Wikipedia states that this song was composed in 1891 but cites no specific authority for the statement. Many other authorities give the date as 1892.
The LOC credits the 1892 sheet music to Oliver Ditson Company (and indeed Ditson's name and address are printed on the cover), but all sources agree that C.K. Harris published his own work. That was key to his financial success. Perhaps Ditson had an agreement with Harris to print and distribute music on Harris's behalf? Olmsted.
- According to James Fuld's book - The Book of World-Famous Music (5th edition, page 87), the first publication of the original song took place on 12 November 1892. (Milwaukee: Charles K. Harris & Co.) The arrangement was probably licensed by Ditson from Harris sometime after the song became popular in 1893, so I would say your supposition is a good one. It is very odd that Ditson had a need to produce a voice and piano arrangement of a piece which was originally for voice and piano. Makes me wonder just how much "arranging" was actually done, especially since the first edition also had 4 pages of music. Carolus 00:07, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
- Poor forgotten Joseph Clauder! The original version of After the Ball was "arranged by" Clauder. As Chas. Harris described the event in his autobiography (After the Ball (1926), p. 62 [Google Books, snippet view]),
- "I immediately sprang from the sofa and in one hour's time wrote the complete lyric and music of After the Ball.... My next step was to send for my arranger, Joseph Clauder, who for the sum of ten dollars would make a piano and song orchestration so that a pianist or orchestra could play the melody by notes. Clauder came over immediately. I sat at the piano, playing by ear, with Clauder beside me. He had a blank sheet of manuscript paper and a pencil in his hand. First I sang the entire song over several times in order that he might catch the rhythm, after which he transcribed each note on paper. [Query: What had Harris been doing when, as he said, he "wrote" the ... music"? - Olmsted] When he had finished this procedure, Clauder, who was an accomplished musician, played the piece over; if any of the notes were wrong, I would have him correct them. I did not ask my arranger whether he thought this new ballad would make a hit or not. He merely transcribed the notes, as a matter of course."
- It would appear that Harris meant that he composed (at the piano, by ear) when he refers to "writing" the piece! Clauder actually wrote the piece down in notation, possibly adding material of his own - an arrangement - or a note for note transcription of what Harris played. It's possible that Harris only played the melody and sang it to Clauder, leaving the "arranger" to fill in the whole harmonic structure and accompaniment, in which case it would almost be more accurate to describe Clauder as the co-composer of the work. Very interesting. Carolus 03:52, 13 April 2011 (UTC)