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The Savoy American One-Step Medley

Date: 1908
315 x 240 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00042663

User Terms

    'The Savoy American One-Step Medley' is an eight page booklet of sheet music featuring a photographic image of the flagship USS SEATTLE on the cover. This music was composed to celebrate the world tour of the Great White Fleet in 1908 and was played by the bands of the American fleet. An estimated one quarter of the Australian population participated in the event some way, with public programs and celebrations held in Sydney, Melbourne and Albany.
    SignificanceThis sheet music represents the American Great White Fleet tour of goodwill in 1908, highlighting the production of souvenir items to mark the momentous occasion.
    HistorySheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. The widely distributed pieces were sold fairly cheaply, making them popular purchases with the general public. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at public events such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatre shows.

    In December 1907, the United States' President Theodore Roosevelt sent the US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14-month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the US Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the ships' order was altered to put the best-looking vessels in the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with a 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    The Great White Fleet made its visit to Australia after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, as the stop was not originally on the itinerary. With the formation of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1902, Britain withdrew its battleships from the Pacific leaving the naval defence of the former British colony to the Japanese. Australia had little faith in this arrangement and saw America as an alternative ally.

    One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. A vast array of souvenirs was produced for a population caught up in the euphoria.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The Savoy American One-Step Medley

    Web title: The Savoy American One-Step Medley

    Related People
    Printer: W Basset

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