of America in the mid 19thc were immigrants mainly from Europe and these would have sung their indigenous songs in the home and have brought with them their indigenous instruments. The flutinas were mainly from France I believe and Germany would have supplied the cheaper end of anglo concertinas. There would have been plenty of fiddles and even those home-made fiddles, apart from the instruments that developed in America like the banjo and Appalachian dulcimer. Whole singing traditions were imported and established in ghettos such as the Sheffield carol singing traditions that ended up in Flat Rock?


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 05:26 PM

I love this place!!

Thanks to all for your info. I'll be digging in on some of your suggestions - and I'll come back to thread with any interesting bits I find.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:20 PM

One place I found some pretty interesting descriptions of music-making in this period was in newsletters from the temperance movement. This was in Scotland but I imagine it was the same in the US; at first the movement was politically heterogeneous but dominated by Chartists and socialists (who saw the booze business as a way for the ruling class to get their hands on the working class's money at the same time as drugging them into political inactivity). Religion didn't come into it, and the Kirk quite often took the side of the booze magnates and condemned the temperance reformers en masse as godless revolutionaries. It wasn't till the 1860s that the churches decided a better strategy was to move in and take over the campaign for their own ends.

Anyway, in this early phase the reformers needed to get musicians from wherever they could find them to provide entertainment at meetings; they didn't generally sing Christian hymns, the tone was moral but secular. And they often reported in detail on how those meetings went, even saying who sung which song and who accompanied it.

In the UK, the 1840s were the tail end of the glee club movement. Some of their songs were filthy beyond belief - there was a BBC radio documentary about it a few years ago, but they didn't dare actually broadcast them. They seem to have been like Hash House Harrier get-togethers only sung in harmony. These probably took place in the larger US cities too, but I've no idea how you'd trace them. There may be coy adverts in the papers of the time that take some decoding.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:29 PM

But are you awaiting Obama?


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 12:36 AM

Not mentioned so far are the songbooks with sheet music, printed in quantity from the 1830s through the turn of the century.
A number of them are still available for not much money. I'm sure that they were popular with families that could not afford the rather expensive (for the time) sheet music.

The "Odeon" books of secular songs, from the 1830s through the 1850s.
The "Pacific Glee Book," secular music, published by the John Church Co.; mine is from 1869. Lots of books of sacred songs were printed as well.

Favorites of mine are the Oliver Ditson collections. "The Nightingale" of 1860, designed for juveniles, contained "secular songs, sings, chants and hymns," and the adv. says a few folk songs are included. They especially note the inclusion of some early songs "(the early lyrics of Dixie's Land are completely different from those sung today: no reference to cotton or the South!)".

Songbooks of the Civil War Period are on line, several issued for Southern soldiers and students are especially interesting. These include "Songs of Love and Liberty," "Southern Harmony," and some others that are mostly hymns.

A couple of the better minstrel songsters are on line (1850s).

And don't forget the regional songsters from goldrush days, not only Put's (one recently put on Mudcat in its entirety) but those put out by others.

A comment about the guitar- Much sheet music was notated for the guitar in the 1850s-1860s. It was often used to accompany the parlor piano or organ, more than just a "curiosity." (just reminded myself, I have one of those organs from the 1860s in the basement that I started to repair 40 years ago- (oh, well, maybe one of the children). One old song I looked at this week, and that rapidly gathered folk versions, is "Kitty Clyde;" the guitar arrangement sheet music dated 1853 is at American Memory. One will find a number of sheet music scores there that are arranged for guitar.
I also wonder at the many folk versions of popular songs- dissemination by minstrels and music hall, yes, but I bet a lot of sheet music, originals or copies, went to the hills and the plains as well.

I have a photograph taken at one of the later gold camps (1880s). One of the men is leaning against his cabin, posed with his cello- it's amazing the lengths people went to just to have their music.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Darowyn
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 02:53 AM

A common sight in car boot sales and antique shops is the Zither Harp, an Autoharp without chord bars.
Clearly a lot of people bought them- whether anyone ever managed to get a tune out of one is less certain.
I should imagine that the less common instruments would tend to cling to the cultures of their origin, so German Americans would have been most likely to have a Zither, Spanish Americans the guitar etc.
It takes time to stir that melting pot.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 06:18 PM

It is interesting that the Mormons had formed a brass band in the mid 1840s. On the trek west, their playing was one of the few ways to earn a bit of cash. Repertoire included marches, some folk songs and plenty of popular songs (I won't even attempt a list, that is easier found by consulting songbooks), often with new lyrics.
A great emphasis was placed on music and a large amount of pianos and organs were brought over, quite a feat before the railroad.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 10:45 PM

A Moravian Brass Band enlisted in the Confederate Army. Their music books have been preserved.
Narration to the album- "The Civil War: Its Music and Its Sounds," Frederick Fennell, Eastman Music Ensemble, and others. Band music of the 1860s included.
Lt. Col. Fremantle, British observer, travelling with Lee, noted at the Battle of Gettysburg, "When the cannonade was at its height, a Confederate band of music, between the cemetary and ourselves, began to play polkas and waltzes, which sounded very curious, accompanied by the hissing and bursting of the shells." The band was the Regiment Band of the 26th North Carolina, a Moravian band from Salem, NC. The music books and manuscripts are preserved in the Wachovia Museum in Winston-Salem. Popular music played by them included Luto Quickstep, and Come, Dearest, the Light is Gone, Dixie, Bonny Blue Flag.
Union bands played Mockingbird, Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming, St. Patrick's Day in the Morning, Nightingale Waltz and other popular songs, schottisches, quicksteps and galops as well as psalms and patriotic songs. The album is notable for reproducing pictures of band instruments of the time, and using authentic instruments in the selections.
When Atlanta fell, "Sixty thousand of us witnessed the destruction of Atlanta, while our post band (2nd Mass. Volunteers) and the 33rd. Mass. band played martial airs and operatic selections." Bandmaster Patrick Gilmore, in New Orleans in 1864, took an Irish air and re-fashioned "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye."


The guitar was widespread in American parlors, not just in Latin American areas. Check through the mid-19th c. sheet music at American Memory and the Levy Collections, many arrangements for the guitar. Firth, Pond & Co. was active inpublishing guitar arrangements.

Small bands, which doubled as orchestras at dances, were common in all western towns from the 1860s onward.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:30 AM

We've had this before, and I thought the consensus was that Gilmore was English and wrote his song there? The tune is as Lowland Scottish as it gets, anyway.

When reading mentions of the guitar in sources from before 1900, it helps to look at the way the music is written and what methods were available. The modern form in size, sound and tuning was pretty late.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 02:59 PM

Re Johnny Comes Marching Home-
Essay on Civil War Songs, Frederick Fennell (my remarks were from this, the following is direct quote).

"Patrick S. Gilmore's war record included the bandmastership of the 24th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, and he later served in charge of all army music under the command of General Nathaniel Banks in New Orleans. It was here in 1864 that he took an air from his old country, Ireland, one called in part Johnny, I hardly knew ye, and fashioned it with new material into a creation of his own. He chose the pseudonym Louis Lambert as the name under which to publish the song. It is strange that he would dissociate himself from what many believe to be the best song of the times, When Johnny Comes Marching Home."
The article goes on to discuss the evolution of The Battle Hymn of the Republic,.... "Our setting is rustic in comparison to today's sophisticated versions, but this is probaby how it was sung and certainly how it was played, for the band accompaniment [in this collection] is an arrangement by Patrick S. Gilmore."

Sousa regarded Gilmore as the "Father of the American Band." Gilmore was born in Ballygar, County Galway, Ireland, in 1829. He came to America bringing ideas and instrumentations from European bands. He died in 1892.

http://www.psgilmore-society.org
Also Wikipedia, etc., etc.

His lyrics for "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" are given in Wikipedia and elsewhere. His archive and collection is held at the University of Maryland.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: MissouriMud
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 03:33 PM

Based on my general understanding, I think Popular/Parlor music would have mostly been based on popularized sheet music of the time and would have had the piano as the primary instrument, possibly parlor guitar, violin or some other odds and ends.   However that would have been predominantly in urban and suburban settings or at least homes that were wealthy enough and large enough to have a parlor and/or a piano.   To my understanding steel strings were not regularly used on guitars until the 1890s.   The music in the isolated rural areas would have been quite different, but that was front porch music not parlor music.

I stumbled across an interesting web site on cultural life in mid 19th century Cincinnati that discusses popular/parlor music of the time with some specificity:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/ohio/ohio-home.html


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 03:53 PM

Jed – Interesting question - I'm always amazed by the depth of knowledge here on Mudcat.

Recently I subscribed to an on-line newspaper archive in hopes of finding some genealogy info.   They have various newspapers reaching back to the late 1790's..   

In a decidedly unscientific survey I placed a number of musical terms into their search engine, along with "United States only" and "Between the years of 1800 and 1850" - the following hits were revealed. These may be words in bona fide news stories or they may be advertisements, but one can get a rough idea of the popularity of the word in those times.   I didn't try "bones" or "triangle" or "virginal" because those also have other than musical meanings. When I've got more time I'll run the same names from 1850 to 1900.

Lute – 9,693 hits (this may have more than a musical connotation?)
Piano – 7,101 hits
Violin – 4,414 hits (Fiddle – 481 hits)
Fife – 2,568 hits
Harp – 2,535 hits   
Drum – 2,382 hits
Flute – 1,988 hits
Guitar – 1,854 hits
Choir – 1,467 hits
Trumpet – 1,261 hits
Singer – 807 hits
Tuba – 439 hits
Performer – 316 hits
Orchestra – 272 hits
Brass Band – 219 hits
Accordion – 219 hits
Banjo – 145 hits
Spinet -21 hits
Dulcimer – 16 hits
Harmonica – 12 hits
Mandolin – 5 hits
Concertina – No hits


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM

Lots here. Jump in and you'll find what you want. http://www.pdmusic.org/

The midis are above average, you've got lyrics, and usually a source for sheet music.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 04:02 PM

Two other terms I left out:

Minstrel - 388 hits
Minstrel/S - 212 hits


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:47 PM

I got thrown by that "refashioned". Better info than Fennell on the two "Johnny" songs here:

Origins: Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 06:10 PM

The tune used for both "Johnny" songs is, of course, a variation on John Anderson, My Jo


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:52 AM

As promised in a previous post up above, here, in rank order, is the frequency of musical terms in an archive of newspapers in the United States from 1800 to 1850, and then from 1851 to 1900. The huge increase in numbers of "hits" in the 2nd half of the century is probably due to the fact that the archive has acquired more newspapers from that time period. This is not very scientific, but the change in rankings is interesting, with guitar, banjo and mandolin moving up the list.
Sorry I couldn't post these lists side by side – the Mudcat format didn't want to accept that. [Fixed. -Joe Offer-]
1800 to 1850
Lute – 9,693 hits (this may have more than a musical connotation?)
Piano – 7,101 hits
Violin – 4,414 hits (Fiddle – 481 hits)
Fife – 2,568 hits
Harp – 2,535 hits
Drum – 2,382 hits
Flute – 1,988 hits
Guitar – 1,854 hits
Choir – 1,467 hits
Trumpet – 1,261 hits
Singer – 807 hits
Tuba – 439 hits
Minstrel – 388 hits
Performer – 316 hits
Orchestra – 272 hits
Brass Band – 219 hits
Accordion – 219 hits
Minstrels- 212
Banjo – 145 hits
Spinet -21 hits
Dulcimer – 16 hits
Harmonica – 12 hits
Mandolin – 5 hits
Concertina – No hits
1851 to 1900
Piano – 380,938 hits
Lute - 193,921 hits
Orchestra – 157,645 hits
Choir – 125,863 hits
Singer – 105,760 hits
Violin – 96,152 hits (Fiddle – 11,067)
Drum – 95,965 hits
Harp – 52,286 hits
Fife – 46,992 hits
Guitar – 41,213 hits
Minstrels – 34,139 hits
Banjo – 31,176 hits
Minstrel – 30,207 hits
Mandolin – 28, 284 hits
Brass Band – 28,220 hits
Trumpet – 26,666 hits
Flute – 19,586 hits
Performer – 15,380 hits
Tuba – 14,650 hits
Accordion – 6,310 hits
Harmonica – 2,094 hits
Dulcimer – 899 hits
Concertina – 830 hits
Spinet – 604 hits


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:55 AM

Well, the Mudcat gremlins are certainly at work this evening. I had those terms in a nice list format, and the damned thing lays it out like a paragraph. Fooey !


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:57 AM

Les B- I wonder how many hits one would get on the little parlor organs. They went under various names; that may complicate the search.

Gilmore's (Lambert) sheet music first published in March, 1863 (actual release in July?- Fuld). It credited Gilmore with both words and music. A printer named Daly released the song also about July, under the name "Johnny Fill Up the Bowl," a fast bit of thievery.
Fuld says there is no tune relationship with "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye," J. B. Geoghegan, deposited British Museum, 1867.

Jack, you are correct about errors in the Fennell essay.

Gilmore's Band enlisted 16 Sept. 1861, attached to 24th Mass. Infantry. The musicians also acted as stretcher-bearers in battles at Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, etc.
In August 1862, Congress discharged most military bands to lower costs. The governor of Massachusetts, however, charged Gilmore with re-organizing the State's military bands. In March, 1864, Gilmore was sent to New Orleans to oversee music for the inauguration of Louisiana's new governor. "This event, with its chorus of 6000, band of 500, cannons and anvils, foreshadowed Gilmore's later monster concerts."
The above from Univ. Maryland Archives summary. No mention of compositions.

Gilmore, if articles are to be believed, gave several answers to questioners when asked about his tune source, seemingly some facetiously.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: JennieG
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:05 AM

Some years ago my local library had a book which was called, from memory, "Victorian Parlour (or Parlor) Songs" or perhaps "Songs from a Victorian Parlour", something like that. Alas, it is no longer held - must have been culled quite a while ago. It featured piano arrangements, and many songs were for multiple voice arrangements. Many of the songs were tearjerkers, and there were several by Henry Clay Work.

Also don't forget that later in the century, Gilbert and Sullivan songs were very popular.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:21 PM

Joe - Thanks much for fixing the lists !

Q - for "parlor organ" the 1800 to 1850 period had 7 hits,
and 1851 to 1900 had 2,331 hits.


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Subject: RE: Popular Music of the Mid-19 Century
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:13 PM

Thanks Les.
I remember auctions in the 1950s when these little organs showed up regularly; people cleaning out their attics, basements and barns. Many had a handle on each end of the case, making them easily portable by two people. I still have one (1860 label) I got at a yard sale. I repaired the bellows but have work to do on the 'pulls.' (Maybe I can sucker one of my kids into taking it)


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