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The LIGHTNING Galop

Date: c 1860
Dimensions:
Overall: 339 x 243 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Sheet Music
Object No: 00000885
Place Manufactured:London

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    Description
    This booklet of Victorian sheet music features a hand coloured chromolithograph of the clipper ship LIGHTNING. The vessel is shown from its starboard side, half rigged with a swallow-tailed flag flying from its mainmast. The extreme clipper ship LIGHTNING was built by Donald McKay and launched at East Boston in 1853. This musical score was intended to be played by a full orchestra and was probably made to coincide with the ship's launch.
    Significance'The Lightning Galop' represents the transportation of passengers to Australia in the 19th century and celebrates the famous clipper ship LIGHTNING. Ships were commonly depicted on the cover of music sheets for promotional and commemorative purposes.
    HistoryCharles d'Albert was a French composer who migrated to England. He produced some 300 pieces of work during his career, including 81 quadrilles, 76 waltzes, 64 polkas and 48 galops. His musical scores were made for piano duets, orchestral arrangements and military bands. He is known to have composed a number of pieces based on famous ships.

    The LIGHTNING was built by Donald McKay of Boston, USA in 1853 for James Baines & Co of Liverpool and their Black Ball Line of passenger ships. This vessel was known for its extensive passenger accommodation and speedy passages to Australia, setting record breaking speeds on a number of its journeys. LIGHTNING was destroyed in a fire at Geelong, Victoria on 30 October 1869.

    Sheet music provides an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of its production. The widely distributed pieces were fairly cheap, making them popular purchases with the general public. Music was integral to peoples' social interaction at home and during public events such as at balls, recitals, taverns, concerts and theatres.

    In the mid-19th century many middle class families owned a piano, an important part of their social entertainment and recreation. Music sheets featuring waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas were everyday favourites. They covered a range of themes including travel, plays and literature, with the launch of a ship being a popular reason for composing a piece.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: The LIGHTNING Galop

    Primary title: The LIGHTNING Galop

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