Californios, or Spanish-speaking Californians, in Sheet Music
The instrument of choice in the Mexican state of Alta California was the
guitar and two composers for that instrument are represented in the collection.
The works of Manuel Y. Ferrer were collected in a 144-page
book entitled Compositions
and Arrangements for the Guitar published in San Francisco in 1882 and
reprinted in Boston by Oliver Ditson in 1915. A number of his pieces
arranged for piano also appear
in the sheet music collection. Another Californio
guitarist represented is Luis T. Romero, whose portrait (at right) appears on
his 1889 arrangement for
guitar of La Paloma by Yradier.
Upon the 60th anniversary of Mexican Independence, a "Himno a Mexico" was
written by Domenico Speranza and sung by Senora Speranza and the Istituto
Italiana of which Speranza was the director.
The cover of the sheet music contains a portrait of Mexican
President Don Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada.
Composer Eugenio Uzeta wrote a "Sanchez Ochoa Schottische" which he dedicated
to General Gaspar Sanchez Ochoa (San Francisco, Calle de Clay 417, [William
P. Harrison], 1865). The only known copy of the piece is at the Washington
University Library, St. Louis, in a bound volume
with the title on the spine:
"Musica y canto para piano, San Francisco, California, 1865).
In 1898 an impressive collection of "Characteristic Songs of the Spanish Californians"
as "Canciones del Pais de California" in Santa Barbara, a city
of California with a long-standing Spanish-language press.
The following ten songs are listed on the
cover decorated with vignettes of Alta California life before
Many songs in the Spanish language were printed as sheet music.
- El Trobador
- Te adoro yo (Thee I adore)
- La Indita (The Indian Maiden)
- La Culpa (The Fault)
- El Tormento (The Torment)
- Angel divino (Angel divine)
- Crepusculo de amor (Dawn of love)
- Tus ojos (Thine eyes)
- Me mue! (I die!)
- Mitad de mi vida (Half of my life)
Instrumental music with Spanish titles includes:
- Las golondrinas (The swallows)
- El jaleo de Jerez (The pearl of Xeres)
- La mariposa
- Los lindos ojos. By Manuel Y. Ferrer.
- Novia de mis suenos
- Sobre las olas
Songs in English on Spanish subjects include "My Mandolinata, Spanish serenade,"
with mandolin obligato and castanet solo, and "The Spanish Cavalier."
A well-known Spanish dance by Joseph Ascher was entitled "Danse espagnole,"
op. 24, published in two editions in early San Francisco. Also published
were Holst's "La jota" and "Seguidilla," the latter with instructions on how
to play the tambourine.
The tradition of La Fiesta de Los Angeles was changing in the 1890s
as music was commissioned for the annual celebration:
- Alexandrina mazurka de salon. By Manuel y Ferrer.
- Anita Schottische. By Manuel Y. Ferrer.
- Arroyo de oro (Gold Gulch). Polka March.
- La paloma, for guitar and piano. By Luis Romero.
- Adios mi querida. Spanish mazurka.
- El eco del Pacifico. Waltzes.
- La graciosa. Polka brillante.
- El libertador. March.
- Mariposas waltz
- La mas bonita. Spanish waltz.
- Mis ensuenos (My daydreams)
- La querida. Schottische.
- 1894 "La Fiesta March" by Willhartitz
- 1896 "La Fiesta March" by Roncovieri
- 1897 "'97 Fiesta March" by Gottschalk