When I browse a question of interest online to learn more about a given subject I sometimes forget how exclusive knowledge used to be — and at time how focused on a given subject it would become. Say if you were a carpenter, American Carpenter magazine would be your coffee table read. I was wondering if there’s ever been a focused publication about music and I was very excited to find The Etude magazine, once a definitive title on all kinds of music.
The many expressions of The Etude covers
With the many tastes to cater to, The Etude have created a unique and eclectic style of covers — with minimal illustrations, followed by full-color scenes to the photograph reproductions.
See how the Etude logo changed over time
It’s hard to say how many times The Etude’s eclectic logo changed over the years, but it almost always retained the original feel.
Fascinating 1920s Advertising of musical instruments and tech
American magazines have never had shortage of great advertising — and browsing through the 1920s issues is a pure pleasure with many ads featuring novel musical instruments, record players and other musical tech for the home.
Embracing jazz as a new form of music
The sometimes conservative outlook and contents of the magazine may have contributed to a decline in circulation in the 1930s and ’40s, but in many respects it moved with the times, unequivocally supporting the phonograph, radio, and eventually television, and, by the late 1930s, fully embracing jazz.
Classifieds with the best schools and teachers
Of course, music schools and teachers wanted to reach the reader of The Etude.
Music notations of newest popular music of the time
With no Spotify or even radio to tune in new music was once introduced with a printed notations — so that the readers could enjoy playing it at home.
Thanks for reading! I’ve been obsessing over these issues for weeks now and have carefully documented and photographed each cover and each page. For this story, I’ve created a special set of photographic reproductions of some of my absolute favorite pages.