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Sheet Music Collection

Prior to the phonograph popular tunes were enjoyed in the home by playing them or by listening to someone else play them or turn them out on a player piano. Advancements in printing made producing sheet music, single sheet sets or folios printed on one or both sides, a well-established industry by the early 19th century. As parlor music rose in popularity, otherwise blank pages would become filled with advertisements, catalogs or lists of available songs, and war propaganda. Sheet music would often be re-issued with new colorful covers to tempt the consumer.

The Special Collections Department at the University of South Florida has over 8,000 pieces of sheet music from the mid-19th century onward mostly organized into the Tampa General Music Collection and the Tampa African American Sheet Music Collection, with some pieces included in the Suchoff Bartokiana Collection, the Florida Sheet Music Collection, and the 19th Century American Literature Collection.

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