Above: 1860's litho. covers from the Marshall - Morrow Collection.
Music of the 1860's
From the Marshall - Morrow Collection
This sweet song is a good example of a "personal" song (see above) though it was written in the early years of the decade. The song tells the tale of a person aging and missing the love of their mother. The melody is just as sweet as the sentiment of the words. Like many songs of the period, the song was written with solo verses and then a chorus for four voices (SATB - Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass or Baritone). Of course since music in the 19th century was the main form of home entertainment, much of it was written so the whole family could participate. I guess it was a bit like the karaoke of the times. I've sequenced the song so that it plays back using "voices" synthesized by the scorch or midi player. Hearing these old songs in their original style (or as close as we can do electronically) adds some depth and charm. Hearing the harmonies against the piano always makes for a pleasant listening experience.
"Leslie" was most probably the English composer Henry David Leslie (1822 - 1896) Though many American composers were developing by this time, much of our music was still deeply rooted in England and to a lesser extent, Europe. In this case, it appears that Leslie wrote the melody and Mrs. Percy. Florence Percy was a pseudonym for the American poet, Elizabeth Akers (1832 - 1911). The poem (of the same title) accompanying the music was first written in 1860 and is Akers' best known poem. Akers was born Elizabeth Anne Chase, she grew up in Farmington, Maine, where she attended Farmington Academy. She began to write at the age of fifteen, under the pen name Florence Percy, and in 1855 published under that name a volume of poems entitled Forest Buds. In 1851 she married Marshall S. M. Taylor, but they were divorced within a few years. In subsequent years she traveled through Europe; in Rome she became acquainted with the feminist Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis. While in Europe she served as a correspondent for the Portland Transcript and the Boston Evening Gazette. She started contributing to the Atlantic Monthly in 1858. She married Paul Akers, a Maine sculptor whom she had met in Rome, in 1860; he died in 1861. In 1865 she married E. M. Allen, of New York. In 1866 a collection of her poems was published in Boston. Leslie was a very prominent and successful conductor and composer born in London. His parents were John Leslie, a tailor and enthusiastic amateur viola player, and Mary Taylor Leslie. He had eight brothers and sisters. He attended the Palace School in Enfield Town and worked with his father. As a teenager, he studied the cello with Charles Lucas and later played that instrument in concerts at the Sacred Harmonic Society for several years. Leslie began to compose music, and was best known for his large scale choral works (operettas, and oratorios), his conducting and his many successful popular songs.
Hear this lovely parlor song (Scorch format, be patient, all the Scorch files this month are very large file sizes, this sheet music is printable using the Scorch plug-in)
The interest in European dance forms continued unabated during this period with the Polka being one of the most popular forms. Usually the polkas were imported as written from Europe however some American composers tried their hand at composing in the polka form and some arranged familiar American melodies for dance. This particular title was written by a composer more known for his marches and brass band music and it appears he titled it accordingly to maintain his military music connection. Further, the fact that he mentions that it was "as performed by the "Seventh Regiment Band" ( 7th Regiment of the New York National Guard) shows that Grafulla did not venture far from his central core of composition.
The music begins with a flourish in a simulated bugle call. Immediately, we feel the "march" influence. After the introduction, the music flows into a more standard polka form, in principle, a 4-theme structure; themes 1A and 1B as well as a 'Trio' section of a further 2 themes. The 'Trio' usually has an 'Intrada' to form a break between the two sections. In this case we do see the 1A and B themes, both repeated but then a return to theme A as the intrada to the Trio. After the trio, with another military flourish, we return to the first themes as the Coda. The piece is interesting through the combination of traditional classical polka melodies and form and the military march genre.
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 military polka (Scorch format, be patient, long load time)
Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this work)
This song is dedicated and written expressly for one of the most prominent female singers of the 1860's, Isabella Hinckley (1840 - 1862). Isabella Hinckley was a soprano from New York. In 1857 she made her Florence debut. Hinckley's opera debut was in Amsterdam in 1860 as Adalgisa in "Norma." Finally Hinckley made her New York debut in 1861 at the Academy of Music as Lucia. The singer married Signor Susini, also an opera singer, in 1861. Hinckley died tragically of puerperal fever at age twenty-two, just one year after this song was written. The cover image is in my opinion, one of the best images of Hinckley from the period showing her beauty as well as her stage presence. She seems to exude confidence and professionalism. Photographs of her that I have seen tend to portray her as less "regal.". The inset photo is an example.
Once again we have a musical style imported from Europe and another of the wildly popular dance forms that flourished in America during the mid to later 19th century. The Galop, named after the fastest running gait of a horse, a shortened version of the original term galoppade, is a lively country dance, introduced in the late 1820s to Parisian society and popular in Vienna, Berlin and London then later in America. The galop was a forerunner of the polka, which was introduced in Prague ballrooms in the 1830s and made fashionable in Paris. The galop was particularly popular as the final dance of the evening. An interesting aspect of the music is that the Galop was written on themes from an Italian opera, Un Ballo in Maschera by Verdi.
As for F. B. Helmsmüller, despite what seems like hundreds of galops, waltzes, marches (several paying homage to Lincoln), Schottisches and other works listed all over the internet, I've been unable to find a word about his origins and life. If anyone out there can enlighten us, please do.Listen to and watch the score ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in, long load time)
Lyrics (There are no lyrics to this work)
Are you beginning to think that Polkas and Galops were all the rage during the 1860's? You would be very right. A large number of the pieces in this collection represent the dance forms that were so popular at the time. The main forms of entertainment in homes during the 19th century was music, in many forms. It was often in even the least wealthy homes that a piano or other instrument was always at hand for singing and dancing or just listening to music.
This work is a bright and gay representation of the composer's view of a bridal eve. I can't help but wonder what event caused him to write the work; was it his own marriage or someone else, or was he just enjoying a flight of fancy? The work is highly danceable and you can just imagine the bridal party and guests fluttering about the dance hall full of spirits and good cheer. I very much like this one.
Harry Sanderson; Sanderson was a fairly prolific writer of Polkas, Schottisches, Galops and other dances as well as a smattering of a few songs. His composing period extended from around 1850 well into the 70's. Sanderson and Gottschalk were close friends and Sanderson was more well known as an accomplished piano virtuoso than a composer. We gain some insight into Sanderson's talent from an article published in the Wall Street Journal on December 14, 1864:
"Mr. HARRY SANDERSON. -- It is not altogether a happy conjunction of circumstances that induces this well-known pianist to seek, each returning Winter, both profit and health in the torrid regions of the West Indies. At most, it is but fortunate that his talents enable him thus to affect two objects at once, for without health there are no riches. Mr. HARRY SANDERSON sails to-day for Havana, and in all friendliness we wish him good speed. He is in every respect a remarkable artist. Without possessing the routine-technical ability of the schools, he yet commands a facility of his own that is almost unattainable by others. His execution is as singularly brilliant as it is original. No one who has heard Mr. SANDERSON play his "Study in Octaves," can withhold from that gentleman the largest measure of applause and astonishment. It is in passages where this specialty can best be exhibited that he takes the conceit out of more pretentious performers, but it is not alone here that he is meritorious. His touch is good, and in certain compositions of his own he plays with a certain small-muscled American vigor and vivacity that are thoroughly irresistible. Wherever Mr. SANDERSON exhibits his powers he captivates the audience at once, and has never, to our knowledge, failed in obtaining an encore. This, we are aware, is no criterion of his merit, but it illustrates at all events the dash and spirit of his style, and how happily it accords with the desire for those qualities. As a composer, Mr. SANDERSON has already attained a leading position. His ideas are clear and good, and his inborn sense of effect enables him to express them in the best possible manner. The "Electric Polka" is one of the most brilliant pieces of the kind ever published, The subject is catching, yet elegant, and the elaboration bold and commanding. Among other works which we have only time to mention, but which we hope will become better known, are "A Lullaby," a "Transcription from Rigoletto," the "Irving Quickstep," and the "Bridal Eve Polka." Mr. SANDERSON's personal qualities are known to his friends and appreciated by them. It is a large circle and we join them in the hope that this amiable young American artist may speedily return to us rich both in health and in pocket."
Hear and see the score to this song (Scorch format, be patient for images to load)
Lyrics (There are no lyrics to this piece)
Now here is a ballad! Written by none other than the master of popular song of the mid 19th century, Stephen Foster. Though we have seen songs by foster appear earlier in this series, by the 1860's he was a household name and arguably the most famous songwriter of the century. His appeal has lasted till modern days though unfortunately, less often heard these days. I remember singing this song as a child in grade school with my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Forward playing the piano for us. This song may well be one of the more definitive songs of Foster along with a few others.
The melody is sublime and the accompaniment quite simple but the sentiment is warm and full of love, a hallmark of Foster's style. Though we have two verses followed by title phrase, the song is through composed rather than in a shorter format with repeats. That particular format was more common during this period than the later notation that liberally used repeats to play verses and chorus. This song, though simple is clearly a masterpiece perhaps proving the old saw that "less is more." It seems to take you to another place, a wonderful one, as you allow the music to waft over you. Foster died the year this piece was published making it one of his last. Later, you will see and hear a song published after his death, My Angel Boy (the last song in this article). Though Beautiful Dreamer was published shortly after his death, it was not the last song of his published.
Stephen C. Foster ( b. 1826, Lawrenceville, Pa -d. 1864, New York, NY ) One of the first of America's great early songwriters. Despite showing a talent and enthusiasm for music while still a young child, Foster received no formal training. He taught himself the flute, a rather difficult instrument to "self teach." His deepest musical influence, as a child, was hearing the Negro spirituals when a household servant would take him to a Negro church whenever his parents were away. He attended high school years were spent at Athens Academy at Tioga Point, PA. While there, in 1841 he composed his first song, Tioga Waltz which was performed by the school band. Upon graduation, Foster enrolled in Jefferson College, at Canonsburg, PA. It was to be a short enrollment. Foster had absolutely no interest in higher education, and spent all of his time loafing about, composing tunes, day-dreaming, and playing his flute. Just a few days after his enrollment, he left the college, his academic training ended. After this, he was to devote his full time to composing music.
In 1844, Foster's first song Open Thy Lattice, Love was published, with lyric by George F. Morris. At this time, Foster was holding small gatherings, in his home, of some young friends. He composed several songs for presentation at these informal meetings. Among these songs, were: Old Uncle Ned, Oh, Susannah!, and Lou'siana Belle. Around 1846, Foster moved to Cincinnati, and began working for his brother's commission house, as a bookkeeper. Foster interested a Cincinnati music publisher who paid nothing for some of his songs and gave Foster a mere $100 for the rights to Oh, Susannah! which went on to become one of America's most popular songs and lead to Foster's loss of untold income. Copyright law at that time was virtually nonexistent and songwriters were often taken advantage of. Though he managed to make a good living from his music, he lost the equivalent of millions through his own mismanagement and predatory publishers who took advantage of him.
In his prime, Foster wrote so many lasting American hits that his enduring
output has eclipsed virtually every other composer from that period. As well,
his music was so different (compare this work and his others to Ho For The
Kansas Plains for a stark contrast) that he set the nations music on a completely
new course. His 1848 Oh, Susannah!, is almost as well known today as
when he wrote it.
After Foster quit as bookkeeper and moved to Pittsburgh, PA. be met the famous black face minstrel show owner, Ed Christy. Christy began using Foster's songs in his own Minstrel Show, oft-times listing himself as the composer. But times were changing for Foster. He received a contract from a New York Publisher who offered him Royalty Payments in lieu of an outright purchase. Some of the benchmarks of his career are; 1850 Camptown Races 1851 Old Folks At Home, aka "Swanee River". Foster had never seen the Swanee river when writing this song he wanted to use a river name in the tune. He originally thought of the Pedee river. Looking at a Florida map, he noticed the Suwanee River, and altered the name for the Swanee sounded much better. Can you imagine singing, "way down upon the Pedee river?" Minstrel Ed Christy paid Foster $15.00 for the privilege of introducing the song, and to allow him to place his name on the music as composer, but with all royalties from the sheet music sales going to Foster. Inside of 6 months, Foster had earned royalties of over $1500.00.
Foster, realizing the error of allowing someone else's name to appear on the sheet music as composer, wrote to Ed Christy. "Therefore, I have concluded to reinstate my name on my songs and to pursue the Ethiopian business without fear of shame and lend all my energies to making the business live, at the same time that I will wish to establish my name as the best Ethiopian writer." In pursuit of his goal to become the greatest "Ethiopian" songwriter, Foster composed: 1852 Massa's In De Cold, Cold, Ground and in 1853 My Old Kentucky Home. Both were great hits, earning him combined royalties of over $2000.00.
On July 22, 1850, Foster married Jane Denny McDowell. (She was the person who
later inspired the ballad "Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair".) It
was to become an unhappy home. Jane was a hard-nosed, practical, devout Methodist.
She had no use for his friends, his drinking, his music, and his association
with the theater. Still, despite his home life, Foster continued writing. Among
his songs written during this period are
Unfortunately, the tide began to turn for Foster. In 1860, he took his wife and daughter to New York City, where he found despair and frustration. His type of song was falling out of public favor, and he was forced to write lesser material to keep his home together. Shunned by the public and by his publishers, he often didn't have the price of a decent meal. He lived in poor surroundings in the Bowery section of New York. When his family left him, - they returned to Pittsburgh, his moral and physical disintegration became complete. He sought refuge in alcohol, living in an inebriated stupor for long periods of time.
One day he collapsed while at his wash basin. Discovered, bleeding, by the
chambermaid, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he died on Jan. 13, 1864.
In his pockets, they found a a slip of paper on which had been written, "Dear
friends and gentle hearts", - possibly the title of a new song, and three
cents. He was 38 years old.
Listen to and view this Foster favorite ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in, be patient, sometimes a long load time due to graphics)
Dedicated to "Misses Laura and Nettie Tremaine of Brooklyn N. Y." this piece is a larger scale song though still musically simple. The larger scale is the use of solo and chorus voices with a repeat then a bridge to a Coda passage. That format for a mass consumption vocal work is somewhat unusual. The Tremaine women had other songs dedicated to them including; The Angels Told Me So. Duet & Chorus. Words by Rev. Sydney Dyer. Music by Horace Waters. Arranged for the
The song begins with a pleasant introduction to the melody and then to the first verse. The accompaniment again is the standard bass-chord-chord-etc. form but the harmonies are very pleasant and despite the simplicity the sound seems more complex than usual. As in the older style, the chorus is written in four part harmony so that a family group or group of friends could all pitch in and take part in the performance. The second verse follows the chorus and then loops back with a Fine at the end of the second chorus. Listening to the melody and sentiment, it is no wonder this song was such a hit.
James G. Clark. In researching Clark, I encountered an 1880 edition of Potters American Monthly, an illustrated magazine. Potter devoted several pages to Clark's life and career as an American composer. The article is somewhat lengthy but in my opinion, merits re-publication here to shed light on an otherwise forgotten composer and to enjoy the style of writing of the period.
"No introduction to the readers of the 'MONTHLY' will be necessary for the subject of Mr. James G. Clark. As poet and recitationist, song composer and vocalist, he has made himself heard and known from one end of the land to the other. For many years he has recited his own poems and sung his own songs throughout nearly every State in the Union, until with them, his face and voice have become familiar and home-like. To this acquaintance already made, it is but natural that the public should feel interested in adding some knowledge of the former life of one who bas done so much to give them entertainment and enjoyment.
Listen to and view one of Mr. Clark's favorites ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in, be patient, sometimes a long load time due to graphics)
With a very ornately decorated lithograph cover, this song, if this song is a bit of an oddity for the times having both English and Spanish versions of the lyrics. I was quite surprised to see this in a song written and published in New York. It is obvious that in her alternate capacity as translator, she believed including another language was a good idea. It certainly was a groundbreaking move for the times.
The melody is absolutely delightful and one of those "ear bug" kinds of ditties that stays with you. You'll be humming this one later and perhaps cursing us for publishing it! The sentiment of the lyrics is sadness over the departure of a loved one. What is a bit difficult to determine is whether or not the loved one is dying or simply leaving home to see the world.Clara M. Brinkerhoff (1830 - ?) Born Clara M. Rolph in London, was a music teacher, soprano vocalist and translator. She performed actively in New York from 1855 to 1860. Brinkerhoff translated musical reviews from French and Spanish for the New York Musical World. The famous composer and pianist Louis Gottschalk composed a piece for her to sing as did several other notable composers of the day. Interestingly, during this same general era, another woman with the identical name was an inventor of telegraphic equipment improvements. I've had some difficulty finding other titles by Brinkerhoff but among those I could find were; Darling I am Sad, One Flag or no Flag (1864) and Charley, or, A Mother's Fears. Romanza (1864)
Listen to this early song (Scorch plug-in, be patient, long load due to graphics)
We've published much about Irish songs and songs about the Irish but few of these very early songs about the Irish. Interest (and often hatred) in the Irish was minimal until the Irish potato famine (ca. 1845 - 52) forced many Irish to leave their homes and seek their fortunes elsewhere. Over one million Irish fled their land and by 1850, the Irish made up a quarter of the population in Boston, Massachusetts; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Baltimore, Maryland. Initially there was a great deal of resentment but as with all emigrants who ultimately assimilate into American society, the Irish became accepted as an important part of American society.
Many of the early songs (1850's) were not particularly complimentary about the Irish, but over time song writers and performers saw the entertainment value in Irish themes and lyrics. This was especially true in the minstrel shows of the day where performers would dance about the stage and sing in an Irish dialect. Minstrel performer Dan Bryant (1833-1875) a genuine Irish emigrant himself established a the minstrel troupe Bryant's Minstrels and he performed as a character known as The Irish Emigrant whose persona performed this song. As with many stage songs, the music became popular beyond the stage. The cover states "Originally sung with immense success by Mr. Dan Bryant in his inimitable character the Irish Emigrant at Wallack's Theater." The song has a rather simple melody and accompaniment and tells the story of Malloy who leaves Ireland for America and ultimately returns.
Dan Bryant (1833-1875) Bryant was christened Daniel Webster O'Bryant. He founded the Bryant Minstrel troupe and by the time this song was published had left minstrelsy and had taken to the stage to act in plays. Among the plays he performed in were, Handy Andy, Rory O'More, The Irish Emigrant and (of course) Pat Malloy. Appropriately, all of the plays he performed in had room for a few Irish songs for Bryant to sing. Here is what The New York Times had to say about his performances: July 27, 1865
"WALLACK's THEATRE. -- Mr., DAN BRYANT's appearance here last evening attracted one of the largest audiences we have ever seen within the walls of this popular establishment Mr. BRYANT is already so great a favorite in another sphere of art, that the audience, reinforced with the lieges thus obtained, was kindly not only to the gentleman himself, but to all his surroundings. As the surroundings were not of the best, they have every reason to be thankful to the lieges.
Mr. BRYANT played in two pieces -- the "Irish Emigrant" and "Handy Andy," both of which have previously introduced the gentleman to a dramatic audience. They were played a few months since at the Academy of Music, on the occasion of a complimentary benefit which was tendered to Mr. BRYANT, who, we may now add, displayed then all the geniality that was noticeable in his excellent performance of last evening. We have many Irishmen on the stage, and the best are those who in their impersonations mark certain peculiarities of character in the Hibernian mode of doing and saying things. Mr. BRYANT unquestionably brings a fresh stock of manner and "business" to Irish parts. He is always occupied with the bye-play of the scene, without thrusting himself too prominently upon it, and his bye-play is extremely good. For the rest he speaks a brogue which, if it be open to criticism, is at all events very pleasant, and unusually quiet, genial, humorsome and telling. It is hard to criticize such pieces as the "Irish Emigrant" and "Handy Andy," but we may say that for Summer weather they are acceptable, and peculiarly so when rendered with the heartiness that marked the performance of the principal parts last evening. Mr. DAN BRYANT's success was indeed unmistakable and deserved. It will be his own fault, or the fault of a versatility that leads him into other channels, if he does not speedily become one of the best comedians on the American stage.
Listen to this old "Irish" minstrel song ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)
The cover of this piece is among a select group of the most beautiful color lithograph covers from the collection. Rivaling the best of lithography from the period, the art could easily be framed and placed on a wall as a standalone work of art rather than a sheet music cover. The detail is marvelous and the colors are still vibrant after 145 years. One thing that has preserved these sheets so well compared to later mass produced sheet music is the exceptional quality of the paper. It is heavy weight, high rag content and obviously low acid paper and as such, most of the sheets are as strong and robust as the day they were printed. By the year of publication for this work, Sarony had merged with another lithographer and they continued to produce the very best sheet music covers of the times. We have included the cover with the scorch version (as we have with all the songs in this article) so you can see much more detail. The cover carries the dedication to the "Young Ladies of the Callender Dancing Class" and each leaf of the rose garland bears the name of one of the ladies. The music is a typical Galop of the period however has a very delicate touch to it. The first theme is a pleasant one with plenty of acciacaturas to add to the light feeling. The second theme is also quite light and lively. The Trio takes on a slightly different tone and takes us to a short coda. The music is relatively short despite several repeats compared to other Galops we've seen.
Listen to and watch the music play (Scorch format, allow time for download)
Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)
As our final piece and as an end to this series about the Marshall - Morrow collection, we present the last published Stephen Foster song and published posthumously. Though the song was actually composed musically by Foster in 1858, for some reason he never wrote lyrics for it and it languished in his personal archives until after his death. At that time H. Broughham wrote a set of lyrics for the song and it was then published in 1865. Though there were other songs published after his death (i.e. Beautiful Dreamer) but I believe this is the only one that originally had no lyrics and was the last published song by Foster.
Like most Foster songs, the melody is simple and pleasant. The song is definitely in the "loving" style that many of Foster's songs convey. I can only assume that Brougham used his imagination based on the title and music. However, we can never know for sure what Foster intended. The lyrics Brougham provided are a bit depressing and sad but they do match well with the melody.
Listen to and watch the music play ( Scorch version, be patient for graphics to load)
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