Music sheet cover
'Farewell to the Exhibition'
Published by Jewell and Letchford
Crystal Palace, London
Museum no. S.201-2012
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This music sheet depicts Ferdinand Sommer playing his 'Sommerphone' before Prince Albert and Queen Victoria at the closure of the Great Exhibition on 14 October 1851. The Sommerphone, named after its inventor in 1843, was the name given to the euphonium, a brass instrument used in American marching bands. 'Euphonium' is a name derived from the Greek meaning 'sweet voiced' and the instrument performs very well on low registers. The Great Exhibition was held at the purpose built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London. It contained 13,000 exhibits celebrating the industrial revolution and the British Empire including looms, kitchen appliances and even an envelope machine. There were concerts and circus performances held in the central transept, and the tightrope walker Blondin even walked across the central transept on a tightrope pushing his daughter in a wheelbarrow.