Sheet Music with Phonograph Connections

Sheet Music Cover Art and Titles related to the Phonograph

 

By Doug Boilesen, 2006

The phonograph and sheet music have a close relationship since early popular music was normally sold as sheet music to the public before any recording of it would be heard.

The following show examples of an even closer relationship between music publishing and the phonograph with images of a phonograph on the sheet music cover and/or music which included "Phonograph" in its title, e.g., At Home, With My Pathé Pathéphone; The Song of Mister Phonograph; Phonograph March Brillante; The Phonograph Waltz, etc.

 

The Song of Mister Phonograph, G. Schirmer 1878

Courtesy Library of Congress

LISTEN

 

 

 

 

Phonograph March Brillante, White-Smith Music Publishing Co. Boston 1878 (imprint of this sheet music and Marie Rôze is 1906)

Courtesy of The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University

 

 

Engraving (hand-colored) of operatic star Marie Rôze recording on an Edison tinfoil Phonograph from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 20, 1878 - illustrated by Thure de Thulstrup (PM-1804)

 

 

 

The Phonograph. Five Easy Pieces for Piano, Oliver Ditson & Co., New York, 1878

Courtesy Library of Congress

 

 

 

Phonograph Waltzer

Engraving of message being sent from Paris to Peking via tinfoil phonograph circa 1878

Courtesy of Antique Phonograph Monthly (Allen Koenigsberg) and John Reid (Issue No. 77, 1988)

 

 

 

 

Strauss' Phonograph Waltzes, Julius E. Mirsalis, Philadelphia, 1878

Courtesy Library of Congress, Music Division (1)

 

 





The Phonograph Waltz, A. MacGruthar, Orange, N.J. 1890

Dedicated by Permission to the Inventor, T.A. Edison



 

 

Phonograph Galop, M.H. Fox (c.1893)

 

 




The Edison Phonograph Polka, Lyon & Healy, Chicago, ILL., 1894

Artist: Engraving by Walker Bros., Chicago, 1894

Courtesy Archive.org

 



 

The Phonograph Humourous Song, Willcocks & Co., (Limited), London, 1895

Courtesy Library of Congress



 

Foxy Grandpa, D. H. Woolf, Kansas City, MO 1905 (PM-0790)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 



 

The "Record" Lancers, Francis, Day & Hunter, London 1906, Artist: Sidney Kent, 1906

Courtesy of The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University

LISTEN

 

 

 

Hoop-e-kack, Walter Jacobs, Boston, Massachusetts, 1909

Artist: Starmer

Courtesy of Sheet Music Collection - York University

LISTEN to Indestructible Cylinder Record No. 1113 - Banjo solo by Vess L. Ossman

 

 

 

 

Uncle Silas, Vandersloot Music Pub. Co., Williamsport, PA., 1913 (PM-0791)

Artist: W. J. Dittmar

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 

 

 

They Start the Victrola (and go dancing around the floor), Maurice Abrahams Music Co., New York 1914 (PM-0784)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 

 

 

At Our Little Tango Party, Maurice Richmond Music Co., New York City 1914 - Illustration by Edward H. Pfeiffer (PM-0789)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 


 

If I Were a Big Victrola and You a Little Talking Machine, The John Franklin Music Co., New York, 1915

Courtesy of The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University

 

 

 

 

When I Hear That Phonograph Play, M. Witmark & Sons, New York 1918

James Francis Driscoll collection of American sheet music

 


 

 

Melodious Jazz, Waterson, Berling & Snyder Co., New York 1920 (PM-0347)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

LISTEN to Noble Sissle sing "Melodious Jazz" on vertical-cut Pathé 22357, recorded circa March 1920

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, What a Dance (When I Dance with You), Jerome H. Remick & Co., New York 1920

 

 

 

 

Sonora, “The Melody Beautiful, ”Sonora Phonograph Company Inc. 1920 (PM-0788)

“Music Hath Charms.” Lyrics by Sewall D. Andrews, music by Walter J. Hamlin.

Lithograph by Hayes Litho Co., Buffalo, N.Y.

Poem inside front cover is titled “The Day,” which describes working people’s hard life by day but relaxing around the phonograph’s dreamy waltzes and gay fox trots at night.

Sonora's trademark was "Clear as a Bell"

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 

 

 

Money Song, Bay State Music Co., Brockton, Mass. 1922

Courtesy of The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University

 

 

 

 

At Home With My Pathe Pathephone, Pathe Phonograph Co., Indianapolis, Ind. 1916

Courtesy of The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University

 

 

 

 

Maggie Blues, Jack Mills, Inc., New York c.1922

Artist: Starmer

Courtesy of WIMA Collections: Irish Fest Collection

LISTEN on the Library of Congress National Jukebox

Victor Record 19010 - The Virginians, Isabelle Patricola, Billy Murray 1922-12-20

Label and recording courtesy of Library of Congress

 

 

 

 

The Broken Record, Chappell & Co., Inc. New York City, 1935 (PM-0541)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 

 

 

"Our Melody The Phonograph Song," Minerva Music, Berlin Germany 1956 (PM-0800)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 

LISTEN to Guy Lombarbo and His Royal Canadians play Our Melody The Phonograph Song

 

 

 

 

"Ma-Ma-Maria," Chappell & Co., Inc., New York City c.1941 (PM-0776)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 

 

The Fairy Swing piano solo by Louise Garrow, Clayton F. Summy Co., 1950 (PM-1102)

Courtesy of Phonographia Sheet Music Collection

 

 

 

 

Get Out Those Old Records, Lombardo Music, Inc., New York City, 1950

("those old phonograph records...")

 

 

 

Sheet Music and the Phonograph

The phonograph and sheet music had a close relationship since popular music most often appeared in sheet music before a recording would be heard. The following Columbia Grafonola ad from 1920 shows the latest songs of Jolson, Bayes, Van & Schenck and Harry Fox as examples of the latest songs and most popular artists now available as a record from Columbia. Phonograph companies always liked to emphasize if the artists were exclusive to their label.

 

Columbia Grafonola, Farm and Fireside Magazine, February 1920




 

Limitations of "a frozen page of sheet music" overcome by the Phonograph

"The phonograph, too, was providentially suited to jazz and the blues. Music that was so improvised and extemporized was not to be captured on a frozen page of sheet music. The one-time performance, with all its spontaneity and improvisation, had a unique appeal which the record caught. Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues," sometimes called the first best-selling disk of the blues, was recorded in mid-February 1920 and sold for some months at the rate of eight thousand records a week, mainly to the urban Negro market. It set the pace and revealed the market for "race" records."

Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: The Democratic Experience, p. 299

 

 

 

 





Other Phonosheet Music

The Phonograph (1894) (Written, composed and sung by Arthur Lennard) London: Francis, Day & Hunter

Phonograph March (1894) Geo. Voelker, published by Harry Coleman

Phonograph Polka by J.C. Groene & Co., composed by Clarence L. Parfee (c. 1894)

Graphophone Mazurka (1897) E.H. Frey

Love in a Phonograph, Will A. Hellan & William H. Penn, 1904 ("The preliminary introduction for orchestra or piano included an imitation of a phonograph being wound.")

Sonora (The Senor Plays on His Sonora) (1919) words and music by Bide Dudley

 

 

 

They Start the Victrola (and go dancing around the floor (1914) Words by Grant Clark & Music by Maurice Abrahams

The Victrola in Song. The Talking Machine World, September 15, 1914