Sunday, March 06, 2005

Aw, Sheet- NYPL posts the hits of the 1890's

As part of the incredible project that the New York Public Library is undertaking of scanning and posting online thousands of documents, they've made available over 100 scans of sheet music from the 1890's: American Popular Song Sheet Covers, 1890-1900. Before there were record players or jukeboxes, the sales of these pieces of paper helped to indicate what was on the hit parade at the time. Amazing that in this age of squeamishness about copyright that these historical treasures are available for the online world to see. It's too bad that we only see the covers here- don't you think there are plenty of musicians out there who would like to play some of these old hits?


Blogger blackmail is my life said...

There was a great story about this on an NPR program some few years ago - and it lamented that reading music and playing it are in such decline as to eradicate sheet music altogether.

it wasn't until i lived with a jazz violinist that i became aware of the copyright infringement that came as a part of precious fakebooks - the slsk's of their day, once again demonstrating that an individual's ingenuity will be criminalized in the service of a greater industry.

11:36 PM  

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