Marching Into April
April 1999 Edition
Marches and Two Steps

For April we are featuring the March and Two Step which flourished from the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th century. Military in origin, these great works were popular as dance pieces for a period around the turn of the century. As you will see, a variety of themes were used, from college salutes to western topics. As well as covering many themes, these works were representative of the period's social topics as most music usually is.
As we move into the unsettled weather of spring, let us enjoy some musical thunder and lightning. We hope you enjoy these musically interesting and captivating works from our collection.

Sheet Music Cover Uncle Sammy March and Two-Step
Music by: Abe Holzmann
Lyrics by: (none, piano solo)
Cover artist: Unknown

Abe Holzmann was a prolific composer of marches and two steps during this period. We have a number of his works in the collection and are featuring several of them this month. He tended to use themes that were expansive in nature and his works are all tuneful and melodic.
This particular work is of a patriotic nature as were many of the marches and two steps from the period. Of course, patriotism seemed to be much more prevalent then than today and was expressed often in music. The music in this work is overshadowed by the great cover art. Musically, it is not one of Holzmann's best but nonee-less is pretty good in some passages.

Enjoy this classic patriotic march.

Sheet Music Cover Blaze Away
Music by: Abe Holzmann
Cover Artist: unknown

Here we have another one of Holzmann's famous marches. This one uses a military theme of the US cavalry. The music for this particular work was written three years earlier than Uncle Sammy and seems fresher and more original to me. However, like most marches, is formulaic in its design. This song reminds me of some of the great E.T. Paull's works (see our June 98 feature on Paull). It has been said that this piece was dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt and was inspired by his escapades in Cuba. Certainly the cavary rider on the cover bears an uncanny resemblance to him.
The cover for this piece is in very bad shape and I had to digitally reconstruct a great deal of the left side of the page in order to provide you with a good representation of the original. We hope that you will support our work in preserving music such as this before it is lost to the world.

Blaze Away with the cavalry!

Sheet Music Cover Alagazam!
Music by: Abe Holzmann
Lyrics by: none, piano solo
Cover artist: Chapman

Here we offer you the third Holzmann work featured this month. Musically, I think this one is the best of the three. This particular song is one that does have a version lyrics which is unusual for a march. In this case, it states on the cover, "Published also as a song with humorous darky text".
Unfortunately, this social period was one where racism was an everyday fact. Much of the lyrics for music of the period reflects the biases of the day. At the time, the lyrics may have been humorous but they are far from humorous to us today. Though the music for many of these songs is outstanding, the lyrics are offensive. We believe that these songs must be preserved as historical documents and the lyrics serve to remind us of mistakes of the past that must not be made again.

Listen to Alagazam!.

Sheet Music Cover
The Cavalier
Music by: Sydney P. Harris
Lyrics by: none, piano solo
Cover artist: Starmer

This is the only work by this composer in our collection at this time. The theme here is reflected in the music as a stately, militaristic figure. As you listen to the music, you can imagine the royal figure of the Cavalier strutting about his kingdom commanding his subjects, well, at least I can.
The cover artist, Starmer was one of the most prolific of the period of great cover art. His works are well represented in our collection and his career spanned many decades. The latest work by Starmer in our collection is from 1925 so I assume this is one of his earlier works as the earliest by him I have found is 1902.
Again we have a typical march, composed in an A-A-B-B-C-A format that has an initial theme repeated, followed by another repeated theme, a trio and then a repeat of the first theme. As you listen to most of these marches, you will see a similar, if not identical, pattern.

Listen to this jaunty march & two step.

Sheet Music Cover
College Belles
Music & Lyrics by: Albert Krug
Cover artist: unknown

Here we have a lighter march with a theme unrelated to anything military. The cover of this work states; "Most Cordially Dedicated to The College Girls Of America." Using a delicate melody in the higher octaves, Krug has managed to transform the usual heavy handed march into a kinder gentler work that shows his concern (or bias) for his dedicatees.
With fewer repeats of the sections, this work is shorter by a minute or more when compared to most of the other marches of the period and uses a simpler construction than that mentioned above.

Listen to this dedicated march.

Sheet Music Cover
Honey Boy
Music by: Albert Von Tilzer
Lyrics by: none, piano solo
Cover artist: unknown

The great Albert Von Tilzer was ubiquitous throughout the popular music scene for many years. We have many works by him as well as his brother Harry. They also formed a publishing house in new York and published many of the greatest works from the period; many of the composers of the period did the same including, Berlin, Snyder, and Paull. Von Tilzer also collaborated with some of the greatest lyricists of all time including Gus Kahn and Ted Fiorito
The cover of this work is pretty spectacular and it is unfortunate that I cannot identify the artist. The inset photo is of Nevins and Arnold and the heading says "The Sensational March Song Success". This work is in my opinion, the most musically original of the lot featured here. The melody is more song-like and even though it is a march, it comes across more as a song. I believe this is illustrative of Von Tilzer's great talent as a composer that set him apart from many of the fine but more common composers of his period.

Hear this Von Tilzer march.

Be sure to visit this month's gallery for more great march songs, including a repeat showing of one of our most popular songs; "Sammy Sampson's Sennegambian Band" and a grab-bag of military marches.

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