Search the Collection
Advanced Search

The GREAT BRITAIN (or harmonia) Galop

Date: 1850s
Overall: 341 x 250 mm, 1 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00003789
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This booklet of sheet music features an engraving of the immigrant ship SS GREAT BRITAIN moored in Sydney Harbour. It was published in Sydney to celebrate the ship's arrival with prospective miners and immigrants who came after gold was discovered in 1851. During the 1850s GREAT BRITAIN made regular voyages to Australia taking an average of 80 and 90 days to complete the passage.
    SignificanceThis booklet's musical score and lithograph represent immigration to Australia in the 19th century and SS GREAT BRITAIN, a world class ship that revolutionised passenger travel with its new technology, including an iron hull, screw propeller and massive steam engine.
    HistoryThe SS GREAT BRITAIN was a famous 3,443-ton steamship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and built at Bristol, England in 1845 for the Great Western Steamship Company. In 1846 it was bought by Gibbs, Bright & Co based in Liverpool. They chartered a number of sailing ships on the Australian trade run but the GREAT BRITAIN was their first steamship. Originally designed to be used between Liverpool and New York, the vessel was transferred to the Australian route after gold was discovered in 1851. The GREAT BRITAIN transported immigrants and charged an expensive fare of 70 guineas. It conducted only two journeys before being commissioned for the Crimean War, later returning to the Australian run when the conflict was over. The restored ship is currently displayed in Bristol, England.

    Sheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of its production. They were widely distributed and fairly cheap to purchase, making them popular with 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 many middle class families owned a piano. Music sheets featuring waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas were everyday favourites. They covered a range of themes including travel, plays, literature and ships, the vessel's launch being a common reason for composing a piece.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The GREAT BRITAIN (or harmonia) Galop

    Web title: The GREAT BRITAIN (or Harmonia) Galop

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.