Cylinder of the Month

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An unusual trombone solo selection (ca. 1900), the Monarch Polka, played by Leo Zimmerman on a rare high-speed brown wax cylinder.

Monarch Polka
Company Leeds & Catlin Co. (?)
Cylinder # 1836
Category Trombone solo
Title Monarch Polka
Performed by Leo Zimmerman
Circa 1900 - 1901
Announcement "Trombone solo, Monarch Polka, by Zimmerman."

Enjoy this uncommon brown wax cylinder trombone solo selection by noted soloist Leopold A. Zimmerman who later became the primary trombonist for John Philip Sousa's band after Arthur Pryor left the organization.

This record is also notable because the cylinder was recorded at the very high speed of approximately 189 revolutions per minute.   Typically in the 1890s, cylinder speeds hovered around 120-RPM but near the end of the century, higher recording speeds became more frequent with speeds of 125, 140 and 144-RPM becoming common (I have even encountered a few records of this period at around 200-RPM).   Generally higher RPM cylinders, if well-recorded, carried a louder playback volume and had finer audio fidelity.   Of course, the faster the record spun the shorter the recording.   By 1902, most cylinder record companies settled on a standard 160-RPM speed.

As far as I can ascertain, this rare selection was written for cornet in 1896 by noted cornetist Anton H. Knoll, Jr., and adapted for trombone by Zimmerman.   I would be grateful for any other information.

To hear Monarch Polka  

For help playing these sounds, click here.

To learn more, see:

— This cylinder of the month is from the collection of  Jeffery Wood —


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the

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