"The Victors" 1898 original sheet music online

Submitted by icactus on August 11th, 2011 at 12:32 AM

Cool bit of UM music history:

The original first edition of "The Victors," written in 1898 by Louis Elbel ('00 - not that '00) is public domain (don't know why nobody had found it before) and available for free at http://imslp.org/wiki/The_Victors_%28Elbel,_Louis%29 (IMSLP is the wikipedia of sheet music)


There's a cover picture of the 1898 football team as well.

The University links to a different version done in 1928 that is still under copyright so I thought it was neat to find this one in the original key and with the original markings.  It's free for all to distribute forever.

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August 11th, 2011 at 12:41 AM ^

Nowadays the MMB plays The Victors in Ab--brass players <3 keys with flats and Ab sits better on marching band.  I prepared the modern band parts on several occasions for Michigan music major bands, fun times.

A lot of the scores in the School of Music band library are signed or stamped "W.D. Revelli".  That man's impact on the SOM cannot be overstated.


August 11th, 2011 at 12:49 AM ^

I think the D Major makes sense for the original.  If he really wrote this on the bus back from the championship win I don't think he'd be thinking, "Man I've got this great melody I need to harmonize. Let's do it in A-flat."

Maybe he had reverse-synethesia and after seeing the Maize and Blue he heard music in his head...


August 11th, 2011 at 1:47 AM ^

The modern wind ensemble was still 50 years away in 1898, and the sheet music market was largely dominated by parlor players in the middle-class home market during this time period.  Most amateur pianists would be able to follow the chord progressions in D Major (as opposed to Ab Major).  

The true star of the show was the vocalist or vocalists.  Notice the long fermata at the end of the first page?  That would give the (likely amateur singer) time to catch their breath and/or find their place in the score, because this piece really cooks along.  It's essentially a Sousa march accompanying a ballad--not an easy thing to sing.  The melody is a little simplified for ease of sight-reading.

Philip A. Duey

August 11th, 2011 at 1:21 AM ^

Awesome to see the song in the original key; cool to see that the D major opening and G major chorus are still how the Men's Glee Club does it now (though we've put a Bb tag on the end).  A real pleasure to sing in full voice at Hill Auditiorium!


August 11th, 2011 at 6:33 AM ^

I have original sheet music from the 1928 version. It's simplified a bit and there's some alternate lyrics for the break strain. Very cool stuff.