Sheet Music with Phonograph Connections

Sheet Music Cover Art and Titles related to the Phonograph


By Doug Boilesen, 2006

The phonograph and sheet music have a close relationship since early popular music was normally sold as sheet music to the public before any recording of it would be heard.

The following show examples of an even closer relationship between music publishing and the phonograph with images of a phonograph on the sheet music cover and/or music which included "Phonograph" in its title, e.g., At Home, With My Pathé Pathéphone; The Song of Mister Phonograph; Phonograph March Brillante; The Phonograph Waltz, etc.


The Song of Mister Phonograph, G. Schirmer, New York, 1878. Source: Library of Congress - LISTEN



Phonograph March Brillante, by Charles D. Blake, White-Smith Music Publishing Co., Boston, 1878 (imprint of this sheet music and Marie Rôze is 1906.) Source: The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University.



Engraving (hand-colored) of operatic star Marie Rôze recording on an Edison tinfoil Phonograph from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 20, 1878 - Artwork by Thure de Thulstrup. Source: (PM-1804)


The Phonograph. Five Easy Pieces for Piano by Francis Mueller. Oliver Ditson & Co., New York, 1878 - Source: Library of Congress



Phonograph Waltzer, by August Heilmann. Illustration shows engraving of messages being sent from Paris to Peking via tinfoil phonograph circa 1878. Source: Antique Phonograph Monthly (courtesy of Allen Koenigsberg) and John Reid (Issue No. 77, 1988).



Strauss' Phonograph Waltzes, Julius E. Mirsalis, Philadelphia, 1878. Source: Library of Congress, Music Division (1)



The Grand Electric Waltz by Albert de la Gravelière for piano, France, 1889. Dedicated to Thomas Elva (sic) Edison after the marketing of his Class M Phonograph in 1889. Source: www.

The Phonograph Waltz by A. MacGruthar, Orange, N.J. 1890 - Dedicated by Permission to the Inventor, Thomas A. Edison.

Phonograph Galop for the Piano or Cabinet Organ by M.H. Fox (c.1893).


"Yum, Yum, Yum" by Safford Waters, William A. Pond and Co., New York, 1893 (For lyrics, not illustraton). (From New York Public Library)

Dedication above caption title: To the most charming of her sex this song is truly dedicated.

Part of verse 4 reads: You hear her name eternally on every phonograph.

The Edison Phonograph Polka by Robert Alexander Campbell, Lyon & Healy, Chicago, ILL., 1894; Artist: Engraving by Walker Bros., Chicago, 1894. Source:


The Phonograph - Humourous Song, music by Frederick Rosse; Willcocks & Co., (Limited), London, 1895. Source: Library of Congress


Foxy Grandpa by D. H. Woolf, Kansas City, MO 1905. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0790)



The "Record" Lancers by Warwick Williams, Francis, Day & Hunter, London 1906, Illustrated by Sidney Kent, 1906. Source: The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University. LISTEN



Hoop-e-kack by Thomas S. Allen, Walter Jacobs, Boston, Massachusetts, 1909 - Artwork by Starmer. Source: Sheet Music Collection - York University. LISTEN to Indestructible Cylinder Record No. 1113 - Banjo solo by Vess L. Ossman.


Uncle Silas, Vandersloot Music Pub. Co., Williamsport, PA., 1913 (PM-0791) - Artist: W. J. Dittmar. Source: (PM-0791 Phonographia Sheet Music Collection)


They Start the Victrola (and go dancing around the floor), Maurice Abrahams Music Co., New York 1914. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0784)


The Victrola in Song. The Talking Machine World, September 15, 1914



At Our Little Tango Party, Maurice Richmond Music Co., New York City 1914 - Illustration by Edward H. Pfeiffer. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0789)


If I Were a Big Victrola and You a Little Talking Machine, The John Franklin Music Co., New York, 1915. Source: The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University.


When I Hear That Phonograph Play, M. Witmark & Sons, New York 1918. Source: James Francis Driscoll collection of American sheet music.



Melodious Jazz, Waterson, Berling & Snyder Co., New York 1920. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0347).

LISTEN to Noble Sissle sing "Melodious Jazz" on vertical-cut Pathé 22357, recorded circa March 1920.




Oh, What a Dance (When I Dance with You) by the Three White Kuhns & Dave Manley, Jerome H. Remick & Co., New York 1920



Sonora, “The Melody Beautiful, Sonora Phonograph Company Inc. 1920. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0788)

“Music Hath Charms.” Lyrics by Sewall D. Andrews, music by Walter J. Hamlin. Lithograph by Hayes Litho Co., Buffalo, N.Y.

Poem inside front cover is titled “The Day,” which describes working people’s hard life by day but relaxing around the phonograph’s dreamy waltzes and gay fox trots at night. Sonora's trademark was "Clear as a Bell."



Money Song, Music by Billy May, Bay State Music Co., Brockton, Mass. 1922. Source: The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University.


At Home With My Pathe Pathephone, Pathe Phonograph Co., Indianapolis, Ind. 1916. Source: The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University.


Maggie Blues, Jack Mills, Inc., New York c.1922 - Artist: Starmer. Source: WIMA Collections: Irish Fest Collection. LISTEN on the Library of Congress National Jukebox

Victor Record 19010 - The Virginians, Isabelle Patricola, Billy Murray 1922-12-20

Label and recording courtesy of Library of Congress


The Broken Record, Chappell & Co., Inc. New York City, 1935. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0541).


"Our Melody The Phonograph Song," Minerva Music, Berlin, Germany 1956. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0800).


LISTEN to Guy Lombarbo and His Royal Canadians play Our Melody The Phonograph Song.



"Ma-Ma-Maria," Chappell & Co., Inc., New York City c.1941. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-0776)


The Fairy Swing piano solo by Louise Garrow, Clayton F. Summy Co., 1950. Source: Phonographia Sheet Music Collection (PM-1102)


Get Out Those Old Records, Lombardo Music, Inc., New York City, 1950 - ("those old phonograph records...")


Sheet Music and Phonograph Ads

The following Columbia Grafonola ad from 1920 shows the latest songs of Jolson, Bayes, Van & Schenck and Harry Fox as examples of the latest songs and most popular artists now available as a record from Columbia. Phonograph companies always liked to emphasize if the artists were exclusive to their label.


Columbia Grafonola, Farm and Fireside Magazine, February 1920


Limitations of "a frozen page of sheet music" overcome by the Phonograph

"The phonograph, too, was providentially suited to jazz and the blues. Music that was so improvised and extemporized was not to be captured on a frozen page of sheet music. The one-time performance, with all its spontaneity and improvisation, had a unique appeal which the record caught. Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues," sometimes called the first best-selling disk of the blues, was recorded in mid-February 1920 and sold for some months at the rate of eight thousand records a week, mainly to the urban Negro market. It set the pace and revealed the market for "race" records."

Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: The Democratic Experience, p. 299

Other Phonosheet Music

The Phonograph (1894) (Written, composed and sung by Arthur Lennard) London: Francis, Day & Hunter

Phonograph March (1894) Geo. Voelker, published by Harry Coleman

Phonograph Polka by J.C. Groene & Co., composed by Clarence L. Parfee (c. 1894)

Graphophone Mazurka (1897) E.H. Frey

And When She Turned the Phonograph. Song and Chorus by John Cook, Howley Haviland & Co., London (1897).

Cover with coin-operated phonograph and words of the song coming out of the horn. See "Phonographica, The Early History of Recorded Sound Observed" by Tim Fabrizio and George Paul, I-36 (Courtesy of Tom and Sandi McCarthy).


Love in a Phonograph, Will A. Hellan & William H. Penn, 1904 ("The preliminary introduction for orchestra or piano included an imitation of a phonograph being wound.")

Sonora (The Senor Plays on His Sonora) (1919) words and music by Bide Dudley