Sheet music


There were thousands of individual sheets of music published for guitar-zithers and other "numerical instruments", spanning the period from their first appearance to around 1935. They generally sold for 5-10c a sheet, and they'd fit right on the little wire music stand that would go in the two small holes on the edge of the instrument. Different manufacturers had different lists, and the list even changed over time from the same manufacturer. "New Music Always On Hand" was a common advertising phrase.

Since much of the music on the lists is of the popular variety, it should be fairly easy to date the lists by finding the date of publication of the titles on it. One fairly coarse dividing line is the existence of songs popular in WWI. 

I've begun creating text files of the lists in my collection. They are fascinating to peruse - just the wildest variety of titles to anyone less than about 100 years old. I'd love to see the lyrics to many of these titles. I think my favorites so far are "I Couldn't Spell That Word Because I Love You" and "Please, Mr. Burglar-man, Won't You Go Away?"

I'm afraid a disclaimer is in order here - these lists are complete and as printed, and are documents of popular titles of the time. If you'd be uncomfortable seeing words that many people at that time considered acceptable, and many people at this time don't, I guess you'd best avoid looking through the lists. If you can tolerate that situation, though, I think you'll find the rest of it a lot of fun.

List of Beginners Charts for no. 2 zithers

Marx Pianoharp Music - H. C. Marx - 150 Liverpool Street, East Boston

Number Music - American Music Co. (not incorporated) - 15th and Bloomfield - Hoboken

Catalogue of Music for the Mandolin Guitar - Oscar Schmidt, Inc - 87-101 Ferry Street (pre 1926)

Catalogue of Chart Music - Oscar Schmidt, Inc. - 87-101 Ferry Street

Number Music - Oscar-Schmidt-International, Inc. - 87-101 Ferry Street


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This page was banged out with Word 97, 17 Oct 99.