Sheet Music of the Week: Coming in with the Comet Edition

"Mark Twain mazurka," by Felix Kraemer. Milwaukee: Rohlfing & Co., Wm., 1880.

This week’s featured sheet music honors one of the great voices of American literature. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, best known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born on this day in 1835, two weeks after Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to the Sun. Celebrate the author’s birthday with the “Mark Twain mazurka” and the “Mark Twain waltz, ” from Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music in American Memory. The Music Division is also home to music from George Fischoff and Verna Tomasson’s stage adaptation of Twain’s The Prince and the pauper, whose off-Broadway debut provided a break-through role for entertainer John Davidson. See our Prince and the Pauper holdings in the presentation It’s Showtime! Sheet Music from Stage and Screen in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Read more about the Library of Congress’s Mark Twain-related materials in Today in History. Finally, listen to Harry E. Humphrey recite Twain’s story “Buck Fanshaw’s funeral”  on the National Jukebox:

And be sure to check out the Record of the Week selected by our neighbors in the Recorded Sound Reference Center. This week’s record is  “Mystery!” (medley fox trot) performed by Paul Biese and his Novelty Orchestra.

Sheet Music of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition

Last year In the Muse celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with Geo. W. Morgan’s “National Thanksgiving hymn“, from the Historic Sheet Music, 1800-1922 collection in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. This year the same collection gives us our featured holiday sheet music.  As I noted last year, “The turkey gobbler’s ball” is not actually about Thanksgiving but is […]

Sheet Music of the Week: “God Bless America” on Veterans Day

Seventy-three years ago today, Irving Berlin’s patriotic song “God Bless America” was premiered by singer Kate Smith on her CBS radio show in recognition of what was then called Armistice Day. November 11th is now known as Veterans Day, but the power and popularity of Berlin’s song endures. Would you believe that the song was […]

Mozart’s Sister

When I first heard about the new French film, Mozart’s Sister, I immediately marked November 4th on my calendar, because Rene Feret’s new film opens at DC’s E Street Cinema today! Feret has made clear that the film is largely fiction, with historical roots in the Mozart family dynamics and women’s status in 18th-century Austrian […]