Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sea Pieces - charming sheet music

Here's another photo essay for your amusement and enjoyment! This time it is a type of material I rarely deal with, but it was too charming for me to walk away from. It is a paperbound edition of the sheet music collection Sea Pieces, written by Edward MacDowell, featuring a lovely cover designed by P.L. Jung of New York. This edition is dated 1899, and is published by the Arthur P. Schmidt Co., of Boston and New York.

While the cover is attractive, the contents are at least as enchanting. Titles of the piano pieces include To the Sea, From a Wandering Iceberg, Starlight, From the Depths, Nautilus, and In Mid-Ocean.

But Mr. MacDowell's delightful ingenuity does not end there, no sir, no ma'am! If you flip the booklet open, you find each piece sprinkled with such personable requests for the player's fingers as "In unbroken rolling rhythm," "Tenderly," "In languid swaying rhythm," "Ponderously," and "Gradually faster, but without hurrying. Mysteriously." Clearly Mr. MacDowell did not want any wishy-washy, landlubbery players mucking up his pieces' intended execution!

I snapped pictures of several of the most intriguing directions for posterity:

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