From the Library: Victorian & Edwardian Ballads

Today’s pro­gramme in our series From the Library con­sists of a wide selec­tion of bal­lads and songs that would have been famil­iar to Vic­to­ri­an and Edwar­dian audi­ences, with the addi­tion of a few titles that extend into the ear­ly 1920s.

They would have been known to audi­ences ini­tial­ly via the music and con­cert halls, as well as from per­for­mances at home where fam­i­ly and friends would have enjoyed selec­tions, gen­er­al­ly sung, and accom­pa­nied on the piano, by fam­i­ly mem­bers.

How­ev­er from the end of the 19th cen­tu­ry, the phono­graph and the gramo­phone made their impact and large­ly over­took the fam­i­ly soirée, lat­er to be joined in the 20s by the wire­less as a pop­u­lar lis­ten­ing medi­um. A Cana­di­an adver­tise­ment dat­ing from 1900 for Emile Berlin­er’s ‘Gram-o-phone’ – which used flat discs instead of the cylin­ders used by Edis­on’s Phono­graph – is shown above, and fea­tures the com­pact­ness of discs com­pared to cylin­ders.

Today’s pro­gramme includes orig­i­nal record­ings from the peri­od, along with mod­ern record­ings that help to recre­ate the atmos­phere of the con­cert-hall per­for­mance or musi­cal evening at home. In addi­tion to the bal­lads, we’ve includ­ed a selec­tion of Strauss waltzes and oth­er dance pieces that would have been well-known in the dance-halls of the Vic­to­ri­an era.

• From the Library is pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with the Cale­don Library in Sec­ond Life. Today’s pro­gramme was pro­duced by Elrik Mer­lin.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Cale­don Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Sec­ond Life ref­er­ence libraries in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Cale­don Library Web site, or one of their loca­tions in-world.

You can lis­ten now at — the ide­al URL for you to use in your home par­cel media address in-world — or sim­ply vis­it any Cale­don Library branch in-world and press Play on your embed­ded music play­er.

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