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Stephen M. Fry

The study of postage stamps and related items containing musical allusions in the pictorial design or text. The most popular philatelic items produced by the United States Postal Service (USPS) are regular-issue and special-issue stamps, pre-stamped postcards and envelopes, cancellation marks, first-day covers, and souvenir sheets. The stamps may be issued individually or in series, and may include commemoratives, which honor individuals, organizations, activities, and historical events. They can be printed in sets, booklets, sheets, or coils (continuous rolls), and be issued with descriptive booklets, art prints, CDs and other collectibles. Christmas and Easter seals and similar materials not issued by the USPS and vanity stamps (custom photo stamps issued under USPS licensing) are also popular collectibles but do not fall within the scope of this article.

First-day covers (envelopes bearing new stamps, which are canceled on the first day of issue) are important to music philatelists as much for the musical cachet on the envelope as for the stamp itself, which may not contain a musical allusion. Souvenir sheets (commemorative sheets containing one or more stamps that often bear a description) may also include music incipits, instruments, or other musicalia....



Jonathan Pieslak

Music has always been a part of war. While much of music’s role throughout history has been to signal commands and maneuver troops, it also appears as a powerful way to inspire troops for combat, to boost morale, or even to intimidate an adversary. Plato believed that the Phrygian mode could incite aggressive behavior. In American history, George Washington felt that music was so important to the morale of his troops that he ordered drum and fife majors to improve the quality of music or suffer a deduction in wages....