The identity of the person who owned this piece of dance music for piano is uncertain, but we know it belonged to a family who lived in country New South Wales. ‘Stand Aside’ was bound into a volume of piano dance music towards the end of the nineteenth century with pieces owned by at least four different people. One of these, Alice Mecham née Martyr (1850-1878), lived with her husband and two young children on a large pastoral property, ‘Gournama’, near Warialda, in north-west New South Wales. Alice died at the age of 28, giving her lively dance music a particular poignancy. This piece is one of two in the volume that were purchased from music retailer, Henry Paskins, in West Maitland. ‘Stand Aside’ belongs to the galop genre, a quick and lively dance in duple time that was one of the most popular forms of ballroom dance in the nineteenth century. Derived from the galloping movement of horses, this physical dance would last no longer than two or three minutes and would usually be the rousing finish to an evening of dancing. No other copy of this English publication has been located in a public collection in Australia.
C.F. Martyr’s Collected Piano Pieces