Cultures Infrequently Represented in California Sheet Music
The San Francisco composer Carlos Troyer (1937-1920)
published traditional piano music in the 1880s
(see 50 Progressive Duets) but later became an Indianist and
published several collections of music of the tribes of the Southwest.
In 1886 he published Apache Chief Geronimo's Own Medicine Song with
a piano accompaniment (San Francisco, Henry Grobe) and in 1893 two
Zuni songs (
Sherman, Clay & Co.).
One other piece of sheet music in the collection
from a native tradition is "La Indita," included
in a series of "Canciones del Pais de California" ("Characteristic Songs
of the Spanish Californians"). Arranged for voices and piano, the song
imitates a Native American musical idiom and includes with the Spanish
a few words of a native language as it laments the coming of the "huero"
(paleface). A visual reminder of the continued presence
of Native Americans in California is the presence of tepees in the snowy
plains of the winter of 1872 as the Union Pacific train is snowbound ("Snowed
in Galop," H. Herman). The "Pohono or Bridal Veil Lancers" is a collection
of numbers from a stage production about the Pohonos; the last number
imitates a native music idiom and contains what is called a "war whoop."
At the end of the century came another boom in the far north, here
illustrated by "The Chilkoot March" whose multicolor lithograph shows a
dogsled heading into the mountains under the aurora borealis. While the
piece is dedicated by San Francisco composer Roncoviere to his "friend
Capt. Wm. C. MacLyon, Yukon Pilot and Alaskan Traveler," it seems
the driver of the dogsled is a member of a native tribe.
The Philippines The Spanish-American War brought the Philippines
to the musical stage with marches by the Army band director A. Nelson
Adams ("Eighth Army Corps March," Camp Dewey March"), illustrated with
multiple photographs of camp life. "The Philippine March" is illustrated
with a photograph of a woman of the Philippines.
Other songs directed at the events
of the war include "The Song of the American Volunteer," "On the Road
to Mandalay," and "On the Day
That Dewey Comes Home." An indication that some soldiers, perhaps the
25th Negro Infantry, were impressed
by their visit to Manila is "My Philipino Lady" by African American
composer Gono J. Yenewinne that includes a lovely woodcut of a Philippine
woman (at left) as well as the standard studio photograph of the female singer.
"My Filipino Baby" (1899) is called a "coon simplicity."
A piece by Polish composer Chevalier Anton de Kontski entitled "Polish
Patrol" was published in Los Angeles in 1895 by The Barlett Music Co. with
a portrait of the composer on the cover. That composer's "The Awakening of
the Lion" was a well-known "war horse" in the seventies. A sign of his
popularity is the appearance of one of his compositions in The Etude
magazine as the first of its music sections.
Besides the popular dance forms of the polka (for
example, "Kutschke Polka" by Ludwig Stasny) and
mazurka, Poland is represented by "Fair Land of Poland," "Polish Dance,"
and "Fest polonaise." The Polish actress Helena Modjeska established a
utopian community, Arden, outside Santa Ana after settling in Anaheim in
Czechs The Czech presence in San Francisco is indicated by "The
Battle of Prague," a lengthy descriptive piece for piano that includes cues for
bugle calls, Prussians, Imperialists, attacks, running fire, etc.
Austrians The "Vienna Prater March" was published in San
Francisco in 1894. The "Emperor Francis Josef Two-Step" by Eduard Strauss
(with a portrait on the cover) was printed in The Sunday Call of San Francisco.
Hungarians The Hungarian Orchestra was directed by Valentine Huber
who wrote "Polka francaise" in 1894 (S.F.: Sherman, Clay & Co.).
Turkish Three pieces claim to be Turkish, one from the Turkish
Theater in San Francisco. "Turkish Muscle Dances" from a production at the
entitled "Cairo Street" was arranged by Nicholas P. Brown and published in
1894. "The Turkish Review" march by Henri Mauri was "nightly encored at
Baldwin's Academy of Music and dedicated to Mr. H. J. Widmer, conductor of
the orchestra. "The Turkish Patrol March" of local composer Louis Bodecker
was dedicated to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and retinue (1979).