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Happy New Year from NYPL's Music Division!


 Hall & Son, 1856)"Just Out" polka by Francis H. Brown (New York: Hall & Son, 1856)

Happy New Year!

Just as a new chick emerges from its shell, so does the new year come upon us. This polka was composed by Francis H. Brown (1818-1891), one of numerous and forgotten 19th-century American composers of popular music.

The colorful lithograph above was produced by the firm of Sarony, Major and Knapp. According to Wikipedia, Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896) worked as a lithographer for the noted firm of Currier & Ives, before launching his own business.

In 1867, Sarony left the lithography business and established a photographic studio. He is responsible for many well-known photographic portraits from the latter half of the 19th century. A quick view from NYPL's Digital Gallery reveals hundreds of lithographs and photographs produced by Sarony during his career.

This piece of sheet music is from our "AM2" collection, one of several collections that is ordinarily “invisible” to the public because there are no online research guides for it. I hope to rectify that problem soon. Meanwhile, I’ll soon announce the availability of other sheet music collections which should be of interest to our users.

Meanwhile, a happy new year to all!


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