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Above: 1910's covers from the Erdmann Collection.

Music of the 1910 - 19 Decade

From the Erdmann Collection

Last year we received a generous and most important donation of sheet music from the Erdmann family of New Jersey. This unique donation included sheet music from the late 19th century up to the 1970's. The total number of sheets donated to us exceeded 6,000 and has increased our collection to a level exceeding all but a few library collections and places us as the top private non-profit web library collection in the country. This issue is the second in a series such as we have done with other large collections such as the Marshall-Morrow collection donated to us in 2009. To continue the review of the decades represented by this collection, this issue will look at music from the 1911 - 19 decade in America from the collection. We hope to make much more of our collection available to view through a redesign of our site and help from volunteers to catalog everything, scan and organize the music to make it more accessible.

As in the previous recent articles, we are continuing to include the full cover art in the Scorch versions 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. In most cases, the download file size exceeds 2mb so some will take quite some time depending on your type connection. The wait will be worth it! In addition, all music featured this month is printable using the Sibelius Scorch player.

The decade of the 1910's continued the development of America's popular music that had begun during the previous decade. Our music became more complex, more expressive and explored new boundaries that earlier music steered clear of. Though earlier music often had innuendos on subjects such as sex and vice, during the 1910's music became a little more explicit and open about some issues such as illicit love, drugs and feminine freedoms. As a transition period, the 1910s also still carried much from the past and some of the music still smacked of the innocence and Victorian ideals of the earlier century however, such songs became fewer and farther between. Of course, the middle of the teens saw the First World War and most of our music turned to that subject for the next few years. The war and growing social freedoms would change our music dramatically and lead us into the roaring twenties where nearly anything was fair game as far as music, movies and behavior. As we said in our series about WWI music, the war once and for all took away the innocence of the 1890-1915 period.

This issue presents you with many songs that are much less known than many from the period, but representative of the continuing development in American popular music that the first decade of the twentieth century represented. As such, you'll experience a mix of forward looking songs as well as backward looking ones. We hope the best part though is the joy of discovery of some songs that have been long forgotten over the last 111 years. Also this month, almost all of the featured songs are printable through the use of the Sibelius Software "Scorch" player.

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, April, 2011. This article published November, 2011 and is Copyright © 2011 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.

Sorry, this issue not yet ready for publication, come back in April to read the entire issue and see the music. Thank you for your patience