On This Day

May 1878 in Music History

Events in Music


Historic InventionThomas Edison's Phonograph

May 4 Thomas Edison's Phonograph shown for 1st time at Grand Opera House

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Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed in 1878
Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed in 1878
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Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 25 W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's comic opera "H.M.S. Pinafore" premieres in London, their first international success

English Dramatist William Schwenck Gilbert
English Dramatist
William Schwenck Gilbert

Birthdays in Music

  • May 15 Francisco Pujol, composer
  • May 19 Adam von Ahn Carse, composer

Person of interestBill Robinson

May 25 Bill Robinson "Bojangles", American actor and tap dancer (Stormy Weather, The Little Colonel), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1949)

Tap Dancer and Actor Bill Robinson
Tap Dancer and Actor
Bill Robinson

Deaths in Music

  • May 22 Franz von Holstein, composer, dies at 52
  • May 27 Carlo Marsili, Italian composer, dies at 49