Things that come in tins: cookies, mints, and ... music? Yes! "Tinny" can be wonderful.
Tired of the usual holiday music being blared over and over and over by local radio stations everywhere? Is the dozenth variation of Jingle Bells you have heard recently bouncing on your last merry nerve? Perhaps you simply fancy some Victorian tunes. In any case, I found a few collections of said music that would sound lovely in your parlor.
If you prefer the traditional holiday songs, but want a different, more authentic sound, here you will find for sale several "Early 1900's Victorian Christmas Music Recordings" including many favorites of the period.
For more secular sounds, Mr. Colin Johnson has created/sequenced and shared dozens of non-copyrighted works including the music from 235 Victorian and Edwardian operas in MIDI form. (It seems that one may keep copies of the files using QuickTime Pro or similar programs.) The Public Domain Music site contains hundreds more vintage songs in MIDI format with their lyrics.
Want Victorian songs for your iPod? You may purchase an entire album or singles of sing-along (the old term for karaoke!) Victorian musical numbers such as, "I'm Henery the Eighth I Am," "Daisy Bell," and "After the Ball" here on iTunes.
The site Tinfoil.com has an archive of complete, two-minute wax cylinder recordings of many more popular songs of the era.
For those who would like a little more background information about the music of the Victorian era:
This article on The Victorian Web gives a heady discourse on the music in the era of Queen Victoria; topics include composers, definitions of some newly-evolved musical terms, and how music affected society and vice-versa.
I mentioned a bit about the music of Victorian times in my post about Victorian music and the earliest gramophone machines themselves, which used wax cylinders to store imprints that the machines translated into sound. (There, you will also find links to songs from the original gramophones, as well.)
Though not nearly a complete dossier on Victorian music, I hope that this post leads you to something that you will enjoy. If you have a favorite source for Victorian music and would like to share it, please post a comment. A safe and happy holiday to you all!