Long before the invention of television and other electronic forms of entertainment, the piano was the primary form of entertainment in many homes.
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Shops sold individual song sheets to customers interested in going home to play the latest tunes on their pianos that they were hearing on their radios or in theaters. For some, gathering the family around the piano to sing left them with lasting and lovely memories.
The Historical Sheet Music Collection at the Milwaukee Public Library is comprised of tens of thousands of donated individual song sheets, mainly for piano and voice. Although the collection includes more recent titles, including “Candle In the Wind 1997” written upon the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the collection primarily dates from the mid-1800s through 1950. It includes many songs from World War I and World War II as well as a great number of show tunes.
If you are interested in viewing materials from the Historical Sheet Music Collection which are available for reference use only, or if you are looking for a particular song not included in this index, please stop by or call the Art, Music & Recreation reference room at the Central Library at 414-286-3071 or inquire electronically through Ready Reference.
Lift up your voices and sing!