Boston Music Co.

Narcissus by Nevin, a great success in 1909
cover 1914



This company has a close connection to G. Schirmer of New York. The Boston Music Company was founded in 1885 by Gustave Schirmer, Jr. (Feb. 18, 1864 - July 15, 1907) who was the younger of the two sons of Gustav Schirmer (Sept. 19, 1829 - Aug. 5, 1893) founder of the music publishing firm G. Schirmer. Before his father's death Gustave became a partner in his father's firm with his brother Rudolph Edward Schirmer (July 22, 1859 - Aug. 19, 1919) while retaining independent ownership of his Boston company. In 1891, his cousin Ernest Charles Schirmer (March 15, 1865 - Feb. 15, 1958) became business manager of the Boston Music Company. He was admitted to partnership in the firm in 1902 and withdrew from it in 1917. Sometime after Gustave's sudden death from appendicitis in 1907 the firm was operated by Winfred Rogers, but eventually control of the firm passed back into the Schirmer family. This occurred when when Gustave Schirmer III acquired ownership of the company; he ran the firm until his death in May, 1965 at the age of 74. Some time after his death ownership of the company passed to the Hammerstein Music & Theater Company, Inc.

The company gained early prominence as the prinicpal publisher of the works of Ethelbert Nevin (1862—1901). Especially a copy of Narcisuss from Water Scenes, first published in 1891, was in every middle-class home around the turn of the 20th century.

In 1997 the company added a music lesson center to its Boston facility in order to offer private music lessons. The last identified music publication of the company was Lois Rehder Holmes' The Abandoned Lighthouse published in 2001 and imprinted with the plate number B.M.Co. 14344. In August, 2003 the Boston Music Company shut down and directed potential sheet music customers to the firm Boston Scores.


Imprints, Addresses, Agencies

Some early publications also carry a copyright notice for G. Schirmer, Jr. or G. Schirmer, Boston.


  • Boston Music Company (1885-2003)


  • Boston (1885-2003)
26-28 West Street from ca.1886 to at least 1925.
215 Stuart Street in the period 2001-03.

Plate Numbers

Boston Music Company plate numbers were issued in a fairly regular chronological fashion. Plate numbers are in the format of B.M.C. ## or B.M.Co. #####.

Plate Composer Work Year
00001-3 Whiting 3 Compositions for Piano, Op.5 1886
00137-40 Nevin 4 Piano Compositions, Op.7 1890
00180 Nevin Une vieille chanson 1891
00195 Nevin 5 Songs, Op.12 (No.1) 1891
00310 Nevin Ti saluto! 1894
00782 Nevin The Rosary (edition for soprano or tenor) 1900
00807 Nevin The Rosary (edition for mezzo-soprano or baritone) 1900
00852 Whelpley The Nightingale Has a Lyre of Gold (version in E major) 1903
00854 Converse Festival of Pan, Op.9 1904
00955 Franck Mass, Op.12 (arr. mixed chorus and piano by Karl Edwards) 1904
01213 Converse Night and Day, Op.11 1906
01242 Dvořák Psalm 149, Op.79 1906
01320 Converse Silent Noon 1906
01406 Nevin The Rosary (arr. violin and piano, Strube) Date is © of song not arr.(?) 1900
01779-80 Nevin 5 Songs, Op.5 (No.4 arr. violin and piano by James William Slatter) 1908
02116 Abt 2 Gedichte von W. Floto, Op.128 (2. Ave Maria) 1909
02521 Rebikov Suite de ballet, Op.14 (No.8) 1910
02559 Herbert Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Op.3 (Serenade arr. for flute and piano) 1911
02603 Debussy Voici que le printemps 1911
02704 Strube Gethsemane (vocal score) 1912
02728 Nevin 5 Songs, Op.5 (No.3 for low voice)
* originally published elsewhere in 1889
02729 Cui Les trois oiseaux (edition for high voice) 1911
02747 Debussy Valse romantique 1912
02794 Arensky The Flower Garden, Op.69 (in English translation) 1912
03060 Sjögren Erotikon, Op.10 (No.5) 1912
03082 Palmgren Finnish Rhythms, Op.31 1912
03088-93 Palmgren 6 Lyric Pieces, Op.28 1912
03116 Sinding 3 Stücke, Op.89 (No.2) 1912
03177 Foster Old Folks at Home (arr. cello and piano by Gustav Strube) 1912
03420 Liszt Consolations, S.172 (No.3 arr. organ by H.B. Gaul) 1913
03714 Schytte Die Schule des modernen Klavierspiels, Op.174 (Book A, Part 1) 1913
03762r Fauré Élégie, Op.24 (arr. cello and piano by Alwin Schroeder) 1914
03777 Mussorgsky Une larme (arr. cello and piano by Alwin Schroeder) 1914
03810 Lewis The Moo-Cow-Moo 1914
03832 Hartmann Madrigal 1914
04276 Helm Sylvan Sketches 1914
04371-78 Ornstein Pygmy Suite, S070 1914
04462 Sokolov Autumn 1915
04509 Cilea Scherzino for Piano 1915
04518 Cilea Romanza for Piano 1915
04590 Saint-Saëns Havanaise, Op.83 (arr. violin and piano) 1916
04613 Paine Domine salvum fac Praesidem nostrum, Op.8 1915
04870 Albéniz Danzas Españolas, Op.37 (No.2) 1916
05093 Cui Kaleidoscope, Op.50 (No.5) 1916
05197 Schytte 25 Etudes modernes, faciles et progressives, Op.68 1916
05400 Cui Christ's Resurrection 1917
05468 Chadwick Tam O'Shanter 1917
05475 Cui 6 Romances, Op.10 (No.3 in English translation) 1917
05566 Cherubini Ave Maria 1917
06006 Yost Farfalla in B major, for Violin and Piano 1919
06032 Gilbert 3 American Dances (Arr. for Piano 4 hands) 1919
06105c Bull The Herdgirl's Sunday (arr. organ by Claude E. Saunier) 1919
06113c De Koven Wedding March, Op.405 (arr. organ) 1918
06396 Stoessel Violin Sonata in G major (score and part) 1921
06494 Barnes School of Organ Playing, Op.31 1921
14344 Holmes, Lois Rehder The Abandoned Lighthouse 2001

IMSLP Entries

Plate #Full PlateComposerWorkIMSLP #Full YearYear

Sources Consulted

  1. Maurice B. Richmond, "Boston has High Ranking in the Sheet Music Industry of the United States," The Music Trade Review 80 (Jan. 3, 1925), 39-41.
  2. Nicolas Slonimsky, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York: G. Schirmer, 1958, 5th ed.).
  3. Internet Archive. Archived pages for the Boston Music Company website,, from 2001 to 2003.

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