Thursday, September 27, 2012

taking a peek inside my mother's piano bench

It's piano tuning day, the old Charles R. Walter, "Chuck," for short, getting it's first tuning in we don't know how many years. The piano arrived here in upper Michigan seven or eight weeks ago, completing its journey from California begun just a few weeks earlier.

Oh yes. Now we remember. These poor fellows, moving my mother's
piano. And all they got were a beeswax Buddha and little pine cone ...
Along with the piano, of course, came the piano bench, and how nice it was that all contents of said bench were able to make the trip. I figured there would be some music in there, which would be nice, because all I had left from my previous lives as a piano owner were a Duke Ellington songbook, a copy of Sheet Music Magazine from January/February 1993 (with the music to One Morning in May), Albert E. Brumley's Songs of the Pioneers, and two small booklets of Christmas carols, family heirlooms dating back to our roots in Aledo, Illinois.

Inside my mother's piano bench I found:

Mood Indigo, sheet music, copyright 1931, taped and tattered

Scott Joplin Collected Piano Works, Third Printing 1972. Taped binding; pencil marks; large paper clip on page 27 (Maple Leaf Rag); scrap of paper tucked between pages 30 and 31 (Peacherine Rag); between pages 68 and 69 a folded and tattered page 303-304 along with a newspaper clipping, Scott Joplin: The Life of a Master Miniaturist; large paper clip on pages 235-240 (Reflection Rag [Syncopated Musings] and "Swipesy").

The Whiffenpoof Song (Baa! Baa! Baa!), sheet music, copyright 1944

Satin Doll, sheet music, copyright 1964

Hong Kong Blues, sheet music, copyright 1939

Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol' Me), sheet music, copyright 1941, torn

As Time Goes By, sheet music, copyright 1931

Moonlight Serenade, sheet music, copyright renewal 1967

Songs of Kiwanis With Words and Music of Songs for All Occasions, booklet, copyright 1951. "Songs for All Occasions" underlined in blue ink

(When Your Heart's on Fire) Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, sheet music, copyright 1933, a bit tattered

Theme From New York, New York, sheet music, copyright 1977

Vocal Selections from Cabaret, songbook, copyright 1967, tattered cover

Piano Pieces the Whole World Plays, multiple copyrights, no cover, but 224 very clean pages

A-Razz-A-Ma-Tazz, sheet music, copyright 1950, brown and tattered

Souvenir of Stephen Foster "Old Folks at Home", copyright 1916, a piece of over-sized sheet music glued to cardboard

The back cover of a songbook (unknown)

Pages 279-302 of, apparently, a Scott Joplin songbook

Page 277-78 of same as above, extremely tattered

Page 305 of same as above, somewhat tattered

Chlo-e, sheet music, copyright 1927

Two empty plastic sheet protectors

The Point of No Return, typed at the top of photocopied music from Phantom of the Opera, copyright 1986, nine sheets paper-clipped together

Gloomy Sunday, four photocopied sheets, no paper clip, copyright 1936

Stormy Weather, sheet music, photocopied? copyright 1933

Try to Remember, photocopies, six loose pages, copyright 1960

Front and back cover for 59 Piano Solos You Like to Play, taped, very tattered

Manhattan Serenade, sheet music, copyright 1928, mild wear

Josephine, sheet music, copyright 1936, mild wear

All the Words to All the Songs in The Reader's Digest Treasury of Great Show Tunes, a booklet, copyright 1993

Frankie Carle's Piano Conceptions, songbook, various copyrights, loose binding, very tattered. Blue ink doodles on front cover include solid triangular eyes for Frankie and one blue-outlined tooth. He also has a faint, penciled scar complete with stitches down his left cheek

Three Russian Melodies: A Song of India, sheet music, copyright 1922

28 loose pages of photocopied sheet music that will take a while to sort through. Includes selections by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Irving Berlin

An unidentified page of sheet music, extremely tattered, torn, one edge taped

59 Piano Solos You Like to Play, copyright 1936, no cover, though I'm sure it's here somewhere

Broadway Musicals Show by Show 1917-1929: A Musical and Historical Look at Broadway's Biggest Hits Based on the Best-Selling Book by Stanley Green, copyright 1991. Paper clips at page 85, Manhattan (from "Garrick Gaieties"), page 95, The Birth of the Blues (from "George White's Scandals of 1924"), and page 99, St. Louis Blues. A 3x5 post-it stuck on page 145, Why Do I Love You?, with a handwritten list of page numbers and song titles. A yellow, laminated bookmark printed with "Footprints in the Sand" by Mary Stevenson and a blue, bow-tied ribbon attached to the top, stuck between pages 148-49, How Long Has this Been Going On?

Aha! A large white envelope printed with the return address for Walter Piano Co. Inside:
Service Order and Invoice from Perfection Piano Co., Downers Grove, Illinois. The total for the piano with the trade-in of a George Steck baby grand was $4,000. The date of order was 3/26/01.
Brochure and Owners Manual for the Charles R. Walter
Miscellaneous scraps of paper with notes
Business card for Perfection Piano Company
Receipt for the refinishing of the George Steck baby grand (light walnut, oil finish flat) 1991
Receipt for the rebuilding of George 1992
Begin the Beguine, sheet music, copyright 1935

Basin Street Blues, three loose, photocopied sheets

Sugar Blues, three loose sheets, but not photocopies, copyright 1919

In the Mood, sheet music, copyright 1934

Lawrence Welk Favorites for Honky-Tonk Piano, songbook, copyright 1958

All I Ask of You, four loose photocopies, copyright 1986

Cover for Piano Pieces the Whole World Plays

The Butterfly, sheet music, no copyright, worn, tattered, taped, falling apart

Frederic Chopin Works for the Piano Impromptus, Fantaisie-Impromptu IV, sheet music, copyright 1943

A sheet of file folder labels for a dot matrix printer

Concerto in A Minor by Edvard Grieg, sheet music, copyright 1942

The Illinois Loyalty Song, sheet music, copyright 1907

Christmas Carols and Hymns, a booklet

Christmas Carols, a booklet, Virgil Anderson, Aledo, Ill. Nine copies, the same booklet I have two of already

Phew. Reminds me of peeking inside my mother's golf bag ...