Saskatchewan Sheet Music

By Olivia Adams
August, 2017

We can get a glimpse into the lives of a people's culture through their music. In past years, sheet music wasn’t considered an important part of library collections due to the modest aspirations of composers, but recently has been valued as an important contributor to a historic preservation of pop culture of its day.[1] Sheet music describes notated music on one or more unbound pieces of paper.[2] Usually it is of a popular nature versus a pedagogical or “serious” music. The music that is found in the Saskatchewan Music Collection comes from various sources and places across Canada. Some of the music directly relates to our culture such as the Metis Songs collected and from Saskatchewan Metis people which was later transcribed into musical notation. This section of SMC also includes historic music festival programs and commemorative collections of songs from different towns in Saskatchewan. Some of the programs date back to 1908.

There are several songs about Saskatchewan, the prairies, and Saskatoon. Included in the collection is music composed by people who also moved to Saskatchewan. One such noteworthy composer includes UK born, Robin Harrison, who was a professor of piano at the University of Saskatchewan for many years. [See Saskatchewan Music pages 113-319]. Included are also musical workbooks that music teachers transcribed for their students. There are also scores and scripts for school musicals that were adjusted for schools in Saskatchewan, and you may also come across scores of music written for Broadway musicals such as The Pink Lady which contains a character who lived in Saskatchewan.

The music collection is to provide a historical perspective into the music composed rather than showcase music that was performed in academic or professional settings. You can best learn about a culture through the eyes of the Arts and Saskatchewan is no exception.

[1] http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/shee.... Accessed August 8, 2017.
[2] http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/shee.... Accessed August 8, 2017.

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