“The Old Gum Tree” Sheet Music

Description (Brief)
This sheet music is for the song “The Old Gum Tree.” The cover notes that the song was “sung with rapturous applause by the Ethiopian Serenaders,” and “composed for the Piano Forte by R.O. Wilson.” The song was composed in 1848, and was part of the culture of “coon songs” that became popular entertainment during the period. “Ethiopian” singers and performers were what blackface performers often called themselves, traveling in troupes and performing various song and dance numbers in often crass and racist stereotypes.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
sheet music
Object Type
Sheet Music
sheet music
date made
1848
composer
Wilson, R. O.
performers
Ethiopian Serenaders
publisher
F. D. Benteen
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 14 1/4 in x 10 1/2 in; 36.195 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
1983.0313.18
accession number
1983.0313
catalog number
1983.0313.18
subject
Music
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Music & Musical Instruments
Sheet Music
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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