Notes to Berliner Gramophone Introduction

Berliner Gramophone Records: American Issues, 1892-1900, compiled by Paul Charosh

1. The note is in the William J. Hammer collection at the National Museum of Science, Technology and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution. Hammer was an assistant of Thomas Edison and initiated correspondence with people who interested him, soliciting autographs, photographs, etcetera. Return

2. Cited by Raymond R. Wile, “Etching the Human Voice,” ARSC Journal, 21 no. 1 (Spring 1990), 7. Return

3. Raymond R. Wile, “The Launching of the Gramophone in America, 1890-1896,” ARSC Journal, 24 no. 2 (Fall 1993), 176. Return

4. Reprinted from The Washington PostReturn

5. The New York Times, 17 December 1890, 5. Return

6. New York Commercial Advertiser, 8 December 1888, page unknown. Return

7. Tim Brooks, “Columbia Records in the 1890’s: Founding the Recording Industry,” ARSC Journal, X , no. 1, 6. Return

8. Transcribed from plate number 619 Z. Another disc, also called “On The Gramophone,” was released as number 637. Composed of rhymed couplets, it too stresses the invention’s ability to reproduce speech rather than music. For example: “I talk all kinds of talk, talk both old and new / And whatever you’re talking to me, I talk back to you”; “And as for correspondence, my stars, there’s nothing better / For into the gramophone you can talk a letter.” Return

9. Letter from Joseph Sanders to B. L. Aldridge, 22 October 1952. On file in the Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress. Return

10. See Arthur Loesser, Men, Women, and Pianos (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954). Return

11. Only a portion of the music associated with ragtime were piano solos. The style is generously represented on Berliner discs as accompaniment to its vocal form, the “coon song.” Return

12. The following sources provided composer and publication data for all but one piece on the list: James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music (third edition) (New York: Dover Publications, 1985); Julius Mattfeld, comp., Variety Music Cavalcade. 1620-1950 (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1952); Sigmund Spaeth, A History of Popular Music in America (New York: Random House, 1948). The exception is the selection from Il TrovatoreReturn

13. Cited in Paul Charosh, “‘Popular’ and ‘Classical’ in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” American Music, 10, no. 2 (Summer 1992), 117-135. Return

14. The earliest citation of “art song” I have located appears in Frederick Niecks, A Concise Dictionary of Musical Terms (second edition) (New York: G. Schirmer, 1884), 224. It is distinguished from “folk song.” Another nineteenth century source also cites two types of song. Folksongs are “simple melodies of unpretending musical quality.” In art songs, “the music seeks solely to interpret the text, hampered only by the practicability for the voice and the proper limits of an accompaniment… Schubert and Schumann wrote some beautiful examples, which stand as models.” See W. S. B. Mathews and Emil Liebling, Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of Music (Cincinnati: The John Church Company, 1896), 205. Return

15. William Treat Upton, Art Song in America (Boston: Oliver Ditson Company, 1930). Return

16. H. Wiley Hitchcock, Music in the United States (third edition) (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1988), 62. Return

17. See Lawrence Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1988). Return

18. Margaret Hindle Hazen and Robert M. Hazen, The Music Men (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987), 12. Return

19. Music Men, 8. Return

20. See Katherine K. Preston, Music For Hire: A Study of ProfessionalMusicians in Washington (Stuyvesant, New York: Pendragon Press, 1992), 235-236. Return

21. The name appears on discs as both Steve and Stephe [sic], Clements and Clemens. The 1896 city directory of The District of Columbia lists a Stephen B. Clements as a music teacher, and we assume that he is Berliner’s banjo player. In 1897, the city directory reports his occupation as stenographer. Return

22. Opera News, 25 October 1948, 29. Return

23. Eldridge R. Johnson, Talking Machine World, September 1910, 47. Return

24. Quoted by Jerrold Northrop Moore in A Matter of Records (New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., 1977), 44. Return

25. See letter from Berliner to William Barry Owen, 23 April 1898. On file in the Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress. Return

26. Other fees (c. 1898) were, per selection: male quartette, one dollar and fifty cents; Jardella, clarionet, fifty cents; brass quartette, seventy-five cents; J. J. Fisher, one dollar; William L. Thornton, fifty cents; “Clark whistling,” fifty cents; Cullen and Collins, one dollar; orchestra, one dollar; band, two dollars and twenty-five cents; and F. H. Weber, forty dollars for twenty-five songs. These figures are given in a note preserved with Sinkler Darby’s diaries, a copy of which is on file in the Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress. Return

27. The program includes: “(1) Cornet solo, ‘The Commodore Polka,’ by the wonderful cornetist W. Paris Chambers; (2) Patriotic Song, ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home,’ by George J. Gaskin; (3) Recitation, ‘A Negro Funeral Sermon’; (4) Banjo solo, ‘Yankee Doodle and variations’ by the famous artist, Vess L. Ossman; (5) Italian solo, ‘Di Quella Pira’ (the grand song from Il Trovatore by the renowned Italian tenor, Sig. F. A. Giannini); (6) Band selection, ‘Romance of the Trombone’ [sic]; (7) Male quartette, ‘Hear Dem Bells,’ by the Mozart Quartette; (8) Soprano solo, ‘Die Nachtigall,’ sung in German by Fraulein Vroni Von Eidner; (9) Negro song, ‘Turkey in the Straw,’ by the negro delineator, Billy Golden; (10) Trombone solo, ‘The Palms’ by Arthur Pryor, the trombone soloist of Sousa’s Band; (11) Humorous recitation, ‘Fakir Selling Corn Cure’; (12) Tyrolean duet, ‘The Mountain Climber’ by the Graus Duo of the famous Graus Mountain Choir; (13) Clarionette solo, ‘Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana’; (14) Banjo duet, ‘The Virginia Bells’ [sic] by Cullen and Collins, the popular banjoists of Washington, D.C.; (15) Comic song, ‘The Band Played On’ by the greatest of all singers of comic songs, Mr. Dan W. Quinn; (16) Orchestra selection, ‘The Pomona Waltz’ by the Metropolitan Orchestra; (17) Tenor solo, ‘Ben Bolt,’ one of the old favorites that appeals to every one, sung by Mr. E. M. Favor; (18) Brass Quartetette, ‘Adesta Fidelia,’ Messrs. Pryor, Lyons, Higgins, and Pryor [sic].” See Cleveland Moffett, “Through the Needle’s Point,” The Cosmopolitan, October 1897, advertising supplement. Return

28. Advertised in Public Opinion, 3 February 1898. Return

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Berliner Gramophone Company Table of Contents

Berliner Gramophone Records in America: A Discography. Compiled by Paul Charosh. Reprinted by permission.