Nine Pieces for Organ edited by Robert M. Thompson

A new release from Paraclete Press, April, 2021. Two rare organ pieces.

Seven transcriptions for organ from other instrumentations.

  1. Claude Debussy, Hommage à Haydn for piano.
  2. Sir Edward Elgar, Salut D’Amour, violin and piano.
  3. Gabriel Fauré, Sicilienne, for ‘cello and piano.
  4. Percy Aldridge Grainger, Irish Tune from County Derry, woodwinds. Later known as “Danny Boy.”
  5. Edvard Grieg, Jesus, meine Zuversicht, organ prelude on a German chorale.
  6. Nicoló Paganini, Sonata for Violin and Guitar.
  7. Camille Saint-Saëns, Prière, for ‘cello and organ.
  8. Erik Satie, Chant Ecllésiastique, from Mess des Pauvres for organ.
  9. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Mélodie from Souvenir d’un lieu cher for violin and piano.

Not just for organists!

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Its purpose is educational and entertaining. The reader is encouraged to keep in mind that in 1920 this young country was one-third the size it is in 2019. 

The reader gains glimpses into the world of classical music music around the world, especially in the United States during the fantastic years of musical growth in the early 20th century, especially the period between the two world wars,  by way of quotes, ads, cartoons and pictures from The Etude music journal from 1911-1939, non inclusive. The Etude  (1883-1957) was a tremendous project of the Theodore Presser Co. Music Publishers, from whom the editor has obtained the rights to create this website.

Each Etude issue contained The World of Music column, the resource for this website. The World of Music was a monthly column made up of short tidbits regarding music matters far and near at a time of few phones, no computers, television, internet nor cell phones.  The World of Music carried stories about new inventions; a quarter-tone piano, the “Color organ”, music-writing typewriters, a mechanized page turner for orchestral players, electronic inventions and experiments, visits to America by famous musicians, premiers of major works, deaths of famous people, the adoption of our national anthem in 1931 and music therapy for chickens and cows.

Though not included herewith, The Etude also contained excellent articles about instruments and voice with such topics as teaching, practice, performance, repertoire, technique  and biographies of composers and famous performers of the day.   Though strongly geared to the pianist, every Etude had articles for music education, band, orchestra, singers, church organists and choir directors, with many pages of sheet music included for organ, piano, duo piano, voice, violin, and others, comprised largely of new compositions. 

SOCIOLOGY: Also of great importance are the sociological insights a reader can obtain here: the rise of  and controversy over jazz, prison bands and the impact of music during and after the “The Great War” (World War I). Music therapy was developed to aid in healing war casualties. There were military music schools and bands. Soldiers were taught singing to help maintain their morale.  Maurice Ravel spent 2 years on the front at Verdun.  George Gershwin and Percy Grainger both enlisted in the army, and some musicians lost their lives, too. The reader will also come to understand the enormous impact that the advent of radio, “talking machines”, motion pictures,  recordings and, by 1939, television had on the cultural life of America, not to mention the effects these had on all fields of music: composing, performing,  publishing, copyrights, instrument manufacturing, public school music and the establishment of conservatories to supply the cultural demand. 

INCLUSIVE: The Etude reported news of African-American performers, musicians, opera companies and associations and also of the many women composers, conductors, performers, bands, orchestras and other ensembles.  It also reported on Native American musicians. 

MUSIC EDUCATORS will read about Chicago and other school districts requiring a music course for graduation and the placing of automated pipe organs in the New York Schools, organs that could also be played normally. 

ECONOMISTS Music created a huge economic impact  on this young country. One quote cites music as the THIRD largest industry in the entire country in sales, creating  jobs, producing income, etc. School bands, orchestras and choirs sprang up all over; in cities, towns, even the most remote little Texas towns as cited below. 

texas orchestra

SCAN 1st grade ryhthm band

And there were prison bands in full uniform that gave concerts and played during meals and chapel services. 


HISTORIANS: The reader may gasp at the evils of the 1930’s, such as Hitler’s shutting down the Vienna Boys Choir, deportation from Europe of Jewish composers and performers, the ban on any music or lyrics (opera libretti and songs) by Jews, which led to the ban of some of Mozart’s most beloved operas and songs of Brahms, Schubert and Schumann.  And at home, some musicians in the U. S. were viewed as “enemy aliens,” and were deported or placed in American concentration camps. And a bomb was placed in the orchestra pit of an Italian opera house, killing and injuring dozens and leading to the closure of the house. 

ORGANISTS especially will gain an understanding of how the organ reigned supreme in the past. New York City put automated pipe organs in all schools, organs which could also be played normally. Most cities had a civic organ and hired a civic organist. Schools, hotels convention halls and of course churches had organs, and the 1920’s was the Golden Age of the cinema organ numbering well into the thousands.

               The fantastic Wurlitzer Moorish console of the Alabama Theater, Birmingham

alabama theater wurlitzer-2

EDITORIAL NOTE: The editor has kept original spellings and punctuation, even when dubious. Readers may enjoy the quaint use of “at” instead of “in” as in–“a new organ installed AT New York” and the rare use of the umlaut in English–“coöperation.” Clarification of some details can be found within brackets [ ] or a questionable spelling with  (?).  The bold “headlines” at the beginning of each entry are the editor’s and intend to serve as a quick scanning guide in lieu of an index. When the cost or value of an item is quoted, the current 2019 equivalent is provided.

Finally, the editor welcomes feedback of any kind, especially any needed corrections of  typos, and he apologizes in advance for making fun of some old names! He just could not help it!  There is a “comments” link on the site.  No complaints, please, just constructive feedback.

NOTICE: The editor needs the missing issues of The Etude  of the 1920’s and 30’s. as noted within the website. Any readers with access to these  please contact the editor .



Organs go “Bach” at least 2,000 Years!

Etude, July, '29

“An Early Russian Organ”

This medieval Russian organ looks like a MISTAKE! 

Artists are notorious for misrepresenting organs, such as putting the organ mouths  at the TOP of the pipe, not the bottom. This painting shows two people using bellows to supply air to pipes, but no keyboard nor organist, and the pipes are surreal.  No organ pipes curve like that. 

(The following is meant to be funny!)

Early American Organ, the mighty 1937 HAMMOND!

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                “I count the accomplished organist as the

                           Greatest of all Virtuosi”

                                        —-Ludwig van Beethoven

SCAN Beethoven's organ

Few people today realize that many of the world’s greatest composers were organists, even though many are not known as composers  for the instrument. These include George Frederick Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who admired the organ above all other instruments and dubbed it  ‘The King of Instruments”,  Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Bruckner, Dvorak, Grieg, Percy Grainger, Charles Ives, Leopold Stokowski, Camille Saint-Saëns and Olivier Messiaen, 


(This is the only 1911 issue available to the editor.)


OPERA: Madame Schumann-Heink will sing with the Chicago Opera Company. [This woman was a GIANT in her field for many years. More can found about her on the internet; well worth the search.]

.MME. Schumann-Heink

Schumann-Heink in Hollywood. When interviewed about this photo, she simply said that she didn’t bother the lions and they didn’t bother her!

THE WHITE HOUSE: Mrs. Taft has done much to aid the cause of music during her regime in the White House.

ORGANSA new Hope-Jones organ has been erected in Christ Church, Vancouver, and Ferdinand Dunbly was the organist at the inaugural recital.

(editor) Robert Hope-Jones was an English organ builder and mechanical genius who developed “unification”. Wurlitzer merged with Hope-Jones to create the “Unit Orchestra”, an organ to accompany silent movies which was completely unified.

ORGANISTS: Edwin Arthur Kraft is having remarkable success as a recital organist in his tour through the United States and Canada. Best wishes of The Etude go to this brilliant young American.

AMERICAN in CHINA: Things are bustling in the Far East. A Chicago musician is said to have been appointed bandmaster to the new Chinese Republic.

AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS; Mr. Frank Wright [not to be confused with the famous architect] Warden of The American Guild of Organists, has been on a tour of the West and Northwest for the purpose of establishing new chapters of the organisation.  He has been successful in helping to organise four–at Los Angeles, Portland, Ore, Seattle and Victoria, B. C.

FUNNY:. The police of a North Carolina township were recently called upon by a Methodist minister to arrest a band of Italians who gave a “sacred concert” on a Sunday. The “cops” made valiant efforts to arrest the musicians, but only succeeded in serving two processes owing to the difficulty they had in getting the names of the Italians.

“A beauty in every jar!”



(Many issues of this year are lacking.)


OPERA/BROADWAY:  Oscar Hammerstein has taken title to the property on the east side of Lexington Ave., between Fiftieth and Fifty-first streets, New York, where he will erect his new opera house. 

FUNNY NAME:  Andrens Dippel is to build a theater in New York, presumably for the production of light opera, as he has agreed to keep clear of grand opera for three years.

AID TO YOUNG MUSICIANS: A training school to aid young singers and other artists who have not the means to study is planned by Woman’s National Theater.

ORGAN BUILDER;  A fortune ot $100,000 was left by Dudley Jardine, the son of the founder of a famous organ building firm.  Notwithstanding this wealth. Dudley Jardine elected to live as a poor man in the Bowery, New York, where he was known for many years under the name of William Smith .

PIANO;  (Thirty-two hands!) Have you ever heard of a thirty-two hand arrangement of Rossini’s Semiramide. The indefatigable Czerny wrote one, and at the recent pupils[ recital in San Francisco, Mr. George Kruger and sixteen young lady pupils perform[ed] this high-power  pianistic achievement upon eight grand pianos.  The arrangement is really quite effective.

folding piano


OPERATIC WAR: A summons has been served by the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York upon Oscar Hammerstein to restrain him from giving opera in New York City until April 26, 1920. We doubt very much whether anybody will restrain Oscar from doing anything he wants to do.  In the meantime, New York is likely to get a surfeit of opera this season, for besides the Metropolitan and the Hammersteins there will be the New Century Opera Company under the direction of the highly experience Aborn Brothers.

COMPOSERS: The Gustav Mahler prize (the interest on about $11,000) has been won by Arnold Schönberg, of Vienna.

A new work by Richard Strauss has just been completed. It is a work for four solo voices, orchestra and chorus, of sixteen parts, and is entitled Eine Deutsche Mottete.

        Puccini has announced the plots of the three one-act operas for production  in one evening upon which he has been working.  One is a lyric opera, one a tragic, and the third a comic opera.

When Verdi composed Aida,  he wrote a symphonic overture to it.  He concluded, however, that this was superfluous, and eliminated it, substituting only a few notes added to the prelude of the first act.  For over forty years , the score to this overture has laid hidden in a box filled with papers. A search has made for it for years, but not until the other day was it discovered. A niece of Verdi, Maria Verdi Corrare,  came upon it quite by accident.

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Marion Davies was a hugely popular and famous film star active 1914-1937. In this ad for an underarm hair removal lotion, she attributes part of her success to


WOMAN COMPOSER:  For the first time in the history of French music, a woman has been awarded the famous Prix de rome. The winner is Lilly Boulanger, the daughter of a professor of singing at the conservatoire, and she is only nineteen years old. The composition that won her the honor is entitled Faust and Helen. 

INVENTIONS:  An ingenious Frenchman has just invented a “mannikin”, which can not only move its limbs, bat its eyes, and its head, and open its mouth, etc., but can also talk and sing a song.  This is due to a clever contrivance by means of which two phonographs are concealed in its interior, one for talking and one for singing.

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Daily teeth brushing with toothpaste was not as common here as it is now. 

LAWSUIT OVER BAD OPERA SEATS:  “A man in Paris,” says the New York Evening Post, “bought two tickets for a performance. The seats were so badly placed that it was impossible to get more than a glimpse of the stage. The manager was sued, and the judge made him not only refund the price of the tickets, but pay a find of fifteen francs, on the ground that the purchaser had not been told that he could not see anything from the seats he bought, while, furthermore, there were plenty of good seats vacant at the performance in question.

MUSIC CRITICS: A conservative but not too solemn French music critic recently offered the following criticism of a performance given by the Russian Orchestra under Sir Joseph Beecham: “The conductor having raised his baton the whole orchestra began to improvise without the smallest regard for the tonality, dynamics or rhythm. After ten minutes of this, deeming that the joke had been carried far enough, they were silent–proud of having thus brought to a hearing the Introduction to the second scene of Le Sacre du Printemps by I. Stravinsky.


RACISM: How the Mexicans love us! All American music is banned on (?) Mexican military bands, and when the Fifteenth Battalion Band played a selection from an American light opera, the Governor General ordered it to cease and play no more “gringo” airs.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSICAL MUSIC QUIZDefine/Identify: George Frederick Handel. Answer;”He was a famous classical composer and was half German, half Italian and half English. He was rather large.” [which is true!]

SCHOOL OF LITURGICAL  MUSIC: What is said to be the first school for teaching liturgical music in the United States was opened in New York early in October as the Trinity School of Music. The school is in a way connected to Trinity (Episcopal) Church, Wall Street.  Among the examiners are Mr. Arthur Foote and Mr. Tertius Noble.

CRITICS: An Australian  critic recently spoke of “Debussy, whose music has brought discord into so many happy homes.”

BAGPIPES: London has found a new occupation for its spare time in learning to play the bagpipes, the fashion having been started by the Prince of Wales. It is said that many Americans in England have signified their willingness to follow the strange customs of the natives of the island, and are learning to squeeze music out of the grandfather of the automobile horn.


MUSICIAN’S EGO TRIP: The egotism of musicians is proverbial, but surely the limit was reached by a pianist whom SIr Charles Hallé, himself a great virtuoso, congratulated on his reception, “And no wonder,” replied the pianist, “for I played more like a god that a man.”

VIENNA PUBLIC REBELS AGAINST SCHöNBERG: The Viennese public has been demonstrating to to Schönberg and his pupils that “futurism in music” will not be tolerated without a struggle.  The public feels that it is buying tickets for his concerts under the impression that it is to hear beautiful music.



NEW CONSERVATORY:  The legislature of the Philippines has passed an act appropriating $10,00 [$169,237.09 today] for the establishment of a public Conservatory of Music. There has been a popular demand for such an institution.

MUSIC SCHOOLS/ORGANS   The San Antonio College of Music, which has recently opened its doors, possess an excellent building, with large pipe organ and other equipment, which we understand were all provided by a wealthy patron of music.

Funny name: T. T. Drill

ORGANISTS:  English organists have organized to combat an injustice to which they have been exposed hitherto, in regard to security of tenure of their position. They demand that when an organist is confronted with dismissal for which there seems to  be no adequate reason, he should have the right to place his case before the Bishop of the diocese, or before some recognized body empowered to judge the matter.

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These exercises are designed for pianists. 

PERCY GRAINGER: By special permission of the War Department , the Fifteenth Const. Artillery has granted a six months’ furlough to  Percy Grainger,  the noted pianist, who has been serving in the army, so he can tour the country and give concerts for the benefit of the Red Cross funds [needed in wartime]. He is Australian by birth, but wholly American in sympathy.  (American entered the war April 6, 1917.)

HAND ORGANS:  [The “crank” or “barrel” organs used by street musicians.]  The one hand-organ factory in the United States–New York–is being pulled down to make room for an apartment house. The demand for this humble instrument seems to have greatly lessened


OPERA: A new opera company has been organized on a unique basis. It is incorporated as a stock company, and it is intended that the stock be largely owned by its future patrons, thus enabling the people to participate in what they support.  John Philip Sousa and other noted persons are associated with the enterprise, which is to be known as the Commonwealth Opera Company, Incorporated.

PIANO SELLING ENTREPRENEUR: A certain piano dealer of Canton, Ohio, has hit upon a unique idea.  Having fitted a large auto truck gypsy-wagon style, he drives into the country and makes sales directly from the wagong, which is fitte up to h9old three pianos and two phonographs, besides furnishing accomodation for eating and sleeping.

HIRING A MUNICIPAL ORGANIST:  Denver, Col., has engaged Clarence Reynolds, formerly of Philadelphia, as municipal organist, at a salary of $7,000 a year. [The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that $7,000 in 1918 was equivalent to $116,407.14 in 2019. Oh for the good ol’ days! when organist were paid what they are worth!]

The Great 1915 Municipal Outdoor Austin Organ at Balboa Park, San Diego,  donated to the city by the wealthy sugar industry heir, John D. Spreckels  for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

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AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS: The second convention (not annual) of the American Guild of Organists was held in New York, December 26-28.

ORGANIST COMPOSER/Prize winner: The Chicago Madrigal Club’s fifteenth annual competition for the W. W. Kimball prize of one hundred dollars brought to light many excellent compositions in madrigal form, but A May Carol, by Will C Macfarlane, city organist of Portland, Maines, proved the winner.

CLASSICAL VS. RAGTIME:  According to statistics gathered by a certain firm manufacturing player-pianos, there are at present more rolls sold of the  music of Chopin, Liszt and Rubinstein than of the so-called “popular rags.”


grainger as saxophonist


PERCY GRAINGER enlisted in the U. S. Army, played saxophone in Army Bands and was a music instructor. Soldiers were encouraged to learn singing to maintain their morale in tough times.

PIANOS TO AEROPLANES: Broadwood and Co., noted piano makers of England,                are at  present engaged in the manufacture of aeroplanes. {Hundreds if not                         thousands of Broadwood pianos found there way to the U. S.. They were                               comparable in their time to today’s finest piano makers

ONE MILLION BUGLES are being made in one American factory for use in the      American, French, English and Canadian armies.

ARTHUR [Arturo] TOSCANINI, the noted conductor (well known in New York through his connection with the Metropolitan Opera House in former years), has been decorated by the Italian government for great bravery under fire.

CHAMBER ORCHESTRA  A “NEW THING:  The “Miniature Philharmonic,” a new orchestra composed of thirty-two musicians, under the leadership of Jacques Grunberg, is meeting with success in New York and on tours. An orchestra of this size is excellent for the interpretation of the older classics, such as the Haydn and Mozart Symphonies, and not too small for many of the best modern works of the more refined and intimate sort.


WOMEN piano tuners are beginning to be much in evidence in England.

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French Cabaret Singer

THE HARPSICHORD  is not even yet obsolete.  Frances Pelton Jones is giving recitals on this instrument in various cities.

CIVIC MUSIC POST:  Baltimore city government is reported to have created a new public office, that of Commissioner of Music, to mange its municipal music service.  The mayor has also signed an ordinance providing that The Star-Spangled Banner must be played as the first number at theaters and concerts, under penalty of fine.

WAR -TIME CLOSURES: Many prominent theaters and opera houses in Italy have been forced to remain closed this winter, because of war-time conditions. 

PIANO SALES: Japan has entered the piano trade and is exporting cheap instrument to Australia.  Five hundred have already been shipped.


MUSIC FOR SOLDIERS: General Pershing, [commander-in-chief of allied forces] has ordered that all army bands be improved and strengthened  so that the troops may have the inspiration of first-class martial music. French officers are said to believe that a large measure of their success at Verdun is due to the effect of band music in keeping up the morale of the troops.

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                    Poor Liszt deserved a better organ on which to study.

EFFECTS OF WAR, piano burningDuring the recent fuel famine a certain piano firm in Cincinnati was using some of its old second-hand instruments for fuel. A farmer’s wife just across the river, at Ludlow, heard of it, and made an offer of a cord of wood from the farm in return for an old piano.  The offer was accepted.

MUSICIANS TO THE RED CROSS EFFORTS:   Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, America’s most noted woman composers, is devoting all her time at preset to Red Cross work, at Hillsboro, New. Hampshire.

HONORING THE FALLENA great choral commemoration has been held in London as a tributed to the “Fist Seven Divisions”–the heroes who fell at Mons and Ypres.  The program featured a setting of Walt Whitman’s Toward the Unknown Regions for chorus and orchestra by Vaughan Williams.  The King and Queen honored the occasion by their presence.

STRADIVARIUS: Hill & Sons, noted violin experts, have made a list of all the known genuine Stradivarius instruments in existence, and claim to have located 540.  It is estimated that Stradivarius make in  the neighborhood of 1,100 violins, ‘cellos and other stringed instruments during his long, industrious life.

ORGAN BUILDERS IN WAR-TIME:  It has been found in Great Britain that organ builders stand head and shoulders above men from other industries iin the building of aeroplanes and parts.


COMPOSERS: Debussy dies.  The eminent French composer, Claude Debussy, one of the most brilliantly original of modern composers, died at Paris March 7, in the fifty-sixth year of  is age.

orgoblo ad, etude, sept. '28

            Maurice Ravel, the noted French composers, after two years spent at the Front, near Verdun, has returned to civil life and resumed composition with a suite of pieces for the pianoforte entitled Le Tombeau de Couperin.

PIANISTS:  A young man starting as a piano teacher in Seattle, Wash., and evidently unhampered by any pre-concerted notion of professional dignity in advertising, recently created a sensation by appearing in a large beautiful “float”drawn by four horses, himself seated thereon at a grand piano and playing popular melodies while drawn through the streets.  He announced his intention to repeat the stunt once a year! We withhold comment.

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MUSIC FOR CATTLE:  A cattleman of long experience residing in Peabody, Kans., has found that cattle confined in stalls for the purpose of fattening take on weight much quicker when supplied with music, either the human voice or a sound-reproducing machine. It appears to make them less restless.


CONDUCTORS/APPOINTMENTS: Musical circles are much excited over discussing the probable successor to Dr. Muck as director of the Boston Symphony [after being deported for anti-American sympathies and being held in the prison camp]. Among the names mentioned are Stokowski, d’Indy, Rachmaninoff and Toscanini.

CIVIC ORGANS & ORGANISTS:  Denver Colorado now has an $80,000 organ in its civic auditorium. [$1,353,896 and sixty-nine cents! today.] Clarence Reynolds, formerly of Philadelphia, has been appointed organist.

SINGERS: Caruso stood in front of the Public Library in New York, and sang to the public, to sell Liberty Bonds.  He met with deserved success.


MUSIC PUBLISHING:  Saint-Saëns, Widor, D’Indy, Debussy [now deceased], Dukas, Fauré, and other noted French musicians, have banded together to encourage the publication and printing of music in France.  For many years previous to the war, nearly all of the classics, and even some high class modern compositions, were imported from Germany.

MUSIC THERAPY:  Music will be used in army hospitals in treating convalescent American soldiers returned from Europe, if an experiment being conducted at the Fort McHenry Hospital (near Baltimore) proves successful.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, PHONOGRAPHS AND RECORDS NEEDED FOR THE WAR EFFORT: Have you a ukulele or phonographs in your home?  If you have, the American Army wants to borrow them for the duration of the war.  Violins, guitars, banjos, harmonicas, and, of course records for phonographs can be used, too. The need is greatest in small isolated army camps and naval stations which have no entertainment, and where soldiers and sailors have only their guns and thoughts for company. In these camps any number of men can play instruments. A list of camps may be obtained from the government.


COMPOSERS: Irving Berlin, well-known composer of popular music , has enlisted in the United States Army.

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ARMED FORCES–Singing:  General Pershing cabled the War Department in Washington an urgent appeal for a director of camp singing, as he regarded singing important to the morale of the men at the front. Stanley Hawking was chosen for the position.

MUSIC THERAPY: The therapeutic use of music in army hospitals has progressed for enough for physicians and nurses to be able to compare the effects of different sorts of music, and it appears that the contralto voice and the violin tone are preferable to any other musical effect.  The soprano voice has been found slightly irritating in some cases: likewise, the sombreness of the cello tone.


ARMY PIANOS: Many of the pianos used at training camps are shockingly in need of tuning and regulating.  It should be a patriotic duty as well as a pleasure for some properly  qualified persons to take this matter in hand.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL QUIZ IN CLASSICAL MUSIC: Define: Sextette. Answer: “I know, but I’d rather not say.”

MUSIC FOR SOLDIERS: “Don’t leave the talking machine behind. We have to have music.”  That was the order when the Red Cross in Italy was moving to the front.  Consequently, the talking machine was loaded upon a mule and was taken as close to the battle line as was practical. Lieut. McKay, in Italy, also organized an orchestra which plays daily when the men come to the rolling canteens  Music is one of the things which makes modern warfare humanly bearable.

WALTER DAMROSCH [one of the greatest musicians of his generation] sailed for France in June with a symphony orchestra of fifty men, in order to furnish entertainment to to soldiers in rest camps and concentration camps.  The expense will largely be defrayed by Mr . Harry H. Flagler, and the tour is under the direction of the overseas division of the Y. M. C. A.  Incidentally, the scheme will give employment to a number of French musicians from Paris who have been made destitute by the war. [See correction in next month’s entries.]

PERCY GRAINGER has been transferred from the Fifteenth Band to Governor’s Island, New York, where he will serve as an instructor in the Army Music Training School.


A GIRL’S WHISTLING CHORUS:  Los Angeles, Cal., enjoys the unique distinction of having a Whistling Chorus, composed of 33 girls, under the direction of Agnes Woodward.

ORGANIST/COMPOSER/EDUCATOR Dr. Henry Walford Davies, has been granted the rank of major in the British arm, his services to the forces taking the form of supervising and development of singing among the ranks. What music has done in keeping up the morale of the soldiers, no tongue can describe adequately, and Dr. Davies had already accomplished much in an unofficial capacity before his appointment.

SINGERS; Mme. Schumann-Heink [A famous singer cited in several places in this web site.], ten thousand soldiers from Camp Fremont, and a civilian chorus of one thousand all joined in a community song festival in Palo Alto , Cal., on the tenth of June.


COVER PAGE:  “Music will help win the war. Music in our homes keeps courage in our hearts.”

CORRECTION:  It was erroneously stated in many newspapers that Mr. Damrosch took an American orchestra to France with him this summer.  Instead, an orchestra of 50 French musicians was recruited by him in Paris, the salaries being paid by Mr. Harry Harkness Flagler.

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COMPOSERS:  Frederick Delius has written a new double concerto for violin and violincello.  It was written for sisters May and Beatrice Harrison and will probably have its first performance in London.

A MUSIC APPEAL: An appeal is being made to musicians in Great Britain to aid in raising $25,000 [$458,454 and thirty-eight cents today.] for the extension of the musical side of the work of the Y. M. C. A. in camps.

NOTED MUSIC CRITIC KILLED BY A PLANE:  Gustav Kobbe, eminent musical critic and writer, was instantly killed last July by a hydroplane swooping down and colliding with a boat in which he was sailing, on Long Island Sound.

ORGANISTS:  Theodore Denton Ruddock, without doubt the oldest organist in the world, died recently at his home in Charleston, S. C., in his ninety-ninth year.  He had served actively as an organist up to the age of ninety-six.

PIANOS :  WOMEN PIANO BUILDERS:  Women are now employed as workers in several piano factories, owing to the shortage of labor.  In the making of numerous small parts which compose the “action,” their work has proven specially satisfactory.

          CHEAP JAPANESE PIANOS: Pianos of a cheap grade and bearing no names are noo being provided in Japan for the foreign trade.


OUSTED ALIENS Several formerly prominent members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have been ousted from its ranks as enemy aliens.  One in particular, who had become an American citizen several years ago, is alleged to have made offensively disloyal remarks, and is liable to lose his citizenship.


ORGAN BUILDING:  The Association of Master Organ Builders in Great Britain is offering fiftsen free apprenticeships to lads who wish to learn the trade of organ building. The indentures are for five years, and free tuition in a music trades as well as gradually advancing pay will be given.

Funny name:  Elna Thunder, widow of Henry Thunder, composer and organist.

ORGANIST:  Joseph Bonnet, the well-known French organist, has been engaged to appear at two concerts with the Chicago Orchestra next January 24th and 25th.  An important work for organ and orchestra will be played.


AMERICAN PROPERTY SEIZED: The German Government has seized the property of all American music concerns in Germany, consisting of music, music books and music plates. This was to be expected as we have taken a similar action. 

FEMALE PIANO BUILDER: An interesting outcome of women’s war activities is a piano made entirely by a sixteen-year-old girl for an English piano firm, and pronounced by their inspector as entirely satisfactory.

ORGAN HUMOUR:  This story was just imported from London:  A visitor of pompous character went up to one of the attendants at Westminster Abbey and said, “Will you please tell me who that is at the organ?  I can’t tell by the touch whether it is Sir Walter Parratt or Sir Frederick Bridge.”  The attendant answers, “Beg pardon, sir; that isn’t either of them.  It’s the vacuum cleaner over in the corner.”

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Old timy fiddlers.

SOLDIER ORGANIST CAN STILL PLAY FOR CHURCH Many of the musicians who have enlisted in the army have been given opportunities to continue their professional work temporarily in the localities in which they have been placed. This is an advantage to the community.  Sergt. Homer Whitford, bandmaster of the First Brigade, Camp Gordon, has been engaged as organist and musical director in one of the leading Presbyterian churches of Atlanta during the period of his stay in camp.


ORGANIST, AUTHOR, COMPOSER, EDUCATOR:  Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry has passed away. He was one of the most distinguished English musicians of the past generation. His four symphonies and choral works rank among the finest. His book, “The Evolution of the Art of Music” has no equal.

1919         THE “GREAT WAR” IS OVER!

January:  President Theodore Roosevelt dies on January 6, 1919. 

OPERA HOUSE DESTROYED:  Just before the end of the war, the Frankfort [Frankfurt] Opera House was bombed and destroyed during an English air raid.

ORGANS:  A musical curiosity is the organ in a church in Shanghai, China, whose pipes are constructed of bamboo.  The tone, though a trifle “wooly.” is said to be sweet and of satisfactory volume, and the organ has been in constant use for fifty years. [ Refer to a subsequent entry regarding the only other know bamboo organ of Spanish style with metal horizontal trumpets in Las Piñas, The Philippines.]

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MANDOLIN:  A mandolin found in an abandoned trench near Lens, was made of a medley of material, towit: a bit of aeroplane wood, a celluloid comb, a knife handle, part of a revolver, with a couple of buttons thrown in for good measure.


ORGANS: A novel experiment has been tried recently in San Francisco.  Two great organs, synchronized carefully, were played in duo.  The effect was thrilling, and the volume or tone was extraordinary.

SCHOOL FOR ACCOMPANYING MOTION PICTURES Los Angeles has a new school which teaches the art of playing to motion picture. It consists of three departments: picture interpretation, “cue-ing” of timing of pictures and orchestration, orchestral pipe organ, piano, harmony and theory.

schubert play

In the grand old days before tv’s, cell phones, computers and video surveillance of everyone on the planet, young musicians would put on “playlets” with period costumes depicting the lives of famous composers. 

CHURCH MUSIC SOCIETY:  England has a Church Music Society, whose object is to restore to church use some of the treasures of sacred composition which have been forgotten or overlaid with less valuable material.  They aim to displace the merely conventional repertoire of choir directors by both new and old music that is more meritorious and less staled by constant use.

HYMN PRACTICE SOCIETY:  London has a society for communal hymn practice to further ease in congregational singing in church.  They have already held a hymn festival.  These novel hymn practices are being very well attended.


Funny name: Hartridge Whipp, singer.

ORCHESTRAS:  Symphony orchestras throughout the country have paid tribute to the late Theodore Roosevelt by the performance of funeral marches in addition to their regular programs.  In many cases the audiences show their sympathy with the procedure by rising and standing at attention while the composition is being played.

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ORGANS:  The pitch of the organ in Albert Hall, London, is at last to be lowered from the old-time “concert pitch” to the more agreeable and mellower “international pitch.”  Singers have been seriously incommoded in Albert Hall with its high-pitched instrument.

Karl Muck deported:  The deportation of Karl Muck, former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, about whom raged the battle royal upon the matter of his disloyalty to the United States some time since, may be forced by reason of a bill now before Congress.  The bill provides for the uncompromising deportation of all enemy aliens interned in the United States immediately  upon signing the Peace Treaty.  Muck and Kuhnwald, another conductor, are in the class of “resident aliens,” and they would suffer deportation with the rest.

Dr. Karl Muck  is rumored to become the new conductor of the Berlin Opera next season, to take the place of Richard Strauss, who has refused because he did not care to be elected by ordinary stage hands.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITIONS: Applause: Noise made by the audience (often at the wrong time) to express a desire to end the performance and go home

MUSICIANS DIE AT WARTwo hundred and seventy-four professional American musicians died in battle during the short time our forces were engaged.  The list includes the name of six bandmasters.

African-American Soldiers Honored:  The war services of our African-American troops were recognized in a concert and patriotic meeting held at Symphony Hall, Boston.  Richard Hayes, the black tenor, sang songs by black composers including those of Henry T. Burleigh, Coleridge-Taylor and Charles Repper  The soldiers themselves sang camp song and American patriotic songs, joined by the audience.

ORGANIST:  Charles M. Courboin, formerly organist at Antwerp Cathedral, but now of Springfield, Mass., played the Sixth Widor Symphony for the first time in America with orchestra at an epoch-making concert given in the Wanamaker Store in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Orchestra, under the direction of [organist] Dr. Leopold Stokowski, played with infinite finesse and beauty. The assembly was by invitation only and drew 10,000 music lovers and distinguished guests.


Charles Courboin at the Wanamaker Store Grand Court Organ


INVENTIONS: Music by wireless was a feature of the drive for the Fifth Victory Loan recently in New York City.  Over a hundred telephone receivers were installed on “Victory Way”, and through these  music and loan speeches were transmitted to the crowds that thronged the streets, from the dirigible C4, in the air at Rockaway Point Naval Station.

WOMEN TRUMPETERS:  A trumpet quartet composed of women is a musical novelty which is meeting with considerable success in New York and on its tours.

ORGANS:  “Victory Organs” in the churches, as memorials to fallen American soldiers are being built in many cities all over the United States.


ORGANISTS:  Charles Courboin, the noted Belgian organist, pedaled 1,500 notes in less than four minutes at a recent recital. This is probably the record performance in pedal work.

ORGANS: A Bamboo Pipe Organ, constructed in 1823, is still in use at Las Piñas, Manila.  It contains 1823 bamboo pipes and 121 metal pipes (buglers).  The Nightingale pipes can be made to sound like the warbling of birds, by the simple expedient of pouring a little water into them just before using the instrument.  This is one of two surviving bamboo organist, the other being in China. [Editor’s comments: this organ is built in the styles of Spanish organs of the 18th century. In the Philippines and Mexico this style continued into the 19th century. The metal “buglers” referred to are most likely trumpets fanning out horizontally from the organ case. The bird effect mentioned here is a “Pajaritos” stop and does not function as the article says, but is made up of a few high-pitched pipes mount upside down in a water cup. When the stop is pulled, the pipes begin to gurgle.. These Spanish-style organs have few or no pedals, and very elaborate cases.]

scan bamboo organ etude, nov. '26 pg. 860

[Misspelling of “Piñas” in more than one place. It is NOT LAS PINRS and there is a tilde over the “ñ”.]

ELECTRONICS:  Music by wireless is an accomplished fact, the United States Government having made successful experiments along that line, which were recently illustrated before a hundred guests of the United States Bureau of Standards.  By means of the radio-telephone, the music of a brass band was projected through the air, upon sound waves, without other mechanical conductors.


CONCERTS IN PARIS FOR MEN OVERSEAS; The Y. M. C. A. is giving a series of notable concerts in Paris for the men overseas. They have had the services of some of the most famous artists. Mme. Sara Bernhardt working with the Y. M. C. A. forces gave a great artists concert at the Sara Bernhardt Theatre. Other great singers also sang. The “Y” has also given several organ recitals, at which M. Eugene Gigout and M. Charles Widor played long and interesting programs.

CHOIR OF ONE THOUSAND: A London choir of one thousand voices has been organized under the auspices of the League of Arts, to sing at public ceremonies.

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FOR YOUNG COMPOSERS: Orchestral rehearsals, a scheme for giving the young composer a chance to hear and conduct his own music, are being discussed in England at the Royal College of Music.  This, while being less expensive, is more valuable that a single concert, exploiting the work of, at best, one or two composers.

OLD ENGLISH FOLK SONGS PRESERVED IN APPALACHIA; Old English folk songs dating back to 1600 have been collected in the Appalachian Mountains by Mr. Cecil Sharp. The people inhabiting this region of the United States live the life of the early settlers in America and know nothing different. In this way have been preserved the folk songs of two centuries ago, in their original form, sung by the old of one generation to the young of the next.  Many of these songs of English, Scotch and Irish origin had disappeared in the old country, while they have been preserved here.

MUSIC EDUCATION IN ENGLAND:  Compulsory Music is suggested by Mr.  Landon Ronald as a desirable measure, to be followed in England, to develop musical talent in the next generation.

HUGE CHORUS CELEBRATES THE WAR’S END: A mighty chorus of 10,000 singers and eight massed bands was the feature of the Peace Day celebration in Hyde Park, London. Dr. Charles Harris was the conductor.


The competition of electronic organs put fear into the hearts of pipe organ builders and they fought back with incredible bargains!

AMERICAN PRISON CAMPS RELEASE NOTABLE CONDUCTORS: Muck and Kunwald, the ex-conductors of the Boston and Cincinnati Orchestras, who were interned as aliens at the Georgia Internment Cam, have been released by the United States Government and escorted under guard to New York.  Their release was agreed to on the condition that they leave the country at once.


ELECTRONICS:  At Walter Reed Hospital, Washing, D., D., the soldiers are reveling in wireless canned rag time through equipment installed by the Red Cross.  By hooking a metal clasp to the bed springs of his bed and putting a small receiver to his ear, a boy confined to a bed may revel in jass to his heart’s content without disturbing the buddy in the cot next to him whose nerves won’t stand it.  On the cord attached to the receiver is a small device for regulating the volume.  One boy sheeled himself out on the porch and hooke the metal clasp on a wire spoke in the wheel of is chair.  It worked just fine.

Oscar Hammerstein, the noted operatic impresario, died in New  York City on Friday, August 2d, after a short illness, of diabetes.  His plans were made for “coming back” into the field of active opera in 1920, and he had even arranged the detail, to the extent of vast quantities of costumes, scenery, etc.

organist opening 001

October  Nothing to report


BLACK MUSICIANS:  The National Association of Black Musicians was organized recently to encourage the art and composition of blacks in this country.  They have drawn their members and directors from all the states, and propose to make a live sociate for future purposes.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS are being musically educated at the musical settlement schools all over the country, under the Federal Board for Vocational Education.


CINEMA MUSIC:  A country-wide movement is afront to provide a better class of music for the “Movies.”  It might be well to attend to the other end of things, and insist upon movie plays that are a trifle above the caliber of the Kindergarten of idiot asylum.  At present the poor music admirably suits the “slushy” scenarios, and it would be a pity to desecrate good music by linking it anything but good plays.


January Nothing to report.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: ENCORE: A nasty method by which performers get back at the audience for its feigned appreciation in the form of applause. Audiences would be well advised not to applaud at all, so that everyone can get home that much sooner. 


ORGANIST-COMPOSER-EDUCATOR Horatio Parker, the well-known American, is dead at the age of fifty-six. Dr. Parker was successively organist at Trinity Church, New York, and Trinity Church, Boston.  He was Professor of Music at Yale, and in 1904 Cambridge University [England] conferred upon him the degree Doctor of Music.


HENS AND MUSIC: The newest use for music is an electrical device that plays mus in the hen house continuously.  It is said to keep the hens so alert that more egg-laying is the consequence.

ORGANS DONATED:  It is said that the late Andrew Carnegie contributed to the purchase of 7,689 organs for churches which stood in need of them.  He spent in this one charity an aggregate of $6,298,309 in all. [$80,476, 013 and 47 cents today.]  He is quoted as having said that he would not endorse all that the clergymen spoke from the pulpit, but he would stand for every note played by the organists.


CITY SUED BY MUSICIAN: The city of Waterloo, Iowa, has been sued by a professional musician, Harley H. Burns, for $25,000 [$319,435 today.] for the loss of his fingers.  Mr. Burns fell on an icy sidewalk and lay unconscious for several hours, during which time his fingers were frozen and had to be amputated.  He was awarded a verdict of $9, 395.00. [$120,043.69 today.]

BLIND MAN”S BAND is a unique possession of Toronto, Canada.  It numbers twenty-six members.  Each musician prepares is own music-score in Braille first having listened to the playing of it by a seeing musician, then leader, who adopts this method with each member.  Everything practiced and played by the band is memorized as a matter of necessity.  Some of the musicians were soldiers who lost their sight in the world war.


ORGANS:  A notable organ, to cost $61,000 [$779, 421 and forty cents.] is soon to be erected at St. Paul, Minn. Mr. Ernest Skinner is to be the builder.  This will be one of the finest instruments in the United States.


MUSIC FOR CONVICTS:  Convicts in some of the prisons in the United States have music at their meals to keep the peace so often disturbed at this functionN

July Nothing to report.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION:  FRENCH HORN; The French Horn is actually German, and is not to be confused with the English Horn, which is French.


TRAINING DISABLED SOLDIERS:  Musical instrument for the use of men disabled in the late war are being requested by the Carry On Club. The work for these men includes training in the repair of old instruments, tuning, etc.

A WORLD STANDARD PITCH:  is the aim of certain musicians speaking before a meeting of the British Music Society.  The adoption of this measure would lessen waste and confusion and simplify the matter of musical interchange between the nations of the world.

MUNICIPAL ORGANS:  The municipal organ of Tulsa, Okla., was dedicate on May 20th with an elaborate program.  Dr. J. Lawrence Erb was the soloist.


ORGANISTS: Gatty Sellers, well-known English organist-composer, returned to England July 31st. after his tour of two hundred and twenty-four recitals in the United States, prior to which he visited the principal cities of South America.

        The Prize of $100 for the best American organ sonata, offered in November, 1919, was awarded to Harry Benjamin Jepson of Yale University.

        A Thirteen-year-old organist has been appointed to an English church.. He won out in an open competition with adult organists.

ORGANS:  Handel’s Organ in the church at Whitchurch, England, is being restored and steps taken to preserve it for the next generation. It is still in active service, and is used in church service each Sunday.


UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: ORGAN: A mythical instrument, part man and part beast, know to inhabit churches, especially one that are cold, damp, drafty and impoverished.  Can also be an effective means of suppressing sermons. 

Medieaval Organ

Medieval Italian organ. Huge keys were played with the fists. There are no stops, so the sound was always “full organ”, known as “Blockwerk” in German.

PERCY GRAINGER , the Australian pianist and composer, who has done so much to revive interest in the folk songs of Ireland, will spend the summer of 1921 in Denmark collecting and studying the folk music of that country.

CONGREGATIONAL SINGING in the Catholic Church is to be restored to its ancient place in the services by a movement to foster the singing of the Gregorian Chants by the congregation.

November Nothing to report.


Funny name/Organ composer:  William F. Sudds, one of the most popular composers of works for reed organ, arrangements for choir, etc., died on September 25th.

PERCY GRAINGER’S appearance as piano soloist caused a great sensation at the Twenty-fourth Maine Musical Festival. The reception given to Mr. Grainger is said to have been one of the greatest in his career.

RAISE IN RAILROAD FARES HAMPER MUSICIANS; The raise in railroad fares is a serious menace to certain musical organization making one-night stands. Sweeping raises of this kind almost invariably come out of the public pocket.  The public accordingly raises its rates for other commodities.



MUSIC AND PSYCHOLOGY:  Thomas Edison is offering through the American Psychology Associations, a prize of $500 [$7.138.21 today.] for the most meritorious article dealing with “The Effects of Music.”  Research bearing directly on the nature of music and the way it influences people will be welcomed.

There was a HUGE interest in Psychology in the 1920’s. 

scan_music and madness

Did Sigmund Freud ever smile? Maybe he could have used some of his own psychotherapy

SCAN Brain

From the 1920 ground-breaking book Psychology Applied to Music Teaching by J. Spencer Curwen

OPERA:  Consular representatives of France, Great Britain, Italy, Norway and Jugo-Slavia in Chicago, held a joint meeting for the sake of arousing the interest of the “foreign horn” in grand opera in that city.

ORGANISTS:  Caryl Florio, famous as composer and organist. died November 21 in a sanatorium near Asheville, N. C., where he was organist at All Souls’ Episcopal Church which was built by the late George W. Vanderbilt on his Biltmore estate.

        Clarence Eddy, the famous Chicago organist, recently gave the opening recital on the new four-manual organ in St. James Episcopal Church of that city.  Forty-eight years ago, in 1872, he gave the dedicatory on the old two-manual organ of the same church.

CINEMA ORGANS:  American organs, with American organists used to accompany the silent drama in the way American patrons have learned to appreciate, are being introduced  in some of the leading Moving Picture Theaters of London.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION:  Orchestra: The result of musicians having discovered that there is safety in numbers. 

PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC:  “To work for music credits in the public schools” and “To make American the music center of the worlds,’ are two of the “Federation Aims” decided upon for the annual meeting of the National Federation of Music CLubs, held in November at Stan-Hywit Hall in Akron, Oh.

SINGING:  The highest note ever sung by the human voice is [reported to be] that of Robert Murray, the boy soprano of Tacoma, Washington.  He reaches the D in the sixth added line above the treble staff.


ORGANIST– FUNNY NAME:  A Prodigy organist is the latest California sensation. Baby Boynton, seven years old, recently attracted wide attention by her successful manipulation of the big organ of the California Theater of San Francisco.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS  now publish at least two interesting journals devoted entirely to their interests. The Master Musician and Music and Poetry do credit to their enterprise and advancement.

MUNICIPAL ORGAN:  A $100,000 organ [$1,427,642 and 42 cents toda] municipal organ has been ordered by the city of Cleveland, Ohio.

DR. KARL MUCK: {German, deported from the United States shortly after the “Great War” for being an “enemy alien”] is one of the successors to Otto Hess, as conductor of the Opera at Munich. 

abbey organ


HIGHEST NOT EVER SUNG:  Has a new claimant, a friend of Miss Bessis Greenwood stating that she sings the G on the eighth line above the treble clef. to which Master Robert Murray [see last month’s listings] blandly adds that in bird cadenzas of his songs he carries his void to the d five degree above the G just mentioned.

TIMPANI IMPROVEMENTS: A Kettle Drum, of which the changes of tuning are accomplished by means of a pedal or foot-lever , is the invention of a Chicago firm.  The possibility of instantaneous changes of pitch greatly increases the resources of this valuable orchestral instrument.

PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC:  Instruction in all orchestral instruments is now offered by the Huntington, W. Va. public schools, the idea being to develop local talent for a future municipal symphony orchestra.

ORGANS : A $75,000 organ [One million, 70 thousand, seven hundred thirty-one dollars and 84 cents today] has been ordered for the motion picture theater at the  Eastman School of Music of Rochester, New York.

        The great organ of Albert Hall, London, is to be fitted with electro-pneumatic acti and otherwise rebuilt and brought up to modern standards at an expense of more that $100,000 [$1,427, 642.46 today] .

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Prima Donna: The most important female role in an opera.  This is, of course, largely a matter of opinion.  Derived from an Italian phrase that may be roughly translated as “pain in the neck”, although some have a lower opinion. 

ORGANISTS: Charles M. Courboin, eminent Belgian organist who is well known in American where he has concertized extensively, has been decorated by King Albert as Chevalier of the Order of King Leopold II.


VIOLINS: Cheap modern violins made equal to Strads is the claim of an inventor of Hamburg.  Herr Oldhaver’s system is based on the position of the bridge and the quality of the strings. 

ORGANS: A $120,000 organ [$1,773,170 and ninety-five cents today.] is offered by a “Prominent Citizen” of Philadelphia for the new “Victory Hall” to be complete on Parkway in readiness for the Exposition of 1926.  Free concerts is one of the conditions.

PERCY GRAINGER furnished the third of the Francis Bergen Memorial Lectures of Yale University on March 6th, his subject being “Nordic Characteristics in Music.”  The lecture was illustrated at the piano by examples from Grieg, American composers and himself.

WOMEN IN MUSIC:  Miss Emily Daymond is the first woman to pass the examination for Doctor of Music at Oxford , the degree having been conferred lat  month.

THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC  is planned, and a movement has been inaugurated to raise funds for the support of the institution. It will include a department for the preservation of African-American folksongs and plantation melodies.

ORGANISTS: John J. McClellan, organist of the Tabernacle of Salt Lake City, has been decorated with the “Order of the Crown” by King Albert of Belgium, in recognition of his playing of the Tabernacle organ on the King’s visit to that city.


UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Prodigy: A person who shows tremendous musical talent at a very early age.  Those wishing to be considered prodigy material would be well advised to die young, before it becomes apparent that they aren’t going to get any better. 

COMPOSERS: Gabriel Fauré, lont the director of the Paris Conservatoire, and one of the foremost of French musicians, is ill in his Paris home and threatened with blindness.

HARPS: NINETY harps in ensemble played Handel’s Largo at the National Association of Harpists Convention in New York in March.

STRADIVARIUS:   The “Kreutzer” Stradivarius violin, several years ago voted the best specimen of Italian make in the world in a contest held by Le Monde Musical, has been sold to an American amateur at a price equivalent to $14,000.00. [Almost a million dollars today–$199,869 and ninety-four cents.]


ORGAN COMPOSITION COMPETITION:  A $50,000 prize [$718,821 and 23 cents today.] for the best organ composition by an American-born composer, is offered by DePauw University School of Music, Greecastle, Indiana.  The competition is unusual in that it is created for the sole purpose of creating interest in composition for the organ, and the prize-winning work remains the property of the composer. 

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS:  Roland Hayes, a black tenor, has sung for the King and Queen of England at Buckingham Palace.  King George presented Hayes a diamond pin, the significant means royalty has of paying homage to great musicians.  He also observed how different were the songs from what the English were taught to believe were characteristic Blac melodies.

BOMBING AN OPERA HOUSEA bomb placed between the orchestra and stage of the Teatro Lirico of Milan, exploded between the acts of Lehar’s The Blue Mazurkakilling twenty of the orchestra and occupants of the front stalls, and injuring many others.   The theatre was wrecked and the city shaken.

UNIVERSITY BELLS:  The largest set of chimes in the world has been ordered. to be placed in the Harkness Memorial Quadrangle of Yale University. There will be ten bells in the set.

MUSIC EDUCATION:  “Music has proved itself worthy to be classed as a Major Subject, co-ordinate with reading, writing and arithmetic,” is the conclusion of the Educational Council of the Music Supervisors’ National Conference.  In consequence they demand “such readjustment of school courses as will make possible the proper and adequate teaching and us of music.”

The ancestor of LEGO!



THE “MOVIES”:  Sing and talking pictures pictures, by the simultaneous use of records and films have been successfully developed at twelve years of experimentation.  Exhibitions have been given in London, New York and elsewhere.  Hurrah for the “Talkies.”

RADIO CONCERT FOR WOUNDED MILITARY:  New York’s first radio recital, primarily for the entertainment of wounded soldiers and sailors in government hospitals, was heard also by almost 50,000 “outsiders,” as all stations within a thousand miles were invited to cut in.

ORGANISTS:  Edwin H. Lemare, for several years municipal organist for San Francisco, has been appointed to a similar position in Portland, Maine.

        Alexander Russell, organist, composer and conductor of wide reputation and Director of Music of Princeton University, received the degree Doctor of Music from that institution at the recent commencement, the first time that this degree has been conferred on an alumnus of that school.

INVENTIONS:  A music typewriter has been invented by the Rev. T. Walton, of England.  The mechanical problems, it is said, seem to have been solved, thought for some time to come it will compete with the  manuscript copyist in legibility rather than speed. 

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Snob, musical: A person who pretends to know more about music that we pretend to.

CHOIRS:  Eleven thousand singers have enrolled in what is claimed will be the largest chorus ever heard in the United States, to take part in the Pageant of Progress Exposition on the Chicago Municipal Pier, July 30 to August 14.

BLIND WOMEN COMPOSERS:  Miss Florence Golson, a young, blind and feminine composer of Alabama, has won the prize of $100 offered by the Ohio Music Teachers’ Association for the best chorus for women’s voices.  A Spring Symphony is the successful work.


ORGANISTS:  S. Tudor Strang, prominent organist and composer of Philadelphia, died at his home in Bryn Mawr on April 29th.

the etude, dec. 1911 price 15 c.In art works organists and angels are women, whereas all the angels mentioned in the Bible are male!! For about 1,950 YEARS most organists were also men!!

Why are male angels and organists not depicted by artists?

etude-female organist


FALSE RUMOR An atrociously false rumor has been circulated the Lt. Comm. John Philip Sousa had lost his hearing and could not even hear his own music. ETUDE readers are asked to contradict this flatly.  We have seen Lt. Sousa frequently of late.  His hearing is a keen as ever, and his general physical condition is far better that is has been for years.  The rumor started from the fact that he had been receiving osteopathic treatment for a slight post-nasal catarrhal condition.

CARUSO’S FUNERALin Naples naturally took on the character of a state occasion.  The populace of the city jammed the streets during the procession of the cortege.

SINGERS:  Clara Butt, greatest of English contraltos, will tour American again this season.

ELECTRONICS:  Wireless telephone experiments (according to La Musica of Rome)  have enabled operators controlling microphone amplifiers at the Berlin Stadt Theatre to send music to various stations in Europe.  Who knows–citizens of Kansas towns may

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Oboe: an ill wind that nobody blows good.

ORGANISTS:  Will C. MacFarland, formerly municipal organist of the Kotschmar Organ in Portland, has locate in New York City.  He will act as an advisor to communities where it is proposed that a municipal organ shall be installed. No man in the country is better qualified to do this work.

           Dr, Victor Baker, organist at Trinity Church, New York City, since 1897. died on August 11.

TALKING MACHINES: Sir Edward Elgar opened the new edifice of the Victor Talking Machine Company in London with a lengthy address.


              C. G Child, for many years the director of the Recording Laboratory of the Victor Talking Machine Company, is responsible for the statement that the records of Caruso’s voice  are preserved in matrices; so that as many negatives as desired may be taking at any time in the future without injury to the original matrix.  Caruso has received in royalties $1,500.000. [$21,414,636.87 today]  Income from this source for several years has been $150,000 [$2,141,465.69 today].  These royalties will now be continued to his heirs. 

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:  The largest xylophone ever made has recently been acquired by George Carey for us as soloist with the Sousa Band. The instrument is 12 feet long and is said to have cost $5,000.00. [$71, 382 and twelve cents today]


UNMUSICAL DEFINITION:  Flute: A sophisticated pea-shooter with a range of up to five hundred yards and deadly accurate in close quarters. 

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:  A collapsible Bass Drum is one of the latest wrinkles advertise in the band papers. Ahoy for a collapsible grand piano that we can all carry around in a handbag!

              BAGPIPES: The national musical instrument of Thibet, (the “Forbidden Land” opened up to the world only a few years ago by Younghusband) is the bagpipe.   The country is largely Mongolian in character and is possibly the most primative (sp.?) of civilizations of its kind. According to Geographic Magazine, an Indian army who accompanied Younghusband, so inspired the natives that the royal musician of Thibet now play “The Campbells are Coming” and “The Drunken Piper” in a way that would give paroxysms of joy to anyone show name begins with “Mac.”

CARUSO (again!):  Naples plans to name the street in which Caruso was born, “Via Caruso”.


ORGANISTSThe American Prix de Rome winner for the next two years if [organist] Leo Sowerby of Chicago, one of the most brilliant of the young American composers.


                The Society of Theater Organists of New York, which has for its purpose the raising of efficiency in playing, has recently held examinations for membership.  Tests were made  general musical knowledge, solo playing, and picture playing

                   Marcel Dupré, who has been engaged in association with Charles Courboin to appear at the Wanamaker Concerts [Wanamaker’s Department Store, Philadelphia.] is the assistant organist at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. A few years ago he played from memory in public concerts all of the [organ[ compositions of Bach

ELECTRONICS:  A wireless telephone concert in the New York Electrical Show was heard by thousands of people over an immense radius on land and at sear.

INVENTIONS:  One of the latest inventions is a Hydrostat designed to be placed in a large violin case, or in a piano for the purpose of keeping the instrument protect fo a certain degree against moisture.  THE ETUDE has had no opportunity to examine this appliance but as it was designed by a mechanical engineer who claims that he spean months in volsing the problem, it is hoped that something may have been found to help in damp climates

ETUDE IMPOSTER: An imposter representing himself as a brother of editor of “The Etude” is going about the country soliciting assistance from musicians.  The editor has no brother and should any “Etude” reader encounter this person, call the police at once and have him arrested.  This is very possibly the same man who a few years ago swindles many people by representing that he was a close relative of Mrs. H. H. A. Beach and others.  His trick is to familiarize himself with the biographies of prominent musicians and talk very glibly about them. Beware of such swindlers.



ELECTRONICS:  A radio telephone apparatus has been installed over the stage of the stage at the Chicago Opera, and the report is that anyone having a receiving apparatus within a radius of 800 miles may hear the opera by merely tuning the instrument to the proper pitch.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Tempo:  The speed at which music travels.  It is always faster in performance than it has been in rehearsal, usually by a factor of two.

COMPOSERS: Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The Dead City, an opera by the prodigy composers of Europe, rich Wolfgang Korngoldk, written for the beautiful prima donna Marie Maritz, was received with favor at its premiere in New York (Metropolitan Opera).

              Karl Michael Ziehrer, the famous Vienese (Sp. “Viennese”)  waltz composer who conducted an orchestra at the World’s Fair in Chicago [which was not until 1933] is said to be ill, penniless and literally starving at the age of 78 in Vienna. [His address is Vienna is given here.]  Perhaps some Americans lovers of the waltz who remember the Danube Waltzes and his Old Vienna may want to send him a little gift.  A dollar is American money is a small fortune in Vienna now.  Why not give the old gentleman a little surprise as one of your Christmas charities [in January?]

              Saint-Saëns recently declared in Dieppe [a coastal community in Northern France] that he was playing in public for the last time, completing seventy-five years of public appearances.  Few other artists have ever had such a lengthy career.

OPERA:  Serge Prokofieff is a chess enthusiast, and is considering writing an opera and using for characters the chessmen set against a furniture background of exotic costumes and scenery.

           The newly-invented orchestral bruiteur, or noise-making orchestral instrument invented by Lugi Russolo helped bring about the downfall of Marinetti’s opera Suprise (Sp. surprise?) his first venture into Futurism, which was vigorously hissed when produced in Naples.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION:  MESSIAH: An oratorio by Handel, attempted every Christmas by some choir that thinks it is good enough, and in collaboration with instrumentalists, who need the money.  It is the musical equivalent of death and taxes: inescapable and excruciating.

            Trick lighting:  Pavlowa has discovered a new trick in stage lighting which set all New York a talking.  The trick was accomplished by a young artist in lights and tints, Nichola de Lipsky.  It consists in producing a dissolving s scene in full view of the audience by means of lights rather than by changing the scenery itself. In the dance Dionysus, with music by Tcherepnin, the first scene bathed in ruby light shows a rockey (Sp.?) gorge.  Merely changing the color of the lights to dark night blue the gorge disappears and in its place appears a lovely lake framed by weeping willows.  It is based upon the principle that certain colors absorb certain light tints.

                 Opera singers: For the first time in years the star attraction at the Metropolitan is a soprano and not a tenor.  It is generally recognized that Mme. Galli-Curci is presented to take the place of the lamented Caruso.  If rumor is correct she receives a figure considerably greater than did Caruso, and even then was not anxious to give up even temporarily her far more lucrative concert work to take on additional opera engagements

               Caruso’s voice, singing Handel’s Largo (said to be his best record), was heard at the memorial services held in New York City.  The congregation assembled was moved to tears.

ORGANISTS:  Marcel Dupré, in his opening recital on the Wanamaker Organ at New York was received with immense favor by the group including many of the best known organists of America. [New York, in addition to Philadelphia, also had a Wanamaker Store.]

WHY are angels and organists in art female and never male,  though all of the angels mentioned in the Bible are male, and most organists were male for 1960 years!

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ORCHESTRAS: A miniature orchestra to present works of the classic repertoire not adopted [Sp.?  adapted] to large orchestras, has been organized in Chicago.  Its personnel to be composed of members of the Chicago Symphony orchestra.

CHURCH MUSIC:  Columbia University, of New York, will have one or two fellowships in Church Music due to the bequest of $20,000.00 [$304,223.81 today] made in the will of CHarles Baier to celebrate his fifty years of service as a chorister and a choirmaster in Trinity Church, New  York City.


COMPOSERS: Bach’s Cantata in Praise of Coffee in which the heroine insists upon having all of the beverage she can possibly drink despite the harsh criticisms of her father, was one of the revivals of the New York Society or Friends of Music this year.  Evidently in Bac’s day there was a kind of Kaffee Hag or Postum (?) anti-coffee propaganda at large. [According to authorities, less than half of Bach’s secular cantatas exist. There were many, some in Italian or a dialect, some based on mythological characters and sometimes approaching opera buffa.]

MUSIC FAD IN ENGLAND:  Collecting music title pages is said by a writer in the London Musical News and Herald  to be slowly developing a fad.  Some of the old title pages have, it is true, an antiquarian interest, but for the most part many of the title pages of the past are excellent material for kindling fires. [The creator and editor of this web site actually collects sheet music covers of the Art Deco style!]

EXPERIMENTAL PIANOS: The London “Times” credits Emmanuel Moore, an English musician of Hungarian extraction, with the invention of a new two manual pianoforte keyboard, which is attracting wide attention in Europe. The Times: “By a simple system of bent levers, the upper keyboard plays an octave higher than the lower.  This alone gives a great advantage in playing passages in which on the ordinary piano the hands cross on the same keyboard. Also, as both keyboards lie well in reach of one hand, extended arpeggio passages can be played without moving the hand out of one position.”

           The Jankó keyboard, also Hungarian in origin, has dropped into oblivion.



          Paul von Jankó, a Hungarian mathematician, engineer and musician developed a piano keyboard in 1882 that reduced the hand stretches required, making it easier to play in all keys.  The keyboard was stepped down toward the player as in the modern computer keyboard. It must have been a nightmare to tune. This one is in the National Music Museum on the campus of The University of South Dakota (founded 1973), The Lewison Gallery, given in memory of her husband by Merritt A. Williamson of Nashville, Tenn. in 1987. Several videos demonstrating Jankó pianos may be viewed on YouTube.

CHURCHES: Old London churches in the heart of the city deserted on Sundays, but too precious to demolish with the trend of commerce, are now opened weekdays at noon hours and performance of good music, addresses on popular sociological and ethical subjects together with interesting lantern slides, are presented for the benefit of the public.  How sensible! [The “magic lantern”–17th century to the 1940’s–projected colored transparencies on glass.]

MUSIC IN TEXAS  is continually demanding more and more attention.  Leading artists and big opera companies report ever-increasing successes.  Texas has maintained its own musical newspaper, The Musicale in Dallas for seven years!

PIPE ORGANS:  A large organ has been presented to the auditorium of Ellis Island by Robert Todd, immigration commissioner.  Concerts are given in the hall for immigrants waiting to be admitted to the new world.

         The largest organ in Southern California, with eighty stops, is being installed by the Austin Company in the new $500,000 [Today, $7 million, 605 thousand, 595 and twenty-four cents.] Methodist Church in Los Angeles.

An African-American Pageant with  music selected largely from the themes of the late Coleridge Taylor was given at Carnegie Hall, New York.  The object was to portray the struggles of blacks in their upward climb.  The conductor was Clarence Cameron White.  There was a large black orchestra and a chorus of 100 voices.


THE COLOR ORGAN again pops up in new form  This time it is called “Klavierlux.”  The player sits at a keyboard and projects colors upon a screen  Music and color are both dependent upon vibration. The inventor of the latest color keyboard is  Thomas Wilfred.  It was tried out last month and “pleased the audience.”

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CHOIRS: The St. Olaf Choir has again turned its tour into a triumphal journey.  This remarkable group of young singers (average age 21), under the direction of F. M. Christiansen, hails from St. Olaf’s (Sp. should be “St. Olaf”) College, Northfield, Minnesota.  Their programs consist of the most severely difficult a capella works of the past and the present–all sung from memory with a precision of pitch and rhythm combined with many tonal effects which may truthfully be described as sublime.  Finer choral singing is inconceivable.


CHOIR SCHOOL: London has a College For Choristers which, according to report, will supply choir boys trained for special service upon short notice.

ORGANISTS:  Pietro Yon, Italian organ virtuoso so well-known in the United States has been elected to the position of Honorary Organist of the Vatican Basilica of St. Peter’s. Yon is thirty-five years old, for two years he was assistant organist at The Vatican.  In 1907 he became organist of St. Francis Xavier’s Church in New York. During the last two years he has been devoting his time to concert playing.

         Enrico Rossi [another] famous Italian organist has been giving a series of recitals in Budapest and has been received with great acclaim.

          2536 Pieces were played on the open air Organ Concerts in San Deigo (sp?), California  under the direction of Dr. H. J. Stewart.

INVENTIONS:  A transposing [piano] Keyboard has been invented by a professor of bacteriology, Dr. Marcus Stoehr of Mt. St. Vincent College.  Thus the pianist can play the music in the key in which it is written and transpose it to any key merely by turning a lever.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Virginal: A keyboard instrument similar to the harpsichord, so called because of the sorts of ladies who were supposed to play it in the 16th century, and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. 

         A new Swedish invention substitutes pictures projected from celluloid films for the customary scenery. It is suggested that this may result in great economy in theatrical presentations.

MILK FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN: Mild served in bottles with clean straws at 10:30 A.M. in public school east and west has produced remarkable result. The gain in the Darwin School in Chicago was three pounds in three months against the customary average of slightly over one pound.  The school work of the children it is reported showed great improvement.  Frequently a “stupid” child is only a hungry child. Music teachers, perhaps this may have a thought for you.


KARL MUCK [again!], of unpleasant war-time memories is now conducting the Wagnerian Repertoire at the Madrid Grand Opera.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS:  A black performance of Martha given by the Chicago South Side OPera COmpany under the direction of James A. Mundy, was highliy praised by the leading Chicago papers.

RADIO MUSIC, which has been so much discussed in the press of late appears to be very much more successful in outlying districts than it does in metropolitan centres where “interference” is such that the results are very unsatisfactory. At present that are four Radio Stations [capitalization original] maintained for broadcasting music and news in Pittsburgh, Newark, Springfield Mass. and Chicago. In East Pittsburgh the Heiroth Organ Recitals and Sunday church services are broadcast.


MUSIC TEACHERS’ TAX: The Music Teacher’s Tax in San Francisco has been repealed.  Credit for the repeal has been given to Victor Herbert, [famous operetta composer] but in reality the fight has been going on for a least a year. A music teacher sho only earned enough to make a living had to pay as much as those who earned several thousand dollars a year.  Educational institutions and public school teachers were excepted, thus discriminating between one kind of education and another.

HAMMERSTEIN SELLS HIS OPERA HOUSE:  Hammerstein’s famous Manhattan Opera House in Thirty-Fourth Street, New York, has been sold to the Scottish Rite of Free Masons of that city.

FAMOUS WOMEN:  Miss Ethel Smythe, the noted English woman composer [not to be confused with Ehel Smith of Hammond Organ fame], has been made Dame Smythe, after the manner of Dame [Nellie] Melba and Dame [Clara] Butt. This distinction is being given to British women of great accomplishment muchas the Knighthood is given to men.

ORGANIST:  Marcel Dupre [accent on the final é missing] , the eminent French organist recently brought to American as a confrere of Charles Courboin and Alexander Russell in the famous Wanamaker concerts says, in an interview in Musical America, “It is a well known fact that mechanical improvements on American organs are far in advance of European.” [Courboin, along with LeMare, Noble and Canadian Lynnwood Farnham was among the top organists of his day.]Marcel Dupre

Marcel Dupré


ORGANIST:  Channing Lefebvre, thirty years old, has won the enviable post of organist at Trinity Church, New York,—possibly America’s most famous church.

FILM MUSIC [for silent movies] Film Opera in which the [orchestra] conductor is guided by a moving ribbon of music under the film has been tried out with some success in Berlin. ]No mention is made of how the singing is handled.]

ST. OLAF CHOIR:   Profit of ten thousand dollars [$152,111 today] was the profit of the St. Olaf Choir on its recent tour of the East.  This amount goes to the College as part of a fund for the erection of a new music building.

RADIO:  The Hansen Audio-amplifier, a queer little vacuum tube which magnifies sound in unheard of proportions may make a really wonderful change in American music  It is possible through this device to telephone concerts by wireless all over the country. This may result in a musical revolution in this and other countries.


ORCHESTRAS IN INDUSTRIES:  The Studebaker [auto] Company in Detroit is said to have the finest of all industrial Symphony Orchestras (20 performers).. This movement is spreading rapidly.  The Studebaker Company has also had a fine band for over twenty-five years.

COPYRIGHTS:  The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, upon advice from counsel, warned all radio broadcasting stations that any performance of members of the Society at any Broadcasting station will be considered an infringement of the copyright laws, unless permission is secured in advance.

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Accordions were hugely popular between the world wars. There were even accordion orchestras!

PERCY GRAINGER:  The Etude joins with its readers in sincere sympathy to Percy Grainger.  His beautiful devotion to his mother was only equaled by her loving consideration for her famous son. Mrs. Grainger was visiting offices of her son’s managers. Recovering from a severe illness, she was taken with a choking spell.  Her friend left the room for some medicine and on returning found that Mrs. Grainger had [apparently] gone to a window for air and losing control had fallen fourteen stories.  Death was of course immediate.  Mr. Grainger was conducting a program of his compositions in Los Angeles at the time.


A CLEVER SWINDLER has been duping musicians and music lovers in different cities of the East by borrowing small sums of money, representing  that he is a member of the staff of The Etude.  the editor of The Etude in person or a brother of the editor. The editor has no brothers. The swindler is also using the names of other musicians of prominence for similar purposes. Of course the only method to pursue is to refuse absolutely to lend money to anyone without taking ample time to investigate thoroughly the individual’s identity.  If any Etude reader is approached for a loan by any such stranger, place the person in the hands of the police. The swindler was last heard from in Buffalo, where he represented himself as the editor of The Etude and borrowed five dollars.

ROBERT MURRAY [again] a boy soprano, with a voice reaching to the D which falls on the sixth leger line above the treble clef, said to be the highest voice on record, has been astonishing New York City.  His imitations of bird calls at a concert given at the Hippodrome are said to have been remarkable.


ORGANISTS: Sir Frederick Bridge, so long organist of Westminster Abby and England’s greatest musical antiquarian, was honored the first week in July, by a valedictory service at Albert Hall.

MUSIC THERAPY: An English physician named Heath, according to Le Menestrel, has discovered that music is an aid to digestion and has prescribed special music for special parts of the menu.  He recommends “love songs” during the roast.


MUSIC AND HOUSEWIFERY  have been correlated in an English college established for the training of young women in Domestic Science and the Useful Arts.  Instruction is to be given in singing and piano playing, these being rated as indispensable adjuncts of the servant prepared to brighten her mistress’ life with something other than culinary accomplishments or household industry.

ORGANISTS: T. Tertius Noble, famous organist and composer of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, has been elected president of the National Association of Organists.

SAXOPHONES and SOUSA’S BAND:  Sousa ways that notwithstanding the great craze for the Saxophone and the thousands of players, he has to literally scour the country to get players good enough for the varied programs of the Sousa band.  It is one thing to play the Saxophone and another to play it well.

SCAN Saxophone in lake

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:  Manuel Nunez (Sp.? Nuñez) inventor of the Ukulele, the Hawaiian national instrument, died in July in his home in Honolulu, at the age of 79.  He was a native of Madeira, and the body of his first instrument was a cigar box.

AMERICAN ORGAN COMPOSITIONS: are having their “innings” with English players of the king of instruments.  Scarcely a recent British organ recital program has been noticed on which at least one composition by an American was not used.

INVENTIONS:  A music typewriter invented by Dr. Morris Stocher, professor of bacteriology at Mt. St. Vincent’s college in New York, has met with unusual support from musicians with aid of trained mechanics at the Steinway & Sons.  The instrument resembles an ordinary piano keyboard above which there are rollers over which pass strips of paper not unlike the rollers in a player-piano.  The operator plays upon the keyboard in the regular manner and the music played is records upon [a] paper roll. Another part of the device makes it possible to have when is played cut on  player roll if necessary.  Although in its development stage, a man in the industry as Mr. Ernest Urchs of Steinway and SOns has been actively interest in its development.  The instrument will permit the recording of improvisations, etc., and has already been said to have arousedd great interest.

JAZZ COMPOSERS: The Jazzification of Europe seems to be about complete.  Irving Berlin, who has returned from the white light districts of European capitals reports that he heard as much American Jazz “Over there” as he did in America. [The editor has not found a definition of “white light districts”, but since “red light districts” are known for prostitution, he presumes that the white light districts were legitimate districts of cities, probably containing night clubs, since the reference is to jazz.]


HUGE BAND: A band of 6,000 pieces, the largest organization of this class in the world’s history, is to be a feature of the annual conclave of the one hundred and fifty-six temples of the Mystic Shriners of North America, which is soon to convene in Washington D.C.

CHURCH MUSIC HISTORY:  History of Church Music Services are being held in many American churches. In these, specimens of church music, from Palestrina to the present day, are being interpreted.  Before each number a short talk is given with the idea of making the listeners familiar with the composers and their works.

NATIVE INDIAN MUSICIANS: An orchestra and choir of native indians is maintained on Annette Island, Alaska, far off the beaten path of travel.  Presbyterian missionaries direct the organizations, and the choir of forty voices sings in the services of the local church.

ORGANISTS: MARCEL DUPRE [Accented é missing], the eminent French organist, arrived in America on September 27, to begin a recital tour, including most of our states and Canada. A unique feature of his programs will be his improvisations for which he has a rare gift.

       Organist  John Henry Gower, Mus. Doc. and maternal descendant of Sir Walter Scott, died in Denver, Colorado, July 30. A native of Rugby, England, he was a remarkable organist and composer.  At twelve years of age he was assistant organist at Windsor Castle.

SAXOPHONES: 3,000 saxophones per month is the present output of the American factories. Jazz! Jazz!  Jazz!

JAZZ BANNED: No “Jazz” in Asheville is the slogan of that enterprising North Carolina mountain “burg.'” Through the efforts of the Saturday Music Club, Local 128 of the American Federation of Musicians, has adopted the following resolution: “Resolved,  That orchestra musicians playing an engagement must conduct themselves as if they were on a professional engagement, and refrain from making any unnecessary noises not indicate in the music, or making movement conspicuously noticeable that would tend to detract from the dignity of their performances.”SCAN- Orchestra-Jazz


FRENCH ORGANIST:  Joseph Bonnet has recently been decorated by the French government as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. He will return to American in January for an extended series of organ recitals.



INVENTIONS: The synchronization of the film and its musical counterpart seems to be solve by the “Veritiphone,” an invention of Claude H. Verity, of Leeds, England.  It aims at the alliance of sound and movement by the combination of a double set of “super-gramophones,” and and ingenious indicator which shows when the film and the sound record are together.

             The Pallophotophone, for photographing and reproducing sound, has been invented by Charles A. Hoxie, of the General Electric Company laboratories.  Sound waves cause a diaphragm to vibrate; the oscillations of this beam are photographed on a moving film from which they are reproduces by an electrical apparatus sensitive to light, which produces an ordinary telephonic current.

ORGANS: The popularity of the pipe organ is developing almost unbelievably.  According to a report of the Department of Commerce at Washington, the product of the organ factories during the past year showed an increase of 36.7 per cent in number and 130.6 per cent, in value beyond tose made in 1921.  As an indication of change in popular taste, it might be mentioned that in the same period the value of the manufacture of reed organs decreases 50.7 per cent.

                The electrically elevated organ console is one of the late inventions.  It is for theatrical use and one of the first has been installed in the New Strand Theater, of Niagara Falls, New York.  By means of this, when the organ is being used for a “feature” number, the console and organist may be raised into full view of the audience.


OPERA SINGERS: The now-mostly-forgotten opera soprano, Marie Rappold may sing in her apartment at night, by the decision of Justice Panken of the Municipal Court of New York in an eviction case brought by her landlady, who attempted to extort an additional thousand dollars in rental from the diva

PLAYER-PIANOS:  The original player-piano invented by Edwin S. Votey, in 1806, has been presented to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.

ORGANS: The new organ at St. Luke’s Church, of Evanston, Illinois was dedicated during the week of October 15th, by a series of recitals by Herbert E. Hyde, organist and choirmaster of St. Luke’s and organists of Chicago and Evanston.  The organ is rated as the largest in any church of Chicago or vicinity.


CARILLONS: A carillon of forty-two bells, the largest in this country, has been ordered from the famous Croydon, England, foundry.  It is to be a gift from Joh. D. Rockefeller to the Park Avenue Baptist Church of New York.

ORGANISTS and ORCHESTRA: Marcel Dupré and Charles Courboin at the organ, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, under [organist] Leopold Stokowski, joined in a gala concert in the grand court of the Wanamaker Store, of Philadelphia, on December 26th [boxing day], M. Dupré uniting the organ with the orchestra in playing the Second Chorale of César Franck in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the composer’s birth in this month.

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The grossest organ in the world, Atlantic City, N. J.

“Gross” it is!

ORGANS: The Worcester (England) Cathedral organ has broken down and a piano is being used for the services.  The original instrument, build in 1613

ORGANISTS:  Dr. Herbert Brewer, organist of Gloucester Cathedral and director of the Gloucester Festival, has been elected to the position of High Sheriff of the city.  In a subsequent service of the cathedral, Dr. Brewer, in his dual office, played in hi High Sheriffian robes and chains, with the new Mayor and Council in attendance.


ORGANISTS:  Dr. John McE. Ward [“Monkey Ward” HA![ has just celebrated his thirty-fifth as organist at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Philadelphia.  The church doubled his salary and asked him to stay for another thirty-five years.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS: The S. Coleridge Taylor Musical Society of New York, founded by black citizens, has a membership of 1000. It now announces that it will form a symphony orchestra and a chorus of one hundred voices.

NEW EDIFICES: Los Angeles has a new magnificent motion picture theater known as the “Graumann.” which seats over 1000.  It is said to compare in size and richness of decorations and furnishings with the finest opera houses of the world. It will maintain a symphony orchestra of fifty musicians.  When one remembers the almost fabulous outlay for auditorium organs, etc., the future of music in American is truly immense.

THEATERS CLOSE IN GERMANY:  The theaters in Berlin have almost all closed their doors because of the inability to pay the actors’ salaries, according to a report in the Paris Le Courier Musicale.


ORGANISTS:  Edwin H. Lemare, the distinguished municipal organist of Portland, Maine, is especially proud of the career of his father (also Edwin), organist and composer, recently retired from Holy Trinity Church, Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

            Miles H. Foster, and English organist of wide reputation and internationally known composer died recently in London.

Funny name, N. P. Coffin, founder of twenty-five choral organizations and head of the Mendelssohn Glee Club since 1919, died in New York on March 7 from a heart attack.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Music stand: An intricate device for propping up music, except at crucial times, such as during a performance.  It come in two sizes– too high or too low. 


ORGANISTS:  Charles Heinroth has played his 2,000th free organ recital at Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh.  For this Adolph M. Foerster composed a souvenir prelude based on a motive beginning with the initials of the organist.

         Charles France Abdy Williams, eminent English organist and authority on the organ, died February 27th, at Milford, Lymington.  Also, he was recognized as being one of the best-informed of contemporary students of Greek music and ancient rhythms.

         Eugène Gigout’s sixtieth anniversary as organist of the Church of Saint-Augustin has been celebrated in Paris with elaborate ceremonies. According to Le Menestrel,  this “evidently constitutes a world record” for the services of an organist. Paul Léon, Organist of Saint-Germain-des-Pres [correct spelling “Germain” without the “s”] , played Gigout’s  Introduction et Thème Fugue.  Among the aged master’s pupils present were Messager, Gavrield Fauré and Albert Roussel.

ORCHESTRAS:  The Royal Egyptian Orchestra, consisting of native singers and musicians from Cairo and under the direction of Sheik Hadji Tamar, are to give concerts in America next season.  They will appear in native costume and some of their instruments will date back to the time of Tut-ankh-Amen.

COPYRIGHT ISSUES:  License for broadcasting copyright music, though not yet compelled by law, has been conceded by five of the largest broadcasting stations, because of pressure from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.


TUT”S MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:  Two cistrums from Tut’s tomb have been added to the world’s relics of ancient music, according to Julius Maxfield in Musical Courier.  Dating back at least 30 centuries, these instruments are of especial interest in assisting to resolve the controversy as to the instruments mentioned in II Samuel, VI, 5.

ORGANS:  A new $12,000 organ is to be built in Trinity Church, New York, to be ready for use in October.  It will be a double organ and will retain the great and pedal diapasons of the present gallery organ, which was built in 1846. [$12,000 in 1923 is to $179,331.93 in 2019.)


PAY FOR RADIO MUSICIANS: Radio concert artists should be paid for their services, is the dictum of the concert managers of New York; and they have begun action towards this end by inserting a clause in their contracts to the effect that artists under their management may not appear at radio concerts without compensation.

RADIO COPYRIGHTS:  Radio broadcasting is still in such an uncertain state, as far as the copyright regulations are concerned, that the leading music publishers of the country have decided that during this year their publications may be broadcasted without restrictions.

TALKING MACHINES:  Two-and-a-quarter millions of dollars increase in the value of their business in 1923, is the report of one of the leading talking machine companies. [This tallies to $33, 624, 736.84 in today’s dollars.]

SINGERS:   Ida Sylvania, an American coloratura soprano, has been arousing much enthusiasm by her singing in Italy.  Her recent debut at Violetta in “La Traviata,” in Venice was a real triumph. She has been characterized as “The girl with the million-dollar voice that was developed by calling the cows on her father’s farm in Pennsylvania.”

ORGANS:  The Great Town Hall Organ of Sydney, Australia, with its famous leviathan 64-foot bass-pipe, is having a thorough renovation, including new “lungs.”

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            PERU, INDIANA:  An organ for the Community Center of Peru, Indiana, has been given by the Selis-Floto Cirens, the instrument having been in use at their winter quarters in that city.  This gives Peru the distinction of being one of first of our cities to have a large organ for its Community Service.

           HAMPTON, VIRGINIA Hampton Institute, of Hampton, Virginia, early in May celebrated its fifty-fifth anniversary with elaborate music programs, including the dedication in Ogden Hall of the Frissel Memorial Organ by Chandler Golthwaite, municipal organist of St. Paul.

CONDUCTORS:  Arturo Toscanini, according to report, has abandoned all concert and operatic conducting, because of failing eyesight.’


ORCHESTRAS:  Thirty-five hundred violinists from the school orchestras of London and vicinity gave a concert in the Crystal Palace on June 9th

CARILLONS:  A carillons of bells, set in a handsome tower, and said to be the finest in Europe, is being erected at Loughborough, the center of the bell industry of England It is to be the War Memorial of the town and will be inaugurated on July 22 .

ORGANISTS:  Mrs. Alice J. Skolfield, now in her eighty-first year, is still active as organist and choir director of St. Patrick’s Cathedral of Lewiston, Maine, which position she has held for more than a quarter of a century, during which she has played over fifteen hundred masses.

          Clarence Eddy gave a recital on the new Bennett organ of the Sacred Heart Church of Moline, Illinois, on April 22, for which seats sold at five dollars and the receipts were over forty-five hundred dollars, close to a new record for organ recitals. [$5 equals $73 in 2049, $4500 equals $67, 249.47]

COMPOSERS:  Igor Stravinsky  is reported to be planning a visit to America next season, principally to hear how some of his works are interpreted here and especially by the Philadelphia Orchestra under [organist/conductor] Stokowski.

Grainger at the Hammon-1

Percy Grainger at the “Mighty Hammond Electronic Organ”

Grainger was interesting in new inventions and himself invented some electronic musical devices.


School Music:  Music as a major subject in the high schools has been included in the curriculum of Washington schools by the State Boards of Education.  This big step forward in the recognition of music as an academic subject is a credit to our great northwestern state.

BALLET: The Diaghileff Russian Ballet, at the close of its present season in Paris, it is said, will be disbanded. A real loss to the art world.

ORCHESTRAS: Free symphony concerts for Atlanta are provided by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Association, which has been organized and is to be support by leading citizens of the Metropolis of Dixie.

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INVENTION: A new piano keyboards has been invented by Dr. Moritz Stoehr of New York.  By shortening the black keys, thus leaving a space between the back of them and the fall-board, a portion of the keyboard formerly unavailable to players is brought within use, thus eliminating many finger difficulties which have hindered transitions between black and white keys.

WORLD MUSIC: The first Eskimo music to be brought to civilization will be that on the phonograph records to be made by Dr. Donald MacMillan and his party while on his present exploring expedition of the arctic regions.

VIOLINS:  The secret of the famous Cremona varnish, used by Amati, Stradivarius and others, is reported to have been discovered by Mons. Luc Gallianne, in an old Italian Manuscript.


MUSIC NOTATION:  The 900th birthday of music notation has been celebrated in Europe. Our present system of notation was invented by Guido d’Arezzo in 1023.

A HUGE PRODUCTION CALIFORNIA STYLE:  “The Wayfarer,” a Passion oPagent was produced in the Los Angeles Coliseum September 8-15. Four thousand singers and three thousand actors book part in the performance.


THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ORGANISTS  met in conventions in Rochester, New York. August 27. Among the leading speakers were T. T. Noble, President, H. C. Macdougal, Frank L. Sealy and Harold Thompson. Recitals were given by T. T. Noble, Healey Willan, S. W. Sears and Palmer Christian.

FUNNY NAME/OPERA IN HEBREW:  “Traviata” in Hebrew was given a performance in Jerusalem on July 31.  Translated for the first time into the ancient Hebrew, the oopear had had an initial performance at Te Axix.  Mme. Must, of Moscow, was the Violetta.

WM. BYRD, FAMOUS ORGANIST:  The Byrd Tercentenary, celebrating the third centennial of the death of William Byrd, the eighteenth [16th] century English composer, was honored by special performances of his works in the Chapel Royal, St. James Palace, where he was once organist, and in the leading of London churches. Some English critics maintain that Byrd was the greatest of all English creative workers in music.’=

INVENTION: A Non-Shellac phonograph record has been invented by European chemists. It makes possible the use of leather, blotting paper, cardboard or other paper, line or cotton cloth as a base. The new process is claimed to enable the printing instead of molding of records so that on a rotary press as many as fifty thousand a day may be made.

A “BACH’ ORGAN: The organ on which Bach played at Lüneburg, from 1700 to 1703, and which was made in 1537, is ito be restored and modernized.  The original stops are to be retained. It was while living in Luneburg [umlaut missing] , young and unknown, and when returning penniless from on of his long foot journeys, that occurred the widely known incident of having the Danish ducats in herring head thrown to him.

MUSICIANS WAGES:  $18 to $25 per week increase in wages is being asked by theatrical musicians of New York, on a threat of a strike.


RAVEL TO VISIT AMERICA:  Maurice Ravel, one of the foremost of living French composers, is announced for an American tour in the coming season, as recitalist and guest conductor.

FUNNY NAME/SINGING PREVENTS INFLUENZA: Singing is the best preventive of influenza, if we are to believe Dr. Henry Coward, the widely-known English choral conductor, who stated that, during epidemics inn several years when it made considerable ravages, there was a total of but two deaths among fifteen hundred to two thousand choristers who attended each week the rehearsals which he directed.

STRADIVARIUS;  An authentic portrait of Stradivarius, according to seemingly reliable reports, has been discovered in the possession of a Genoa antiquary and has been purchased by a pianomake of Cremona.


A STRADIVARIUS PURCHASED;  $150,000 for the “Betis Strad” is a record price reported to have been paid by J. S. Freeman, the American collector, to H. C. Waddell, of lLasgow, Scotland, for the instrument mentioned. [150k in 1923 is comparable to $2, 202, 691.52 in 1918.]

ORGANS: A memorial organ is to be placed in the Town Hall of New York, through the generosity of Mr. James Speyer, widely known for his philanthropies.  The idea back of the movement is that the Town Hall, a center of culture and refinement, should have a musical equipment.(?)

            ORGAN FOR SOUTH AFRICA:  A Johannesburg Municipal Organ has been installed in the enterprising South African city.  It has ninety-seven stops and six thousand one hundred and eighty-eight pipes. The Town Hall organ in Sidney, Australia with its one hundred and thirty speaking stops, holds first place for size among the municipally owned organs of the world. The Wanamaker organ, in the Grand Court of the Wanamaker Store of Philadelphia, with two hundred and thirty stops, is the premier instrument of the work, for size.

MUSIC STUDY REQUIRED FOR DEGREE: Music as a unit of study for a B. A. Degree has been added to the courses of study offered by two leading British institutions of learning, the University of Durham and the University of Leeds. Slowly but surely the tonal art is winning its way to recognition as a subject for serious consideration by the learned.

NATIVE AMERICAN MUSICIAN; Oskenonton, a Mohawk Indian singer, has been most favorably received in London.

now chopsticks etude, '33

As mentioned previously, artists are notorious for drawing organs inaccurately. In the above cartoon the pipes are upside down!

ORGANISTS:  Famous organist, T. Tertius Noble has been voted to be the most popular composers of anthems and his “Souls of the Righteous,” the favorite work in this class, by a questionnaire circulated among prominent organists of the country.  [Noble left his position choirmaster/organist of York Cathedral, England, to take the same post at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, where he founded the famous choir school, which strives yet today. He had a tremendous influence on church music in American until his death in 1954. holding high posts in The American Association of Organists, which later merged with the American Guild of Organists  He was a concert organist as well as a composer of both organ and choral music.]

              Marcel Dupré has been decorated with the insignias of the Legion of Honor by the French Government, in recognition of his services to French art throughout the world, and especially to the distinction which has given to organ playing. He began his second [organ concert] tour with a recital in the New York Wanamaker Auditorium on September 29; and at Montreal, between October 1 and 29 he played a series of ten concerts in which he performed from memory the entire organ works of Bach.

COMPOSERS: Frederick Delius, the eminent English composer, suffered a stroke of paralysis several months ago and is now confined to a wheel chair.

           Horatio Parker’s original manuscript scores have been presented by his widow to Yale University. [Parker was among the greatest of American Romantic composers, having composed many fine works for organ along with vocal and instrumental music.]

UNMUSICAL DEFINITIONMusicians: Individual bent upon producing sound or noise by means of scraping, hitting, beating, or blowing into an object made of wood, brass of catgut.  Orchestral musicians are allowed to sig, for which they get paid extra.  Most musicians can count to at least four, and some to five.  Not to be confused with singers. 

Tracker vs. Electric

FAMOUS TENOR:  John McCormack has this Spring been singing in Germany for the first time and has stirred his audiences to enthusiasm. [McCormack, Irish tenor and Papal Count, was the Pavarotti of his day.]

CONDUCTOR:  Serge Koussevitsky is to be the leader of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, beginning in the autumn of 1924. Koussevitsky has never been to America, and he will be the first Russian to conduct this famous organization.

ORCHESTRA:  The third new symphony orchestra to be launched in New York within this past year is rumored to be about to be started on a season of twenty weeks, by Dirk Foch, the Dutch conductor.


CHILD PRODIGY COMPOSER:  Nino  Rota Rinaldi, eleven years of age, recently directed an orchestra in Milan during a performance of an Oratorio which he had written. He has been spoken of as “a Second Mozart.”

ORGANISTS:  Edwin H. Lemare has resigned as municipal organist of Portland, Maine, after two years of service.  Previous to his accepting the Portland post Mr. Lemare had been for several years in a similar position at San Francisco. His brilliant work in his various positions and concert tours has placed him in the front rank of living organists.

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           William Churchill Hammond played his seven hundred and forty fifth recital at the Second Congregational Church, Holoke, Massachusetts, on Sunday evening, September 2d. [This ‘2d’ is correct, formerly used as an abbreviation of “second”.]

BELLS: Bell-ringing is to be included among the musical studies of Birmingham University [England]. The subject will be included in the Acoustics’ [apostrophe original] course. A special collection of bells is being made for purposed of demonstration and practice.

POP SINGER FOR WESTMINSTER ABBEY:  For the first time in the history of the church and stage, it is believed, a musical comedy actor is holding the position of lay vicar of Westminster Abbey. Mr. Dennis Noble [relative of T. Tertius Noble?] , by courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of the Abbey, is now appearing in “Had Over Heals” at the Adolphi Theatre. [Adult male chorus singers in major English churches have the title of “Lay Vicar”.]

AUTOMATED ORGANS:  The organola (Self-player organ) has been introduced into the churches of Spain, though not without protests from the musical fraternity.

trials of an organist, the etude, march 1932

Organists have ALWAYS been abused by clergy. choir directors and others, as this 1923 article describes.  Seems that some things never change until THEY GET WORSE!

Weddings and funerals are especially prone to organist abuse.

(Please see a subsequent article on accompanist abuse, as most organists do a lot of accompanying.)



COMPOSERS & LAWSUITS:  Giacomo Puccini is reported to have entered suit against the Ricordi firm of music Publishers,  for an alleged affront to his dignity and artistic personality, resulting from the publication of a fox trot including a theme from “Madame Butterfly.”

ORGAN BUILDERS: William King, one of the pioneer organ builders of America, died at his home in Chicago, October 1, 1923, at the age of 87. He was the builder of many fine instruments in New York, Philadelphia and other large cities.

ORGANISTS:  Marcel Dupre (é) finished on October 20, a series of ten recitals in the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, aat Montreal, Canada, in which for the third time he has interpreted for the public the entire organ works of Bach.

           Gatty Sellers, who has given more than twenty-five hundred recitals in American, has been appointed Organist and Musical DIrector of the Kingsway Hall of London, one of the most desirable positions Britain has to offer to the recital organist.

           Organists of Lichfield Cathedral:   But three organists in one hundred and twenty-three years is the record of Lichfield, England. Mr. J. B. Lott has but recently resigned after 40th-three years of service.

SINGERS: Enrico Caruso’s estate received from the Victor Talking Machine Company the sum of $585,727, as royalties on his records for the years 1921-1922. [Equal to $8,753, 296.11 today.]




COMPOSER:  Rimsky-Korsakoff’s farm house near Leningrad, where the composer lived in his later years, has been allowed to remain in the possession of his children and grandchildren, contrary to the general practice of the Soviet government of confiscating all lands of the bourgeoisie, because of the composer’s service to Russian music.

NEW MUSIC CONSERVATORY ESTABLISHED IN PALESTINE:  A music conservatory in Palestine is to be established as a memorial to the Jewish soldiers who died in the World War.

OLYMPIC GAMES MUSIC:    The Olympic Games Music Medal offered by the committee in charge of the event which took place in Paris this summer, drew but a small response from composers.  One of the manuscripts received required a chorus of 4000, 600 trumpets, 300 clarinets, 100 doublebasses, 200 tubas, and 50 bassoons. Unhappily for the composers, whis is nameless, the jury ‘estimated that there is very little of music in the composition.’

HISTORIC PIANO:   The oldest Chickering piano in private ownership has been found in the possession of Lewis Herreshoff of Bristol, R. I., a member of the celebrated family of yacht builders. The grandfather of the present owner purchased the instrument personally from Jonas Chickering, on December 18, 1823.

SINGERS:  [Amelita] Galli-Curci [1882-1963] established a new record for the Hollywood Bowl, if not for American, when she ang on June 5th to an audience gathered form one hundred and sixteen cities and paying admissions in the amount of twenty-five thousand, nine hundred and twenty-five dollars. [Almost $387,000 in 2019 terms. Galli-Curci, a coloratura soprano, was one of the most famous singers of the 20th century. ]


NEW MUSIC SCHOOL:  A College of Music costing $600,000 [almost 9 million today] with an endowment of two millions [$29,884, 654.97 today] is a part of a new university to be established at Burbank, near Los Angeles, California, by a gift of $11,400,000 [$170,365, 333.333 today] from an unnamed altruist.

ANCIENT HARP DISCOVERED:  A harp 3,700 years old has been discovered near the Euphrates.  It is one of the oldest known to be in existence and has been shipped to the Louvre.

ORGANS: OLD AMERICAN ORGAN  The organ in the “Old Peach Church,” near Mechanicsburg, Pa., said to be the second pipe-organ built in America, and installed in 1807–with six stops and three hundred pipes–is still in use. [Inaccurate since as early as 1735 William Claggett built an organ for Christ Church, Boston. 18th century American organ builder David Tannenberg built many fine organs as good as any in Europe.]

            ORGAN IN ROYAL ALBERT HALL:  The “Grand Old Organ” of Albert Hall of London is to be restored and modernized at an expense of about one hundred thousand dollars.[$1,494,432. 75 today.]

           ORGAN FOR PRINCETON Princeton University is to increase its musical equipment by the installation of a large modern organ in its new Chapel which is to cost one and a half millions of dollars. [Almost 153 million today.] This is to be one of the finest church building in the United States as well as one of the most imposing college difices in the world.

           BARREL ORGAN:   A barrel organ is still in used in the parish church of Trottiscliffe (Kent), England. This is probably the last church of Great Britain to make a similar use of this instrument.  It has a repertoire of sixy hymn tunes and the sexton officiates at the handle.

Crank organ - 1Barrel organ

Barrel (crank) organs.

ANCIENT MUSIC TABLET;  An Assyrian musical table, dating from about 800 to 2,000 B. C., has been deciphered by Dr. Kurt Sachs of the Berlin High School of Music.  It had long been lying in the Prussian State Museum and shows that the Assyrian scale consisted of  five notes nearly approaching the sounds of the five black keys of the piano, and that the  music was played on a harp of twenty strings.

THE N.A.O, National Association of Organists:  met at Atlantic City July 28th to August 1st. An unusually large attendance marked the meeting and especially of the more notable performers of the country. T. Tertius Noble, of New York, was elected president for the ensuing year.

COMPOSER & CINEMA SCORE:  Darius Milhaud has composed the music for “L’Inhumaine,” the first film play to be produced in France with a specially written score.

HUGE BEETHOVEN AUDIENCE:  Seventeen thousand persons heard Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony” when it was given at the Lewisohn Stadium of New York, July eighteenth.



ORGANS:  A six-manual and full pedal keyboard, with 9737 pipes and costing one hundred and eighty thousand dollars [more than $2.5 million today], is to be installed in the Kindt Theatre, being built at a cost of half a million dollars [a little over $7 million today] and seat ten thousand people, in Davenport, Iowa.


ORGANISTS: The Women Organists  of Boston  have formed a Women Organ Players’ Club, which is believed to be the first organization of this nature on record.

        William Wolstenholme, the well-known blind organist and composer of England, has been elected President of the COuncil of London Society of Organists, for 1925.


MUSIC EDUCATION:  The proposed “Music and INdustrial High School of the City of New York” is planned to have a capacity of twenty-five thousand students and to be operated on a scale to make New York the world leader in municipal artistic enterprises.

COMPOSERS:  Igor Stravinsky made his American debut at Carnegie Hall, New York, on January 1, when he led the New York Symphony Orchestra in a program entirely of his works.

JEWISH OPERA:  The first native Jewish opera is announced for an early presentation at Jerusalem.  It is “Ha Chalutz”(The Palm Leaf) by Weinberg, a young pianist of Jerusalem, and the story deals with the life of the Jews in Galilee, including rituals and holy day customs.

PIANOS: An American quarter-tone piano by Dr. Morris Stoehr, is said to be an advance over the one made in Germany in that it is contained in a single case, is less bulky and has a keyboard no longer that the regular grand piano.

BANDS: The largest Boy Scout Band  of the world hails from Springfield, Missouri. It has a membership of two hundred and eighty-five, from which a concert band of one hundred and fifty  members is sustained. This Concert Band will in June make a tour of the principal cities east of the Rocky Mountains.

(BELOW) List of fees singers should have to pay for organists and pianists. My favorite, under “Literature Infractions”— “Arias from the Messiah”, $200 each.

Accompanist police fees

ORGANISTS:  Women artist-organists are on the increase.  When the American Guild of Organists was instituted thirty years ago, but four of the one hundred and forty-five founders were women.  On the present roll of five hundred and and thirty six Associates, two hundred and fifteen are women, and of the the one hundred and ninety-two Fellows, forty-eight are feminine.

ORGANS:  About two thousand organs are reported to have been made in the United States during 1924.

           THE ORGAN OF THE TROCADERO  in Paris is in a bad state of disrepair, so that many of the pipes are unavailable.  It is one of the masterpieces of the great Cavaillé-Coll factory and was built at the time of the Great Exposition of 1878.

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For young readers’ information, “The Mutual Broadcasting System” was a major broadcaster in the early days of Radio.

COMPOSERS: Igor Stravinsky, the eminent Russian composer, made his American debut as a conductor when, in the first week of January he led the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in three programs of his own compositions taken in historical sequence from earliest to last.  Many of his compositions are already too familiar to concert-goers to need further comment.  As a conductor he has made a very favorable impression.


CONCERT HALLS:  Carnegie Hall will not be torn down at the end of the present five years lease, according to the announcement of Robert E Simon, its present purchaser from the Carnegie estate.

EXPERIMENTAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS;  A five-string cello has been given a demonstration before the Institute of Musical Art of New York, by the inventor, Vladimir Karapetoff of Cornell University.

ORGANS:  The Chapel Royal, St. James Palace, London, has a new organ (three manuals with all latest improvements).

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With a name like “Calve” one must wonder whether she sang like a cow!

THEATER ORCHESTRAS:  Disappearing Orchestra Pits have been introduced in the Balaban and Katz motion picture houses. For overtures or “star” numbers the pie rises in view of the audience, then sinking out of sight for the remainder of the performance.

MUSIC INDUSTRY: Seven hundred million dollars is spent annually in the United States for music, according to late statistics.  Of this, two thirds are paid for public performances and one third is spent for instruments. [A little over 10 billion in today’s currency.]

COMPOSERS:  Igor Stravinsky played his new Piano Concerto for the first time in America , at the concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Boston, January 23 and 24. Critics of “The Hub” and other places where the work has been subsequently performed, are diverse in their views as to its merits.


COMPOSITIONS:  Quarter-tone compositions for two pianos had their world premier to the public, at a concert of the Franco-American Musical Society, in Aeolian Hall, New York, on the evening of February 15.

STRADIVARIUS:  The Ames Stradivarius, said to be valued at thirty-five thousand dollars [a little over half a million $ today] is now in American, for exhibition with a collection of other famous violins.  It is reported to be one of the choicest pieces of workmanship by the Cremona master.


CHOIR SCHOOLS: The oldest choir school in England is that connected with Norwich Cathedral, which was in existence as far back as 1330.  J. H. Brockbank, the present schoolmaster of the choir, has held this post for forty-three years.

BANDS:  The proposed Texas band law is included in a bill “authorizing cities and towns to establish and maintain municipal bands and to appropriate funds of the municipality for that purpose.”


MUNICIPAL ORGANS & ORGANISTS: A new municipal organ and organist are to be the latest musical additions to Dallas, Texas.  The organ is to be installed in the Fair Park Auditorium, which has a seating capacity of 5,500.


MUSIC PRINTING: A Gregorian church service, printed in Paris in 1509, and probably one of the oldest examples of music printing extant, is to be seen in the Garcia Library of the University of Texas.

COMPOSERS (organ) :  Aaron Copland, the young New York composer, has been awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship of $2,500 a year for foreign study. Mr. Copland’s Symphony for Organ and Orchestra was recently performed by the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch and by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitsky.

ORGANISTS: The memory of Sir. Frederick Bridge, has been honored with a tablet in Westminster Abbey, where he was so long organist and choirmaster.  Also a scholarship, to be known as the “Bridge Memorial,” is being established to assist ex-choristers of the Abbey toward their further education.


CIVIC MUSIC:  Baltimore, Maryland, is the only city of the world so far reported to us as having a Music Department as a regular branch of its city government. Frederick R. Huber is the present and first Municipal Director of Music for Baltimore.

EXPERIMENTAL INSTRUMENTS;  A new piano pedal enabling the performer to hold, swell or diminish tones after the key has been struck, has been invented by John Hayes Hammond, Jr. It has had a successful private trials in Symphony Hall, of Boston.

          A music-writing machine is reported to have been perfected by a Czecho-Slovakian priest. After seven years of work and experimentation, he has an automatic mechanism which records the notes as they are played on a piano or organ.

COMPOSERS:  Erik Satie, one of the best known of the modern French composers, passed away July 3.  An intimate of Debussy and Ravel, and a champion of “The Six,” his lectures served to introduce several composers who later became famous.  His compositions include ballets, incidental music to plays, and numerous piano pieces, mostly with fantastic titles.


Erik Satie

ORGAN BUILDERS:  George Ashdown Audsley, born in Scotland, but having spent most of his life in America as a leading ecclesiastical and organ architect, and the author of several authoritative works on organ building, architecture and the allied arts, died in the last week of June.

HUGE CHOIR/ORGANIST DIRECTOR:  A choir of three thousand voices sang before King George, Queen Mary and the Duke of York at the Wembley Stadium on May 25. The performance was conducted by Dr. Charles MacPhersch, organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral.


INVENTIONS:  The “Plebetone” in as new musical instrument, reported to have been invented S. Gilev, a Russian musician, and which he hopes will replace the piano. Much smaller in size, its tone is said to exceed the volume of that of the piano.  Operated by the regulation keyboard, instead of strings, there is a comb-like arrangement, while the hammers are replaced by tiny pincers which grasps the comb when notes are struck. [What?]


HARPSICHORDISTS:  Wanda Landowska, eminent harpsichordist, has been named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.  Her great service to the art has been through the interesting interpretation of the classics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. [Landowska is reported to have told someone, “You play Bach your way, I’ll play Bach Bach’s way!]

CHURCH FIRE DESTROYS ORGAN:  The Ruggles Street Baptist Church of Boston, long famous for its famous organ and musical services, was recently destroyed by fire.


COMPOSERS:  Korngold has complete a new opera entitles “The Miracle of Heliane.”

ORGANS: A new municipal auditorium, now under construction in San Antonio, Texas, is to have a seating capacity of six thousand, to contain a fine organ and Recital  Hall all at a cost of a million dollars. [A little over $14.5 million today]

RADIO:  Broadcasting programs of America and England =, during the coming winter, will be exchanged by plans which have been made by the British Broadcasting COmpany and the Radio Corporation of America.

FREAK RADIO RECEPTION:  is reported from Brandamore (near Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, where night agent of the Reading Railway has heard concerts and addresses broadcast from London, Paris and Berlin.  His “set” consists simply of five miles  of telephone wire used for a railway telephone, which serves as an aerial, and no other equipment than his telephone apparatus.



COPYRIGHTS:   Broadcasters agreed to compensate composers and all owners of copyrights for the use of protected compositions  Details are still to be worked out and agreed upon.

ORGANS; MUNICIPAL organs are reported to be in twenty-seven cities, with twenty-three of those cities hiring municipal organists.

WOMEN IN MUSIC:  The Women’s Symphony Orchestra of Philadelphia made its first appearance of the the season with the Philadelphia Music Club in the grand ballroom of the Bradview-Stratford Hotel last November 24. It is made up of a complete symphony with seventy members under the baton of J. W. F Lehman.

RADIO:  No more broadcasting licenses will be issue until there has been a reduction in the number of stations now broadcasting, according the a resolution passed at the suggestion of Secretary Hoover, and this is in spite of one hundred seventy-five clamoring for officel permission to use the already greatly congested ether.


TOO OLD?  The Etude sometimes gets a letter from a reader, let’s say twenty or twenty-one years old, asking “Am I too old to do anything in music?” Though there are many variables, on the whole, however, age in itself is never a barrier to musical success.

SCAN-Youth in music.jpeg

NATIONAL ANTHEM: That the “Star Spangled Banner” be recognized as the official National Anthem of the United States is the purpose of a bill introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative Fairchild, of New York.

CARILLONS:  A memorial carillon to dead soldiers of the World War has been offered to the city of New York, for placement in Central Park. August Hekscher, the millionaire philanthropist, has made the proposal through a letter addressed to Mayor Hylan.

Funny name:  Henry T. Finck. one of the most eminent of American writers on musical matters, has returned from a stay of a little over a year in Europe.  It is regretted that Mr. Finck is reported to be in rather depleted health and will necessarily seek a climate conducive to its rebuilding.

VIOLINISTS:  Yehudi Menuhin, and eight-year-old violin prodigy of San Francisco, made hi New York debut on January 17 in a recital at the Manhattan Opera House.

ORGANISTS:  Charles A. Haven, organist of Chicago,  and for twenty-five years organist of the First Baptist Church, died on November 9, at the age of eighty-three. Long one of the leading organ-teachers [this hyphen is unusual] of the middle west, he also was widely known as a composers of church music.


Ever wonder what Tschaikowvsky looked like?


A NEW SYSTEM OF MUSIC SHORTHAND has been invented fy Fernand Masuy, director of the school of music of La Louviere, Belgium.  Unlike the older systems, the present one does not require extra lines to be ruled above and below the staff, ordinary music paper serving all purposes.

ORGANS:  A specially designed organ, valued at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars [$2,165, 661 and two cents today] and the largest in the world, is to be installed in the Auditorium of the Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition to be opening in Philadelphia on June 1, 1926.  Plans for the organ were drawn up by Henry S. Fry, president of the Nation Association of Organists and other prominent professional organist of Philadelphia.  Daily concerts  on this instrument will be given by eminent artists. 

Handel’s Organ:  The Foundling Hospital of London, to which Handel gave its organ, for which he raised fifty-thousand dollars (a great sum in those days) by the first London performers of the “Messiah,” and to which he left by his will the original manuscript score of the great oratorio, is to be removed to fine new quarters in the open country, thus losing its old world atmosphere and traditions. [?]

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS:  Six Black Pianists have won an honorable place among concert artists; Augustus Lawson of Hartford, Con.; Hazel Harrison of Chicago: Tourgee Debose of Taindega, Alabama; Carl Diton of Philadelphia; Sonoma Talley of New York; and Lydon Caidwell of Brooklyn.


MUSIC ACTIVITIES: $6 million [$86,626,440.68 today] per annum is now being spent by the municipalities of the United States, for the encouragement of musical activities, according to the latest reports. [Consider that the population of the U. S. in 1926 was 117 million compared to 329 million today.]

BOYS IN OPERA: has become a living question in England, as a consequence of a season of three weeks at Todmorden, where Mr. Ronald Cunliffe produced a repertoire of “The Magic Flute,” “The Golden Cockerel,” “Paglincel,” and “The Secret of Susanna,” the entire stage personnel of soloists and chorus being composed of boys with unchanged voices.  According to the Musical Times and Herald , “the standard was high, and much of the singing was so beautiful that it will never be forgotten.”

ORGANISTS:  Seventy-three years as organist of the same church church would seem to be a unique record.  Mars. Kemp, an English landlady, at the age of eighty-six lately finished such a service to the Biggleswade  Parish Church.

MARVELUS NEW INVENTIONI’m sorry madame, but you don’t look any better “with” this new invention that “without”, and pulling your temples back in the final photo is CHEATING!

 ORGANIST QUEEN MOTHER:  The late Queen Mother Margherita of Italy was an accomplished organist as well as a devotee of the King of Instruments.  She was a long a pupil of the great Filippo Capocci, organist of the church of St. John Lateran.  An organ was especially installed in the Royal Palace at Rome for Her Majesty’s personal use. [SPECIAL NOTE FOR ORGANISTS!! Many fine Capocci compositions are available free on IMSLP]

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CHOIRS: Sacred Music  Descant singing, a custom of Elizabethan days, has been revived at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University.  This old-time method of harmony consists of a group of sopranos singing a counter above the others and has recently been revived with much success in England.  A group of selected sopranos soaring above the melody of the hymn as sung by the worshippers produces and beautiful effect, and is to be given a thorough trial at Columbia.

AFRICAN AMERICAN JAZZ  was heard for the first time in Russia durings the week of Feb. 15.  An organization of six black musicians who had been enlivening Paris, went to Russian under official invitation with the Soviet Government for a tour of four months.

Funny nameAlfred Human, editor of “Voice”, a singing magazine.

RADIO:  Fighting fires by radio is a future possibility as a result of recent experiments in New York where a gas flame was extinguished by the vibrations of a tuning fork.  Each building in the future may have its own “pitch” properly registered so that a screech from the proper siren will extinguish a fire therein.


ORGAN MUSIC:  Pierre Attaingnant, supposed to be the first to print music in Paris from movable characters, published in 1531 Deux Livers d’Orgue which have recently been [re]published by the Societe Francaise de Musicologie as one volume, thus placing these early compositions for the organ within the reach of students interested in older music.

BAGPIPES: “Save the Bagpipes!” is the latest Scottish slogan; and the Braemar Royal Highland. Society has started a campaign to teach to the young the elements of the Doric tunes and the traditional Highland dances.

ORGANISTS:   Mrs. Helen Searies Westbrook achieved first honors in the contest in organ-playing of the Society of American Musicians, since which she has played the Organ Concerto by Bossi, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Frederick Stock at Orchestra Hall.

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ORGANS: The organ built for George III, in 1760, and given to Queen Charlotte who later gave it to Princess Amelia, after which it was sold to Lord Egremont of Sussex, has lately been resent to and set up at Eton College. It is said to be an admirable and untouched {?} specimen of its period.

BACH: The “Wedding Cantata” of John [!] Sebastian Bach had its first performance in American at a concert of the New York Chamber Society, at the Plaza Hotel on March 21 [Bach’s birthday!] .  A Bach première in these late years is sure enough a novelty

ORGANIST COMPOSERS:  Samuel Sebastian Wesley, the eminent English organist and composer of church music, died fifty years ago the nineteenth of April  The British Music Society is celebrating the event by compiling lists of his works for the convenience of lovers of his art.

ORGAN COMPOSITION COMPETITION:  A prize of 500 dollars [7,218.89 today] has been donated by the Austin Organ Company, and a Gold Medal offered by the National Association of Organists, are offered for the best organ compositions submitted by June a, 1926, by composers of at least five years permanent residence in Canada or the United States.

ORGAN PAPERS Four prizes aggregating one hundred and fifty dollars [$2,165.00 today] are offered by The Diapason, for the best papers on Organ Playing and Organ Building presented at the next meeting of the National Association of Organists

ORGANISTS; Clarence Eddy,  American “Grand Ol Man of the Organ,” who for fifty years has stood among the leaders of his profession , at his recent recital in Kimball Hall, Chicato, found the stage filled with tributes not only from individual friends but also from many organizations.

              Marcel Dupré, the eminent French organist, has been appointed for the Ministry of Fine Art to the post at the Paris Conservatoire left vacant by the late Eugene Gigout.  Since winning his first student’s prize at the Paris Conservatoire, M. Dupré has taken all the awards available in mu8sic at this famous institution, including the Grand Prix de Rome in 1914.  His playing from memory of Bach, at a series of recitals at the Conservatoire and the Trocadero, first brought him to world-wide attention.

WOMEN COMPOSERS:   The Pulitzer Musical Prize of fifteen hundred dollars [$21,656.61 today] has been awarded this year to Mrs. Charles H. Marsh of Redlands, Californie, the first time it has been won by a woman.  The award is made to “the student of music in American who is deemed to be the most talented and deserving, in order that he {sic) may continue his studies with the advantage of European instruction.”


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COMPOSERS: Percy Grainger has been commissioned an orchestral work for the North Shore Festival of 1927. He will receive the one thousand dollars usually offered as a prize, and the competition will be abandoned for this year.  The composer is left to choose the form of his work.  The commission comes as a recognition of Mr. Grainger’s part in these festivals, he having appeared at nearly all recent ones either as pianist, as conductor, or as a composer.

NEW MUSICAL INVENTION FOR THE BLIND:  The Optophone, a new and remarkable instrument which turns printed words into musical notes and enables blind persons equipped with headphones or loud-speakers to read them at a rate of eight-five words per minute, was demonstrated at the Optical Convention at the Imperial College of Science and Technology at South Kensington, England, recently.

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ORGANIST:  Patty Stair, pianist, organist and composer passed away in her home in Cleveland, Ohio of April 26. She was one of two women organists of Ohio permitted to wear the honor robe of the American Guild of Organists, of which she was a Fellow.  She was also widely known as a teacher.


Funny Name: Dame Report. 

A CULTURE WITH NO “WAR” SONGS: No “War Songs” are known to the Tule Indians of Panama, according to a report on their music, made by Frances Densmore of the American Bureau of Ethnology  As this peace-loving tribe has never been at war, all their songs are intended for the curing of the sick, or are connected with the happiness of life.  Differing from other North American tribes, they have no songs of gambling, the hung or of appeal to the supernatural.

RADIO & PHONOGRAPH TECHNOLOGY: A new type of horn for phonograph and radio, assuring improved sound reproduction at a reduced cost of manufacture, has been perfected by Dr. A. L. Foley of the department of Physics of Indiana University.  A new series of bens and fold according to scientific principles of sound reflection renders the improvement.  In his long research Dr. Foley has built more than one hundred differed ty8pes of horns as well as to make a complete phonograph.

CHURCH MUSIC BETTERMENT:  A national conference for better church music will be held in connection with the Chautauqua assembly at Chautauqua, New York, from July 22 to 25h; and the Council of FIne Arts in Religion will convene at Conference Point, Lake Geneva, from August 6 to 8.  


Notice that the hotel shaped like a string instrument carries a sign on the front saying “Viol Inn.” The other building of course is in the shape of the old-fashioned metronomes. So nice to see that the artist included an ORGAN castle, but what are those things on the tops of the pipes? Are they supposed to look like castle turrets?


ORGANISTS:  Clarence Eddy,  “The Dean of American Organists,”  celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday on the 27th of June.  A distinguished company gathered at the palatial home of Charles M. Hayes, on a bluff of Chicago.’s Sheridan Road, overlooking Lake Michigan.  A message from Vice-President Dawes and a tribute from William Chapman, whose mother had taken him in her arms to hear Mr. Eddy, at the Centennial in 1876, added interest to the evening.  The annuls of American organ-playing will probably hear no name that has added more luster to this field of our national art. 

            ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP TO FRANCE: Miss Adelaide M. Lee, of Detroit, Michigan has been awarded the Estey Scholarship for pipe organ study at the Fontainebleau School of Music in France.  This is the second time in three years that this distinction has been captured by a woman.

JAZZ A  NUISANCE AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY (ENGLAND):  The gramophone (talking machine) has been banned from the precincts of Cambridge University because of the students’ over-indulgence in Jazz, and now a number of young friends of the classics have petitioned the Vice-Chancellor to allow the use of the mechanical reproducer for the music of the masters.

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC IN GERMANY:  Spirituals and black “work songs” are reported to be growing in popularity in Berlin, where  the leading critics are emphasizing the “spiritual” as America’s greatest contribution in musical art.

October and November” Unfortunately “The World of Music” column is missing from these volumes. 


ORGAN BUILDERS: H. P. Moller [Sp. Moeller], veteran organ builder of Hagerstown, Maryland, has received the honorary degree of Doctor fo Music, from Susquehanna University of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.  This is probably the first instance in American of a similar degree conferred on one whose first interest has been in the making of instruments.  But why not?  Is there not as much art in the construction of a great organ as in the playing of it?

MUSIC STUDENTS EXCEL:  Music students are twenty-five percent more efficient than children who never have taken any music lessons, has been the determined by exhaustive analysis of grades of the SPringfield, Missouri High Schools.  After making a study of three thousand four hundred and seventy-eight students of the [senior] High and Junior High Schools, “Music study was discovered not only to improve the grades, but also to act as a mental stimulant.”

COMPOSERS:  A tomb for Eric Satie is to be erected on the spot where the remains of the composer repose.  A fund for this purpose has been raised by memorial performances in Paris and London, of his works (some of them unpublished.)

CARILLONS:  A carillon of forty-seven bells has been presented to the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Germantown, Pennsylvania, by William H. S. Shelmerdine in memory of his son.  The set of bells will have a compass of four chromatic octaves and will require a carillonneur.

CHURCH MUSIC:  The “amen” has been banished from the close of hymns  in services of St. Augustine’s Church, Wembley, England, on the ground that its use is inartistic and often detracts from the climatic close of the hymn. This action was taken by the initiative of the clergy. And yet there are those still alive who will remember when there was bitter resentment of this “innovation” of singing the “Amen.”  One good rector went so far as to denounce it [the “amen”] as “one of the smartest bits of work of the devil.”



ORGANS: Saving the musical instrument in historic churches has grown almost into a crusade in Europe, and especially in France.  Retaining the fine old timbre , with improves action and modern delicate  nuances added, has been the aim; and among those recently restored is that of the Church of Saint-Gervais at Falaise, built in 1872 and one of the earliest of the larger type.

The highest organ in the world–at least among the large ones, as it is to have five manuals and pedal-board–is to be installs in the auditorium on the eighteenth floor of the temple being erected at New Orleans, by the Grand Lodge of Masons of Louisiana.


AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUALS have been forming recently a part of the weekly lunch-hour musical programs at Southwark Cathedral, London.   These “spontaneous outbursts of intense religious feelings at camp meetings and revivalist gatherings” have made an appeal to the working people comprising a large part of the attendance of the programs.

VIOLINISTS: Yehudi Menuhin, nine-year-old violin prodigy of San Francisco, created a sensation when he played, on November 16, the great Concerto in D Major by Tschaikowsky with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.  The occasion was the first municipal symphony concert of the season, with an audience of eleven thousand in the Exposition Auditorium.  A tumultuous ovation followed his performance.

WOMEN CONDUCTORS: Mary Willing Megley, conductor of the Toledo (Ohio) Choral Society, is probably the world’s premère musical leader of he sex.  With a chorus of three hundred voices and an orchestra of forty-five men from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, she recently led a performance of the “Rhapsody of St. Bernard,” by David Stanley Smith.


ORGANS: The “Kotzchmar Memorial Organ,” of Portland, Maine, is reported to be about to have added improvements, through the generosity of Cyrus H. P. Curtis, of Philadelphia, and the original donor of the organ.  With the increased registration it will become the largest municipal organ in the United States.

          Nearly two thousand organs were built in the United States during 1925, according to Government reports recently given out.  These instruments were valued at $12,799,220 [$191 million,275,735.24 today] and represent a gain of 27.9 percent over 1923, when the last biennial census of manufacturers was taken.

           The great organ in the Cathedral of Strasbourg is said to be in great need of restoration and appeals have been made throughout Franche that concerts be given for the raising of funds for this purpose.

INVENTIONS:   Quarter-tone “organ:” Oriental music with its curious intermixture of quarter tones, is to be made possible on a new instrument reported to have been invented by P. Psachus, Professor of Byzantine Music at the University of Oettingen, Germany.  In appearance the instrument resembles an organ, and it has a keyboard of octaves containing forty-two intervals.  The inventor’s claim that there is no other like it is not difficult to believe. [HA!]

                 A MECHANIZED PAGE-TURNER: Orchestra players are to be relieved of the terrors of turning their pages if a device by a Berlin inventor proves successful.  By it the “temperamental” pages are turned by a mechanism works by a lever operated by the boot.


ORGANISTS: M. Louis Vierne, Titular Organist of Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, is a welcome visitor to “the States,” where he has been giving a series of recitals with pronounce success.  On the evening of  February 9 he was heard on the great organ in the Grand Court of the Wanamaker Store of Philadelphia

CHURCH MUSIC: American Church music is to be featured during the National Music Week, May 1-7; and organists and choirmasters have been asked by the committed in charge to prepare for the opening Sunday, May 1, as nearly as possible according to the following scheme: Three organ pieces, three hymns of American composition, and three vocal number including two choral anthems and one solo.


VIOLINS: The violin played by Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln was recently used by James Bryan, of Waverly, Illinois, when playing over the radio.  Silas Brown, grandfather of the present owner, accompanied Boone from South Carolina to Kentucky in 1777.  The violin was taken to Illinois in 1820 and Lincoln is said to have like ti and to have played it on many occasions.

ORCHESTRAS—UNUSUAL CONCERTS: ORGANIST/CONDUCTOR Leopold Stokowski gave Philadelphia a new sensation when on March 4, the Philadelphia Orchestra under his bâton, played a “Concertino for Violin, Violoncello, Horn, Harp, Octavina, Guitar and Orchestra,” by Julian Carillo, a full-blooded Native American born in Mexico.  The composition employed intervals in which tones were divided into quarters, eighths and sixteenths.  All sensations of the audience are not yet garmered for publication.

INVENTIONS; ELECTRONICS  A new invention, like to be of great importance in the educational field, is reported by the Victor Talking Machine Company, as an addition to the Orthophonic Victrola.  It is an apparatus for automatically changing records, so that the twelve record may be inserted in the machine and played one after the other, without further attention from the operator.  After a disk has been played, a mechanical hand removes this one and transfer it to a velvet line drawer, leaving the next to be played.  Thus a whole symphony may be heard without interruption.  In school work, particularly , this device should prove of great practical value.


ORGANIST/ CONDUCTOR: Leopold Stokowski, whose genius for leadership has placed the Philadelphia Orchestra in its eminent position, has, on the advice of his physician been granted a year’s leave of absence from duty.  Overwork and injury to his right shoulder in an automobile accident have developed neuritis, which has greatly hindered his activities in late months, several recent concerts having been conducted with his baton in the left hand.

Funny name: Susan Spain-Dunk, British composer. [Just too close for comfort to “Slam-Dunk”!]

TICKET “SCALPING” Has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to be legal. The pronouncement is based on the principle that, as theaters are strictly private property, the Government may not interfere with their mode of operation.

COMPOSERS; Frederick Delius, one of England’s most eminent composers, who spent his youth as an orange planter in Florida and a music teacher at Danville, Virginia, is reported to be partially paralyzed and practically sightless, at his home at Grez-sur-Loing, France.

ORGANISTS:  Henry B. Roney, eminent Chicago organist and director of boy choirs, died in Los Angeles on February 26th, aged seventy-eight years. As organist and choirmaster of Grace Episcopal Church he made the choir and himself nationally known.  He was the discoverer, teacher and manager of Blatchford Cavanaugh, probably the greatest boy soprano that American has ever produced and is said to “Sing like an angel.”


MUSIC EDUCATION:  Sixty thousand music students are said to be registered in Chicago—which is not counting the many thousands of children and adolescents of the city who must take music courses as a part of their general education.

WOMEN IN MUSIC: Six British Women composers had works on the programs of the Municipal Music Festival of Bournemouth, on April 21 to 24.  Those represented were Dame Ethel Smythe, Susan Spain-Dunk. Dorothy Howell, Vivien Lamblet, Dora Bring and Edith Swepstone.

ORGANISTS: Pietro A. Yon, the eminent Italian organist and composer, who some years ago became an American citizen, has been appointed organist of St. Patrick’s Cathedral of New York. For many years he has been organist of St. Francis Xavier’s CHurch, which post he will retain and divide his time between the two positions. J. C.  Ungerer, who has been organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for thirty years, will share the duties with Mr. Yon.

COMPOSERS:  The Pulitzer Prize for musical composition has been awarded to Quinto Maganini, twenty-nine years old, a native of California, American trained  and flutist in the New York Symphony Orchestra. The honorarium of fifteen hundred dollars [$22,030 today] carries with it one of the highest distinctions bestowed for excellence in American arts and letters.

ORGANS: The organ of the Trocadero, considered by many as the finest concert organ in Europe, which had become practically unplayable, has been recently put into complete repair, thanks to a fund started by an American visitor.  It was originally built for the Paris Exposition of 1878.


RADIO MUSIC EDUCATION:  A “Radio University” will be practically established, since Walter Damrosch has accepted the post of Musical Counsel of the National Broadcasting Company [N. B. C.] and has announced a series of lecture-concerts with programs classified to suite the needs of elementary schools, high schools and colleges.

Music as a Recreation, as well as an intellectual part of life, was discussed at a meeting of fourteen leading preparatory schools of the East, which met with Yale University in May.  The development of the intelligent musical amateur was the direct aim proposed and discussed.

MUSIC INSTRUCTORS  of the United States now number 256,00: and it is estimated that these in a year give no less than 250,000,000 lessons.

RELIEF FOR NEEDY MUSIC TEACHERS; The Associated Music Teachers League, Incorporated, of New York City, has established a fund for the relief of needy music teachers and is contemplating the construction of a building which will be a center of the music teaching profession of the metropolis.

GERMANY’S “FIRST CONGRESS OF SCHOOL MUSIC” was held in Berlin, from May 7th to 9th.  The use of the sound reproducing machine, the interesting [? Do they mean “interests”?] of the very youngest children, and the preparing of teachers of music for the schools, were among the topics considered.

INVENTIONS: A new violin bow is reported to have been invented by Herman Berkowski, of Berlin.  It is said to enable the player to sound several strings at a time, producing a polyphonic effect of rare volume and tone-color. .  The bow-hair may be relaxed or tightened while playing is in progress.

A FOUR-OCTAVE FLUTE, which will play not only quarter-tones, but also intermediate divisions, has been invented by Dr. Henry M. Wetherill of Flatlands, near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and has been exhibited before the Flute Club of Philadelphia.

ORGANISTS: “They Mayor-Organist” bids fair to become the popular sobriquet for Dr. Humphrey J. Stewart.  This eminent organist of the open-air organ at Balboa Park at San Diego, California, has just recently been re-elected to success himself as Mayor of Coronado, the beautiful residence city across the bay from San Diego.  Dr. Stewart has held the present organ position continuously since the days of the San Diego Exposition [1915-1917].

HISTORICAL PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS:  The first set of tympani ever seen in America was brought by the Moravians to their settlement at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1750. [The year of J. S. Bach’s birth.] Odd of design, they still are used and have a beautiful tone.


MUSIC EDUCATION: Free music lessons in the public schools is the innovation of Cedar Heights, “the model village of Iowa.”  During the past year free violin and piano lessons have been available to all pupils of the school; and thirty-four of the one-hundred and ten enrolled have been studying music.

COMPOSERS FOR ORGAN–American vs. European:  Six hundred and eleven American compositions for the Organ, and nine hundred and seventy-one works of foreign composers, were played on four hundred and seventy-seven programs given on four hundred and twenty-four programs given by one hundred and seventy seven organist, during the first six months of 1927.  Considering that our composers can scarcely count decades, against the centuries of the European composers, this an encouraging omen.


HISTORIC SCORES UNEARTHED:   Ninety-seven volumes of XVIIIth Century Music have been discovered in a room full of old books in Turin [Italy].  Many rare copies and some no longer known to be in existence were among them, including a two-act intermezzo by Vivaldi “Nina et Lindor,”, written in 1768.


ORGANS:  Honolulu has a new four-manual organ placed in the historic Kawiohan Church, built in 1837

             HISTORIC ENGLISH ORGAN:  The great organ of Alexandra Palace which because of lack of funds, has been silent for some eight years, is to be restored, with the King’s approval, as a memorial of north London to Queen Alexandra.  Built in 1875,  by Father Henry Willis, the English master organ-builder, it was considered by him to be his masterpiece, there being at the time but three larger instruments in the world.

CLASS ORGAN LESSONS are a pioneer enterprise of the schools of Medina, Ohio.  Organ lessons and Practice, for advanced pianos students, are made possible by the installation of an organ in the high school.

This “Supplement to THE ETUDE MUSIC MAGAZINE–December 1929” [? mispring?] immediately followed the front page of the November, 1927 issue somehow. The Etude on occasion included such “supplements.”


(above) Entitled “The Rhine Daughters” (from Wagner’s “Rheingold”) is from an oil painting by  Hermann Hendrich.

SCAN- Etude December 1927

(above) A wonderful ad on the back of the cover page, November, 1927 Etude, by “VICTOR Red Seal RECORDS”  by the Victor Talking Machine Co. It is a wonderful depiction of a scene from “Pagliacci”. The artist is not credited


MODERN DANCE:  Isodora Duncan met with a tragic death in Nice, on September 14, when a scarf caught in the wheel of an automobile she was driving and dragged her from her seat.  Her neck was broken by the fall to the pavement.  She was an American girl from a modest San Francisco home, who became the “Liberator of the Dance” and the High Priestess of a cult which teachers that “music and the dance should be mutually interpretative,” that “music is very much more than an accompaniment to the dance, and that its function is to give the keynote and sustain the whole mood of the dance.”

ORGANISTS: THEATER ORGANIST  Carl McKinley, organist of the Capitol Theater of New York, has receive the Guggenheim Scholarship, which provides for two years of study in Europe.

         Dr. Kendrick Pyne, at the age of seventy-six, has lately celebrated his Jubilee at the post of City Organist of Manchester, England.  



COMPOSERS: Maurice Ravel will make a visit to American late in the present season, when he will appear as guest conductor with several of our leading orchestras. 

ORGANS:  The first Congregational Church of Chicago dedicated in October its new organ, the largest in any church in that city.  The church has long been famous for its musical services, going back some two score of years to the days when Louis Falks  made a great appeal by his unusual artistry at the organ.

RADIO: Music Appreciation: A Radio Course, in appreciation of better music, is being cy station WLS of the Sears, Roebuck Foundation, of Chicago.  The work is outlined through questionnaires distributed to ten thousand supervisors of music in the public schools of the Middle West.  “Listeners-in” are asked to send lists of identifications of folk dances played, to number the recurrences of themed in symphonies played, to identify instrument through their tones, and to answer questions on the lives of composers whose works are broadcast.  WLS each week awards prizes for the best lists of answers received. A regular ETUDE Radio Hour is given on the third Tuesday of every month.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MAKING:  The Australian Manufacture of Musical Instruments is making wonderful progress.  In New SOuth Wales along are some thirty factories busy with the making of various musical instruments.

MUSIC IN PRISONS:  Parkhust prison, England, now furnishes regular training in Choral and Orchestra Music to convicts.  There own organizations assist at the chapel services and institutional concerts.

NATIVE AMERICANS: “Winona,” an all-American great opera with its plot based on a love tragedy of the Sioux before the advent of the White Man, will be given its world premier with an all-star cast, at Minneapolis, Minnesota, near where the story is laid, on January 27th.  Chatomska, warrior lover hero of the opera, will be created by the eminent South-American Indian baritone, Chief Canpolican, of the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company.  The work won the commendations of all critics when given a local performance in Portland, Oregon, about a year ago.

J. S. Bach:  A Bach Cantata Society has been organized at Los Angeles.  It will affiliated with similar organizations in New York and London.


THEATER ARCHITECTURE: The Hammerstein Theater, built in honor of Oscar Hammerstein, the intrepid opera impressario, by his son, Arthur, was dedicated on the evening of December 1st.  The interior is an adaptation of the architecture of a Gothic cathedral; and a life-sized figure of Oscar Hammerstein stands in the center of the foyer.

MUSICIANS:  Yehudi Menuhin, the eleven-year-old violinist, took the critics by the ears with his execution that was “beautiful in tone, remarkably assured in technique” and “altogether musicianly.”

CONDUCTOR ORGANISTS: Organist/Conductor Leopold Stokowski,  the eminent conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is spending the winter in the musical colony at Antibes, France, while on leave of absence to recuperate from years of overwork.  Later he contemplates a time of the Orient to seek the music of the East for orchestra uses.

HAND ORGANISTS TAX:  A Berlin Decree, of November 23, 1927, provides that hand organ men, street singers and players in German bands must pay a tax of five pfennigs (one and a quarter cents) each per day.  This edict lies heavily on dance halls, though several concert hours are exempt as furthering the art of music.

RADIOS:  Ninety Million People, nearly one-tenth of the billion people of inhabitants the globe, are estimated to receive some form of radio program every day.  This is based on the report that about eighteen million sets are now in use.


J. S. Bach:  Bach now draws as well as Wagner, according to statements rounded upon reports from the famous Promenade Concerts at Queen’s Hall, London.

HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRAS: High Schools of thirteen cities of southeastern Kansas have organized a joint orchestra, which plays in turn in the various communities.

ORGANISTS:  Dr. Ernest Bullock is the newly-appointed organist at Westminster Abbey, probably the most popular church in all Christendom.

COMPOSERS:  Maurice Ravel, the distinguished French composers, is making his first visit to America, leading orchestras.

CHOIRS:  One hundred and fifty thousand singers are expected to take part in a Schuber Festival to be held in Vienna this summer.  A huge concert hass is being prepared in which it will be possible to accommodate thirty-five  thousand singers on the platform with fifty thousand people in the audience.

            The Nation High School Chorus of America will convene for the first time at the convention of Music Supervisors to meet April 16th.  These singers , gathered from all parts of the United States, will appear in a program at Orchestra Hall, assisted by sixty members of the Chicago Symphony.


NATIVE AMERICAN MUSICIANS: The Native American band of Yuma, Arizona, recently captured the second prize in a contest held in San Diego, California.  Composed entirely of native American, this is probably the rely one hundred per cent American organization of its kind in the United States.

          The Opera “Winona,” the Native American grand opera by Albert Bimboni, to the libretto of Perry Williams, had ad gala performance, on January 27th, in the auditoriums of Minneapolis, before an audience of nine thousand people, gathered from five states. With Irene Williams in the title rôle and Chief Caupolican as Chatonska the hero-lover, a chorus of one hundred and twenty-five, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, and a band of Native Americans in their tribal dances, the whole performance arouse the greatest enthusiasm.  The press united in pronouncing the score to be a work of great dramatic and musical beauty.

ORGANS: More than eighteen million pounds of air are blown every day into the organs of the United States, to furnish music for the nation’s churches, theaters and auditoriums.  The figures were compiled by ventilating engineers while conducting a survey to  show the important part that electricity controlled aire plays in every phase of American life.

            The great sesquicentennial organ, which was first announced as destined for one of the great mercantile establishments of Philadelphia, is, instead, to be placed in the new Irvine Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania, to which institution it has bee given by Mr. Cyrus H. K. Curtis, donor also of the magnificent instrument in the City Hall Auditorium, of Portland, Maine, and of other organs of note.

MUSIC EDUCATION:  Concerts for young folks, are one of the popular musical enterprises of Liverpool, England.  The British Music Society sponsors a series of four artist concerts with verbal explanations.  Rushworth and Dreaper, Ltd., sponsor of a series of four orchestral Concerts for Young Folks, and along with the Art Studies Association supply twenty-four Lecture-Recitals for School Children at Peiton Hall and various schools, these latter being devoted largely to interpreton music as an art language and in it relation to life.

FROM COMMUNIST RUSSIA:  The “Fox Trot”, “Shimmy” and “Charleston” have been forbidden in Russia by the Supreme Council for physical education. The dances have been denounced by the commissar of health as “indecent products of fat American bourgeoise.” Phonograph records of these dances may not enter the country and the broadcasting of them is forbidden. [How totally suppressive Communism or ANY totalitarian regime is, and how sad for the people. They might as well forbid the internet, computers, telephones, electricity automobiles and all of the other inventions that free nations have given the world!]


PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC–GERMANY: Mouth Organ Orchestras have been introduced into the public school of Berlin.  The Ministry of Education encourages both singing and instrumental music in schools. so that bands and orchestras have become common. When, in the poorer districts pupils could not afford more expensive instruments, the humble mouth organ band was introduced by one of the teachers with astonishing results.

MASSED PIANISTS:  Forty Oregon Pianists playing on twenty pianos, was a feature of a recent ensemble program given in Portland, Oregon.  This is said to have been the largest piano ensemble ever organized; and the occasion was part of a campaign for “bigger and better” music in Portland.

SCAN- Risque Etude, June 1928

Another Risqué Gay Etude Cover


WOMEN MUSICIANS:  The Society of Women Musicians of London has finished its sixteenth year of active work.  Among its officers are: Mrs. Rosa Newmarch and Dame Ethel Smyth.

            The Woman’s Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles, which consists of eighty members under the direction of [male] Henry Schoenfeld, gave its first concert of the season at the Philharmonic Auditorium, on February third.

           The Women’s Symphony Orchestra of Philadelphia gave the final program of its series at a hotel on the evening of April eighteenth.  This organization of eighty skilled musicians is in it’s sixth season.

JAZZ PROHIBITED IN TURKEY:  Both “Jazz” and the “Anatolian Wails” have been prohibited by the Prefect of Istanbul, Turday, because of the frequent and sometimes boisterous controversies between the partisans of the Western popular music and the old Turkish art af performed on the native instruments.

ORGANIST CONDUCTORS:  Organist Leopold Stokowski will, at the opening of the 1928-1929 season, resume active leadership of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

ORGANITS:  J. S. Bach’s “Art of Fugue,” a set of twenty of these contrapuntal compositions, written, just before the death of the master (the last was not complete), upon one “subject,” had its first complete American performance when given on April fifteen on the organ of Parker Memorial Church of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, by Dr. J. Frederick Wolle, founder and still conductor of the famed Bethlehem Bach Choir.

ORGAN BENEFACTORS:  Rodman Wanamaker, enthusiastic patron, especially of the organ, passed away at his villa in Ventnor, New Jersey, on March 9th. It was through his zeal that the Wanamaker Store of Philadelphia  has long maintained the largest organ in the world.  He promoted musical culture through supporting concerts, maintaining a wonderful collection of stringed instruments by the old masters, and introducing many European musical celebrities to American audiences.


A TAX TO SUPPORT MUSIC: A tax levy to support music has been incorporated in the charter of San Francisco.  About seventy-five thousand dollars per year is reported to be the amount that at present will be devoted to this municipal venture ini the msical art.

BLIND MUSICIANS: Twelve hundred blind persons in France earn their living as musicians.  Most of them were educated in the National Institute for the Young Blind , where they were taught to play as a diversion; but Valentin Hauy, their leader, showed them how music might help them earn a livelihood. Among the twelve hundred are several who are well-known, eight organists of Paris churches (Notre Dame Cathedral among them), and many composers and conductors of small orchestras.

INVENTIONS: A novel musical typewriter is reported to have been invented by a musician of Milan.  It turns a blank sheet of paper into a complete musical score, by writing the lines of the staff, the musical notes, with all accidentals and marks, and even accompanying words.

ORGANS: The Central Union CHurch of Honolulu, Hawaii, has not only a large organ with three manuals, pedals, and seventy stops; but it also maintains three complete choirs of fifty voices each: and adult choir, a boys’ choir and a girls’ choir, with a paid quartet of soloists to amplify their services.

WOMEN ORGANISTS:  Helen Hogan, chief organist of the Central Congregation Church of Providence, Rhode Island, has had the distinction of being the first woman organist to play on the great instrument of Liverpool Cathedral (England). 

NATIONAL ANTHEM: “The Star Spangled Banner” will become the official national anthem of the United States, if a bill introduced into the House of Representatives, by Hon. Hamilton Fish, Jr., of New York, becomes a law.

INVENTIONS: Curious musical patents have been unearthed in the archives of Caxton Hall, London.  Thus, application for the patenting of a “loud speaker” was filed as long ago as 1671: and the library of the Patent Office reports “a comparatively recent patent for the manufacture of edible gramophone (phonograph) records from chocolate and other sweet stuffs.

HARMONICAS; The humble harmonica seems to have found its place in the musical sun. Within the last year, Germany’s three largest manufacturers of these instruments–the Homer, Weiss and Koch establishments, of Trossingen—have have shipped 21 MILLION “mouth organs” to America, 5,000 to England and three million to India.


WOMEN MUSICIANS:  The Chicago Woman’s Symphony Orchestra, of which Elene Moneak is founder and conductor, furnished afternoon and evening programs at the Woman’s World’s Fair in the Chicago Coliseum. Works by women composers were specially featured.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN OPERA: “VOODOO,” the first grand opera on an African-American plot, by a black librettist and composer, H. Lawrence Freeman, had its first hearing over the radio from New York.


ETHNOMUSICOLOGY:  Eskimo folk songs of the Arctic are to be recorded by Cornelius Osgood, a post-graduate of the department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, who is now on his way to spend some time within the Arctic Circle.

ORGANIST COMPOSERS;  The second annual recital of local composers’ works was sponsored, early in June, by the Missouri Guild of Organists, in Sheldon Memorial Auditorium of St. Louis.

WOMEN]’S ORCHESTRAS: The Women’s Symphony Orchestra of Boston, with Ethel Leginska as conductor, is announced for a six weeks'[ tour of the United States, beginning October twenty-third.


CHOIRS: A MAMMOTH CHOIR One hundred and twenty thousand voices from many nations, and which was\ undoubtedly the largest chorus ever assembled, joined in the unaccompanied singing of Schubert’s hymn, Oh, God Almighty, Hear our Prayers, on June 20th, during the centennial commemoration of the master’s  death. [Location given.]

             A great national chorus of two hundred and fifty of the best singers of London’s choral societies is being formed by the British Broadcasting Company, for the purpose of producing large choral works with prominent conductors and soloists.

EXPERIMENTS IN BROADCASTING: A long distance concert took place in Potsdam, Germany at the end of June, when conductor, Erich Fischer, stood along on the stage and direct an orchestra in another city and a chorus hundreds of miles away.  The combines use of radio, telephone and loud speaker make this possible.

ORGANISTS:  Eighty-six English organists have held an important post for forty years or longer, according to a list which recently appeared in the Musical TImes of London.

       The National Association of Organists held its twenty-first annual convention at Portland, Maine, from August 27th to 31st. Dr. William Thompson was the leading speaker.

AFRICAN-AMERICANS: Paul Robeson, black baritone, singing chiefly unaccompanied black spirituals, is drawing thousand to hear his programs in London.

        A black symphony orchestra, of fifty players who have been trained under the best teachers of the city, and with Harrison Ferril as conductor, is about to launch its first season of concerts in Chicago.

BANDS: The Boy Scout Band of Springfield, Missouri, with three hundred and sixty-five members, boasts the largest membership of any similar organization in the United States.  Its size and training are due to the enthusiasm of Lest. C. Cox, a prominent business man and ardent musical amateur.

INVENTIONS- and organ/piano keyboard.  A simplified keyboard adaptable to either piano or organ, and not so different in plan and operation from the ordinary typewriter, has been invented by a parochial priest, Toré Y. Bonilla, living near Madrid, Spain.  The device may be fitted over the ordinary piano or organ keyboard, to be used or removed at will. A system of notation by numerals and dots reduces the reading of hymns and simple instrumental music to the simplicity of the alphabet.  The invention is not yet on the market.


ORGANS:  Garnavillo, Iowa, a town of three hundred and forty inhabitants, six miles from a railroad, recently dedicated a 12 thousand dollar organ [$179,331.93 today] as a feature of the diamond jubilee of its St. Paul[s Lutheran church.  The instrument was given by members of the church who were direct heirs.

MUSICOLOGY:  Mozarabic music, sung by the congregations of the Christian churches of Spain, from the Moslem (Sp.?) conquest till discontinued by the Pope and King in 1089, has been deciphered by the aid of a key discovered at the Royal Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos at Burgos, Spain.  This announcement has been made by the American council of Learned Societies of Columbia University.

            American folk songs: An Anthology of Folk Songs of the American People is in process of the making by the Library of Congress. It will include all available spirituals, songs of the northern  lumber camps, songs and ballads of the mountaineers, nomadic workers of the western plains. cowboys, railroad workers, hoboes, and soldiers and sailors.

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSICIANS:  “VOODOO,” said to be the first American grand opera on a black plot, with the libretto and musical score by the black compiser, H. Lawrence Freeman, had its world première at the Palm Garden (formerly the 42d Street Theatre) in New York, on september tenth, by The Black Opera Company. [Also cited in the October issue for its radio performance.]

COMPOSERS:  Dr. Vaughan Williams has completed an opera, “Falstaff,” thus adding another musical equipage to Shakespeare’s immortan creaton.  It is in preparation for performance in the Opera Theatre of the Royal College of Music, of London.  Dr. Williams’ former full-length opera, “Hugh the Drove,” remains one of the few successful British operas.  I has been heard in America as well as in several European countries.

STRADIVARIUS: A genuine Stradivarius violin is reported to have been found at Rye, New York, early in the past summer. A Mr. Dyer, of the local police department, unearthed the instrument from the attic, when his daughter pleaded for violin lessons.  After attracting local attention it was examined by experts and is said to have been sold for sixty thousand dollars. {A bargain of only $896.659.65 today.]

         Stradivarius,  the “Father of the Violin,” is to have a monument erected to hie memory in his native town of Cremona, Italy. A movement has begun to raise an international fund for the monument.


ORGANISTS: The Canadian College of Organists met for their Annual Convention, at Ottawa, Ontario, from August twenty-eighth to thirtieth, with Dr. E. C. McMillan, F.R.C.O., presiding.  Discussions, mostly of the problems of the church organist, and recital programs fill the sessions, and a movement was started to arrange for a joint meeting of the Canadian College of Organists and National Association of Organists (of The States), at Toronto, next year.

        Fernand de la Tombelle, the eminent French organist and composers, died recently at is chateau in the Dordogne, France.  Born in 1854, he was a pupil of Guilmant and Dubois, won the Harmony Prize of the Conservatoire and the laureald of the Society of Composers.   His chamber music, ecclesiastical compositions and works for the organ are highly esteemed.

           ORGANIST-CONDUCTOR Leopold Stokowski, after a leave of absence of a year and a half on account of health weakened by overwork, again took up the baton of the Philadelphia Orchestra for the programs of October fifth and sixth.

BIZARRE AND WEIRD: A drawing of Mozart’s ear is one of the most interesting exhibits in the Mozart Museum at Salzburg, because it shows the orifice of the master’s ear to have been almost closed.

INVENTIONS:   The “Violinsta,” an adaptation to the violin of the same principles used in the player-piano, was exhibited some time ago at a recital in Paris.  It is the invention of two French engineers. Gabriel Boreau, and Emile Aubry.



ORGAN BUILDERS:  Vincent Willis, one of the greatest of voices and inventors in the organ world, passed away on September 14, at his home in Chiswick, England. He was son of the famous “Fath Willis;” and some of his finest flue was done on the great Albert Hall organ.

February issue not available as yet. 


DVORAK HIGHWAY is to the first American public way named for a musical composer.   It is planned to run from Cresco Iowa, to Preston, Minnesota, will pass the house in spillville, Iowa, whee the Dvorak family lived, and will run along the beautiful Turkey River on the banks of which the master used to sit for inspiration.

CHURCH MUSIC:  The School of English Church Music had its first annual meeting in the famous “Jerusalem Chamber” of Westminster Abbey, London on January 5th. Dr. Sidney H. Nicholson, organist of the Abbey, is the organiser of the movement which already is achieving marked results.

U. S. Music Industry: Fifteen million dollars ($220, 679, 152 and five cents when the population was about a third of today’s) during 1927, for sheet music and music books, according to the report of the United States Census Bureau.

April and May issues not available as yet. 


ORCHESTRA INCOME:  For the first time in America a great symphony orchestra is said to have finished its season with a surplus in the treasury.  This has been an achievement of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and the management attributes their success largely to having followed the advice of Herbert French, vice-president of the Proctor & Gamble Company, in applying business methods to the running of the organization. [WHAT A CONCEPT!]

MUSIC EDUCATION:  One hundred million dollars [ ONE BILLION 468 million, 461 thousand, 13 dollars and five cents today.] is spent on musical education in the United States, according to a report recently made by the National Music League.

Funny name: MME.  Mathilde Wesendonck, the friend of Wagner, is still living and recently passed her one hundredth birthday.


MUSIC CULTURE IN AMERICA:  The Musical Fund Society, the oldest musical organization of the United States that is devoted to the higher musical culture, held its one hundred and eighth annual collation (?) on the evening of Mary 7th.

ORGANISTS:  Edwin H. Lemare, the eminent English organist, played on the evening of May 26th, his farewell program as Municipal Organist of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

THE FIRST SEVEN “SOUND MOVIE” OPERAS to be made by the Pathe interests will be limited to two reels each.  If this experiment is successful, full length operas will be undertaken.

SACRED MUSIC:  St. Dunstan’s College of Sacred Music and Choir School is to be opened next fall in Providence, Rhode Island.  Its purpose is “to raise the standards of sacred music of all faiths, although particularly of the Protestant Episcopal Church.”

MUSICOLOGY: NORTH AMERICA’S OLDEST MUSIC has been unearthed.  It consists of three song-dances inscribed to the Indian Chief Mamberton, by Marc Lescarbot, in 1609.  They have been reconstruct and had a hearing at the recent Sea Music Festival of Vancouver, British Columbia. [Lescarbot, a Frenchman, was Canada’s first lawyer and was a, traveler calligrapher, poet, draftsman and amateur musician. He was called to the Parlement of Paris in 1599, and was a prolific author and translated into French some major Latin books. One of his clients invited him to accompany an expedition to Acadia in New France 1606-1607. It was during this expedition that he indigenous tribes who spoke Algonquin. He made notes on their language and music.


AMERICAN ORGAN WORKS are becoming familiar to Ireland through the broadcasting recitals of Mr. Herbert AWesterby, the eminent English organist, at the new Grosvenor Hall of Belfast.  Miscellaneous works have appeared on his programs throughout the year; and on May 31st the entire recital was devoted to American compositions, as will be that of July 5th.

MALE CHORUSES: Four thousand male voices united in a program of the Associated Glee Clubs of America, in their concert at Madison Square Garden, New York, on the night of May 24th.

ORGANISTS:  R. Huntington Woodman started on May 5th , his fiftieth year as organist and choirmaster of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, New York. This is a most unusual record if not unparalleled in American church music. It is also interesting to know that Mr. Woodward succeeded his father, the late Jonathan Woodman, to his present position.


 ORGANISTS: Dr. Humphrey J. Stewart’s seventy-third birthday was celebrated at the Spreckels organ pavilion of Balboa Park, San DIego, California., in recognition of his long service as official organist. [Also a composer, this celebration included performances of some of his compositions including selections from his grand opera “Montezuma”, song, an oratorio and a cantata fur quartet, chorus and orchestra. 

CHILDREN’S CHOIRS are a new musical activity attracting attention of educators.  Durham, North Carolina, now has a well-known group connected with its public school work and another of note [pun!] is now in its thirtieth year, at Flemington, New Jersey, sponsored by the united churches.


ORGANS:  Canada’s largest organ with one hundred and eight stop, and with seven thousand, two hundred and sixty-four pipes, has been lately installed in Toronto. It is in the Royal York Hotel and was dedicated during the recent joint convention of the Canadian College of Organists and the National Association of Organists of the United States.        [Editor: Why in the world would a hotel want a giant organ?]

ORGAN MUSIC: Twelve Programs of English Organ Music, by composers of all periods but mostly modern, have been given by the organist of Litchfield Cathedral, England. A hint to American organists.  [Misspelling: “Lichfield” has to “t”.]

Stradivarius (again): The Servais ‘Cello, famous as having the greatest tone volume of all the Stradivarius violoncellos, recently crossed the ocean in the cabin of the captain of the S. S. Paris, to be added to the Wurlitzer Collection.  Made in 1701, it finally became the property of Adrien François Servais, the eminent Belgian ‘cellist, was for some time in his family, and then passed to the ownership of the Princess Yusopov. (and again) The Library of the Conservatory of Florence, has received a gift of a set of instruments made by Stradivarius for the orchestra of the Court of Tuscany, and other instruments belonging to Duke Cosimo III, dating back to 1715.

ELECTRONICS:  Emile Berliner, inventor of the disc record talking machine and of the telephone transmitter, died August third, at the age of seventy-nine. Born in Hanover, Germany, he migrated in 1866, to the United States.  The loose contact transmitter, which Berliner evolve some three years before Bell and Watson invented the telephone, placed the telephone on a commercial basis and was to become important also in radio broadcasting.  He invented the disc record gramophone in 1887 and along with it the present method of duplicating disc records.


COMPOSERS: Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring)  will be given its first performance as a ballet, when presented in April by the Philadelphia Orchestra  in collaboration with the League of Composers, with Stokowski leading.


ORGANS: The Spanish Exposition Organ, recently installed at Barcelona, has five manuals and more than ten thousand pipes, and one hundred and fifty-four speaking stops.   It represents the highest achievement in European organ construction.


(Only June, August and November issues are available at this time.)


RADIO: The radio musical appreciation hour, conducted by Walter Damrosch, is reported to have been heard this year by more than five million children. Forty-five of the forty-eight states have included these concerts in their regular school curriculum. Requests were received from every state in the Union, from the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, China, Cuba, and from Mexico. Of fifteen-hundred letters received from teachers and students, all expressed only approbation for the work, excepting on little fellow who liked jazz better!

AZTEC AND INCA MUSIC  has been featured in a program given recently at Carnegie Hall of New York City under the auspices of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps of Central America.

RARE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: Prince Mohi-ud-den, son of the Emir of Mecca, and said to be the thit-seventh in direct lineage from Mohammed the Prophet, is devoted to the ‘cello and his oude. The oude is a native Arabian instrument resembling an ancient lute and with a tone between those of the harp and the guitar.

INVENTIONSInterpretation of music themes in colored light is credited, in its invention, to Mrs. Mary Hallock-Greenewalt of Philadelphia.


ORGANISTS:  Charles Marie Widor recently completed his sixtieth year as organist of St. Sulpice in Paris, the leading church position in that city.  In honor of the event he was present with the Medal of the City of Paris.  Aside from playing the largest and finest organ in France, Widor has the distinction of being being the perpetual secretary of the Académie des Beaux Arts.

INVENTIONS:  A new musical instrument, capable of producing tones never before heard by the human ear, has been developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [M.I.T.] By using beams of light and a photo-electric cell, it produces synthetic sound of its own origination; and in addition it can produce most of the tones of existing instruments.  It is played much in the manner of the piano.

PRODIGY VIOLINIST:  Luggiero Ricci, the nine-year-old young Lochinvar (?) of the violin, who came out of the West [What?], achieved the astonishing feat of playing, on May fifteenth, the Concerto in D Major for violin and orchestra, by Beethoven, at the Ann Arbor May Musical Festival. He won not only the sympathies of the audience but also the praise of the most captious critics.  this was all the more remarkable, as it was the first time he had played this master work of the violin i n publish.

ETHNOMUSICOLOGY: Five hundred varieties of music instruments have been identified by musical research in India.  No other race can boast so many and of such variety; and they thoroughly represent the wind, string and percussion families.  Many of our western instruments are of oriental origin.

        Ancient Egyptian music, on instruments authentically copied and reconstructed, from monument and manuscripts, is to be a feature of an exhibition at the Long Hippodrome, under the auspices of the famous Egyptologists, Sir Flinders and Lady Petrie.

ORGANS: At the Cathedral of Blois, France, the great organ, after complete restoration, has been dedicated by a recital by M. Joseph Bonnet, who was so successful with his program in America.

         The new organ at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York city [by the Kilgen company], installed at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars, was dedicated February eleventh.  With eleven thousand pipes and one hundred and sixty-six stops, it stands second among the church organs of the world.

WOMEN IN MUSIC:  The first woman harpist ever to play with the Philadelphia Orchestra will be  Miss Edna Phillips, a native of Reading, Pennsylvania, when she becomes first harpist of that organization at the beginning of the coming season.

CHURCH MUSIC:  Students of church music will be assisted in their studies, from the income of an endowment of fifty-thousand dollars [$734.217.37 today], by the will of the late Samuel Carr, to the New England Conservatory, for this purpose.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: Monster organs may be the boast and pride of many a musical center, but to Peterborough, England, belongs seemingly the honor of possessing the smallest perfect violin in the world.  In the collection of an old instrument maker, it is but four inches long and so delicately  made that it weights but one-fifth of an ounce, though consisting of nearly one hundred parts. On the other hand, New York has a saxophone twenty-two feet long.  Then London has a mouth organ seventeen and half feet long, which is played by several persons each of whom is responsible for the use of almost two feet of its compass.


ORGANISTS’ DEATHS:  Carl Fiqué, one of the best known of the organists, conductors and composers of light opera of New York City, was found dead from a heart attack, on the morning of December 8th, last, IN THE MUSIC ROOM of Zion Lutheran Church of Brooklyn where he had been organist for forty-four years.

              Dr. Harry Alfred Harding, eminent English organist and secretary of the Royal College of Organists, died suddenly at a meeting of the County Musical Competition Festival of Redford, in November last, at the age of seventy-five.  He had been for many years the borough organist, for twenty-five years the conductor of the widely known Bedford Musical Society, and for forty-one years the organist of the local St. Paul’s Church.

BLIND MUSICIANS:  The braille music catalogue now has listed more that four houssant compositions, according to the last report of the National Institute of the Blind of England.

RADIO:  Band instruction by radio is a new enterprise on trial at Michigan University in Ann Arbor.  The course is intended for student of school age, from the fourth grade through high school, and school authorities are asked to coöperate in forming groups for study.

BACH: A Bach program in a symphonic series may be a novelty of ancient vintage; but it is a much more soul-filling one than most groups of lately modern writings. For its program on December 19th, 20th and 22nd, the Philadelphia Orchestra with [organist] Leopold Stokowski conducting, offered such a program, with the Brandenburg Concertos, No. 2 and No. 3, in their original scoring; and added to these were Mr. Stokowski’s own orchestrations of the great Chaconne [? Do they mean the organ Passacaglia?], the Prelude in E-flat Minor [maybe from the Well-Tempered?], and the [organ] Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.


THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ORGANISTS, at its convention in Los Angeles in the first week of August, passed a resolution  in favor of the union that that organization with the American Guild of Organists. This brings in open discussion a question, which for some time has been in the minds of leaders of both of those groups.

ORGANS IN THE NEW YORK SCHOOLS: Automatic reproducing pipe organs, playable also by the usual organist, have been introduced into the schools of New York City, as a principal adjunct to the courses in musical understanding and appreciation.

COMPOSERS AND CRITICS: Modernistic composers seem to have borne their bitterest blow from a leading London musical critic, Harvey Grace, who has said that Schönber’s “Pierrot Lunaire,” now but twenty years old, already “shows its age.”  Thus does this music, written “to be completely understood early in the future,” appear to have something of “its future behind it,” if one may indulge in another’s slight cynical phrase.

December issue not available at this time. 

   concert in the field, aug. 1929

Possibly the strangest Etude cover ever! August, 1939

“Concert in the Fields”

Somewhat contrary to the below ad is the fact that hundreds of well-paid theater organists were out of a job almost overnight at the beginning of the Great Depression due to the introduction of the “Talkies.”

the talkies


January issue not available.


INVENTIONS: “Musical Waves” is the name of a new electric instrument for inveighing (coaching)  musical sounds from the ether. Invented by Maurice Martenot of France, it was demonstrated for the first time in American when, on December twelfth the inventor appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the leadership of [organist] Leopold Stokowski.  The instrument is able to imitate not only the human voice but also many of the instruments of the orchestra, with almost limitless possibilities in its improvement.  It is not yet on the market.

ORGANS:  Pipe organs to the number of 1695 and valued at $11,213,460 [$167,477,618 and forty-eight cents today] were built in the United States in 1929

AMERICAN MUSIC LIBRARY IN PARIS;  An American music library has been opened in Paris.  It is a branch of the American Library. This not only allows visiting Americans to be able to have music from home but will be also a means of acquainting ouf French friends with the works of our native composers.

(The March issue is unavailable.)


WOMEN IN MUSIC: Another feminine conductor; Ruth Kemper, the American violinist, lately added to the faculty of the Salzburg Conservatory, conducted a recent orchestral concert in Vienna, on the program of which was MacDowell’s “Indian Suite.” Congratulations Ruth.  Not all of our American male conductors have the courage to champion our native composers in a strange land.


NATIONAL ANTHEM:  The “Star Spangled Banner” becomes the official National Anthem of the United States by a bill which was passed by the Senate on March 3 and at once transmitted to President Hoover for his signature.  The House passed the bill last year.

ORGANS: Italy’s largest organ, by late reports, is to be found in the Cathedral of Messina where it was recently dedicated.

ORGANISTS:  T. Tertius Noble was the guest of honor at a dinner tendered by the National Association of Organists, in New York, on March sixteenth, in honor of his having completed a half century of service as a church musician.  On [Sunday] the fifteenth, Dr. Nobles compositions, only, were used in the services of St. Thomas Church where he presides at the organ, in many other churches in New York and of the country, and in forty cathedrals and churches in England.

CHOIR BOYS of St. George’s Chapel of Windsor Castle still receive each month a small honorarium for praying for the soul of Henry VIII.


ORGANISTS:  Charles Galloway, nationally known organist of St. Louis, died suddenly on March 9th, in his sixtieth year.  Born in St. Louis, at nine he was playing a church organ. At the time of his death he was organist and musical director of Washington University, of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and conductor of the Apollo CLub (male) and the Morning CHoral CLub (female voices.)

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Grace note: Every once in a while, the solo performer will attempt an interval, jumping from one note to another.  In many instances, this is mere guesswork..


HAYDN’S SKULLis reported to be the cause of a heated contest for its possession.  For years it has been in Vienna in the care of the Society of the Friends of Music, while the headless remains lie in a grave on the Esterhaza estate at Eisenstadt.  Shortly after the burial of the mast, his head was stolen from the grave, at the instigation of an unprincipled prison ward. Johann Peter, a student of human skulls.

ORGANS: The mammoth organ, now nearing completion in the Atlantic City Convention  Hall which will seat forty-one thousand people, will probably outrank all other similar instruments of the world.  It will have 31,428 pipes and 932 speaking stops, including some unifications and duplexing; and it will require four hundred and twenty-five horse-power for the operation of its bellow and mechanism.  Senator Emerson L. Richards of New Jersey has been the organ’s architect and has supervised the construction.

(August and September issues unavailable.)


CHURCH CHOIRS:  Nearly two thousand singers joined their efforts in the annual Church Choir Festival at York Minster, England.  Dr. Edward C. Bairstow, organist of the York Minster since 193, conducted on the occasion which is maintained for the uplift[ment] of the music service of the church.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN SINGERS  to the number of five hundred have formed The Affiliated Choral Society of Los Angeles, California. On August 2nd they gave a program of spirituals and plantation melodies before an audience off of twelve thousand at the Hollywood Bowl, under the direction of Minnie Albritton Jackson.

UNKNOWN SCHUBERT MANUSCRIPT DISCOVERED: An unknown Schubert manuscript, consisting of Six German Dances, soon to be available to the public,has been found among the effects of a Viennese musician.  Authentically autographed by the mast and dated October, 1824, it was evidently written at the Castle Zelész, Hungary, where Schubert was at this season the guest of his favorite pupil, the yhoun Countess Caroline Esterhazy.

AID TO NEEDY MUSICIANS [at the beginning of the Great Depression]  The Royal Society of Music of England recently received a bequest of half a million dollars [over 7.5 million $ today] by the will of a railway magnate, the revenues to be used for the relief of needy members of the profession.

(The November issue is unavailable.)


ORGANISTS: The Union of Organists of the Netherlands has recently celebrated the fourtieth (Sp.?) anniversary of the foundation of the group.

FILM AND RADIO MUSIC has been added to the regular courses of the Klindworht-Scharwenka (Sp?) Conservatory of Berlin. “The world do move.”

ELECTRONIC INVENTIONS:  A symphony on one record is the latest achievement of the RCA Victor Company, as was shown recently by demonstrations before select musical groups in both New York and Philadelphia.  This remarkable result has been attained through two improvement; the invention of a dic on which two grooves can be mad in the space formerly required for one and by the reduction of the turntable speed from seventy-either to thirty-three and one-third revolutions a minute.

CHURCH MUSIC:  A diploma in Church Music is an innovation of the New England Conservatory of Music.  A heartening omen, when the church is again coming into its own as a field for musical actively, after having been for some years in partial eclipse.

MUSIC EDUCATION: The American School of the Air, for the development of appreciation of the best in music and literature among the children of the public schools, will be continued again this year by the Columbia Broadcasting Company.  The series began on November 9th.  Those interested in the cultural advancement of our country owe much of (?) gratitude and encouragement to our major broadcasting companies.

MUSICOLOGY:  American folk songs, in their entirety, are being recorded by the Library of Congress, by means of films, phonograph records, photostat and other mediums. (Sp.?)

ORGANISTS:  The National Association of Organists held its twenty-fourth annual convention, from September 7th to 11th, at RIverside Church of New York City.

UNKNOWN LISZT COMPOSITION UNCOVERED:  A Liszt composition, hitherto unknown, has been discovered by the Polish critic , Mateus Glinski, in the archives of Bessel, a publisher, of Leningrad. It is called Il Cantore Cieco (The Blind Singers) and is a  cycle of songs for voice and piano, to the text of Alexiej Tolstoi.


(January no issue)


EARLY AMERICAN SONG: A “George Washington Song” of great interest to sponsors of historical programs of American music, has been brought to light.  Supposedly to have been written in 1778, it is a “Toast” in honor of Washington, with the words and music by Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and our first native composer of music.

HAYDN SCORES DISCOVERED: Five Haydn composition hitherto unknown,  created a sensation in Vienna when recently discovered by Dr. Karl Gairinger, who states that these rank with the composer’s finest works. There are two nocturnes for the lyra organizzata, an obsolete Neapolitan instrument of the guitar family, with orchestral accompaniment. The other works are advertisement for orchestra, an octette for wind instruments, and an area from an unpublished opera, “Cupid’s Darts.”

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, eminent vocal teacher, singer and composer of London, died there on November 1st.  While studying under Reinecke on scholarship at the Leipzig Conservatory, he conducted his own “Symphony in C Minor”. On discovering that he had a worth while tenor voice, the Mendelssohn Scholarship was extended so that he had two and half years of study under Lamperti at Milan. He had a successful career in concert and oratorio, then was appointed a professor at the ROyal Academy of Music.

A DEPARTMENT STORE “MUSIC APPRECIATION CLASS” has been instituted at the Abraham and Strauss emporium in Brooklyn.  With the assistance of radio and phonograph, a regular course of instruction is carried out under the direction of Kenneth S. Clarke, director of music activities of the store.

ORGANS: The largest organ in any church in the United States was dedicate on November 29th, in St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of Hanover, Pennsylvania.  The instrument contains twelve thousand, seven hundred and seventy-three pipes, and the only larger church organ in the world is the one in Passau Cathedral, Germany.

THE CENTURY OF PROGRESS EXPOSITION [celebrating Chicago’s centennial] which has been in preparation some years, to be held in Chicago in 1933, has been planned by the a board of directors, with former Vice-President Charles D. Lawes at its head, with the idea of making music the great central popular attraction.

ORGANISTS:  Dr. John Hyatt Brewer, widely known organist and composer of Brooklyn died on November 30th. He recently celebrated his fiftieth anniversary as organist of Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church.  In 1896 helped to create the American Guild of organists [Sp? The “o” here should be capitalized.]  He received the degree, Doctor of Music, from New York University, won several prizes for compositions, and more that two hundred of his works have been published.

                 Samuel A. Baldwin, who for twenty-four years has been playing semi-weekly recitals on the organ of the Great Hall of the College of the City of New York, gave his last program on January 25th.  On February 1st Professor Baldwin had his seventieth birthday, when, under the law, he was automatically retired.

ORGAN BUILDERS: The Aeolian and Skinner organ companies, two of the oldest, largest and best of our native builders of these kings of instruments, have yielded to the merging spirit of the times and will be hereafter known as the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Inc. 


BRAILLE MUSIC FOR THE BLIND:  The sightless musician now has a rather large catalogue of music available through the American Braille Press.

RADIO:  One-fourth of a million dollars [$4,663,284. 67 today] is the report sum which the National Broadcasting Company [N.B.C.] is paying the Metropolitan Opera Company for the privilege of broadcasting twenty-five operas. 

HUGE CHORUS: Forty thousand people united in a community chorus at Johannesburg, South Africa, to welcome the Prince of Wales on his recent tour.

ORGANISTS:  Dr. Peter Christian Lutkin, eminent American organist, composer and teacher, died on December 27, at Evanston Illinois.  Born March 27, 1859, he became a protégé and pupil of Clarence Eddy, and studied with the best masters of American and Europe. He founded the Northwestern University School of Music and was its dean for forty-three years and henceforth its dead emeritus.  He created the great North Shore Festivals and was on of the founders of the American Guild of Organists.  Dr. Lutkin was a man of strong personality and great individual charm, which made for him innumerable friends.

GREAT DEPRESSION MISERY: Three thousand musician of New York City are report to be in need: and a relief committee, with Walter Damrosch as chairman, has been formed.  Among those interested in the movement and active on the committee are such musical celebrities as Ignace Paderewski, Fritz Kreisler and Arturo Toscanini. At least three hundred thousand dollars is the goal.

(April issue not available).


WOMEN’S ORCHESTRAS: The Women’s Orchestra of the City of Mexico [Mexico City?] has seventy six members and, since its organization in May of 1930, it has had fifty-six appearances.

ORGANISTS: Dr. William C. Carl completed, early in March, forty years of service as organist of the historic First Presbyterian Church of New York City. In celebration of the event the church invited him to give recitals on the afternoon of March 1st, 8th and 15th.

           The memory of T. Tertius Noble has  been enshrined in a window erected in St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, inn recognition of his completion of a half century of service as an organist and composer for the church.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Tuxedo: A type of ill-fitting black suit worn by male musicians during a performance.  It must be at least ten years old.  It is too large or too small, too baggy or too tight.  

INVENTIONS: A quarter-tone piano, and music written for it, in the twenty-four tone scale, were heard for the first time over the air, when Hans Barth played harpsichord and pianoforte number in the Columbia Concerts of March 6th.

ORGANS:  The great organ of the Church of St. Eustace, of Paris, which has been for several years under reconstruction for several years, was formally consecrated at a dedication service on February 18th, with Joseph Bonnet, the world famous organist at the console.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS: The first black chorus under municipal sponsorship has been organized at Baltimore with a membership of two hundred and fifty. The “Monument City” has had for two years a black orchestra of ninety members.  These fine accomplishments have been brought about largely through the encouragement of Frederick > R. Huber, Baltimore’s mergetic Municipal Director of Music.

(The remainder of issues for 1932 are not available.)



COPYRIGHTS & BROADCASTING;  By a compromise in the controversy between the American Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers, and the National Broadcasting Association, which became effective September 1st, the various broadcasting companies agree to pay to the composers’ group, three peer cent of the first year’s income from advertising time, four percent of that of the second year, and five percent of that of the third year of contract. Along with this premium the broadcasting companies are obligated to continue the flat fee that has been paid for the use of copyrighted music in their “sustaining hours.”


VIOLIN PRODIGY: Ruggiero Ricci, the youthful Italo-American violin prodigy, recently played with great success the Mendelssohn “Concerto in E” with the Colonne Orchestra of Paris.

An Etude Cover

a very gay magazine cover; the etude, sept. '28

The “Gay 90’s” give way to the “Gay ’30’s!”

Interesting that an organist leads the way!

BLACK MUSICIANS: Clarence Cameron White, widely known [Black] composer and director of the School of Music of Hampton Institute, has been awarded the David Bisham Memorial Medal of the American Opera Society of Chicago, for his new opera, “Ounga,” based upon historical events in Haiti during the reign of King Dessalines.

          Roland Hayes has received the degree of Doctor of Music from Fisk University. He is a graduate of this institution, which was the first of such high standing to be developed by [African-Americans].

OPERA: The original scenery, used at the world premier of Verdi’s “Aida,” at Cairo in 1871,  is still brought out to decorate the stage when that masterpiece of melody, romance and pageantry is presented at the Théâtre Royal de l’Opêra of the Egyptian capital.

ORGANISTS:  Günther Ramin, organist of St. Thomas Church of Leipzig, a post almost sacred to organists because of the long service of Johann Sebastian Bach, started in January for a recital tour in the United States to end on the 26th of February.  He began his work at St. Thomas Church in December 1918, when but nineteen years of age, and has risen rapidly to fame, especially as a player of the works of his eminent predecessor, the great Cantor.

          Women Organists: Historic Plymouth Church of Brooklyn has its first feminine organist in the person of Miss Isa R. McIllwraith. The pulpit was made famous by Henry Ward Beccher and Newell Dwight Hills.

gay deco

Another “Gay 30’s” Etude Magazine Cover

ORCHESTRAS: The United States Service Orchestra, of Washington, D. C., is composed of men from the musical organizations of the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps.  For some years it has been making a special feature of concerts of music of the Latin American countries, with these sponsored by the Pan American Union.

CHOIRS:  The Vienna Singing Boys, an organization said to have originated in 1498, have been touring America.. (See subsequent entry regarding Hitler shutting down this famous choir after its American tour. I’m sure boy singers would be such a huge threat to the Third Reich!)

BROADCASTING:  Free broadcasting of records has been prohibited in Europe through action of the phonograph companies of Europe, along with the British and continental branches of larger American companies.


MUNICIPAL MUSIC: The Municipal Department of Music of Baltimore, Maryland in spite of large retrenchments in all other civic movements, has received its usual allotment in the city budget, because as Mayor Jackson said, “Through eighteen years under the direction of Frederick R. Huber, it (the Municipal Department of Music) has become an integral part of the life in Baltimore.  A citizenry needs music as well as street lamps to maintain its morale in the darksome night of world distress, as we move forward toward the dawn of a new and brighter day.

ORCHESTRAS: The United States Service Orchestra, of Washington, D. C., is composed of men from the musical organizations of the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps.  For some years it has been making a special feature of concerts of music of the Latin American countries, with these sponsored by the Pan American Union.

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COMPOSERS: Campaigning against new music. A protest against the propagandizing of music with a too modern taint has been signed by some of Italy’s most eminent composers, including Ottorino respighi and others.  They decry a tendency in composition “which does not and cannot have any human content and which desires to be merely a mechanical demonstration and a cerebral puzzle.” [Probably opposition to 12-tone composing.]

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ORGANIST/COMPOSER:  The “Choral Symphony” by Arthur W. Poister, had its first performance when given on January 22nd, by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra with Artur Rodzinski conducting and the composer at the organ, an instrument which he has treated in this work much as if it were a solo part of a concerto. [Poister was for many years professor of organ at Syracuse University [1948-1967], New York and is considered one of the great organ teachers of his generation.]

RARE MUSIC FINDS A NEW HOME: Notable additions to the collection of rare musical manuscripts to the Library of Congress at Washington include [organist] Benjamin Carr’s Dead March and  Monody  “composed for the occasion,” and “performed in the Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, on Thursday, December 26 [“Boxing day.”] 1799, being part of the music selected for funeral honors to our late illustrious chief, General George Washington.” [Carr composed some delightful “Voluntaries” for manuals only, among the first organ composition in North America.]

INTERNATIONAL BANS:  [Pre-World-War-II nationalism rears its ugly head!]  A ban on all stage, screen and concert talent entering the United States for professional work–except artists of distinguished merit and ability–is contemplated in a bill now under consideration by the Senate.


COMPOSERS:  Arthur Foote, the dean of American composers, celebrated on March 5 his eightieth birthday.  In honor of the event Serge Koussevitsky placed one of his compositions on the program for February 10th and 11th of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He finished his musical education at Harvard in the classes of J. K. Paine. [Foote, John Knowles Paine, Charles Ives, Horatio Parker, Charles Loeffler and George Whitfield Chadwick make up a group of organ composers based in Boston in the late 19th and early 10th centuries. It seems that Foote may have outlived most of them.]

                  Elizabeth Lehman American woman composer: “Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus” (The Little Lower), an oratorio by Elizabeth Lehman had its premier on February 24th at Notre Dame of Caen, France with a large chorus and orchestra under. Maurice Dumesnil. Marcel Dupré, the eminent French organist, was to have assisted, but owing to illness, his place was taken by M. Mignan. The performance is mentioned in the press as a great triumph. Miss Lehman, herself, sang the solo part; and the work is to be heard in other French cities.

UNMUSICAL DEFINITION: Trio Sonata: An instrumental piece popular in the Baroque, so called because if has parts for four players. 


American Music Dropped:  Two American works were dropped, by order of the directorate, from the program of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted on April 9th, by Werner Jansen.  The reason, reported to have been given, was that “we are having trouble with American just now.”

Foreign Musicians Restricted: Foreign musicians have been restricted in the number allowed to work in Paris and its environs.  A decree, signed by President Lebrun directs at “thirty per cent reduction within a fortnight, an addition twenty per cent within a month and an additional ten per cent within a month, and an additional ten percent two months thereafter.  The edict is a tragic blow to American jazz orchestras now engaged in most of the leading restaurants, and to many South American, Cuban, Russian, Hawaiian, and Central European gypsy musicians.

NAZI’S: Jewish  Musicians, who are reported to have been dismissed from important position by the Nazi regime, include Fritz Busch, removed as musical director of the Dresden Opera; Carl Ebert, intendant of the Municipal Opera of Berlin; Dr. Gustaf Brecher, director and chief conductor of the Leipzig Opera; and Bruno Walter, conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Mahler’s music, as well as the music of all other Jewish composers, is said to have almost disappeared from programs. It is incomprehensible to Americans that political disturbances should reach into the realm of an art to which Jews have contributed so splendidly.


ORGANIST/COMPOSER: The thirty years of service of Charles Sanford Skilton, professor organ and theory at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Kansas, was celebrated during the tenth annual Music Week Festival. A premier performance of a new cantat, “Ticonderoga,” for tenore, baritone, chorus and orchestra, and a Fantasie on Indian Themes for cello and orchestra were compositions by Mr. Skilton which were on a special program in honor of the event

CONDUCTORS–Women: Mrs. B. Kieran was the conductor of the fourth concert of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Dublin, Ireland. On the program were the “Symphony No.6 (Pastoral)” of Beethoven and a group of Handel works arranged by Sir Hamilton Harty.

           Judge Leopold Prince, of the Municipal Court of New York City, has made his debut as an orchestral conductor of radio programs.  His orchestra is composed of talented students and amateurs of many nationalities, several of whom, though not professional musicians, are distinguished in other vocations.  At rehearsals the Judge is said to permit neither jazz nor “horse-play.”  Perhaps a forward sept in our musical culture.


OOPS! Ottakar Sevcik, some months ago erroneously reported as having died, is in London for the first time since 1911, where he is giving a three months course of instruction at the Guildhall School of Music.

NAZI’S (AGAIN!) Otto Klemperer was dismissed early in June, from his position as musical director of the State Opera of Berlin, because of his Jewish faith. Such bigotry!  Herr Klemperer is well known in the Americas, having filled extended engagements in New York, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles.  He now will make his home in Switzerland.

AN ART DECO HEAVEN! Elaborate musical plans are outlined for The Century of Progress Exposition at Chicago.  At the famous Auditorium, just across Michigan Avenue from the Exposition, will be operA productions and orchestral programs on almost every night of the week.  The world’s best conductors and soloists will partake in these events which will be presented with seats a twenty-five cents to one dollar each. [The exposition celebrated Chicago’s centennial.]




           Home of the future.

Nash Automobile BuildingCENTURY OF PROGRESS 10


CONDUCTORS:  Bruno Walter is said to have received one of the greatest ovations in the history of Vienna when in the second week of April he conducted a performance of the “Eighth Symphony” of Mahler at the Singakademie.  The Vienna musical world was out regardless of race or party.

BLACK CONCERT ARTISTS;  Geraldine Gore, a young [African-American] pianist of Chicago, is said to have “created such excitement” when on a late program of the People’s Symphony Orchestra she played the brilliant “Hungarian Fantasy” of Liszt.


CARILLONS to the number of more than a dozen, have been dedicated since 1919, in the United States.  Several communities are now busy on the enterprise of adding those musically romantic and rather picturesque resources to their life.

A great Art Deco ad by Lyon & Healy instrument makers. 


COMPOSERS: Women. Women composers of American had their “inning” when, on July 13th, a4th and 15th they were features and feasted in connection with a convention of the National League of American Penwomen, in Chicago. They were there in hosts too numerous to attempt a list of names.

SUNDAY MUSIC in Pennsylvania has been made legal by a law passed on June 2nd, by the state legislature.  Heretofore all “pay for admission” programs had been banned by the “blue laws” of 1794

ORGANS: A lap-organ, an interesting curiosity of earlier days, has been discovered among some antiques in New Hampshire.  About twenty-two inches wide, it bears the name and date of Bartlett, 1846, Concord, New Hampshire. It is played while lying on the lap and has a set of bellow-keys by means of which wind is supplied.

(No October issue is available.)


ORGANS:  A unique organ recitals was that given recently by Dr. J. Lawrence Erb, at the home of Francis Johnstone of South Woodstock, Connecticut.  A program of eighteenth century music was played on an organ built in 1761, with a single keyboard of four and a third octaves, no pedals, no swell, and six draw-stops controlling two hundred and ninety pipes.

JEWISH MUSICIANS of Berlin, denied professional activity by Nazi fanaticism, are organizing enterprises among themselves, necessarily without too much pretension. A “Kulturbund” has been founded, to build up Jewish opera, concerts, drams, lectures and scientific courses, exclusively for the Jews. It is reported that already there is an orchestra under the well known conductor, Michael Taube, an a capella chorus under Dr. Kurt Singer, formerly Intendant of the Municipal Opera, two superb male-voice choirs with many of their members formerly at the opera, two string quartets and that a Jewish opera will open soon.

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The Etude included many pictures and articles from foreign countries. 

DEPORTED previously;  Dr. Karl Muck, who created a musical tornado which forever destroyed his usefulness in our musical world when he refused to play The Star-spangled Banner  during the heated [first world war] period, now has stirred Germany by resigning the conductorship of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Hamburg, because the Senate promised the merging of this famous organization with the orchestra of the Municipal Theater. [Previous entries describe how Muck was interred in  an “alien” (foreigners) prison camp in Georgia, then released and deported. Muck was a Schmuck! ]


CHOIR: African-American,  An African-American chorus of one thousand voices, in Spirituals sung in the true Southern style, was a leading feature of the musical program which predominated in the recent centennial celebration of Lauderdale County, at Meridian, Mississippi.

Funny names:  Theodore Human, Florence Hinkle.

BLACK MUSICAL ORGANIZATIONS: The Baltimore City Black Orchestra and the Baltimore City Black Chorus joined on April 27th, in a concert at the Douglas High School, under the baton of W. Llewellyn Wilson, before an audience of two thousand.

ELECTRONICS: Telephonic transmission of orchestral programs was demonstrated on April 27th, with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Alexander Smallens in the foyer of the Academy of Music, and with which [organist/conductor] Leopold Stokowski at the controls in a box of the main auditorium. The possibilities of contrast and intensities, of toning down, of toning up, and of the filtering of the overtones, were demonstrated. A complete orchestral program was offered and closed with the Immolation Scene from “Gotterdammerung,” [umlauts missing on the “ö” and the”ä”] with Agnes Davis as soloist, in which Dr. Stokowski illustrated admirably the possibilities of keeping the voice well above the orchestra, with the voice consistently fine in quality and the orchestra steadily audible.

ORGANIST/COMPOSER:  Siegfried Karg-Elert, eminent German organist and composer passed away in April, from Leipzig. [Is “Leipzig” a disease?  🙂 ]  He studied at the Leipzig Conservatory and in 1919 was appointed a teacher of piano, harmony and composition in this famous school. Dr. Karg-Elert made last year his first tour of American, giving organ recitals in leading cities of the United States and Canada.

ORGANS; builders: The Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont, one of the oldest and most prominent organ builders of the United States, is report to have been place in receivers hands. A published statement says that the large plant will be kept in operation and that a reorganization is contemplated.  The business was founded in 1846 by Jaco Estey, and since that time it has been owned and managed by his sons, grandsons and great grandsons.

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Among these men are the greatest organists of their generation: LeMare, Courbion, Stewart, Farnham and Eddy, mostly civic organists. 

                 Municipal Organs have been installs in fine auditoriums of Cleveland, San Francisco, Detroit, St. Paul and Minneapolis (Minnesota), Topeka (Kansas), Portland (Oregon) and Pueblo (Colorado); but neither of these cities has made provision for regular recitals on these fine investments.  A good opportunity for some good civic leader in musical missionary work.

NAZI’S (again!): In Berlin, the chamber concerts of the Brahms Festival were cancelled because the eminent soloists of these events were predominantly Jewish.

COMPOSERS:  Prokofieff has declared in a Prague interview that “revolutionary gestures in music” have had their day and that simplicity in composition is to be the new order.


FAMOUS CONCERT HALLS:  Grotrian Hall, one of the smaller but most historic of the concert halls of London, is reported to be about to be demolished.  “This oasis of culture must be swept away,” laments our oracle, “before the advance of his (Mr. Selfridge’s) impertinently vast emporium{–Mr. Selfridge being a naughty American interloper and promoter of barnumesque department stores.

INSTRUMENTS:  The Harmonica.  A creative Music Festival, the first of these county events in the United States, was held on May 19th, by Cassia County, at the Albion State Normal School at Albion, Idaho. Chief interest centered in the creative contest of young students from the first to the eighth grade, and in a massed Harmonica Band of over four hundred players.

SINGER: Lily Pons, one of the most brilliant of present day coloratura sopranos, and a favorite of devotees of the silver screen, was married on June [of course] 2nd, to Andre Kostelanetz, the widely known orchestra leader.

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OPERA: Native American ; “The Sun Dance,” a new romantic American Indian opera, by William F. Hanson, had its world premiere when present on April 20th, by the New York Light Opera Guild at the Broadway Theatre.  The composer, who is his own librettist, made himself one of the greatest living authorities on Indian lore, by years of continuous living among the native tribes.

De Snock,” said to be the first completely original Dutch opera, was a brilliant feature of the close of the musical season at Amsterdam. The score is by the young Hollander, Willem Landre, the libretto by Den Hartog; and Queen Wilhelmina added to the luster of the première by her patronage.

SINGERS:  Edna Thomas, our southern singer who has become internationally known as an interpreter of the music of the South, recently gave in Amsterdam, Holland, a very successful recital of plantation songs and Negro spirituals.

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(No articles in September to fit this site.)


PIANOS:  Pianos in American families are reported to have reached the number of 5,865,000m but forty per cent of them are said to be from fifteen to sixty years old.

MUSIC LIBRARY: A priceless library of music including the only complete collection of Bach music in America, and said to be one of the only three extant, has been willed by the late Emma L. Roedter, one of the founders of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, to the Cincinnati Public Library for the use of the CIncinnati Bach Society and other musicians.

CARILLONS: A Thirty-one-bell carillon, in a tower two hundred and ten feet high, has been recently complete at “Nemours,” Wilmington Delaware, as a leading feature of the mausoleum for Alfred Irenee duPont, former head of the Dupont dynasty of industrialists and civic benefactors, whose fortune was founded in the making of gunpowder.  Pierre, of the present generation is a  noted patron of music, art and civic beautification.

STRINGS: Stradivarius (again!)  The famous Griffin Strad, owned by Mr. Olga Loesser, had been loaned for a period of four years to Jeno Lener, first violin of the Lener Quartet, at the end of which time Mr. Lener forgot (?) [This question mark in parenthesis is from the article, not by the editor.] to return it. The violin, by a sequestration order of the Civil Tribunal of FLorence (Italy), was claimed at the close of a concert of last March and deposited with a person named by the Tribunal, which in June ordered the restitution of the instrument to Mrs. Loesser and the payment of all costs by Mr. Lener.

CONCERT TICKETS, COST:   New York managers are said to have decided upon a plan for this season, whereby they will escape the usual ten per cent federal tax on concert tickets

1934 deep sea diving suit

                           A 1934 deep-sea diving suit design. Scary, isn’t it?



MERGING ORCHESTRA AND OPERA: The proposed merging of the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Company has been abandoned, largely because of impossible business and artistic complications that would arise through trying to operate the two organizations as a unit.

COMPOSERS:  “Mavra”, a delicious one-act opera buffa by Stravinsky, had its first American hearing when present on the evening of December 28th, at the Academy of Music.

NAZI’S:  Mendelssohn’s music has been barred in Nazi Germany.  Even his incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream— one of the brightest gems in that country’s musical crown–has been ordered to be replaced by new music for performance at the Stadttheater of Düsseldorf.

CONDUCTORS:  Dr. Karl Muck (again), who lost his leadership of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by refusing to conduct The Stat Spangled Banner on a program during the [first] World War, and who last year was deposed by the National Socialist Government from his place with the Philharmonic Orchestra od Hamburg, celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday last October 22nd.

                Wilhelm Furtwängler has resigned as director of the Staatsoper and Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, brought about chiefly due to the hostility of the press because of his defense of Hindemith [whose music Hitler judged as “decadent” and unfit to be performed].

HEBREW OPERA: A Hebrew Opera,  The Pioneers  with its libretto and music by Jaco Weinberg, was given three concert performances in New York City in November.

chevrolet winged viking radiator cap

The 1937 Chevrolet Hood Ornament.

Art Deco doesn’t get any better than this!


March is the only issue so far for ’37. 


COMPOSERS:  Samuel Barber, nephew of the famous American contralto, Louis Homer, and a young American composer now a student in the American Academy of Rome, has had the recognition of having his “Symphony in One Movement” given in its première at Rome, with Bernardino Molinar conducting.

MUSIC EDUCATION–Women: Helen Howe is Chicago’s new supervisor of music education, selected by the Board of Education, after several years of debating on the value of music in the public schools—the first time, we believe, that a woman has held a so responsible position in American musical education.  Miss Howe already has made a place for herself by broadminded efforts in “creating a love for music in the younger generation so that they may be a cultural asset in the metropolis by Lake Michigan.”

           The Texas Music Teachers Association met for its twenty-third annual convention, from November 26 to 28, at Dallas, which proves to become a history making event through the adoption of a new and progressive constitution and the consideration of problems  concerned with musical advancement of the “Lone Star State.”

ORGANISTS: Clarence Eddy, perhaps the most widely known organist which American has produced, passed away on January 10, at his home in Chicago.  Until recent years he had been identified with practically every great exposition, including the one in Vienna in 1873: Philadelphia in 1870; Paris in 1889; CHicago in 1892; St. Louis is 1904; San Francisco in 1908; and he gave his last concert at the Century of Progress Exposition of Chicago in 1934.  Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, he gave his first concert at twelve and finished his musical studies in Berlin.

           Robert Elmore, a new star in the galaxy of organists in “Penns’ Towne,” has made hi New York debut with a recital in Carnegie Hall, when he is reports to have displayed “a rare combination of gifts—amazing facility, depth of feeling, innate musicianship and expressiveness.”  Though but twenty-four, Mr. Elmore already has won many distinction in London (where he finished hi studies at the Royal Academy of Music) and in American.

RADIO BAND LESSONS, under the direction of Joseph E. Maddy, director of the National Band and Orchestra Camp, are announced by the National Broadcasting Company, each Wednesday from two to two-thirty, Easter Standard TIme, on the Red Network (Coast to Coast).

ORGANS: The oldest organ, perhaps in all the world, has been discovered at Aquincum, a former Roman settlement now a suburb of Budapest.  An attached tablet states that the instrument was built in 228 A. D.  Its two wind chambers and fifty-two pipes have been renovated and it probably plays as well as every.  Strangely enough, one row of pipes was supplied with what are technically known as tuning rings, which modern organ builders have thought to be a recent invention.


A hydraulis from after the first century A. D. The term hydraulis refers to the use of the WEIGHT of water, which when pumped to the top of a cylinder and released, will produce wind pressure.


(No January Issue available.)


ORGANISTS: André Marchal, the famous blind organist of St. Germain de Pres of Paris, is announced for a transcontinental tour of American in the coming fall.  Mr. Marchal was here in 1930 for a series of ten recitals at the Cleveland Museum of Art after which he fille a few other engagement. 

COMPOSERS: Igor Stravinsky is announced for a tour of American as guest conductor, to beg in in January 1939.

        Maurice Ravel passed away on December 26, at Paris.

        Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco, the eminent Italian composer, is announced for a tour of American during the season of 1938-1939. [Jewish, Tedesco composed some organ pieces, later settling in Hollywood.]


MORE NAZI RESTRICTIONS:  New musical restrictions have been decreed by the Chamber of Music of the German State, by which foreign musicians may accept a position or engagement in Germany only on the authorization of this Chamber; and music teachers–unless by exceptional permission–may not instruct non-Aryan pupils.

FUNNY THING:  “Green Mountain” is a short opera composed by Louis Gruenberg.[Gruenberg translates as “Green Mountain”.]


STRADIVARIUS:  A million dollars worth of Stradivarius instruments are said to have been used in a concert presented in Carnegie Hall, New York, commemorating the bicentennial of his death.  Of particular interest was the playing of two of the only five quartet sets known to exist.

(No May issue available at this time.)


COMPOSERS:  William Grant Still [African-American], David Diamond, Paul Creston [organist and choir director] and Carlos Chaves of Mexico; each has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for creative work in musical composition during the year of 1938.

              Paul Hindemith is reported to have turned his interest to the ORGAN , and his two organ sonatas were herd on a program of January 18th of the Organ Music Society of England.

(No July issues available.)


VENUES: Grotrian Hall, one of the most historic concert halls of London, is about to be demolished.  “This oasis of culture must be swept away,” laments our oracle, “before the advance of (Mr. Selfridge’s) impertinently vast emporium—  Mr. Selfridge being a naughty American interloper and promoter of barnumesque department stores.

homoerotic rockwell kent ad for steinway, etude, nov. '29

Another “Gay 30’s” picture, this one painted by the famous Art Deco genius Rockwell Kent for Steinway & Sons Piano Company

SINGERS: Lily Pons, one of the most brilliant of present-day coloratura sopranos, and a favorite of devotees of the silver screen, was married on June 2nd, to Andre Kostelanetz, the widely known orchestral leader.

(No October issue available.)


PIANOS: in American families have reached the number of 5,865,000, but forty per cent of them are said to be from fifteen to sixty years old.

RARE SCORES: A priceless library of music, including the only complete collection Bach music in American and one of only three extant, has been willed by the late Emma L. Roedter, one of the founders of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, to the Cincinnati Public Library for the use by the CIncinnati Bach Society and other musicians.

CONCERT MANAGERS SCHEME: in New York have decided upon a plan for this season, whereby they will escape the usual ten per cent federal tax on concert tickets given to students in order to fill the halls, by printing a price of but fifteen to twenty-five cents on these tickets. 

STOLEN VIOLIN RECOVERED: A stolen Ouvrard violin, valued at eight hundred fifty dollars ($2700.00 today) and owned by Prof. Claude Sammis of Texas Christian College, Fort Worth, was recovered within two hours by detectives, through a signature on a seven and a half dollar ticket of a downtown pawnshop.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS: The National Association of Black Musicians held its Nineteenth Annual Convention at Kansas City in August. Among the outstanding personalities in attendance were Dr. R. Nathaniel Dett, Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, Dr. Clarence Cameron White, Camille Nickerson, Dr. Carl Diton and many other leading blac musicians.

(No December issue available.)


the pianist in the patent office, etude 8 .'29


PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC: The first centennial of music teaching in the Public Schools of America has been completed with widespread appropriate celebrations in many communities. It was in 1818 that Lowell Mason was officially appointed instructor of music in the public schools of Boston,

WOMEN IN MUSIC: Recognition of women in the Musical Profession, including symphony and opera orchestras, on an equal footing with “mere” men, is the purpose of a movement launched by a committee from the eight hundred organized women artists of New York.

ORGANIST/COMPOSER:  Robert Elmore, Philadelphia composer and widely known organist of Holy Trinity Church of Phillips Brooks fame, has received the Mendelssohn Award for his composition, Three Fantasies.  The work is scored for four voices, with occasional use of six or eight parts; and it was submitted in a nationwide competition sponsored by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, to encourage composition for large choruses.

CONDUCTORS: Women Four women conductors are among the prides of Chicago.  Gladys Wedge, of the Woman’s Symphony Orchestra; Ebba Sundstrom, leader of her Symphonietta; Lillian Poenisch, conductor  the Chicago Woman’s Band; and Fanny Anstrom-Hassler, leader of the Women’s Concert Ensemble. [Both “woman’s” and “women’s” terminology were appearently interchangeable and not standardized at this time.]


ORGANIST:  Harry Benjamin Jepson, organist and director of the chapel choir and since 1907, Professor of Applied Music at Yale University, will retire in June to become as Assistant Professor in the School of Music. He will be succeeded in his former post by Luther M. Noss, organist of Cornell University.


FORGERY: Antonio Stradivari is said to be the most widely forged name in all the world, as it appears in hundreds of thousands of cheap imitation of his notable instruments. And the fraud proceeds with nothing done.

scan_etude april '26 pg. 304

NAZI’S:  Songs for which Jewish poets wrote the texts have been banned in Vienna; which means that the Viennese may not hear “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni” and “Cosi Fan Tutte” of their most superbly gifted child, Mozart; nor the immortal “Carmen”; nor many of the greatest songs of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms.

RADIO OPERA: “Beauty and the Beast”, a radio opera with its musical score by Vitorio Gianini was heard for the first time November 24 over the Columbia Broadcasting System.


COMPOSER MANUSCRIPT:  The original manuscript of Brahms’ “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” is now owned by Fritz Kreisler who secured it some years ago at a sale in Vienna. It bears all the composers’s original notations intended as guides to the interpretation of this masterpiece.


NAZI’S:  The famous Vienna Boys Choir is about to be disbanded by the Nazi government, at the closer of its present American tour. So much for Kultur a la Hitler.

BLACK SINGERS: Marian Anderson has been honored by being selected to receive the Spingarn Medal for 1938.  This medal is conferred annually for the “highest and noblest achievement by an African-American during the preceding year or years.  We know of none other more worthy.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:  A musical novelty is a small harmonica attached to the stem of a pipe.  And now its inventor is puzzled as to whether it is to be christened as a pipe organ or a mouth organ.

NEW YORK’S WORLD FAIR OF 1939: The Music Festival during this fair will provide six months of extraordinary events, the most comprehensive musical program in history. (A subsequent entry reports that classical concerts were cancelled in favor of lesser music.)


RECORDER RECITAL: A Recorder recital was given at Wigmore Hall, London, by Carl Dolmetsch of the famous Dolmetsch Family of enthusiasts for instrument of the earlier centuries.  The recorder, an early form of the flageolet, possesses a fascinating tone and technic, and at the same time is comparatively easy to adequate mastery.

AFRICAN AMERICAN: Marian Anderson, internationally famous contralto, is to be honored by a mural painting of her to be placed in the Building of the Department of the Interior at Washington, D. C.  This is an outgrowth of her concert before seventy-five thousand at the Lincoln Memorial on the afternoon of Easter Sunday.

WOMEN MUSICIANS: The Women’s String Orchestra of London gave in December a program devoted to the works of Mozart, Bridge-Britten, Sibelius and Elgar.

          An American Woman, Lucille Thompson, has been instrumental in promoting, as a pioneer, concert courses in Cape Town and in half a dozen other South African cities.



ORGANISTS:  King George VI has graciously granted his patronage to the Royal College of Organists, of London, the first time that, in its seventy-five years of existence, the sovereign has become patron of this Royal institution. 

COMPOSERS: Organist/Choirmaster/Conductor Leopold Stokowski, Fritz Reiner and Howard Hanson, three of America’s most distinguished musicians, have consented to act as judges for the American Composers Award for 1939, of the Henry Hadley Foundation.

CHURCH  MUSIC:   The Church and Choral Music Institute of Northwestern University, for the study and discussion of the problems of the Ministry of Music, will be held July 29 to August 4th. [How far we have declined! The once outstanding organ department of Northwestern University has been disbanded for years now.]

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSICIANS:  The Detroit Black Opera Company has finished its second season. With a combined cast and ballet of one hundred and seventy-five, it gave last season a performance of “Aida” which won the enthusiastic approval of the press.


COMPOSERS:  Igor Stravinsky has been appointed as Charles Elliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University for the 1939-1940 academic year.  Though designated as a chair of poetry, the Professorship is awarded annually, without regard to nationality, to men of high distinction and preferably of international reputation in poetry, music, or any other of the fine arts. It is believed to be the first time a musician and composer has been chosen for this post.

SCAN POrtable practic keyboard

Portable silent keyboards were quite popular at this time. There were several competing brands on the market.

SAD NEWS FROM THE 1939 NEW YORK WORD’S FAIR: What a blow to our American musical art.  The management of the New York World’s Fair announced that after May 29, “All programs of classical music scheduled for the Hall of Music would be cancelled,” and that popular music at popular prices would be substituted.  So Commercialism literally kicks Frau Art out of bed.


Feature Editorial; “Practical Crime Prevention: Where there is music, there can’t be mischief.” Advocating for bands for all youth. 

INVENTIONS: Leopold Stokowski, organist/choirmaster and co-conductor with Eugene Ormandy of the Philadelphia Orchestra and musician of the world, is experimenting on a complete electrical orchestra.

ORGANIST/COMPOSERS:  Robert Elmore has been appointed to the post at the University of Pennsylvania formerly held by Dr. Harl McDonald, who has become manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Mr. Elmore will teach the classes in composition and will share with Dr. McDonald the leading of the University Choral Society of two hundred voices.


ORGANISTS: Paul Callaway, organist of St. Mark’s Episcopal of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been called as organist and choirmaster of Washington (D. C.) Cathedral.  At twenty he began five years of study with Dr. T. Tertius Noble, during which time he was organist and choirmaster of St. Thomas’ Chapel.

ANTIQUE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT EXHIBIT is to be an important feature of the Tenth Annual Chicago Antiques and Hobby Fair, November 13th to 18th at the Stevens Hotel.  Harpsichords, square pianos, melodeons, zithers, harps, trumpets and all the other instrument that lulle, serenaded, direge or mobilized people of earlier days will hobnob with barrel organs and hurdy-gurdies.  Dr. Hewitt A Waggener of Hollywood, will exhibit his collection of saxophones made by their inventor, Adolph Sax, about 1850.

THE GRAINGER MUSEUM at Melbourne University, Australia, founded by Percy Grainger, the eminent Australian pianist, is to house a collection of historical musical momentos including a large collection of manuscripts in which the works of Frederic Delius, Edvard Grieg, Balfour Davies, Cyril Scott and other famous musical friends of Grainger will be prominent features                                                                .

percy grainger-again                Grainger as a youth.   percy grainger-teenager

[Works Progress Administration, W.P.A. was a federal program to put people to work during the Great Depression.]

W.P.A. and music: Two thousand nineteen musical instruments at a value of eight-five thousand dollars, including pianos valued at fifty-three thousand dollars, have been bought by people under PWA instructors of Oklahoma, according to Dean Richardson, State Director of the Federal Music Project.


NATIVE AMERICAN MUSICIANS:  OS-KE-NON-TON, baritone and Mohawk chieftain, is returning to American after having spent twelve years in London, where he sang the rôle of Hiawatha over two hundred times at the Royal Albert Hall of Coleridge-Taylor’s famous cantat with its libretto from Longfellow’s immortal Indian epic.  Steeped early in the aboriginal lore and then broadly educated in both literature and music, Os-Ke-Non-Ton brings to his interpretations a rich treasure of authority and refinement.

INVENTIONS: A music typewriter which has been exhibited at the Leipzig (Germany) Fair, may become a boon to composers.  There is a keyboard of 135 characters, including notes, letters, numbers and musical devices, and an attachment enables the composer to write the no above or below the staff.

ORGANS:  A new organ containing one hundred and eighty stops and fifteen thousand two hundred pipes, has been presented to the Cathedral of Milan, Italy by wealthy families of Cremona. A large instrument for southern Europe.


ORGANS:  The largest organ in the Iberian Peninsula, was built by Tambourini of Cremona, Italy, for the new Church of St. Julian of Lisbon, Portugal and recently dedicated.

WOMEN MUSICIANS: The Orchestre Feminin of Paris has given two concerts in Liston with the programs devoted to Couperin, Marai and others of the ol French composers, with Ja Evrard conducting.

ANOTHER ART DECOR HEAVEN!  The 1939 New York World’s Fair

“The World of Tomorrow”

National Cash Register at 1939 World's Fair

WORLD'S FAIR - 1WOLRDS FAIR - 2Chrysler Pavilion at 1939 World's FairGM Pavilion at 1939 World's FairStatues Leading to Perisphere and TrylonFirestone Pavilion at 1939 World's Fair