Popular music has always explored the gamut of life – from the simplest of domestic tales to the grandest of narratives, and composers in nineteenth century Sydney were inspired by a variety of subjects. They dedicated their pieces not only to stories of human emotion, but also to mark current affairs and even more mundane topics such as the naming of a new suburb or the celebration of someone's home. 'The Barham Mazurka' was named after a house in Darlinghurst, Sydney, which at the time belonged to former Colonial Secretary and parliamentarian, Sir Edward Deas Thomson. This piece for piano was dedicated to his wife, Lady Anne, by the mysterious Louise N***** though the circumstances of its composition are unknown. There are only a few surviving copies of this sheet music and pieces by female composers in the nineteenth century were rare. ‘Barham’ was purchased by the Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School (SCEGGS) in 1900 and is still standing.
C.F. Martyr’s Collected Piano Pieces