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The Art of Hawaii Sheet Music

– The South Seas in the Tin Pan Alley Era

by Hermann Mückler

More than 1,500 sheet music covers from the Tin Pan Alley era on Hawaii music, as well as some
on the South Seas in general, make this book the ultimate work on this subject. The cover art of the
Hawaii sheet music in the period of the so-called Territorial Years of the Hawaiian Islands from 1900
to 1959 shows great variety. Similar, sometimes even seemingly the same, yet each cover unique
in its own right, they show the diversity of artistic approaches to illustrating stereotypical images of the
Hawaiian Islands and the South Seas. This book is a contribution to the study of historical popular media.

It allows comparison of the graphic styles and motifs of the covers of the early decades of the 20th century, when domestic music-making with upright pianos was still a central part of social life in the United States.

From the Contents:
“… isn’t it always the same pictorial motifs that conjure up associations with the Hawaiian Islands?
Palm trees, waves, beaches, rolling surf, subtropical vegetation, flower-circled hula dancing maidens,
and the striking volcano silhouette of the Diamond Head with the famous Waikiki beach in the
foreground? You can find all these aspects in the Hawaii sheet music, but you will quickly realize
that no two images are exactly alike and that no two palm trees are identical! This book wants to be a
reference work for a very special carrier medium.”

About the Author:
Hermann Mückler is a historian and cultural anthropologist at the University of Vienna with a regional focus on Oceania. He has been collecting historical materials and, in particular, pop-cultural represenataions of the South Seas for around four decades.

Hardcover, 4C Color, 11,4 × 1,77 × 12,4 in, 3.600g, 524 pages,
1716 Illustrations (1500 Covers), Language: English
ISBN: 978-3-903511-04-0