We recently received a generous and most important donation of sheet music from the Marshall family of (location). This unique donation included sheet music from the period 1839 to 1870 and includes some of the most incredible lithograph covers we've seen from that period. Over the next few issues we will be featuring music from the various decades and showcasing the music so generously donated to us. This donation has significantly expanded our collection into a period where we had few examples. In addition, much of the music is from important American composers whose works have rarely seen the light of day for over a century and a half.
The condition of the music is unbelievably good. Printed on high rag content paper, many of the song sheets are undamaged and aside from some foxing with age, most are in near perfect condition. We'll offer you much more about this important collection in our next article featuring this music including the provenance of the collection, but for now, we decided to make our first feature one that focuses on the music of the American Civil War. The original owner of this music was in a Union state so the music is almost entirely from a Union point of view. Some songs can be considered to apply to a soldier or familiy on either side of the war but most focus on the Union with several related to the asassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
Several of the covers in the collection are full color lithographs of beautiful quality. Even those covers with "plain" titling are done in an ornate and beautiful manner so we think you are in for a special treat visually as well as musically. Many of these songs are unavailable in other collections and many are very rare so we are absolutely delighted and excited to present these important historical documents to you and are honored to have the privelidge of preserving them for our collective future. Beacuse the covers are so important, we also are adding the original cover art to our Scorch presentations so you can enjoy them in more detail than our thumbnail images allow. As a result, the Scorch files are much larger than usual so expect some delay in downloading. The wait will be worth it!
If you are new to us, to enjoy the full musical experience, we recommend that you get the Scorch plug in from our friends at Sibelius software. The Scorch player allows you to not only listen to the music but to view the sheet music as the music plays and see the lyrics as well. Each month we also allow printing of some of the sheet music featured so for those of you who play the piano (or other instruments) you'll be able to play the music yourself. It's a complete musical experience! Get the Sibelius Scorch player now.
Richard A. Reublin, October, 2008. This article published October, 2008 and is Copyright © 2008 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Association, Inc. Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author or a company officer.
I think that starting with this one will give you some idea of the value and scope of the Marshall collection. The cover of this sheet is actually "sideways" to the music as the artwork encompasses a wide, landscape view. The art is of all the Union Generals at the start of the war. Some most famous such as McDowell, McClellan and Burnside and others less remembered such as Wool, Blenker and Banks. In total, 27 officers visages are depicted. However, only twenty five are named in the caption. They are (left to right); Butler, Wool, McCall, Rosecrans, McCook, Anderson, McDowell, Sickles, Blenker, McClellan, Scott, Hunter, Sigel, Sprague, Prentiss, Mansfield, Tyler, Burside, Banks, Fremont, Lander, Heintzelmann, Dix, Curtis and Stone.
The lithography is attributed to Crow, Thomas & Company in New York (37 Park Row) and repr4esents some of the finest art ever depicted on sheet music. The art is in the style of the great Currier & Ives prints from that period. Though the thumbnail above gives some idea of the quality, a full size view of the cover is stunning.
The music is a typical march of the period, nothing particularly special about it but it is pleasant and has a nice melody. The music gallops along and fits the cover image quite well with all the generals on their trusty steeds. The center section begins with a "bugle call" and then slips in to a momentary quiet moment, then a more bold passage and back to the quiet passage. The overall tone of the work is bright and jaunty. Of course, as we entered the Civil War, as with most wars, the attitude was positive and that the war would soon end so much of the music was bright, almost happy and positive in nature. As we'll see later, reality set in, tragedies abounded and the tone of the music changed quite dramatically.
Claudio S. Grafulla (1810-1880) was a composer in the United States during the 19th Century, most noted for martial music for regimental bands during the early days of the American Civil War. Grafulla was born in 1810 on Minorca, a Spanish island off the coast of Spain. At the age of 28, he emigrated to the United States, where he became a French horn player in Napier Lothian's New York Brass Band in New York City. This band was attached to the 7th Regiment of the New York National Guard, which was honored in 1922 by John Philip Sousa's The Gallant Seventh march. In 1860, he added woodwinds to a reorganized band and continued to serve as its director (without pay) until his death in 1880.
A quiet, unassuming man who never married, his whole life centered around his music. His remarkable technical and musical skills allowed him to become well known as a composer, often writing music on order, and as an arranger. The hallmark Port Royal Band Books were composed and arranged for the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment Band, when it was formed for service during the Civil War. As a director of the 7th Regiment Band, his fame spread widely.
In 1861Grafulla composed Washington Greys for the 8th Regiment, New York State Militia. This work has been called a march masterpiece, a band classic, and the prototype of the concert march. Showing the stylistic influence of both German and Italian marches, the march has a marvelous balance of technique and melody in a continuous flow of musical ideas. (From Wikipedia)
Hear this fabulous march piece(Scorch format, be patient, very large file size)
Lyrics (There are no lyrics to this melody)
Early in the war, the Union (and Confederacy) celebrated the romance and excitement of the war. Optimism was the rule and victory was a foregone conclusion. many of the songs and marches written during the war were dedicated to or written to celebrate luminaries and this work was one of the earliest.
Dedicated to Major Robert Anderson "The Dutiful Defender of Fort Sumter and the brave one hundred gallantly sharing his immortal glory," the march was obviously a celebration of the battle of Fort Sumter and her defenders. Major Robert Anderson, a pro-slavery Kentuckian, remained loyal to the Union. He was the commanding officer of Fort Sumter at Charleston Harbor in Charleston, South Carolina, when at the time it was bombarded by forces of the Confederate States of America. The artillery attack was commanded by Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard, who had been Anderson's student at West Point. The attack began April 12, 1861, and continued until Anderson, badly outnumbered and outgunned, surrendered the fort on April 14. The battle began the American Civil War. No one was killed in the battle on either side, but one Union soldier, Daniel Hough, was killed during a 100-gun salute.Anderson's actions at Fort Sumter made him an immediate national hero. He was promoted to brigadier general. Anderson took the fort's 33-star flag with him to New York City, where he participated in a patriotic rally that is thought to have been the largest public gathering in North America up to that time. (Anderson information source, Wilipedia)
The music is a simple, not a particularly great march. It's value lies more in what it represents and it's place in Civil War era music.
Bernard J. Hoffacker is another of the many enigmas found in the history of America's music. He wrote one other patriotic song during the Civil War era, The National Hymn (also 1861) however, little seems to remain of his biographical data.
Hear this march dedicated to Anderson ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)
Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this melody)
In contrast to the joy of the victorious defense of Fort Sumter, it was not at all long before tragedy struck. Elmer E. Ellsworth, born near Saratoga Springs, N.Y., left home and went to New York City at an early age. He then moved to Chicago, Ill., where he worked as a law clerk, became interested in military science, and joined Chicago's National Guard Cadets. Made colonel of the group, Ellsworth infused the unit with his enthusiasm. He introduced his men to the flashy Zouave uniforms and drill that emulated French colonial troops in Algeria and turned the group, renamed the U.S. Zouave Cadets, into a national champion drill team. In the summer of 1860, the unit performed hundreds of quick, flashy movements with their muskets and bayonets for awed audiences in 20 cities.
This sheet is yet another example of the beautiful color lithographs of the period. The image of Ellsworth is a very accurate depiction of him, probably taken from a photograph.
Given the fame of the composer and his usual compositions, this piece represents a departure from the norm. As a funeral march, the work takes on a much more somber tone and pace. It conveys the sadness and loss that was felt for Ellsworth. At the same time it has a somewhat stately and ceremonious feel. It is also slightly more melodious than some of the other marches we've featured in this article.
Septimus Winner (1827 - 1902)
Winner was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the seventh child to Joseph E. Winner (an instrument maker specializing in violins) and wife Mary Ann. Mary Ann Winner was a relative of Nathaniel Hawthorne, hence Septimus' use of the Hawthorne name as part of his Alice Hawthorne.
Winner attended Philadelphia Central High School. Although largely self-taught in the area of music, he did take lessons from Leopold Meignen around 1853, but by that time he was already an established instrumental teacher, and performed locally with various ensembles.
From around 1845 to 1854, Septimus Winner partnered with his brother Joseph Eastburn Winner (1837 - 1918) as music publishers. Septimus continued in the business with various partners and names up until 1902.
Winner was especially popular for his ballads published under the pseudonym of Alice Hawthorne, which became known generically as "Hawthorne's Ballads". His brother was also a composer, publishing under the alias Eastburn. Septimus Winner was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
In addition to composing popular songs, Winner also produced more than 200 instruction method books for more than twenty-three instruments. He wrote more than 1,500 easy arrangements for various instruments and almost 2,000 arrangements for violin and piano. The most popular Septimus Winner songs include:"How Sweet Are the Roses" (1850), "I Set My Heart Upon a Flower" (1854), "What Is Home Without a Mother" (1854), "Listen to the Mockingbird" (Scorch version) (1855), "Abraham's Daughter" or "Raw Recruits" (1861), "Der Deitcher's Dog" (1864), "Ellie Rhee" or "Carry Me Back to Tennessee" (1865), "What Care I?" (1866), "Whispering Hope" (1868), "Ten Little Indians" (originally "Ten Little Niggers") (1868), "Come Where the Woodbine Twineth" (1870) and "Love Once Gone Is Lost Forever" (1870) (From Wikipedia)
Listen to and watch the score ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)
Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this work)
As the war progressed into 1862, optimism still ruled but clouds were on the horizon and the reality of what would be America's bloodiest war was bginning to take hold. Narratives of the war and songs that still romanticized the war were more often seen than the somber, more pessimistic music that wold follow. This song, one of the more well known and more frequently seen songs from the war was a huge hit and enjoyed a great deal of popularity. Interestingly, this song is one that could have just as well applied to either side of the conflict. Unlike several of the songs we've featured, the lyrics are non specific as to the side, only specific to the fears, apprehension and plight of the foot soldier about to face death.
The music is certainly a cut above some that we've already looked at with a great melody and a wonderful chorus for four voices. Most songs of this period did end with a chorus for several voices which allowed the entire family or a group of friends to all participate in the making of music in the parlor. The melody is simple yet very pleasant and not at all in the mood one might expect for a song of war. It is a gentle tune that conveys the tenderness of the message to a mother. I think you'll see why it was so popular.
An interesting notation appears on one page regarding the mention of the song Battle Cry Of Freedom in the lyrics. The note at the bottom of the page explains; "In some of the divisions of our army, the 'Battle-Cry' is sung when going into action, by order of the commanding officer."
George F. Root (1820 - 1895) American vocal composer and writer, Root was bornin Sheffield, Mass. The son of a farmer and the eldest of eight children he had little early opportunity to cultivate his musical talent. He studied later under George Webb in Boston and in 1839 became assistant teacher in the music school of A. N. Johnson, and organist in that city. Root also became Johnson's partner and assistant organist at the Winter Street and Park Street churches. In 1844 he moved to New York and became organist at the Presbyterian Church at Mercer Street, known as the "church of the strangers." He also took jobs as teacher of singing in various schools there. Around this time he married Mary Olive Woodman a church and concert singer.
In 1850, Root went to Paris for a year to study and on his return began to compose music. His early works and a few later ones were published under the pseudonym "Wurzel," the German word for root. His first song, Hazel Dell was a success and his cantata, The Flower Queen produced in 1881 was quite successful as well. For several years he devoted time to composing, occasionally conducting musical conventions. One convention brought him in contact with Lowell Mason and in 1852 Root originated a summer normal school of music in New York City. The faculty included Lason, William Bradbury and Thomas Hastings.
About 1860 he removed to Chicago and there became head partner in the music publishing firm of Root & Cady which realized quick financial results from the sale of Root's popular songs and collections. The firm sustained heavy losses in the fire of 1871 and soon afterward was dissolved. Mr. Root continued to live in Chicago where he composed, edited works and conducted conventions as before. In 1881 he received his degree of Doctor of Music and in 1886 visited Europe a second time. He died in his summer home on Baily Island near the Maine coast.
Many of Root's productions were immesnsely popular in their day, especially the songs belonging to the time of the Civil War. While they do not belong to the classics, they are at least superior to the majority of the popular songs of the present day in purity of sentiment.
Aside from his songs, Root also wrote a number of cantataa, quartets, church music music curricula, and instruction books for piano and organ. Among his most popular songs are; Battle Cry of Freedom; Just Before The Battle; Tramp, Tramp, Tramp; The Vacant Chair; A Hundred Years Ago; Hazel Dell and Just After The Battle. In case you are wondering about some of the odd sentence constructions and word usage in this biography, it is taken from a 1908 music encylopedia. Root was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970
Hear and see the score to this sweet song (Scorch format)
Despite a darkening outlook and grimness, some composers still managed to find some humor in the music about the war. This song by the famous Henry Work, was one such song and became quite popular during the war and for many years after. In the context of the war, after this year there was little to nothing to laugh about and in our collection, songs with a humorous slant on the war cease to exist in the years 1863 and beyond save perhaps one exception.
The cover of the music (better viewed in the scorch played version, click the cover image or link below) is humorous in its own right. A complex lithograph the upper cell is of a mother holding a pair of boy's pants with the lyric line, "and these are the trousies he use (sic) to wear." The bottom cell is of a bundled up soldier with the lyric line; "A picket beside the contended field. The titleon the music is so ornate, it is almost unreadable
The music is pleasant and simple. You will notice that with most of the songs from this period the melody and accompaniment are fairly simple. Much of that may be due to the proficiency of the target audience however all seem to have a fairly standard accompaniment line or two. Either the left hand plays octaves on alternate beats or a simple chord is played on the second and subsequent beats of each measure. The chorus of this song is quite nice to my ear and though simple, I think you can see why it was popular. As with many hit songs, as a friend of mine says, it leaves you with an ear worm.
Henry Clay Work was born in 1832 in Middletown, CT and died in 1884 in Hartford. His family moved to Illinois when he was still a child and he was educated there. The family later returned to Connecticutr and young Henry was apprenticed to a printer. He studied music and wrote verse on his own and soon began to write songs, both the music and lyrics. He was inspired by the Civil War to write Marching Through Georgia, Wake, Babylon is Falling and other songs of the war that became popular. During the 1870's he wrote a number of temperance songs that were popular. He also was known for sentimental songs such as The Ship That Never Returned and wrote the famous, My Grandfather's Clock (1876, his last successful song). A man of many talents, Work was also an inventor and patented a rotary engine, a knitting machine and a walking doll. He lost his personal fortune by investing in a fruit farm that failed and lived in New York before returning to Connecticut before his death.
His primary publishing associations were with Root and Cady and Cody. An interesting anecdote about his printer background is that he often composed by typesetting the music as he composed and completely bypassed the usual steps of a hand manuscript or even trying his music on the piano first! Considered a first rate melodist and his songs had a nearly universal appeal. Though his song Come Home Father is somber, and he was an intense supporter of causes, Work also had a playful side and his 1862, Grafted Into The Army was and still is a funny song and it has contiued in the repertoire for over 100 years. Much of his music stands on its own against that of Stephen Foster and though less well known today, Work is probably one of only a few of the truly original American popular song composers to invent American popular music style and who influenced the following generations of songwriters.
Listen and view this humorous war song! ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)
Now the war wearyness begins to come through in the music of America's civil war. Subtitled, "when this cruel war is over," the inscriptions states; "Inscribed to Sorrowing Hearts at Home." The cover also mentions that it was "Sung by Wood's Minstrels, Broadway, N.Y." Though we often associate, minstrels of this period with blackface routines and happy dances, minstrel groups were primarily musicians and performers who presented an array of styles of music to entertain the audience. Much like the later vaudeville of the early 20th century, minstrels were traveling variety shows. As such, the songs presented covered the range of themes in popular song of the day. Wood's minstrels were associated with Christy's minstrels for some time, known at that time as Christy and Wood's Minstrels.
The music is very much in the style of a tender ballad. The chorus is really quite beautiful, the harmony is very nice. How wonderful it must have been to have played and sung these great songs at home! The song has four separate verses which can be seen on the last page of the Scorch version. One website states that the song was sung by both Union and Confederates. Certainly the pain and loss of the war was equally felt by both sides and many of these songs could apply to either side.
Henry Tucker (1826 - 1882) Not much is known about Tucker however one web site (pdmusic.org) states that he sang bass in the choir of St. John's Chapel on Varick Street, New York City in 1861. During 1850 to 1882 he wrote approximately 121 songs and one cantata, Joseph in Egypt, in 1870. His most popular songs were Weeping Sad and Lonely, or, When This Cruel War Is Over (1863), Jeff in Petticoats (1865), and Sweet Genevieve (1869).
Charles Carroll Sawyer (1833 - ca. 1890) Sawyer's involvement in music was an unlikely happenstance as he was the son of sea captain and shipbuilder (Joshua Sawyer) in Mystic Connecticut. In 1845 at age twelve he moved to New York City and very little is known of his activities there besides being a lyricist for Weeping Sad and Lonely, and a few other patriotic and war related songs such as Shake Hands With Uncle Sam (1866) and He Was Not Afraid to Die (1864). Sawyers exact death date is unknown to me at this time. A 1908 reference book simply states he died "after 1890."
Listen to this song of lament ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)
By 1864 it was clear to Americans that this would be a painful and long war. The optimism by now is long gone and casualties had reached epic proportions. The previous year, Gettysburg cost us 51,000 casualties, the largest single battle total of the war. The battles of Spotsylvania and the Wilderness in May of 1864 cost nearly 53,000 casualties and were among the top ten most costly battles of the war. As a follow up to his "Before the Battle" song seen above, Root wrote and published this piece which writes a grim final chapter to the pair. Root and his publisher used the very same cover as the first song, only changing the title thus making the two a matched pair.
The music is very similar to the first song of the pair but the lyrics quite different of course. The lyrics speak to the ferocity of battle and the carnage and the protagonist falls in the battle awaiting hope of aid by dawn. As he suffers in pain the song ends with a ray of hope in his belief that he will soon be saved, healed and sent home to see his mother once again. Though grim and quite descriptive, at least the song offered a small ray of hope to those with loved ones on the front lines.
See the entry for "Before the Battle" for information on the composer, Gero. F. Root
Listen to this great old Civil War song (Scorch plug-in)
Fortunately, all storms have an end when the sky clears, the sun appears and the birds begin to sing again. The usual harbinger of the hope for a better day is most often the rainbow. As such, it seems fitting to calm things down and end our stormy feature this month with the beauty and joy of the rainbow after the storm.
The music is very interesting, and pleasant. This song was written on the cusp of change from the "age of innocence" and the coming jazz age of the roaring twenties. As such it has a more sophisticated sound with more complex harmony and a melody and sound that is more grounded in what is to come than what has come before. There is an interesting tango like activity in the bass line of the verse that seems out of character for the rest of the piece. In measures three, nine, ten, thirteen and fourteen there is a little tango like expression that frankly seems out of place. At this time in our musical history, the tango was a hot fad and perhaps the composer felt that adding this little rhythm would make the song more attractive. For a little more about the tango in American music, see our May 2004 feature on music south of the border.
Oliver Wallace (1887 - 1963) was born in England and his family moved to Canada, probably sometime before 1900. He began his musical career as a pianist in Vaudeville and when a teenager, he moved to Washington state and worked for a while as pianist in theaters accompanying silent films. In 1908 he became the first theater organist at the Dream Theater in Seattle. During this period he began writing music and his first song, Hindustan became a big hit in 1913. In the 30's Wallace moved to Hollywood where he began writing scores for films at Columbia and Universal. In 1936 he joined the Disney Studio where he began writing scores for animated films. His first was for a Mickey Mouse short, Mickey's Amateurs. He wrote music at Disney till 1956 having completed over 150 scores for them. He was nominated for several Academy Awards for his work at Disney. Perhaps his most talked about work was the 1942 song, Der Fuhrer's Face, written for a Donald Duck feature, it became a huge hit in 1943. Some of the more notable works by him including his most remembered work, Der Fuhrer's Face (1942), Louisiana (1920), Hindustan (1913), Along the Way To Damascus (1919) and Victory March (1942).
Arthur Freed (1894 - 1973) Freed was born in Charleston S.C. and enjoyed one of the longest active careers as a lyricist spanning the period from around 1918 to well into the 1950's. Most of his work was done during the heyday of Hollywood musicals writing songs for the likes of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland and Lena Horne. Most of his work was done with Herb Nacio Brown. Arthur's brother, Ralph Freed was a notable lyricist as well who also wrote a number of hits for films during the same period. Freed grew up in Seattle where he met Oliver Wallace. Early in his career he wrote works for Gus Edwards acts and other vaudevillian performers. He served in the Army in W.W.I.
He moved to Los Angeles where he was a theater manager for a while. Bitten by the movie bug, in 1929 he began writing songs for movie musicals. Later he became a producer of musicals and his work included some of Hollywood's greatest musical hits including Babes in Arms, The Wizard of Oz, For Me And My Gal, Meet Me In St. Louis, Annie Get Your Gun and The Bells Are Ringing. In the 60's Freed was the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and appeared on several Academy Award TV specials.
Among his greatest hits are; I Cried For You (1923), Pagan Love Song (1929), Alone (1935), You Are My Lucky Star (1935), Broadway Melody (1929), Singin' In The Rain (1932) and You Were Meant for Me (1929). Freed died in Los Angeles April 12, 1973.
Listen to and watch the music play (Scorch plug-in)
This article published May, 2007 and is Copyright © 2007 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Association, Inc. Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author or an officer of the corporation. Though the songs published on this site are often in the Public Domain, MIDI renditions are protected by copyright as recorded performances.
Thanks for visiting us and be sure to come back again next month to see our new feature or to read some or all of our over 130 articles about America's music. See our resources page for a complete bibliography of our own library resources used to research this and other articles in our series.
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