The Pratt library has a wide variety of sheet music available for your perusal. In order to showcase our collection and provide a visual representation of the breadth and depth of what we have, we made a short video about four different pieces that comprise our unique collection.
Check out the video here:
Sheet Music from The Fine Arts and Music Department
Manager Shayna Siegel presents a few aspects of her department’s collection: from the covers of sheet music that reflect the stylistic tastes and historical attitudes of the time, to cover art featuring popular singers and songwriters, like Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee, Irving Berlin, and Perry Como.
Maryland Sheet Music Collection
Manager of Special Collections, Michael Johnson, reveals that the Maryland sheet music collection has over 1000 pieces that were published locally, here in Baltimore. The strength of the collection is in 19th century sheet music, but the entire collection encompasses early 19th century to early 20th century—a time when Baltimore was one of the major publishers of music publications in the country.
African-American Sheet Music Collection
Vivian Fisher, the Manager of The African-American Department, shares the connection many Baltimore composers like Eubie Blake have to the musical world, especially his collaborations with Nobel Sissle, like the Broadway musical Shuffle Along. Unmentioned in the video is a variety of sheet music from Duke Ellington, which you can see for yourself when you visit the Pratt!
Saturday Night Club/H. L. Mencken Sheet Music Collection
Manager Michael Johnson highlights another aspect of our Special Collections Department: The Saturday Night Club, an institution formed by H.L. Mencken himself, consisting of a group of professional and amateur musicians that convened every week from 1904-1950. Included in the collection is sheet music from well-known composers like Beethoven and Mozart, to sheet music composed from the members themselves.