[Sheet music] The Lost Chord

Accession Number RC10521
Collection number Sheet music Collection 36
Collection type Published Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Measurement Overall: 32 cm x 24 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Sullivan, Arthur Seymour
Procter, Adelaide Anne
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, France: Paris
Date made 191-?
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Sheet music for the song titled 'The Lost Chord' with music composed by Sir Arthur Sullivan and lyrics written by Adelaide Anne Procter. This copy is written in the key of A Flat. Published by Boosey & Co, London, the music sold for 2/-. According to the front cover of this copy, the song was sung by the American singer Madame Antoinette Sterling. This copy is written in the key of A flat. The date of publication is believed to be in the 1910's, but the exact date is not known.

Sullivan wrote the music for this song during a period when his brother was suffering from a severe illness. He had been staying by his bedside for several days and tried to sleep himself on one occasion in another room. Instead, he decided to have another attempt to add music to Adelaide Proctor’s work. Sullivan described the writing of the song as 'the outcome of a very unhappy and troubled state of mind.' The song was originally published in 1877, over ten years after the death of the lyricist, Procter, in 1864. 'The Lost Chord' went on to become one of the first recordings of music ever made and featured at a press conference introducing the phonograph to London in 1888.

Sullivan was an English composer who is best known for collaborations with Sir William Schenwenck Gilbert on comedy operas such as HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. Before collaborating with Gilbert during the 1870s, Sullivan worked as an organist and as a music teacher while composing a variety of works. Procter was an English poet and philanthropist who was the favourite poet of Queen Victoria.

Towards the bottom of this page is a sound recording of this sheet music, or a parody, that was created as part of the Music and the First World War project. More information about this recording, including names of the performers, can be found on the catalogue record for the sound recording. A link to the catalogue record for the sound recording can be found at the bottom of this page, under the heading ‘Related objects’ where it can be identified with the prefix [sound recording].