American Sheet Music: ca. 1820-1860
Table of Contents
Music Copyrighted in Federal District Courts, ca. 1820-1860:
Vocal Music

The Music's Lyricists

Most of the music for solo voice in this collection consists of popular songs, whether for stage or for parlor. The major figures in this field during the 1820-60 time period were Stephen Foster and George Frederick Root, who also published under the name Wurzel ("Wurzel" is the German for root). Another extremely

image: caption following
Jeanie with the light brown hair
by Stephen C. Foster.
successful songwriter of the period who appears under two names is Septimus Winner, whose occasional pen name was Alice Hawthorne. Other songwriters who were both prolific and successful were John Hill Hewitt, Charles Edward Horn, the Hutchinson Family (whose "Kind Words Will Never Die" becomes "Old Soldiers Never Die"), Nelson Kneass, George Linley , John P. Ordway, J. S. Pierpont (writer of "Jingle Bells,") John Rogers Thomas , J. P. Webster, and the extremely productive Isaac Baker Woodbury.

Some American composers of the period wished both to add to the repertoire of songs for the concert hall and to compete with Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Bellini. The boundaries between parlor song and "art song," as songs for formal concert settings were called, were not as clear during the first half of the nineteenth century as they later became. Some of Stephen Foster's songs seem appropriate for the concert hall, most notably the Shakespearean duet "Wilt Thou be Gone, Love." American composers who aspired to produce the art song in this period also included William Henry Fry, George Frederick Bristow, Richard Storrs Willis, Anthony Philip Heinrich, James M. Deems, George F. Benkert, George J. Webb, Charles E. Horn, William R. Bristow, J. P. Knight, George Loder, Elam Ives, Charles Jarvis, and William Dempster.

American Sheet Music: ca. 1820-1860