Ditson

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Contents

History

Ditson's claim to being the USA's oldest music publisher traces its history to the firm of Ebenezer Batelle, who started selling music from his "Boston Book Store" in 1783. This concern was sold to Benjamin Guild in 1785, who added a circulating music library and issued new publications. Upon Guild's death in 1796, the enterprise was taken over by William Pelham, who was succeeded by William Blagrove in 1804. The company was later sold (1811) to Samuel H. Parker, who engaged a young apprentice in 1823, Oliver Ditson (1811-1888). Ditson left briefly (1826-1835) for work at another Boston publisher (Isaac R. Butts) but returned in the wake of a fire that destroyed Parker's premises as a partner in the reorganized firm, Parker & Ditson (1836-1842). Ditson acquired Parker's interest after his partner's death in 1842 and changed the company name to Oliver Ditson (1842-1856). When employee John C. Haynes joined the firm as partner, the company name was changed to Oliver Ditson & Co. (1857-1888). After Mr. Ditson's death, the company was re-organized as Oliver Ditson Company.

Tremendous expansion followed, fueled by the acquisition of the catalogues of more than 50 American publishers, including those of the New York firms William Hall & Son and John Firth & Son. By Ditson's death in 1888, the company was the largest enterprise of its type in the United States, with subsidiary companies established in New York (C.H. Ditson), Philadelphia (J.E. Ditson), Cincinnati (John Church) and Chicago (Lyon & Healy), with a catalog of more than 100,000 titles.

In addition to publishing music in all genres, Ditson issued an important American music periodical. Initially named Dwight's Journal of Music (1868), it was renamed The Monthly Musical Record a decade later (1879), then simply The Musical Record (1898), and finally The Musician (1901), only ceasing publication in 1919. Ditson started an ambitious series, The Music Students Library, in 1897. The most famous volumes of the series are the section devoted to piano and vocal music entitled The Musician's Library, consisting of over 100 volumes - each edited by a renowned musician - that was started in 1903. Ditson continued to operate in Boston until it was finally sold to Theodore Presser of Philadelphia in 1937.

Editions

Imprints, Addresses, Agencies

Imprints

  • Boston Book Store (1783-1811)
  • Samuel H. Parker (1811-1836)
  • Parker & Ditson (1836-1842)
  • Oliver Ditson (1842-1856)
  • Oliver Ditson & Co. (1856-1888)
  • The Oliver Ditson Co. (1888-1937)

Addresses

Partial List
Boston offices:

  • 107 Washington Street, Boston, MA (in the 1830s, e.g. found on a 1835 score)
  • 115 Washington Street, Boston, MA (in 1847, 1848. Specific address often not listed on earlier Ditson scores)
  • 277 Washington Street (as early as 1858, as late as 1872 if not later)
  • 449 and 451 Washington Street (by 1876)

C.H. Ditson, New York:

  • 711 Broadway (in 1876)
  • 843 Broadway (in 1878)
  • 867 Broadway (in 1883)

Plate Numbers

Regular Issues

Plate Composer Work Year
Brahms-Goetschius Symphony Number One (Analytic Symphony Series No. 20) 1929
1268 Strack Oh Why Art Thou Roaming 1847
1428 Barrus Montezuma 1847
1560 Turner Castellan Polka 1848
1621 Strack Impromptu-Waltz 1848
1667 Hatton The Oysterman 1849
2079 Webster The Orphan's Lament 1855
2201 Sullivan Judy McLeary 1851
2631 Strakosch Musical Rockets 1853
7312 Turner Adalette-Waltz 1854
7733 Kappes Vive la Danse (no.1) 1855
7812 Anonymous The Man I Love 1855
7992, 8081, 8403 Satter 6 Morceaux de Concert (nos. 4, 3, 1) 1856
8589 Wels Marche des Amazons, Op.38 1856
14413 Ryder Trip Waltz 1857
14434 Browne Strains of Many Lands (no.1) 1857
14645 Shaw Les bords du Sauquoit 1857
18123 Clark Emma Gray 1857
21468 Grobe The Battle of Roanoke Island, Op.1395 1862
22491 Gottschalk Orfa, Op.71 1864
22692 Ryder God Bless the 'Old Sixth Corps' 1865
24614 Wilson Au revoir, Op.6 (2nd edition?) 1868
26030 Wels Variations on Die Wacht am Rhein, Op.88 1870
26053 Wels Thoughts of Home, Op.88a 1870
26183 Wels Blissful Moments, Op.89 1871
26312 Wels Road to Luck, Op.91 1872
27036 Faust Zug um Zug, Op.196 (piano arr.) 1872
27104 Pratt Mazurka-Caprice, Op.14 1872
27374 Wels Mocking Bird Galop, Op.92 1872
27506 Waud The Boy and Bird 1872
28007 Gottschalk Rayons d'Azur, Op.77 1873
28384 Gottschalk Célèbre Tarantelle (pf solo arr, Espadero) 1874
28494 Aronson Mazurka Melodique, Op.16 1874
28654 Turner Crystal Lake Polka, Op.349 1875
28832 Reeves Captain Folsom's March (pf solo arr.) 1875
28880 Alary Colinette (translated by Elson) 1875
29102 Perabo 3 Studies, Op.9 (no.1) 1875
29230 Baumbach Glissando Mazurka 1876
29901-25 Beethoven Piano Sonatas 1876
45388 Wagner Albumblatt für Frau Betty Schott, WWV 108 1876
45391 Thayer Concert variations on the choral 'Nuremburg' 1876
45400 Hesse Fantasia in D minor, Op.87 (Thayer ed.) 1876
45422 Elson Echoes of the Surf 1876
45588 Wilson The Shepherd Boy, Op.14 (arr. vn, pf by Winner) 1877
45608 Crane 3 Pensées poétiques, Op.10 (no.1) 1877
45609 Crane 3 Pensées poétiques, Op.10 (no.3) 1877
45633 Crane 3 Pensées poétiques, Op.10 (no.2) 1877
46060 Sherwood Tarantelle No.2 1877
46340 Jensen 7 Gesänge aus dem spanischen Liederbuche, Op.4 (trans. Willcox) 1878
46549 Phelps Vesper Chimes 1878
46705 Wels Rapid Transit, Op.105 1878
46715 Sudds Tone Pictures, Op.47 (No.1) 1878
46752 Bizet Carmen (piano arr., extracts) 1878
46760 Sudds Tone Pictures, Op.47 (No.2) 1878
47024 Boscovitz Minuet, Op.104 1879
47116 Foerster 2 Compositions, Op.11 (No.2) 1879
47388 Sudds Tone Pictures, Op.47 (No.6) 1879
47403 Kleber Al mio cardellino 1880
47626 Lindblad Swedish Songs (Auf dem Berge, trans. by Cragin) 1880
47663 Crane After the Ball 1880
47716 Johnston Memento, Op.38 1880
48190 Henselt Das ferne Land, Op.26 (Leavitt arr. for organ) 1881
48267 Chadwick 3 Songs (No.1) 1881
48278, 48279 Chadwick 3 Songs (Nos. 2 and 3) 1881
48440 Pratt Meditation Religieuse, Op.42 1881
48800 Dana The Troubadour 1882
48858 Clementi Gradus ad Parnassum (Tausig selection and edition) 1882
48974 Grieg 4 Songs, Op.15 (no.4, English translation by Gray) 1882
49004 Rheinberger 3 Charakterstücke, Op.7 (no. 2) 1882
49030 Audran Les Noces d'Olivette (arr. LeBaron) 1882
49071 La Hache Near the Banks of That Lone River 1882
49197 Danks Behold Now, Praise the Lord 1882
49412 Wels Love, Op.109 1883
49420 Wallace 4 Songs (no.1) 1882
49423 Wallace 4 Songs (no.3) 1882
49425 Wallace 4 Songs (no.2) 1882
49426 Wallace 4 Songs (no.4) 1882
49478 Beach The Rainy Day 1883
49769 Dupont Tocatelle, Op.26 (Keach ed.) 1883
49928 Wels Assembling March, Op.110 1883
50022 Nevin When All the World Is Young, Lad (for medium voice in A major) 1883
50023 Nevin I Once Had a Sweet Little Doll, Dears (for high voice in A flat major) 1883
50142 Grell Lorbeer und Rose, Op.6 (trans. Eng. by Underwood) 1883
50157 Kowalski Roses de bohême, Op.14 (arr. Wels) 1884
50175 Barbieri El Hombre es Débil (pf arr. of habanera from the zarzuela) 1884
50625 Jonas Nocturne, Op.50 1884
50879 Wallace Jessamine 1885
50965 Godard Mazurka No.3, Op.74 (Keach ed.) 1885
51292 Adams Alpine Suite in A major, Op.37 1885
51300-01 Grieg 4 Songs, Op.2 1885
51416 Hitz Pastorale, Op.174 (arr.vn, pf.) 1885
52678 Hofmann Mazurka No.1 1887
56672-6 Lack Impromptu-Mazurk, Op.120 1893
64768 Sitt 100 Violin Etudes, Op.32 (Book 3 ed. Gruenberg) 1904
72591 Hosmer Columbus 1918
73147 Chabrier Habanera 1919
73305-73306 Chadwick 3 Nautical Songs, F.265 (Nos.1 and 2) 1920
73474 Chadwick 3 Nautical Songs, F.265 (No.3) 1920
75318 Beach Tyrolean Valse-Fantaisie, Op.116 1926
75764-41 Brahms-Goetschius Symphony Number Two (Analytic Symphony Series No. 6) 1927
76147 Cadman Romance in G flat major 1928
77746-4 Page, N. Clifford The Ditson Album of Clarinet Solos 1935
77903-40 Brahms-Goetschius Symphony Number Three (Analytic Symphony Series No. 33) 1938

Musicians' Library Series

Plate Composer Work Year
ML-716-3 Nevin A Bed-Time Song (for low voice in E flat major) 1899
ML-817-2 Schumann Romance, Op.28, No. 2 1905
ML-865 Coleridge-Taylor 24 Negro Melodies, Op.59 1905
ML-1471-7 Mozart Chide, Oh, Chide Me (Batti Batti) 1907
ML-1670-49 Grieg Piano Concerto, Op.16 1908
ML-1887-41 Brahms Piano Sonata No.3, Op.5 1910
ML-2224 Muffat Minuet in B-flat major (Moszkowski ed.) 1914
ML-2228-14 Bach Toccata in C minor, BWV 911 (Moszkowski ed.) 1914
ML-2498-6 Henselt Spring Song, Op.15 1914
ML-2504-7 Jensen Idylls, Op.43 1914
ML-2507-10 Scharwenka 2 Piano Pieces, Op.22 1914
ML-3019 Franck Premier Grand Caprice 1922

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