Anglo-Canadian Music Company

The Anglo-Canadian Music Company. Publishing firm founded 1885 in London by a group of British publishers and established in Toronto later that year under the name Anglo-Canadian Music Publishers' Association. The purpose was the printing, publication, and sale of British music copyrights in Canada, counteracting cheap US reprints of such copyrights, which were being exported to Canada and hence to Britain. This protectionist policy was based on the Canadian Copyright Act of 1875, which empowered the copyright owner, upon printing and publication in Canada, to stop all importation of pirated reprints from the USA. The firm bought the Canadian copyrights for songs and piano pieces from the composers for 20 shillings each and paid one penny royalty for every copy sold in Canada. By the beginning of 1889, 600 Canadian copyright editions had been issued.

The composers, all British or continental European, included Stephen Heller and Arthur Sullivan besides such writers of salon pieces as Stephen Glover, Caroline Lowthian, Theodore Marzials, Ciro Pinsuti, and Sydney Smith. The number of publications decreased somewhat in the 1890s, but songs and dances by Canadians such as Carl Martens, Angelo Read, and J.D.A. Tripp now were included in the catalogue. The series "Octavo Choir Music for mixed voices" made its appearance (1891) with Torrington's "Abide with Me" and featured music by Ernest Bowles, Albert Ham, W.H. Hewlett, H.E. Key, Herbert Sanders, Charles E. Wheeler, and others. It also included Edward Broome's arrangement of "O Canada" (1910).

The first manager of the company was Frank Howe, a veteran of the London music trade. By 1890 Sydney Ashdown had succeeded Howe, and until 1920 the Anglo-Canadian Music Co (as it became known about 1895) and Ashdown's Canadian branch shared premises. The firm continued alone, keeping its licence even after a bankruptcy in 1941. During the period 1921-41 it specialized in church music and acted as agent for J.B. Cramer, J.H. Larway, and other London publishers. Its own publications included music by W.O. Forsyth, Bertha Tamblyn, and Healey Willan (B242), and Canadian editions of George Gershwin and Cole Porter. About 1943 it was acquired by Canadian Music Sales, which continued to sell Anglo-Canadian publications under the Anglo-Canadian name.