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Kurt Stein Collection of Francis Johnson Sheet Music

Philadelphia bandleader and composer Francis Johnson (1792-1844), a free African American, achieved extraordinary renown and respect through performances of his band. The Kurt Stein collection includes forty-two rare printed examples of Johnson's sheet music, along with research materials on Johnson.

Johnson's march in The catarct [sic] of the Ganges : as performed by his band at the circus (Philadelphia, 1824 or 1825)

Collection Overview

The Stein Collection consists of printed sheet music composed by Francis Johnson and published between ca. 1818 and 1849: popular dance music including marches, polkas, and other forms. These were printed mainly by Philadelphia music publishers and testify to the success of Johnson's band.

Also available is a collection of research notes on Johnson, assembled by Kurt Stein

About the Collector

Kurt Stein (1918-2002) was an Austrian-born collector. The University of Pennsylvania Libraries acquired his  collection on Francis Johnson in 2006, thanks in part to funding provided by the Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Fund of the Savoy Company.


Collection Groups