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The CHUSAN Waltz

Date: c 1852
Overall: 350 x 255 mm, 0.004 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00018186
Related Place:Sydney,

User Terms

    'The Chusan Waltz' was written to commemorate SS CHUSAN, a steamship that carried mail to Australia in the mid-19th century. The composition was dedicated to Captain Henry Down and officers on board the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company vessel. A celebratory ball was held to honour the CHUSAN's arrival to Sydney on 23 August 1852, during which time this piece would have been played.
    SignificanceThis sheet music represents the CHUSAN and early mail transpiration to Australia in the 19th century. It reflects the pride and excitement that the arrival of significant ships generated in the emerging colony.
    HistorySheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. They were widely distributed and sold cheaply, making them an easily accessible form of entertainment. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at public events such as balls, recitals, taverns, concerts and theatres. By the mid-19th century many middle class families owned a piano and played popular songs including waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas. The launch or commemoration of a ship was a common reason for composing a piece.

    The CHUSAN was an iron-screw steamship built in 1852 in Newcastle, England. It was used on the Australian trade run during the mid-19th century and was the inaugural ship for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. In 1852, the ship came to Melbourne and Sydney carrying mail from Britain. This was the second time a steamship had replaced a sailing ship and CHUSAN was greeted with great excitement and jubilation. A ball was held with music such as 'The Chusan Waltz' being specifically composed for the event. The CHUSAN then travelled to Melbourne and received a similar reception. The vessel conducted a regular mail service from Singapore to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney every two months. In 1861, it was sold to new owners from Hong Kong.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The CHUSAN Waltz

    Web title: The Chusan Waltz

    Related People
    Composer: Henry Marsh

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