Music by: E. K. Heyser
Lyrics by: Heyser
Cover artist: unknown
An interesting music magazine that was published for a few years in the
late 19th century was the Echo. Calling itself a "music journal,
the Echo was published by the Echo Music Company in Lafayette, Indiana.
As with other magazines of the era, the Echo included articles on teaching
piano, letters to the editor and other articles. The Echo company also
devoted a lot of space in each issue to what they called their "premium
supply department." The premium supply department was a catalog of
premiums, gifts for subscribing to the Echo journal. The catalog offered
a number of quite nice items at what appear to be good prices for single
and multiple subscriptions. For example, one could obtain a six place
setting of silver plate packed in a "handsome plush case" for
only $6 with a one year subscription ($1.50). If time and clocks were
your thing, you could get a battleship Maine clock for only $2.50. Can
you imagine what that item might bring in today's antique market!
From a music catalog included in the issue, it appears that Echo published
mainly choral music however they do list a number of piano solo works
also. It does not appear that they focused much on popular music for out
of my entire collection, I do not have a single song published by them.
I could not find any information about The Echo Music Company, they seem
to be another casualty of history.
This issue of The Echo was devoted mainly to Memorial Day music
so it includes a number of marches and songs of honor to the departed
who fought for us. Almost all are in chorus oriented vocal formats, but
a few are traditional folk songs such as Darling Nellie Gray
by B.R. Hanby and an arrangement of Old Folks At Home by Stephen
C. Foster. The remainder of the music includes titles such as, In
The Valley We Laid Them Low, Here's To Our Boys Who Died and The
Men Behind The Guns. As a representative song from this issue I
have selected A Land of Heroes. The song was scored for choir (SATB) in
the refrain and solo with cornet in the verses before the refrain. It
is a rather expansive song and one that conveys the majesty and might
of the military, a fitting musical tribute for a Memorial Day, 1899.
Music by: R.A. Browne
Lyrics by: Lillie M. Puffer
Cover artist: unknown
One music magazine that was perhaps less circulated but wins the prize
for longest continuous publication, having been longer lived than the
Etude was Perry's Musical Magazine. The music publishing
firm of A.W. Perry's Sons was founded by Austin W. Perry (1829-1900).
The firm operated in Sedalia, Missouri from the early 1870's into the
1960's. The A.W. Perry's Sons Collection published sheet music and a monthly
magazine, Perry's Musical Magazine, which was issued from 1881 until 1960s.
For a more complete history of Perry's see The University of Missouri
at Kansas City's history
page for Perry's.
Perry focused mostly on amateur publications and those of Mr. Perry but
did publish one of Scott Joplin's original editions. In doing so, he offered
opportunities to composers looking to break into the business. In the
magazine, there is a "notice to authors" that outline's Perry's
policy of accepting manuscripts from unknowns. They even mention that
if the song is pleasant and worthy of publications but contains errors,
they will correct the errors themselves and publish it for the composer.
What a nice company, I wonder how many music companies would do that today?
The biggest musical news item in this issue was an announcement of the
death of the great French composer, Camille St. Saens.
The song I have presented here is a simple but melodious one that is
pleasant and has a nice sentiment. The composer only stated as R.A. Browne,
is probably Raymond A. Browne who is credited with at least one other
published song, Down On The Farm composed with lyrics by Harry Von Tilzer
in 1902. Though published in Perry's in 1922, the song shows an original
copyright date of 1921.
Music by: John Martin
Lyrics by: Martin
Cover artist: unknown
This issue of Perry's, also from '22, had a number of transcriptions
of old favorite songs including an arrangement of Silver Threads Among
the Gold for four hands and a set of variations based on The Old Oaken
Bucket. Articles this month included a rather extensive biography of Franz
Liszt and an article urging American women to "wake up" and
apply themselves to the study of music. The author, a woman seems to have
absorbed some of the male prejudices of the day when she said:
I have in mind several such piano pupils..young girls bright
in school work; but when it came to applying their mental capacity to
the study of music, these normal natural powers seemed to be in a lethargic
state in which they could neither hear nor see. Minds which can absorb
and digest (other subjects) seemed comatose when when taking up the subject
In another articles in this issue, we learned that Beethoven was "a
bad tenant." The author pointed to facts that showed Beethoven lived
in 25 different houses over a 35 year period. Apparently Beethoven had
a habit of getting angry with his landlord over the smallest things and
would move out.
The song I have selected is one that was originally published in 1910,
then reprinted in this 1922 issue of Perry's. Though the title is familiar,
it is not the melody that was so popular in the 1955 performed by the
Platters. Rather, this is a simple but pleasant waltz that like many songs
of the era, has been "lost" for quite some time.
Music by: Arthur F. Tate
Arranged by: Edward Lockton
Cover artist: Wm. S. Nortenheim
The cover of this issue is one of the most striking among many fantastic
covers published by Presser during the run of the Etude. It is a portrait
of the famous opera Diva, Adelina Patti (1843 - 1919). Inside is an article
entitled, Queen of the Opera of the Last Century about her that
is an extract from a book, The Reign of Patti by Herman Klein
(The Century Company, 1921)the best in American popular music history.
By 1921, the Etude had become thicker and more sophisticated
than ever. The number of articles continued to grow and the music published
within continued to be of the highest quality. The editors this month
mulled the effect of the motorized age on music, stating that the constant
"Chug, chug-ga, chug, chug-ga" rhythm heard while motoring,
at sea or from factories was being reflected in the music of the day.
They expressed some dismay with the "ad nauseum" reflection
of this rhythm in music. Henry T. Finck wrote an article about personal
musical tastes and how they can be changed with understanding and exposure
to certain styles of music. An amusing quote regarding Carl Bergman, conductor
of the New Yourk Philharmonic in the mid 19th century is worth mwntioning.
When Bergman was told that New Yourk audiences did not like Wagner (Richard
Wagner, German Composer) he replied: "Den dey must hear him till
George F. Boyle, the Australian pianist, composer and piano professor
at the Peabody presented an article about "Unscrambling Difficult
Passages" in which he offered advice as to how to break a difficult
passage down into smaller elements to make learning and practice easier.
William Shakespeare (not the "real" one) of Croydon, England
presented a "masterly article" on A School Of Singing where
he discussed the keys to bringing out the best in vocalists. Prolonged
study, economy in breath, a "free jaw" and vowel resonance were
among the techniques discussed.
The song I have selected this month is a romantic ballad by Arthur F.
Tate that carries the caption; "Mr. Tate's latest song: a most singable
number." It is a rather plain song, well constructed and musically
solid, yet not a particularly memorable tune. It would certainly make
a nice recital song for an accomplished singer.
Music by: H.T. Burleigh
Lyrics by: Howard Weeden
Cover artist: unknown
Another beautiful cover graces this 1919 issue of Etude. In this issue,
the editors railed at the stinginess of some people for whom the war had
created a "thrifty" mind-set. The editors wanted to draw the
difference between stinginess and thriftiness, especially when it comes
to paying for music lessons. An interesting editorial about the opportunities
for musicians in the playing of musical accompaniment to movies brought
out the wide range of music played for movies as well as the public's
opportunity to learn about fine music whilst watching their movie.
An article about "Famous Conflicts Between Celebrated Musicians"
was entertaining but probably longer than the subject merited. In it,
we learned that Beethoven pelted his cook with eggs that Beethoven felt
were inferior. We also learned about the famous harpsichord playing contest
between Scarlatti and Handel which was judged a draw. I was amused to
find that there is a so-called Wörterbuch der Unhöflichkeit,
or Dictionary of Impoliteness which consists of a collection of hostile
remarks about Wagner and his music. From that work we get what might well
be the ultimate in an insulting musical review as written by music critic
"Of all the bÍte clumsy, blundering, baboon headed stuff
I ever saw on a human stage, that thing last night (Meistersinger)-as
far as the story and acting went, and of all the affected, sapless, soulless,
beginingless, endless, topless, bottomless, topsy-turvyiest, tuneless,
scrannel-pipiest, tongs and boniest doggerel of sounds I have ever endured
the deadliness of.."
Well, you get the idea. Ruskin went on and on in that same incoherent
manner for sevveral more paragraphs!
The issue was filled with a number of standard ads for personal products,
instruction, phonographs and instruments. Perhaps the most interesting
ad was for a device that would correct an "ill shaped nose"
to enable you to look your best. Worn at night, the device supposedly
permanently corrected an ugly nose without surgury. Take a gander at it.
The song I selected from this issue surprised me. It is a very uncharacteristic
work for and Etude magazine. As you have seen, most of the music
in Etude was more serious than most popular music of the time.
The magazine always has had a rather "above the masses" attitude
and often offered a very elitist view of things. This song, in effect
song, is something quite different from the rest of the works featured
in the magazine. In fact, it is the only one of its kind that I have encountered
in looking at many many issues.
That's it for this month's feature, as always, we hope you have enjoyed the
music and learned something from it. Be sure to read this month's installment
of "In search of" biography
of Anna Priscilla Risher before you leave us. You will find a couple more
Etude covers and several wonderful songs by this neglected composer. Once
you hear her music, you'll surely want to hear more. As for next month, we
will have a new feature about Ragtime music. We first featured Ragtime music
almost two years ago and it was one of our most popular features. We've acquired
lots more since then and learned a lot more too, so it seems like time to
give you a dose of some "new" obscure rags rescued from the past.
See you next month.
If you would like to return to part A of this month's issue, click
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