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The CHUSAN waltz

Date: c 1852
Overall: 343 x 242 mm, 0.03 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00027124
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This sheet music was dedicated to Captain Henry Downs and the officers on board the Peninsular and Oriental (P&O) Steam Navigation Company vessel CHUSAN. The arrival of the first steam ship from Britain in 1852 stimulated the production of a number of sheet music scores in its honour.
    Significance'The Chusan Waltz' represents popular dance music in Australia during the mid-19th century and the celebrations associated with the CHUSAN, an important vessel for the Australian mail service.
    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 for 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 theatres. During the 1800s the growing availability of affordable musical instruments and the printing press allowed sheet music to reach a wider audience. Light entertaining music was popular with families socializing in the home and at public concerts.

    The waltz was a dance for couples that developed in Germany as part of the Romantic Movement sweeping through Europe, America and Australia during the 19th century. Australian society was eager to adopt new European styles of music and dance. Despite this Australian music sheets often featured foreign compositions based around local events of the time, such as 'The Chusan waltz', written to coincide with the first arrival of the steamship CHUSAN in 1852.

    The CHUSAN was an iron-screw steamship built at Newcastle, England in 1852 with a small capacity of 690 tons. It was used on the Australian trade run during the mid-19th century and was the inaugural ship for the P&O line. In 1852 the ship came to Melbourne and Sydney carrying mail from Britain, in what was the first time a steamship had replaced a sailing vessel. Its arrival caused great excitement and jubilation with a ball being held in its honour. The CHUSAN was also met with a similar reception in Melbourne. CHUSAN conducted a regular service from Singapore to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney every two months. In 1861 it was sold to new owners from Hong Kong.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: The CHUSAN waltz

    Primary title: The CHUSAN waltz

    Assigned title: piece of sheet music entitled `the CHUSAN waltz' & dedicated to `Captain Henry Downs and the officers of the CHUSAN

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