Sheet Music of the Week: Great Mustaches Edition

"The Honeysuckle and the Bee." Composer, William H. Penn, lyricist, Albert H. Fitz. Chicago: Sol Bloom, 1901.

The results of last week’s World Beard and Mustache Championship provides a  hirsute backdrop to this week’s featured sheet music. Our esteemed colleagues at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art occasionally blog the praises of historical facial hair, and In the Muse has previously noted the Flickr meme,  Great Mustaches of the Library of Congress . This week’s featured sheet music has charms that begin with but certainly do not end with, as the handlebar moustache has been so vividly defined, a graspable extremity.

First, there is the mustache, jutting from under the aquiline nose of Marine Band Director Lieutenant William H.  Santelmann, whose arrangement is noted above the title. According to Staff Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali, of the current Marine Band, Santelmann required members with fewer than ten years of service to learn to play a string instrument. Thus the Marine Band Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Marine Chamber Orchestra, was born in the early Twentieth Century.

Second, the cyanotype portrait of Santelmann floats on what at a distance may seem to be an abstract design inspired by textile designer William Morris.  But upon closer examination the titular flower and insect appear, punctuated by an errant worker ready to fly off the page at any moment in search of pollen.

Finally, thanks to the National Digital Jukebox, you can listen to this week’s song right here, performed by tenor Harry Macdonough:

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