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Sheet Music of the Week: Animals at Large Edition

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"Bone of Contention Galop," by Pierre Latour. Boston: Thomson & Odell, ca. 1880.

Continuing Wednesday’s puppy theme and expanding our range of species is this week’s featured sheet music, from the composer of last week’s “Baby Elephant Waltz.” The August 1921 Etude, a serial issued by music publisher Theodore Presser, tells us that Pierre Latour was the nom de plume of one E. Mack, who presumably thought the moniker would increase sales among Francophiles and other sophisticated consumers. I’ll take a case!

The “Home Scenes” illustration,  from the Philadelphia lithographer Thomas Hunter, depicts scenes from a strange home indeed, where various species appear to live in an almost constant state of war.  Can’t we all get along? As you can see, the lithograph illustrates a series of dances composed by Latour/Mack.  Of these, “Bone of Contention Galop,” “Go Slow Mazurka,” and the peacetime offering “Delighted to See You Scottische” are available online in the Historic Sheet Music, 1800-1922 collection in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia.  Further evidence to the composer’s invented identity may be found in the piece “King bee quickstep.” The arranger credited is Pierre Latour. The composer? Edward Mack.

For instruction in the galop, mazurka, scottische, and other dances of the period, consult An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals ca. 1490-1920 in American Memory. And if your puppy friend would like to partake of the worm you caught this morning, remember: sharing is caring.

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