Sheet music:Now is the Hour (Maori Farewell Song)


The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Since the middle of the 19th century, Americans purchased pianos in increasing numbers. Families and friends gathered around the piano for evenings of musical fun. Piano players needed sheet music to learn the latest songs and publishers quickly printed everyone's favorite pieces, first in black and white and later with detailed chromolithographed color covers. The advent of radio and even television simply increased public awareness of hit songs, and the production of sheet music still grew. Eventually, use of sheet music lessened along with the popularity of home pianos in the middle and later 20th century. Radio, phonographs, and personal listening devices began to replace the piano in the parlor. First published in 1913, "Now is the Time" is described as both a popular American song and a traditional Maori tune. It was first published as an instrumental known as the "Swiss Cradle Song." In 1915, a new version entitled "Po Atarau" added Maori words and was sung as a farewell to Maori soldiers leaving for World War One. Since then, many versions have been recorded by such artists as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

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  • Title: Sheet music:Now is the Hour (Maori Farewell Song)
  • Date Created: 1946
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Subject Keywords: Bing Crosby
  • Type: Entertainment and Music
  • Medium: printed paper
  • Object ID: 111.5045
  • Credit Line: Gift of Rita P. Kuder