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Date: 1922
Overall: 354 x 260 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00027135
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    The 'Valse Orsova' or Waltz Orsova was composed for a pianoforte by the musical director on board RMS ORSOVA. The booklet's cover features a photographic image of the ship at sea from its starboard side. ORSOVA was chartered by the Orient Royal Mail Line, being the first vessel of this style and size on the Australian trade run. Its main purpose was to transport mail between London and Australia but it could also accommodate passengers. This music sheet was printed after the ORSOVA operated as a troop transport in World War I.

    SignificanceThis sheet music represents marketing techniques used by shipping lines to advertise and promote their vessels. ORSOVA played an important role transporting mail to Australia and acted as a troopship during World War I. Musical scores such as this would have been popular with people in Australia and Britain who were familiar with the ship.
    HistorySheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. The widely distributed pieces were fairly cheap to buy, making them popular with the general public. Music was an integral to people's social life in the home and at public events such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatre shows. The commission, launch or arrival of a ship was a common event that instigated the composition of sheet music.

    RMS ORSOVA was built in 1908 at Clydebank, Scotland by Messrs John Brown & Co, the first ship of its style and size built for the mail run between England and Australia. The vessel could accommodate 1076 passengers and had a refrigerated cargo space of 100,000 cubic feet. Under the charter of the Orient Royal Mail Company, ORSOVA conducted its maiden voyage to Sydney, Australia in June 1909 with Captain J F Ruthven.

    ORSOVA temporarily stopped the mail service during World War I and on 7 May 1915 was re-commissioned as a British troopship, making stops in Malta, Alexandria, Mudros and Australia carrying troops. On 14 March 1917 under the command of Captain A J Coad, ORSOVA was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the English Channel, resulting in significant damage to the ship and a large loss of life. It was two years later in January 1919 that ORSOVA was finally repaired and used to repatriate Australian troops. By November 1919 it resumed its commercial mail services for the Orient Line, operating until 1933 when it was remodelled as a tourist class ship. ORSOVA was eventually scuttled on 30 June 1936.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Valse ORSOVA

    Web title: Valse ORSOVA

    Related People
    Composer: T Cunliffe

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