COLLECTING SHEET MUSIC

Why do people collect sheet music? There are several … First and … all of us have a favorite song. Nomatter what walk of life you are from, you have at least onesong that brings bac

Why do people collect sheet music? There are several reasons
why. First and foremost, all of us have a favorite song. No
matter what walk of life you are from, you have at least one
song that brings back memories of days gone by. Whether the
memories are good or bad, the song has still become a part of
your history.

Many people collect sheet music, especially from the early
1900’s, because of the beautiful artwork on the front covers.
There were many artists that worked for different music
publishing companies, and some of these artists also went on to
design for Walt Disney, and other very well known companies. If
you examine the cover of many of these old pieces of sheet
music, you will be able to find where the artist signed the
artwork. This always increases the value of the piece to a
collector. You will find names like Starmer, Pfeffer, Barbelle,
and the mysterious “Rosebud” signature, which is generally
thought to be the work of several different artists that worked
for Harry Rosenbaum. This mark usually consists of a rose shape
within a circle, with several different variations on the basic
symbol, because of the different artists involved.

The music of the late 1800’s and very early 1900’s are sometimes
collected for the style of printing on the covers. These
earliest pieces usually had very ornately lettered front covers,
using different fonts and line graphics that are highly sought
after by some areas of collectors. Not as beautiful to look at
as far as the later Art-Deco styles, but still beautiful in
their own way. Most were printed using only black ink on white
paper, because the color printing process had not been developed
well at the time.

Then you have the collectors that long for the “good old days”,
when families would gather around the piano in the family room,
and sing the favorites of the time. Jazz and swing numbers, as
well as waltzes are quite popular, especially if they have a
photo of the artist that featured the song in a recording on the
front cover.

I collect sheet music for all the reasons I have just discussed.
The memories, the history of the writers and musicians, the
period of history the songs represent, and of course the artwork
on the covers are all an obsession with me!