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Before recorded sound became the primary carrier of music into the public consciousness around 1930, the piano was the medium that conveyed music to most Americans. During the later nineteenth and early twentieth century, a piano was a standard item of household furniture. Consequently, most music publishing concentrated on piano music or vocal music with piano accompaniment. The ability of domestic pianists varied greatly; some were accomplished virtuosos, but there was also a market for the more modest pianist who only wished to accompany a popular song. Indeed, music for these pieces soon began to include notation for an even easier accompanying instrument, the ukulele, in the form of chord symbols above the vocal line.

 
St. Louis Blues / words and music by W.C. Handy.
Handy, W. C. (William Christopher), 1873-1958.
Revised ed., ukelele arrangement.
New York : W.C. Handy, c1914
1 score (5 p.) : ill., ; 31 cm.
Image ID: WWM9937/G98C148/002

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