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The Naval Waltz

Date: c 1897
Overall: 360 x 255 mm, 0.06 kg
Medium: Ink, cotton, lithograph on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00018499
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    Naval vessels were a popular theme on sheet music covers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This piano piece features a lithographic print of HMS ORLANDO on its cover and was composed by 'Daphne' or Miss Annie Jones. 'The Naval Waltz' was dedicated to Mrs Bowden-Smith, the wife of the Commanding Officer on the Australia Station's flagship HMS ORLANDO. Miss Annie Jones also wrote 'The Waratah Mazurka', a popular song played at dances in early 20th century Australia.

    SignificanceThis sheet music is representative of national pride associated with the British Naval Squadron stationed on the Australia Station. It was composed during a significant period in Australian naval and political history, just prior to the formation of the Royal Australian Navy and the Federation of Australia in 1901.
    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 purchases for the general public. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at public outings such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatres.

    During the 19th century music played a prominent role in social activities, recreation and patriotism. Many middle class families owned their own piano and popular songs were commonly played at concerts, dances and recitals. By the 1850s sheet music had grown in prevalence due to the printing press and the affordability of instruments. Music scores featuring waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas were everyday favourites. The music had a range of themes including travel, plays, patriotic pieces and literature. The launch, commemoration or visit of a ship was a common reason for composing a piece of music. In particular, naval ships were used to generate patriotism and national pride.

    In the 19th century the British Royal Navy (RN) divided the world into strategic zones or stations. Each station had a squadron of warships to cruise its waters and protect British interests. Until the 1850s Australasia was covered by the East India Station. But in 1859 after pressure from the colonial governments in Australia and New Zealand, the RN formed the Australia Station as a separate command.

    Most Australian colonies had their own volunteer navies to form coastal and harbour defences from the 1850s, but they also received support with Royal Navy ships. HMS ORLANDO was a first class Royal Navy cruiser built by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Company at Jarrow, England. It was launched on 3 August 1886 and sent to the Australia Station. ORLANDO gained popularity as a flagship of the station and visited all the main ports in Australia and New Zealand during its nine year career on the Australian station. ORLANDO returned to England in 1898 and was sent to China between 1889 and 1901, to take part in the Boxer Rebellion, the first Australian overseas conflict. The ship was sold on 11 July 1905.
    Related People
    Composer: Annie Jones

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