The Following is a list of references for music from New York to the frontier. While not an exhaustive list of instruments in New York the following can show us that the region was not shying from music and dance. Parties were not unusual for the average person nor were balls for the politicos.
But this first inventory is interesting because we can see that even on the frontier of Schohary we can't do without culture, music and a good old time !
Nov 25th, 1773, Peter V. Ziellie
Late of Schohary in the County of Albany sold at Venue:
1 Violine to Dennis Eckeser? 0:12:0
The above violin was sold for less than a pound in cash, making it more affordable than a suit, or even a jacket. Music as far as affordability goes was accessible. It is likely more so finding a teacher that would have prevented anyone from playing.
The 18th Century: From Organs and Spinets, to German Flutes and Bassoons:
Mid-Century was a popular time for the learning or playing of instruments. A number of advertisement were posted for violins, German flutes, fifes and other instruments. German flutes are particularly popular. During the 17th Century the largest population demographic was Dutch, then Germanic people. New York takes in German immigrants on a regular basis possibly due to their ease of integration (as compared to assimilation) into a colony with a preexisting Central European culture. Below are some examples of advertisements from 1749 to 1775.
Daniel & Philip Pelton, Drums Made and sold by Phillip Pelton, upper end of Queen-street, and by Daniel Pelton, in Chappel street, now called Beekman street, equal to any that have been imported for sound or beauty. As said Persons have great variety on hand any gentlemen may be served at the shortest notice, and on the most reasonable terms. The purchaser may depend upon having their Drums tun'd to sound well.—The New-York Journal or the General Advertiser, October 5, 1775.
John Sheiuble....N.B. He has now ready for sale, one neat chamber organ, one hammer spinnet, one common spinnet.—The New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury, October 10, 1774. F
Robert Horne, Musical Instrument-Maker, from London, on Golden-Hill, near Burling's Slip, Makes and repairs musical instruments, viz. Violins, tennors, violon-cellos, guittars, kitts, aeolus harps, spinnets, and spinnets jacks, violin bows, tail-pieces, pins, bridges; bows hair'd, and the best Roman Strings, &c. N.B. Country stores supply'd on the shortest notice.—The New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury, January 6, 1772.
David Wolhaupter, Takes this method to inform his friends and customers, that he has removed from the place he formerly lived, to the house where Mr. Muller, leather breeches maker, formerly lived, nearly opposite the Flattenbarrack-Hill, in the Broadway; where he makes and mends all sorts of musical instruments, such as basoons, German flutes, Common do. hautboys, clarinets, fifes, bagpipes, &c. also makes and mends all sorts of mathematical instruments, and all sorts of tuning work done by said Wolhaupter. Any gentlemen that will please to favour him with their employ, may depend upon being served at the cheapest rate, by their humble servant.—The New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury, June 18, 1770.
Simeon Coley.—Just imported in the ships Edward and Hope, from London, and to be sold cheap by Simeon Coley, Silver-smith, near the Merchant's Coffee house; A Large assortment of jewellery, diamond, garnet, and other rings; the neatest paste & stone buckels, garnet and paste necklaces, ear rings, egrets and solatiers, ditto neat etwe cases, silver-handle knives and forks in cases, ivory ditto, neat small swords, and cutteau de chase, and sword belts, great variety of pocket books for gentlemen and ladies, silver and other watches, ditto chains, neat clocks in mahogany cases, best gilt and other buckels, masons broaches and jewels, gold buttons and seals, silver ditto, neat tortise-shell snuff-boxes and smelling bottles, plated bits, and stirrups, best violins, german and common flutes, fifes, aeolus harps, hand organs, and a variety of other articles.—The New-York Mercury, October 5, 1767.
Charles Shipman, Ivory and Hardwood Turner, lately from England: Takes this Method to acquaint all ladies, gentlemen, &c. that having served a regular apprenticeship to a very considerable Turning Manufactory in Birmingham; he purposes carrying on that business here, in all the various undermentioned articles;... Cruet frames repair'd and German flutes tip'd in the neatest manner, oval picture frames, and sundry other articles too tedious to mention.—The New-York Journal or the General Advertiser, August 6, 1767.
Robert Horne, Musical Instrument-Maker, from London, at Mr. Francis Cooley's, on Golden-Hill; Makes and repairs Violins, bass viols, tenor viols, Æolius harps, gauiters, German flutes, Kitts, violin bows, &c. in the neatest and compleatest manner. All orders punctually obey'd, with the quickest dispatch;: The favour of Gentlemen and Ladies shall be duly honour'd with their Commands. N.B. Merchants may be supplied with any of the above, cheaper than in London on proper notice given.—The New-York Mercury, September 14, 1767.
Jacob Trippell, Musical Instrument Maker from London, at the House of Mr. John Ent, Watchmaker, opposite to, on the West Side of the Old Slip Market, a few Doors below Duyckinck's Corner, makes and repairs all sorts of Violins, Base and Tenor Viols; English and Spanish Guitters, Loutens, Mentelines, Madores, and Welsh Harps, at reasonable Rates, as neat as in Europe, Having work'd at the Business Nine Years, with the best Hands in London, since I left Germany; I shall Endeavour to Give Satisfaction to those Ladies and Gentlemen, that shall favour me with their Custom.—The New-York Gazette, August 24, 1767.
Gottlieb Wolhaupter, living at the Sign of the Musical Instrument-Maker, opposite Mr. Adam Vanderberg's has just imported from London, a Choice Parcel of the best English Box-wood; Where he continues to make and mend, all Sorts of Musical Instruments, such as German Flutes, Hautboys [Oboes], Clareonets, Flageolets [ 'fipple' flute] , Bassoons, Fifes, and also Silver Tea-Pot Handles.—The New-York Gazette, November 16, 1761.
Mathematical Instrument Maker.—The late invented and most curious Instrument call'd an Octant, for taking the Latitude or other Altitudes at Sea, with all other Mathematical Instruments for Sea or Land, compleatly made by Anthony Lamb in New-York: where all Persons may be supply'd with German Flutes, and sundry other small Works in Wood, Ivory, or Brass, and Books of Navigation; and a proper Direction given with every Instrument. Ready Money for curious hard Wood, Ivory, Tortois-Shell, and old Brass.—The New-York Gazette Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy, January 23, 1749.
The 17th Century: Transverse Flutes, Recorders, Fiddles, Drums, Trumpets and Bells:
As mentioned in a previous post one can purchase up to "30 knots of fiddle strings" on Long Island in 1691. Later, the New York governor (1720-1728) William Burnet has a "large Violin or Tenor Fidle" in his inventory. Tenor violins or tenor fiddles, are what English called the viola. Flutes also make an appearance at the turn of the century.
The following was written in the inventory for Jan Cock.
Est. 1699-1701 based on preceding and post wills and inventories.
Inventory of the state left by Jan Cock, a young man who by the bursting of a cannon in their majesties fort at Albany was killed on the 9th of February 16th, when the French destroyed Schenectady, made by Albert 'Ryckman' and Jan Lansing, aldermen of the city of Albany.
Inventory of Jan and Widow Katelyntie Cock
2 transverse flutes
1664 - Beverwijk (Albany)
Inventory of Jan Gerritsen van Macken a farmer and sometimes collector of liquor taxes
20 children hats, both girls and boys hats
some "hansioos" jewelry
10 wooden recorders
It seems that New Yorkers enjoyed banging on things as part of their New Years celebrations. Stuyvasent was quick to make it illegal to shoot guns randomly into the air but also:
"Therefore, in order to prevent such in the future the director general and council expressly forbid henceforth shooting and planting of May poles on New Year and May days within this province of New Netherland; also, any noise making with drums or dispensing of any wine, ....and this only to prevent further accidents and trouble, for a fine of 12 guilders for the first time, doubled for the second time and arbitrary punishment for the third time;...Dated the end of December 1655, and renewed the 30th of December 1658." - Laws and Write of Appeals, 1647 - 1663.
Also in the Laws and Write of Appeals:
"The director general, Petrus Stuyvesant, as captain of his company, observing that the last issued order, dated 7 October 1655, concerning the appearance before the colors at the beat of the drum, and the posting of and remaining on guard, is not observed and obeyed by the superior and inferior officers as it ought to be, and as is customary in all garrisons; therefore, notifies and commands all officers and soldiers of his com many:..."
In 1648, Both Pieter Leendersz and Albert Pieterson were "Trumpeters" living in New Netherland. Plus Hendrick Jansen Sluyter, was a drummer, in 1654. The New Netherland merchants Mordakey and Captain "Beauline" made sure even babies and toddlers got in on the fun. They acquired items from the Caribbean and then shipped them north. These are the same two merchants Mordakey and Captain "Beauline" who purchased and sold the Venetian pearls. While the harps are not meant for children, the bells are. Below is an excerpt.
Account left by Mr. Josua and Mordakey Emriques, 1st January 1656
4 gross of rattles are 48 dozen that cost me a 200 lb sack of sugar per gross. That comes to a 17 lb. sack of sugar per dozen.
Cont. Summary October 28th 1656, April 23rd 1659
In Curacao Captain "Beauline" Receives: Sold since receipt:--- 20 dozen and 11 Jews harps 12 dozen and 11 at 8 st[ivers] a dozen
800 Rattles 19 dozen copper bells 19 dozen at 8 st. a dozen