cover 1890s



Brainard was an important publisher in the midwest ca. 1830-1930.

Silas Brainard (Feb. 14, 1814-April 8, 1871) opened a retail music shop in partnership with Henry J. Mould in Cleveland, Ohio in 1836. In 1845 the firm, now known as S. Brainard, began publishing sheet music. Around that time (1840s) Silas' brothers George Washington and Joseph Brainard established a music shop in Louisville, while his other brother Henry opened one in Chicago in 1848.

From the 1860s there was steady growth managed by the founder's family. In 1864 Brainard's sons Charles Silas and Henry Mould Brainard joined his firm, which was renamed S. Brainard's Sons. The sons, operating the business after Silas' death, acquired the plates of Root and Co. of Chicago in 1871. A branch office was established in Chicago in 1879 and in 1889 the firm relocated to that city. A Brainard retail presence remained in Cleveland with the H.M. Brainard Company, which continued, with the name S. Brainard's Sons until 1931.

Brainard began publishing the monthly journal Western Musical World: A Journal of Music, Art and Literature in January, 1864, renamed Brainard's Musical World in 1869. The journal continued to appear until it merged with Theodore Presser's Etude in 1895.

Brainard specialized in the publication of popular songs with piano accompaniment, piano pieces, and religious music.


Imprints, Addresses, Agencies


  • S. Brainard or S. Brainard & Co. (1845-1864)
  • G.W. Brainard & Co. (1850s?)
  • S. Brainard's Sons or The S. Brainard's Sons Co. (1864-1931)


  • Cleveland (1836-1889)
  • Chicago (1878/9-1931)
  • New York
  • Louisville (117 and 109 4th St., in the 1850s)

Plate Numbers

G. W. Brainard (Louisville)

G. W. Brainard's plate numbers were issued in a fairly regular chronological fashion. Plate numbers are in the format of ####.

Plate Composer Work Year
363 Eckel Fancy's Flight Mazurka 1854?
529 Strakosch I Turn to Thee 1852
586 Abbott The Colored Orphan Boy 1852
601 Kappes Evenings at Science Hill, 1st Series (5. Eleanora Polka) 1853
851 Allen Suffer Little Children to Come unto Me 1854
853 Kappes When Night's Dark Shades Are Stealing 1853

S. Brainard/S. Brainard's Sons (Cleveland/Chicago)

Brainard's plate numbers were issued in a fairly regular chronological fashion. Plate numbers are in the format of #####.

Plate Composer Work Year
01390 Baumbach Maiden's Dream Reverie 1863
01744 Hays I Am Dying, Mother, Dying 1865
02797? Fiske Velocipede 1868
04138 (not Brainard's plate?) Gade 10 Akvareller, Op.19 (No.2 edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
05126 Warren Evening Thoughts Nocturne 1866
05137 Warren Adieu Mazurka 1866
11692 Wehli Trembling Leaves, Op.17 1865
13828 Henninges Prince Carneval 1873
13830 Henninges Undine 1873
14227 Henninges 12 Studies and Sketches (book 1) 1874
14532 Smith Pieces, Op.2 (no.1) 1876
14761 Gimbel Junior Shades of Evening, Op.30 1877
14812 Henninges Clover Leaf 1877
15136–41 Macy 6 Little Pastimes for Leisure Hours 1878
15161 Macy Daisy's Wedding Day 1879
15212 Holst One Word with Thee 1881
15244 Vernor Says Aaron to Moses 1879
15707 Warren Fantasia on 'Nearer, My God, to Thee' 1883
15786 Macy They Rest in Peace 1884
15802 Vinatieri Echoes from the Woods 1884
15846 Henninges Elfriede 1884
15889 Jensen Deutsche Suite, Op.36 (No.1 edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15895 Hiller Piano Pieces, Op.66 (No.2 edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15896 Raif 2 Kleine Stücke, Op.5 (No.2 edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15899 Wilm 10 Charakterstücke, Op.24 (No.1 edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15917 Vilbac Minuetto gracieuse (edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15977 Litolff Tarentelle Calabraise (edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15978 Merkel 4 Albumblätter, Op.18 (no.3, edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15979 Gutmann Nocturne Lyrique (edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15985 Heller Im Walde, Op.86 (No.5 edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
15986 Moscheles Polonaise, Op.53 (edited by Wilson Smith) 1885
17364 Krell The Mississippi Rag 1897

IMSLP Entries

Plate #Full PlateComposerWorkIMSLP #Full YearYear

Sources Consulted

  1. Russell Sanjek, American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundres Years. Volume II, From 1790 to 1909 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).
  2. William Osborne, Music in Ohio (Kent: Kent State University Press, 2004).
  3. Stanley Sadie, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (New York and London: Macmillan Publications, 1980).
  4. "Brainard, Silas" The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
  5. "S. Brainard's Sons" The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

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