The Sound of 19th-Century California Sheet Music

Bandmaster August Wetterman

The California Sheet Music Project, under the direction of Mary Kay Duggan (Univ. of Calif., Berkeley), has received a donation of sound and video files that can bring to web viewers an idea of performances of the repertoire then and today. Corinne Swall, founder of the Mother Lode Musical Theatre, and Kenneth Brungess, music director of the Gold Rush Cornet Band, have donated sound and video files for translation to Internet formats, with originals available in the Music Library of the University of California, Berkeley. A concert sponsored by Music Sources of Berkeley made up of instrumental and vocal performances of sheet music from the collection is available is video segments.

The Mother Lode Musical Theatre created a tape entitled "Mother Lode Musical Theatre Performs Victorian Parlor Ballads and Saloon Songs from the Mid-19th Century (MHC 312181Z; Musical Heritage Society).

The Gold Rush Cornet Band under the direction of Kenneth Brungess created a tape recording entitled "Motherlode! Musical Nuggets from the 1850s, '60s, & '70s" (High Bias Cr02;; 415-927-9427). Nineteenth-century brass instruments and authentic recreations of the rope-tension drums of the period create an historically accurate sound. Bands were a part of every conceivable type of civic and social celebration held in the gold country from 1850 until the turn of the century. Gold seekers brought their instruments with them across the plains or around the Horn, or ordered them from music merchants in Sacramento and San Francisco to be delivered to the mining camps and towns by Wells Fargo stage coach. Go to "Gold Rush Brass Bands and their music" for details of early sheet music for band, bands, and performances, and listen to: