Search on for early NZ sheet music

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Looking for sheet music.

New Zealand’s biggest archive for sheet music both historical and modern is looking for more items to stock its archive with.

The Musical Heritage New Zealand Trust historian David Dell, will be visiting the Clutha district over the weekend as part of a resource gathering expedition to seek out any gems that may be hidden away or forgotten about by families.

“The collection holds many thousands of pieces of sheet music from the early days of European settlement right up to today and is the biggest archive in the world of New Zealand music.

“We are appealing for sheet music or musical memorabilia that people have stored away in boxes and forgotten about as they moved over the years,” he said.

Mr Dell said that during New Zealand’s early history, music produced by writers here was often snubbed because the mainstream music fraternity thought it was a poor imitation of overseas music.

“But in the last 50 years researchers have discovered that much of this old music wasn’t too bad at all, in fact some of it was even amazing.

“People from that era wrote it because it was their only form of entertainment and it meant something special to them.

“Now we are looking for it as it was often stored away, shuffled from place to place as people moved around and when they passed on it lay abandoned in storage until their relatives started looking at what to do with the boxes.

“Sadly, too much just gets tossed out and it has so much value to our history.”

Mr Dell uses the music to research many of New Zealand’s early musicians.

“It is important that we record as much info as possible about these early artists, too much has gone already and we are losing a lot of stories about them.”

Mr Dell will be in the Otago Southland area this weekend and he can be contacted on 274 507 079.