The Music of Caledon: Victoriana

Being a steam­punk Vic­to­ri­an nation in Sec­ond Life, the peo­ple of the Inde­pen­dent State of Cale­don enjoy sev­er­al diverse styles and gen­res of music as can be seen from the Radio Riel pro­gramme sched­ule for this week.

Today’s pro­gramme, pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin, attempts to give you a feel­ing of just one of them: the pop­u­lar music of the Vic­to­ri­an and Edwar­dian eras, from the waltzes of Strauss and his con­tem­po­raries that drew throngs to the dance-halls, to pop­u­lar bal­lads sung in the music-halls by the top artistes of the day and sub­squent­ly pub­lished as sheet music for fam­i­lies and friends to per­form for them­selves with voice and piano at soirées in the with­draw­ing-room at home. But there is also a good deal more.

To vis­it the music- or con­cert-hall was ini­tial­ly the only way to hear the great per­form­ers sing their famil­iar songs. But around the turn of the 19th/20th cen­tu­ry, record­ings began to be made in quan­ti­ty and afford­able machines using both cylin­ders (the phono­graph) and flat discs (the gramo­phone) began to become pop­u­lar. Now lis­ten­ers could hear the lead­ing artistes of the day at home with­out leav­ing their seats.

Just as there had been com­plaints that pub­lish­ing sheet music would stop peo­ple attend­ing the music-halls to hear live music (it did the oppo­site), now music pub­lish­ers com­plained that the gramo­phone would stop peo­ple buy­ing sheet music, as lat­er the record com­pa­nies would com­plain that play­ing records on the radio would stop peo­ple buy­ing them. Again, of course, the oppo­site was the case — it was ever thus.

So in today’s pro­gramme we will hear mod­ern per­for­mances of the pop­u­lar bal­lads and dance music of the Vic­to­ri­an and Edwar­dian eras, togeth­er with a wide selec­tion of orig­i­nal record­ings of great music-hall and oth­er late 19th/early 20th cen­tu­ry record­ing artistes tak­en from the orig­i­nal 78 rpm records and phono­graph cylin­ders.

This week’s pro­gram­ming on Radio Riel is pro­duced in cel­e­bra­tion of the Fifth Birth­day of Sec­ond Life (SL5B) and can be heard on our Main Stream, It also pro­vides the sound­track to Cale­don’s own SL5B Exhib­it: sim­ply press Play on your embed­ded music play­er when you vis­it:

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