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MAY 5, 1906. Messrs. BARREN & THOMPSON COMPANY,
44 West Twenty-eighth street, N. Y. DEAR SIRS: We duly received yours of May 3, together with waltz song hit “On the Pier at Dreamland.”
Thank you very much for the same. We are forwarding the copy to our record department, asking them to try it over and consider the availability for our work, Yours, truly,
PAUL H. CROMELIN,
AMERICAN GRAPHOPHONE COMPANY,
New York City, May 5, 1906. DEAR MR. EMERSON: I hand you herewith a communication received from Barren & Thompson Company, and my reply to the same. Will you kindly give the matter the proper consideration, and oblige, Yours, truly,
Paul H. CROMELIN,
Vice-President. Mr. V. H. EMERSON,
Superintendent Record Department, New York. Here comes one from the Frank Wooster Company of St. Louis:
FRANK WOOSTER COMPANY,
St. Louis, Mo., June 2, 1906. Mr. Paul H. CROMELIN,
90 West Broadway, New York.
(Recording Department of Columbia Phonograph Company.) DEAR SIR: Under separate cover, by to-day's mail, we are sending you one copy for piano and one full orchestration of “The Black Cat Rag.”
About the middle of last February one of our salesmen called on you in regard to recording this piece on your machine. He played the selection over for you, together with three of our other publications, viz, “Going Back to the Farm,
" " The Brownie Rag,” and “Cynthia Waltzes." He reported that you would have same arranged for band, make regular records and list them; also that you would have “Going Back to the Farm sung.
Not having heard from you further in regard to the matter, and noticing that none of these pieces had been listed by you up to date, we thought proper to remind you of your promise to our salesman.
“The Black Cat Rag” is a wonderful seller. It is recorded on the Apollo concert grand, pianola, music boxes, all kinds of electric pianos, etc., and is proving to be a big seller for these various companies. Although “The Black Cat Rag” is still in its infancy, some 18,000 copies have been sold in St. Louis alone, and in other cities in proportion to the amount of “pushing” done in them. At present we are doing everything in our power to make this piece popular and feel confident that within the course of the next two or three months we will have one of the biggest instrumental hits on the market.
Of course we understand that you receive lots of selections to be recorded, and many of them “awfully bum” ones, and we know how you feel toward a new house, but we can assure you that we are in the business to stay and you need not hesitate to record any of our publications.
Thanking you for your kindness in the matter and trusting to receive an early and favorable reply, we beg to remain, Yours, very truly,
FRANK WOOSTER COMPANY,
Per FRANK WOOSTER. Here is one from the Emanon Music Publishing Company, of Philadelphia:
THE EMANON Music PUBLISHING COMPANY,
Philadelphia, Pa., May 5, 1906. Mr. VICTOR H. EMERSON.
DEAR SIR: We are mailing you copy of our new popular song, “Sweet Elsie Ray," just published, and which we think bids fair to be successful. We would appreciate
very much if
you will arrange to have it sung by Mr. Burr or some equally good singer. We have the manuscript orchestration for voice in key of G, which we will forward for your use.
Hoping you will aid us and give “Sweet Elsie Ray” the place it deserves, we remain, Yours, respectfully,
THE EMANON Music Pub, Co. P. S.—"Sweet Elsie Ray” is cut for the month of April on “The Angelus," and is being cut by Chase & Baker and the Pianola Company. We have numerous pretty and original.compositions, and think we should be represented as well as other publishing houses if meritorious work enters into consideration, as Mr. Justice's compositions are played and programmed by John Philip Sousa, Creatore, and other famous leaders. Kindly let us hear from you.
It does not always happen that these letters come from the musical publishing houses. Frequently they come from unknown composers, who are anxious to shine like our friends, Sousa and Herbert. Here is a communication from a composer, Annie Jack, dated March 26, 1906. Who she is I do not know. She writes as follows:
210 WEST EIGHTY-THIRD STREET,
March 26. MANAGER OF MUSICAL DEPARTMENT.
DEAR SIR: If you will kindly make a record of the March of American Miners, I should feel deeply grateful. Hearing one of your valued phonographs we wish to add the new march now being played by bands and orchestras. Many friends also desire to have the record of March of American Miners.
Mr. William Jefferson has it played by the orchestra during 80 productions of the Rivals. Hoping you will kindly add my march to your records, Believe me, most respectfully, yours,
It does not seem to me that it is worth while to bother the members of this committee any more with such letters. I have an abundance of them here, and I want to read only just this one more.
It is a communication received from a Washington house, and will undoubtedly prove to be of interest. You all know the firm of Droop & Sons. They have been in business in the city of Washington for the last fifty years. We were neighbors on the avenue when we started years ago the Columbia Phonograph Company. I went in to see Mr. Droop the other night, and I recalled to him the time when he had written a piece of music. How he brought it to us and said, "Can you get the Marine Band to play this, so that we can have it and let the people hear it?” and of our making the record for him. How the record was used to boom the sale of the sheet music. The talking machine was a new thing at that time. He recalled the circumstance very well, and gladly consented when I asked him for a letter to use before this committee, giving the experience of a house fifty years in business, in regard to the effect of the mechanical players on the sale of sheet music.
E. F. DROOP & Sons COMPANY,
Washington, D. C., December 8, 1906. Mr. Paul H. CROMELIN,
President American Musical Copyright League, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: In response to your inquiry as to whether or not the mechanical musical player, the Cecilian, pianola, talking machine, etc., have interfered with our sale of sheet music, would say without the slighest hesitation that the result has been quite the opposite.
We know of no better means for increasing the sale of sheet music than by having these mechanical players popularize and make the music known; the more frequent reproduction of the pieces the more likely it is that persons who have the ability to sing or play may want to purchase a score.
ence our men.
As we have been in the music business for the past forty-nine years we know whereof we speak, and you have asked my opinion.
As we are publishers of music as well as one of the most prominent dealers in mechanical players in the city our interests might appear on both sides. But I feel that there would be only one reply, and therefore do not hesitate to have you use this in any way you see fit. Yours, truly,
E. F. DROOP & Sons COMPANY,
E. H. DROOP, Secretary Treasurer. Now, gentlemen, I would find difficulty in telling you of all the various schemes that have been contrived by our friends, the Music Publishers' Association and others, to get their works on our records. It has gone to such an extent that attempts have been made to influ
I have a communication in my hand-I will not mention, unless the committee wishes me to do so, the name of the house, but here is a letter that comes from the head of our orchestral department, addressed to Mr. Emerson:
In response to your inquiry, will say that the representative of offered me a pecuniary compensation if I would have one or two of their publications recorded and listed in our catalogue. Very truly, yours,
CHARLES A. PRINCE. That will be sworn to if necessary.
Now, in connection with the general subject-for the committee wants proof-I call attention to this editorial in the Musical Age of November 17, referred to by Judge Walker. I will not take the time to read it, but I will ask permission to have it printed in the record if the committee sees fit.
(The paper referred to is printed at the end of Mr. Cromelin's statement.)
The most important thing that is shown here, however, is that there has been an increase in the last three years of 163 per cent in the sale of sheet music.
Mr. BONYNGE. Within what time?
Mr. CROMELIN. In the last six years. The figures in 1890 of the United States census give the value of the product as $1,600,000; in 1904, the last census, $4,147,000. Based on the ratio of increase shown in the Census Bureau figures, the value of the product for 1906 will be over $6,000,000, or an increase of over 163 per cent in six years.
We claim, gentlemen, that there has been no more potent influence than the talking machine and the piano player and these various mechanical devices in bringing about that increase. It will be interesting to you to know, in that general connection, that our company alone prints every month not less than 500,000 supplements and sends them over the United States, featuring and listing these new musical publications, and I do not believe there is any doubt in the minds of our friends on the other side in regard to the value of our work to them. I only want the committee to have the facts.
Mr. CHANEY. Let me ask you this question: There is not very much doubt but what your theory of this is all right—that all these people want to get their music before the public, and they are seeking every means of advertising it. Now, in this bill, should it pass, is there anything to prevent that continuing, and, if so, what is it that would interfere with it?
Mr. CROMELIN. If this bill passes?
Mr. CROMELIN. Well, if these gentlemen continue to send their pieces to us I see no reason why it would interfere with our business. If they want to send us their pieces and give us the privilege of putting them on, I can not see how that would interfere with our business.
Mr. CHANEY. Yes; that is what I mean.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any provision of law in this proposed bill that would interfere with it?
Mr. CROMELIN. With our business? The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. CROMELIN. Yes, sir; most emphatically. The CHAIRMAN. I mean with this programme that you have had in Mr. CROMELIN. Is there anything? The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. CROMELIN. We would not be able to get their publications, in all probability; a good many of them would be tied up; we might not be able to get them.
Mr. WALKER. The publishers urge these publications upon Mr. Cromelin now because the Æolian contract has not gone into effect yet, but as soon as the Æolian contract goes into effect the publishers will no longer be at liberty to send these pieces to Mr. Cromelin, and will be under an ironclad contract running for thirty-five years to sell them to the Æolian Company only.
The CHAIRMAN. Judge Walker, suppose that all the fears of you gentlemen are realized in regard to the Æolian Company, what about their violation of the Sherman antitrust law?
Mr. WALKER. They clearly would not be violating that law, because the Supreme Court has decided in an exactly analogous case, in the Dietz-Harrow case, that the Sherman antitrust law was not violated by a similar combination under the patent law. They based that decision upon grounds that are equally applicable to the trade-mark law, holding that where a number of people secure a large number of patents they may combine together against the letter of the Sherman antitrust act, but not violate its purport, because they are proceeding under originas monopolies. That exact point was decided in that harrow case, about two years ago, and the point is exactly analogous to copyright litigation. So that if this scheme were carried out exactly as I painted it and the trust were proceeded against under the Sherman law, the suit would fail on the exact ground that it failed in the harrow case.
A GENTLEMAN. Mr. Cromelin-
Mr. BONYNGE. I would like to ask you just one question. I am not a musician, but I judge from the title of these pieces that this is pretty cheap music. Mil
. CROMELIN. It is; most of it--yes, sir; pretty bum. Mr. BONYNGE. Have you had any such requests from composers of higher-class music?
Mr. CROMELIN. Most of these houses that I speak of control the most popular music; and that, as Mr. Dyer said this afternoon, if we depended upon the classical selections, the companies would go out of business. He made the statement that that class of music amounted to about 1 per cent. We are gradually nursing that sentiment. We are gradually teaching the people good music, and I want to say that there is a growing sentiment in that direction for the operatic, espe
cially the grand opera music. But the proportion of the business compared to the whole is infinitely small, sir.
Mr. BONYNGE. Do you not think the real effect of it is to popularize and to educate the public to this cheap class of music at the expense of the better class of music?
Mr. CROMELIN. No; I do not think so. I have followed this industry very closely, and I have been astonished at the broad dissemination of musical knowledge in the country to-day as compared with ten years ago. I have a clipping here of an interview with Mr. Victor Herbert on that subject that he gave to the newspapers at the time he was here in June, and I think it is generally admitted that this is true. You understand that we appear here not alone for the talking machine companies, but for the various mechanical players, and while it is true to day that compared to the classical selections, the popular pieces, such as these that I have mentioned here, are very, very much more greatly in demand; it is also true that there is a growing sentiment in favor of the classical selections, and I believe that in course of time, through the agency of these various mechanical machines, the people of this country will have a greater appreciation for the better music. And no agency that I know of is more potent than the aid of the mechanical player and the talking machine.
While standing here I received a telegram from the Farrand Organ Company, of Detroit, Mich. I know nothing about this concern, except that it is a very large concern. Perhaps there are other gentlemen in the room who can tell me more about it; but this was in response to an inquiry that was sent out suggested by Chairman Currier's question as to what would happen if the supply of music were limited. And this house answers:
A limited supply of perforated music for piano players would be ruinous to the industry.
FARRAND ORGAN COMPANY,
Detroit, Mich. Mr. WALKER. If you will permit me, I am well acquainted with that corporation, and their business consists in perforating sheet music and making piano players operated by that sheet music. They have a very extensive establishment doing that kind of work, and this is fresh testimony that the passage of this bill would be ruinous to their business.
Mr. CROMELIN. This comes in while I am standing here. I got one during the day as follows, from Albert Krell, the president of the Auto-Grand Piano Company. Now, I have only met this gentleman a few weeks ago, and I know nothing about his company, except that I understand it is one of the largest independent manufacturers of the country: Paul H. CROMELIN,
Care Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C. The limitation in any way of the supply of new music for use on perforated rolls would halt the manufacture of at least 45 out of the 56 automatic playing pianos now being made in this country. No manufacturers would continue to make automatic instruments if the supply of music rolls was in danger, any more than a gun manufacturer would continue to make guns if the supply of ammunition was exhausted. The free and unhampered manufacture of music rolls is as necessary for the public welfare as is the freedom of the press. In my opinion every effort should be used to incorporate in the coming bill a clause specifically exempting all mechanical reproductions of music from copyright interference.
ALBERT KRELL, President Automatic Grand Piano Company.