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Music Research

Recent recordings of music for the ‘forgotten composers’ of the 1860s are available on SoundCloud

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Listen to the Myrtle Villa Polka by Franz Becker, 1840-1897

The work was advertised in the Newcastle Chronicle in 1876:
“We have received a very charming polka, bearing the above euphonious title, dedicated to our esteemed townsman W. K. Lochhead, Esq., and composed by the popular Maestro, Herr Franz Becker. Our fair readers will find the composition remarkably pleasing, being in an easy key, and without any of those sudden transitions which at times render polka music rather difficult of rendition. We heartily commend Myrtle Villa polka to the notice of our music-loving friends. Mater and Co. of Pitt-street, Sydney, are the publishers.”
(Newcastle Chronicle, 22 Jan 1876, 4)

Myrtle Villa Polka by Franz Becker

Myrtle Villa Polka by Franz Becker

Author: helenenglish2013

Senior Lecturer in Music, University of Newcastle, Australia Helen English, AGSM, MPhil, PhD Helen English is a Senior lecturer in music at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research interests are Australian music, music and social justice, gender and music and the sociology of music. Her creative work includes the soundscape The New Adventures of Mark Twain: from Coalopolis to Metropolis (New York, 2007) and performed soundscape Forgotten Composers of the Hunter Valley (Newcastle, 2013). Helen English is currently a PHD candidate in History and Sociology, researching music making in 1870s Newcastle, NSW. In 2013 she was invited to present a paper at the inaugural Newcastle/Hunter studies symposium. Recent publications include a book chapter: “Musical Entertainment in Newcastle, NSW, 1875-1877” (2102) and articles “Re-Viewing history through sound – fact or fiction?” (2013), “Newcastle, NSW, in the 1870s: Audience Identity, Power and Cultural Ownership” (2013) and “Music Making in the Colonial City: Benefit Concerts in Newcastle, NSW in the 1870s” (forthcoming, 2014).

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