Victorian London - Entertainment - Music - Sheet Music

    The social morceaux, which belong to "little music", are peculiar. All those songs which you see in Regent Street music-shops, often adorned with very pretty sentimental lithographs, and rejoicing in such titles as "Mary Anne", "Love Always" (with a counter-song dedicated to the composer, called, "Do not Love at all" ), "The Troubadour was a gallant Youth", "Hasten back from the Crusades", all these are the celebrities of "little music". They belong to no opera: they have been sung at almost no concert, save by the single vocalist whose name appears on the title-page, and who gave them a fillip by one single performance. They descend to no barrel-organ - they are whistled by no butcher's boy; they are never parodied in burlesques; the name of the composer does not strike you as remarkably familiar - he may, perchance, be a letter of the Greek alphabet. He who passed his life at public places would think that these works were buried in the deepest obscurity. Not at all. Seek them in the drawing-room, and you shall find them honourably enveloped in smart cases, and you shall even hear them declared "sweet . They are usually sung by young ladies in a voice so soft as to be almost inaudible three yards from the piano; and, on the whole, we may say that they are more popular with the performer than the listener.

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Albert Smith, Sketches of London Life and Character, 1849

Spellman Collection of Victorian Music Covers *

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