How to Make a Violin and Violin Notes

by John Broadhouse and Ole Bull

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With an attention for detail, John Broadhouse explains how to build a violin. The work is well illustrated to help explain the process, and all the options available. Broadhouse produced numerous works, including Musical Acoustics; or, The Phenomena of Sound as Connected with Music (1892), and Henry Smart’s Compositions for the Organ (1880). Although he was deeply invested in music, he preferred to let the music speak for him and little is known about Broadhouse’s life outside of music.This edition is dedicated to the musicians of All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington D.C. extraordinary ministers of healing sounds.




A Description and History of the Pianoforte

by A. J. Hipkins
Illustrated by John Hipkins

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Alfred James Hipkins spend a lifetime surrounded by music. Born on June 17, 1826, in England, he began his career at the age of 14, working as a piano tuner. He was such an expert at it, that by the age of 20 he was in charge of training other tuners for John Broadwood & Sons Ltd, where he worked for the rest of his life. Despite his expertise on tuning, he was not professionally trained to play, but became well-known for his ability to play, especially pieces by Chopin. He also became an esteemed writer of musically related books, namely on history and construction of instruments.



Complete Instructive Manual for the Bugle, Trumpet and Drum: Signals and Calls for the US Military Service and Boy Scouts’ Service

by V. F. Safranak

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Drill signals, quicksteps, sound offs, and more are the contents of this manual, which is aimed at those in the armed services, school bands, and scouting. V. F. Safranek gives an extremely detailed account, even covering how to properly tie trumpet cords. The manual does require some working knowledge of how to play the instruments, if only to know the proper sound of each note. It offers a great deal of information on proper hand salutes, gestures, and how to do movements in formation. It includes a basic understanding of how to read a musical chart, how to hold an instrument, and how to care for it.


Bedouins: Mary Garden, Debussy, Chopin and More

by James Huneker

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Croquet was all the rage in England in 1860s. It derived from earlier games, and was introduced by France. Interest in the game spread to the United States. The different forms of croquet, and similar games such as golf, trucco, pall-mall, and kolven, actually derive from games dating as far back as the Middle Ages.

Horace Elisha Scudder, 1838-1902, wrote this book under the pseudonym R. Fellow. Scudder was a prolific writer and used numerous nom de plumes. He is perhaps best known for his work as a children’s author, with such books as Seven Little People and Their Friends (1862), Dream Children (1864), and writing the textbook, A History of the United States of America Preceded By a Narrative of the Discovery and Settlement of North America and of the Events Which Led to the Independence of the Thirteen English Colonies for the Use of Schools and Academies. Although published in 1884, it became a paradigm for textbooks. He also served as the editor of The Atlantic Monthly. He died at the age of 64 at his home in Boston.


Overtones: A Book of Temperaments

by James Huneker

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James Gibbons Huneker was born in 1857 in Philadelphia. He began his life with a career in law in order to please his parents, but at 21 abandoned that path, and fled to Paris to learn piano, accompanied by his pregnant girlfriend. He only spent a year there, which he enjoyed tremendously, despite poverty. He unhappily returned to Philadelphia with wife and child in tow. He continued to try and learn music, but gave up his dreams of playing an instrument, and instead focused on writing broadly about music and the arts. He ended up moving to New York, without his family, and immersing himself fully in the arts scene. He wrote primary for the New York Sun as an arts critic, but he also penned pieces for Harper’s, Theatre, and Scribner’s, among numerous other works.

Huneker was well-known for supporting new artists well before they became part of the canon, including Henrik Ibsen, Thomas Hardy, Anton Chekhov, Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, George Bernard Shaw, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh among numerous others. While Huneker was well traveled in social circles, and his writings appreciated, they did not pay a great deal. He died of pneumonia at the age of 64.


A Dictionary of Old English Music & Musical Instruments

by Jeffrey Pulver

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Jeffrey Pulver wrote numerous works on music, including Paganini, the Romantic Virtuoso, and Aids to Elementary Violin Playing. This particular work seeks to rescue and herald the English history of music, and to elevate it to the status of music found in France, Italy and other European nations in particular. The focus of this work in the words of Pulver:

“The history of music in England, dealing with the five centuries that lie between the period which made the Reading rota possible and the death of Purcell, is a story of unimaginable fascination. Yet in spite of the labours of a few faithful workers who fought, with weak weapons, to win their merited place for the musicians of England in the affection and regard of their countrymen, it was only comparatively recently that we awoke to the fact that our musical history is as glorious a one as that possessed by any other country of Europe.”

Deep Sea Chanties: Old Sea Songs

by Frank Shay, Illustrated by Edw. A. Wilson, Introduction by William McFee

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Deep Sea Chanties offers a unique lens upon seafaring life punctuated with fabulous woodcut illustrations by Edward A. Wilson. From the editor, Frank Shay: “In bringing these songs together I have sought to catch for the moment the spirit of the men of the clipper-ship era. That glorious period, marked roughly by the Mexican War and the California gold rush, is finding perpetuation in the enthusiasms of those who love the sea and ships. Ship models, romances and tales of the sea, log books and nautical instruments so eagerly sought after by these enthusiasts are, after all, but outward symbols of the men who trod the decks and warped and reefed the sails. Those deeds were not accomplished with out song and the songs they sang were from their own souls: not written for them by poets and ballad-mongers. In reading them we are made privy not only to the singer but to the audience: their thoughts, their lives, and their environment.”

This new edition is dedicated to India D’Avignon, lifelong champion of the importance of music in our daily lives.


Famous Stars of Light Opera

by Lewis C. Strang, Introduction by Matthew Brewer

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In his catalogue of their character and artwork, Strang’s book becomes as much an expBookCoverImage-1loration of the requisites of comedic performance as of the individuals who epitomized it. In the narratives of their lives, one sees the power these individual performers had to shape the very course of light and comic opera through their own personal star power, their capacity for sculpting an art form around their personal magnetism and their mastery of comedy, from high wit to slapstick buffoonery. In fact, Strang’s own analysis of what makes these performers so compelling is in itself a window into the comedic sensibilities of the time. His attempts to quantify the humorous elements of each performer, as well as quotes from the performers themselves attempting to explain their own success, are an interesting exercise in attempting to explain the inexplicable. The anatomy of humor has long evaded analysis, but the lives and characters of these extraordinary performers serve to illustrate the lasting power of comedy and the role of individual performers in defining a genre.

Harvard University Songs

by E. F. DuBois

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Eugene Floyd DuBois (1882-1959) studied medicine at Columbia after doing his undergraduate work at Harvard and graduating in 1903. At Harvard he was business editor of the Harvard Lampoon, the humor magazine, and rowed. He had a lifelong avocational interest in music but as professor of medicine at Cornell was the author of many important research papers and was medical director of the Russell Sage Institute, an active member of the National Academy of Sciences, and received some of the highest honors that American medicine could confer, including the BookCoverImage-3Kober and Banting Medals. He received the Navy Cross in World War I for dangerous undersea work and maintained a longtime connection with the Navy and in submarine medicine.

The collection he gathered as a young student preserves the enthusiasm of another era. Tom Lehrer later made fun of such Harvard songs with his lyrics for “Fight Fiercely, Harvard”:
Fight fiercely, Harvard,
Fight, fight, fight!
Demonstrate to them our skill.
Albeit they possess the might,
Nonetheless we have the will.
How we shall celebrate our victory,
We shall invite the whole team up for tea (how jolly!) Hurl that spheroid down the field, and
Fight, fight, fight!

Fiat Lux: Full Score, Parts Included

Composed by by Gregory Thomas Woolford Martin

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Gregory Thomas Woolford Martin has composed for small and BookCoverImage-1large ensembles, electronica, choir, film, theater, dance and orchestra. He has received grants from Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, and the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, and scored numerous plays in the DC metro area, credited as Gregg Martin. His compositons for Shakespeare radio adaptations have been broadcast on WAMU, and he both composed and wrote the libretto for his opera Life in Death performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and at the Capital Fringe Festival. As a musicologist his writings are on the subjects of music technology and aesthetics. He is married to the writer Pamela Woolford Martin and has two children, Tara and Riley.

The Victor Book of the Opera

By Victor Talking Machine Co., Introduction by Matthew Brewer

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The Victor Book of Opera carries on the proud tradition of operatic synopsis compendiums with a rich array of historic photos and recording references. With its intricate descriptions of opera synopses spanning the length and breadth of the repertoire, The Victor Book of the Opera is a valuable reference for both operatic cognosBookCoverImage-5centi, and those just beginning to explore this historic art form.

Matthew Brewer studied music and operatic performance at Oberlin Conservatory. He currently lives in Washington, DC, where he is an MA candidate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

The Violin and Old Violin Makers: A Historical & Biographical Account of the Violin

by A. Mason Clarke

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There is no question about the fascinating tales that come with celebrated violins, as in this volume, and the enormous prices. In 2011, a 1721 Stradivari was sold for nearly ten million pounds. Yet the storied value of old violins has been challenged by the view that it is great violinists rather than violins that give us superior notes. The Violin and Old Violin Makers: A Historical & Biographical Account of the ViolinJascha Heifetz, an esteemed violinist, was accosted by a critic after a performance and praised for the tone his violin had. In response, Heifez held the violin up to his ear and remarked, “I don’t hear anything.”

There will always be those who remain convinced that old violins were varnished with a secret formula or that the wood was subject to a now lost process. Others will say that the millions bid for an old violin are for a sound no better than that of a good modern instrument. Is this a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder?

Still, Sherlock Holmes always plays a Stradivari!

Gems of Song for Eastern Star Chapters

compiled by Pitkin & Mathews

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Although the Order of the Eastern Star at one time claimed ties to orders in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Swedish royal court, the consensus is that it was largely invented as a companion Gems of Song for Eastern Star Chapters COVER FRNO ONLYsecret society to Freemasonry in the nineteenth century. Both men who are Masons and women with a family connection to Masons are members, and chapters are found as far afield as Scotland and Australia. The temple in Washington D.C. on New Hampshire Avenue is particularly imposing. The ritual of the order provides opportunities for musical interludes, as do the public meetings, and over the years the Star has supported concerts and choirs.

Star Gleams: A Collection of Songs, Odes, and Ceremonials

by Carrie B. Jennings

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Although sometimes claiming seventeenth and eighteenth cenStar Gleams COVER FRONT ONLYtury Scandinavian origins and found in Scotland and Canada and Australia, the Eastern Star is really an American secret society closely tied to Freemasonry. Women largely lead it, although some male Masons serve as officers. This collection, made by Carrie Jennings, illustrates how patriotism and fraternalism often combined in the nineteenth and twentieth century United States, producing hybrid rituals of community.

View the book’s Original 1919 Cover.

Gems of Poetry and Song on James A. Garfield

by J. C. McClenahan

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Gems of Poetry COVER FRONT ONLYThe outpouring of grief over the assassination of James Garfield coincided with a Victorian high tide in emotional display about the dear departed, and produced enormous amounts of glassware, statues and other memorabilia to preserve the memory of the martyred president. This not atypical volume includes an eclectic selection of tributes to him, some tearfully maudlin but all a reminder that, after recovering from Lincoln’s murder, the country regretfully went through still another similar trauma just a few years later.