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The Best of W. L. Hayden -

19th C. American guitar giant

I'm guessing that W. L. Hayden may have been the most prolific guitar arranger in America in the latter 19th century. According to Peter Danner's "The Guitar In America" anthology, Hayden was active for more than 40 years starting in the 1860s, and his opus numbers reached at least 798. So it's safe to say that if you were a guitar player back then, you would have W. L. coming out your ears. Here are some guitar sheet music cover pages listing many of his pieces.

To say that Hayden's work does not enjoy a very high reputation today is probably being overly kind. You might have some notion of Hayden as being smack at the bottom of the heap -- our American guitar whipping boy!

But it's not that bad, I assure you. Can't a piece of music merely be fun, or nice, or just something fresh for sightreading practice? I've always enjoyed the time-transport sensation: "So this is what it was like to be a guitar player in America's good, ol' days!" See my pep talk for the 19th C. American guitar in a 1997 Washington Guitar Society newsletter (No. 31, page 7).

And if Hayden's stuff really is so awful, considering that he mostly made arrangements, shouldn't the composers share in the bashing? That pulls in lightweights like Beethoven, Gounod, Schumann, Rossini, Mozart...

Anyhow, I sincerely hope you'll find something here to enjoy. This "Best Of" is, of course, purely a personal selection, and certainly does not draw from 798+ published W. L. Hayden works. It looks like about one half of the W. L. Hayden pages I copied at the Library of Congress (LC) survived the cut.

I've cleaned up the scores and corrected errors (silently) where I detected them. Don't worry, if you're a W. L. Hayden purist, you'll be able to play all the mistakes as soon as my collection of LC guitar music finds a place on the web. And for the pieces that have harmonic sections, I've appended the harmonic section in tablature.

Note that the sheet music for many of Hayden's arrangements do not identify the original composer. It looks just like Hayden composed it, claiming something like, "For the guitar, by W. L. Hayden," followed by one of Hayden's stratospheric opus numbers. Since Hayden arranged music by many minor composers who are even more unknown today, it's a very iffy proposition identifying his original compositions. At least, for me it is.

Finally, I need to point out that the "W" stands for Winslow. This is for the sake of all those web searches on - "winslow hayden 19th c. american guitar giant!"


SEPARATE WORKS, arranged by W. L. Hayden, listed by composer

Ludwig van Beethoven: Turkish March. "Ruins of Athens."

Alphons Czibulka: Stephanie, Gavotte de la Princesse

F. H. Daniels: Elsa Gavotte

Stephen Foster: The Old Folks At Home. With Variations. (Also known as "Swanee River".)

Charles Gounod: Grand March from Faust

Charles Gounod: Marionette's Funeral March

Georg Friedrich Handel: Dead March from "Saul" (Taken from Vahdah Olcott-Bickford's "Handel Album".)

W. L. Hayden original? Happy Dream Waltz

W. L. Hayden original? Queen of the Roses Waltz

W. L. Hayden original? Simplette

W. L. Hayden original? Sonatina (Brings to mind Mozart/O dolce concento.)

Georges Lamothe: First Kiss Waltz (Lamothe is correct spelling, not Lamonthe.)

Gustav Lange: Chant du Nord (Song of the North)

Louis XIII: Air du Roi Louis XIII (Amaryllis)

Caroline Lowthian: Myosotis Waltzes

E. Mack: Parting Waltzes

W. A. Mozart: O Dolce Concento (Away with melancholy) with variations (Theme based on "Das klinget so herrlich" from "The Magic Flute".)

Brinley Richards: Warblings at Eve

Gioacchino Rossini: Prayer from Moses in Egypt

Robert Schumann: Träumerei (Reverie)

Johann Strauss, Jr.: On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Waltzes

Johann Strauss, Jr.: Pizzicato Polka

Arthur Sullivan: Mikado Waltzes (from the piano arrangement by Bucalossi). Incorporates:

A wand'ring minstrel I.
On a tree by a river a little tomtit.
The flowers that bloom in the spring.

Emil Waldteufel: Charming Waltzes (Très Jolie)

J. P. Webster: Sweet By and By (Variations by A. P. Wyman) Introduction:

Nearer My God to Thee (Lowell Mason)

C. A. White: When The Leaves Begin To Turn. Waltz.

A. P. Wyman: Woodland Echoes


W. L. Hayden settings of ANONYMOUS and FOLK MUSIC

Blue Bells of Scotland

La Cachuca

The Carnival of Venice

Military Potpourri Incorporates:

Frederic Carl's march
La Mandolinata
Watch on the Rhine (Karl Wilhelm)
Beautiful Venice
Girl I Left Behind Me (melody finalized by Thomas Moore)
Campbells Are Coming
The Harp That Once
Soldier's Farewell
Glory Hallelujah (Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Yankee Doodle

Six Popular Dances Incorporates:

The Soldier's Joy
White cockade
Hull's Victory
The Rout
Arkansas Traveller
The Devil's Dream

Spanish Retreat (modern tuning)



Henry R. Bishop: Home, Sweet Home. Variations.

Arthur Sullivan: Patience Potpourri Incorporates:

Twenty love sick Maidens we.
Solo. Angela.
Prithee pretty Maidens. Duet.
A magnet hung in a hardware shop.
When I go out of door. Duet.
When I first put this uniform on.

Arthur Sullivan: Pirates of Penzance. Incorporates:

Climbing over the Rocky Mountains.
Pray, observe the Magnanimity.
When the foeman braves his steel.
Poor wandering one.
Sergeant's Song.

Edmond Audran: The Mascott. Potpourri. Incorporates:

Air of the Mascott.
Drum Song.
Soldier's Chorus.
When I behold Thee. Duet. (The renowned Gobble Duet.)
Coaching Song.
Orang-outang Song.

Arthur Sullivan: Iolanthe. Potpourri. Incorporates:

When darkly looms the day.
Fare thee well.
Tho' perhaps' may incur your blame.
Entrance of the Peers.
We're to be married to day.

Philipp Fahrbach, Jr.: Woman's Love Waltzes

Emil Waldteufel: To Thee. Waltzes. (A Toi.)

Vincenzo Bellini: Norma. Two selections:

Grand March from Norma (Dell'aura tua profetica)
Air from Norma (Miro, O Norma)
Plus, Baden Baden Polka, by Philippe Musard. (Not arranged by Hayden.)



Home song waltzes Incorporates:

The Old Oaken Bucket (George Kiallmark)
When the Swallows (Franz Abt)
Ne'er can thy home be mine (Thomas Haynes Bayly)
Home to our mountains (from "Il Trovatore") (Giuseppe Verdi)
Home, sweet home (Henry R. Bishop)

Gems of Sacred Music Incorporates:

Antioch. "Joy to the world." (Lowell Mason)
Holly. "Softly now."
Old Hundred. "Be Thou, O God."
America. "My country! 'tis of thee."
Greenville. "Lord, dismiss us." (Jean Jacques Rousseau)
Portuguese Hymn. "The Lord is our Shepherd." (Adeste fideles) (John Francis Wade)
Federal Street. "See gentle patience." (Henry Kemble Oliver)
Russian Hymn. "Prayer for peace." (Alexei Lvov)

Eight Famous Jigs and Reels Incorporates:

Scotch Jig.
Joys of Wedlock. Jig.
Go to the devil and shake yourself. Jig.
Larry o'Gaff. Jig.
Devil's Dream. Reel.
Arkansas Traveller. Reel.
Irish Washerwoman. Jig.
St. Patrick's Day. Jig.


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More identified errors:
Mascott Potpourri; page 43; staff 4; measure 3; last note should be E not G#.