Cultures Infrequently Represented in California Sheet Music

Native Americans 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 likely that 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."

Poland 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 the 1870's.

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 Turkish Theater 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).