Although original sources of the melodies were not documented by The Autophone Co., there are some possible assumptions.
Within those cobs known as Norwegian Hymns , there are two series of cobs which are found in ascending alphabetical order, namely #685 through #691 and #692 through #703. Since all of these titles may be found in the 1877 edition of Lindemans Koralbog, by Ludvig Mathias Lindeman , and since the arrangements and title spellings are very similar, it is likely the original source. A later edition, with additions by Oluf Glasøe, was published in 1899. The existance of two alphabetical series suggests that they may have been added at two distinct times.
Several Norwegian Hymns are not listed in the series above, namely #666 through #671. Since all of these titles may be found in the 1865 edition of Hendersons Koralbog, by Knud Henderson (1835-after 1924), and since the arrangements and title spellings are very similar, it is likely the original source.
Within those cobs known as Swedish Hymns , there are two series of cobs, namely #74 through #77 and #94 through #98. Since all of these titles may be found in the 1819 Års Koralbok (companion to the Svenska Psalm-Boken Af År 1819, otherwise known as the Wallinska psalmboken), the official hymn book in use until the 1937 edition, and since the arrangements are very similar, it is likely the original source. The existance of two series suggests that they may have been added at two distinct times.
There are great differences between the titles of the cobs and the song lyrics. In some cases, it appears that the cob titles were kept specifically vague, perhaps to allow association with multiple lyrics. For instance #74 - Lofsang (Song of Praise—Swedish) is commonly sung as “Jag tackar dig, min högste Gud!”, but there are also several other popular lyrics. Where a specific text is associated, the cob name is often shorter and more casual. For instance #94 - Jesus, Min Bäste Vän (Jesus, My Best Friend—Swedish) is really “Jesus Är Min Vän Den Bäste” (lit. trans. “Jesus is my friend, the best”). Or #95 - Jesus, Nadens Källa (Jesus, Well of Mercy—Swedish) is the title for the song which begins: “O Jesu Krist, du nådens brunn, Du livets rena källa!” (lit. trans. “O Jesus Christ, you pardon [the “mercy” of the cob title] well, you clean source [the “well” of the cob title] of life”).
There is a sequence of popular hymns of German origin which are curiously listed under the translations of their titles. Surely few persons would have known them by these names! Perhaps the titles were taken from a single unknown source? Many were popularized by Bach, and Max Reger (1873-1916) included all of these songs in 1914 his Dreissig kleine Choralvorspiele zu den gebräuchlichsten Chorälen (30 Short Chorale Preludes).
|Valet Will Ich Dir Geben||#604 - Thy Servant I Will Be|
|Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her||#605 - From Heaven I am Coming|
|Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele||#606 - Be Joyful, O My Soul|
|Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit||#607 - It is Now Time|
|Nun Danket Alle Gott||#608 - Thank Almighty God|
One popular hymnal of the era was Gospel Hymns Consolidated, Embracing Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4, Without Duplicates, for use in gospel meetings and other religious services — 1883, Biglow & Main, and John Church & Co. Due a discrepancy between the title and content of #750 - Jesus Loves Me, as associated with this hymnal, it appears to have been the original source for at least that one melody. (See the note on #750 - Jesus Loves Me)
Most advertisments and brochures list only the titles of cobs, but these list some names of composers (or arrangers) along with the titles.
An undated trifold brochure listing only the Grand Roller Organ and its music. Sacred titles are listed through #3014 and popular titles through #2140.
Grand Roller Organ, A Musical Wonder — an abridged list of popular titles through #3014 and a list of sacred titles through #2140. (This appears to be based on the same information as the more complete list above.)
Music Catalogue — a single sheet brochure, the back listing sacred titles through #54 and popular titles through #230.
The following references are excellent online sources of information:
Although hundreds of advertisments and brochures exist, these have large tune lists or significant information:
The Wonderful Home Music Box — a large, undated single sheet brochure, printed both sides, with titles arranged into categories.
A Perfect Musical Instrument … Using Music Rollers Made of Wood and Steel — a large, undated single sheet brochure, printed both sides, with titles arranged into categories.
… Using Music Rollers Made of Wood and Steel — an undated single sheet brochure, printed both sides, with titles arranged numerically. Found as both a Standard Organ Co. brochure, and as an unattributed brochure.
A small, undated 12-page brochure, advertising the Gem and Concert, with titles arranged alphabetically.