Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: Early and Mid-Twentieth Century Sheet Music Collection

Material Description

OVERVIEW: The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's (CMHFM) Early and Mid-Twentieth Century Sheet Music Collection is composed of approximately 6,500 items of commercially-published sheet music. These documents, which range from roughly 1900 to 1960, span the full range of musical genres in the early twentieth century, from Broadway and vaudeville songs to the gospel and folk songs that formed the basis for country music. PROVENANCE: The collection has been assembled from a variety of sources over CMHFM's 50-year history, and is assembled for the first time as a single collection with this project. Approximately 15% of the collection, or 975, items date from before 1923 and can be considered in the public domain. ASSOCIATED PEOPLE: Stephen Foster, Bradley Kincaid, Asher Sizemore and Little Jimmie, Roy Acuff and Fred Rose. ASSOCIATED SUBJECTS: Early and mid-twentieth century sheet music informs a range of subjects, and cataloging and increasing access to this valuable resource can improve scholars' understanding of important, ongoing themes in the history of country music, American popular entertainment, and the American experience. These themes include: 1) The relationship between folk musics and commercial entertainment. 2) The effects of changing technology on vernacular music as art and enterprise. 3) The evolution of the music industry and its promotion, including songwriting, recording, public performance, and promotion. 4) The evolution of popular entertainment, especially country music, and its promotion. These documents not only track changing musical tastes; in their styling, in the presentation of their cover art, and in the advertising included in sheet music they present a broad perspective on changes in American aesthetic tastes and consumer habits.

Year Added:



Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum


Ms. Lee Boulie
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Date Range

1900 - 1960

Geographic Scope

National, with an emphasis on southern vernacular music (gospel, country, and folk) published in Nashville and New York.


  • 6500 Musical Scores