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The Bombay Galop

Date: c 1869
Dimensions:
Overall: 351 x 254 mm, 0.03 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00027121
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    This sheet music contains a piece of piano music called 'The Bombay Galop', which was composed by W A Shoobert and published by James Reading and Company in Sydney. This is the second edition and was probably published around 1869, after the first edition was printed in November 1867. On the cover it has the title and the caption: 'Dedicated to Captain Burne and officers of the R.M.S.S. "Bombay."'
    SignificanceThis piece of music is evidence of the central importance of ships and shipping to opening communication lines between Great Britain and its colonies.
    HistoryOn 15 November 1867, 'The Sydney Morning Herald' reported that 'The Bombay Galop', composed by Wild Abercrombie Shoobert, was a 'really sparkling bit of dance music, and worthy the patronage of performers on the pianoforte, to whom we comment it.' It was dedicated to Captain George C Burne and the crew of the P&O vessel RMSS BOMBAY. The article went on to describe the first printed edition as featuring a drawing of the steamship. On 7 June 1879, the SMH listed Shoobert 'of Cootamundra' under the insolvency section as having debts amounting to 517 pounds, 5 shillings and 8 pence.

    Music written and performed in honour of ships coming to Australian ports in the 19th and early 20th centuries is evidence of the central importance of ships and shipping to colonial society. Ships were the only means of communication with home countries, bringing and taking away news, passengers and cargo, and safe arrival could not be taken for granted. Great public interest surrounded ships and their officers, and ships’ captains were often well known and enjoyed considerable prestige in colonial communities. For many people the names of particular ships represented the important journeys of their own lives and the lives of friends and relatives.

    Sheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of its production. The widely distributed pieces were sold fairly cheaply, making them popular purchases for the general public. Music was integral to peoples' social life at home and at public occasions such as balls, recitals, taverns, concerts and theatres. By the mid-19th century most middle class families owned a piano, an important part of their social entertainment and recreation. Music sheets featuring waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas were everyday favourites, covering a range of themes including travel, plays and literature.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: The Bombay Galop

    Primary title: The BOMBAY Galop

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