The Music Trades (magazine)

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The Music Trades
Music trades logo.jpg
Editor Brian T. Majeski (born 1956)
Former editors John Francis Majeski, Jr. (1921–2011)
Categories Music trade
Frequency Monthly
Format online
Publisher Paul Anton Majeski (born 1960)
Founder John Christian Freund (1848–1924)
Milton Weil
Year founded 1890 124
First issue January 1, 1890 (1890-01-01)
Company The Music Trades Corporation
Country United States
Language English
ISSN 0027-4488
OCLC number 60615892

The Music Trades is a 124 year-old American magazine that covers all aspects of music commerce, including merchandising, manufacturing, supply chain management, musical instruments, professional audio equipment, professional development, and the like. Founded in New York City and now based in Englewood, New Jersey, The Music Trades is one of the longest-running trade publications in the world.[1]


The Music Trades was founded in 1890 by John Christian Freund (1848–1924) and Milton Weil (born 1871). Freund and Weil also, in 1898, founded Musical America, the oldest American magazine on classical music.[2][3]

John Christian Freund

Freund, who graduated in 1868 from Exeter College, Oxford, had first been a playwright and actor.[4] Freund emigrated to New York in 1871. In 1875, he founded The Music Trade Review,[a] a fortnightly publication that he later renamed The Musical and Dramatic Times and Music Trade Review. The publication ran for about 2 years. In 1878, Freund founded the Musical Times, which soon changed to Musical and Dramatic Times. In 1882, Freund founded the weekly, Music: A Review,[b] which contained an insert called The Music Trade. In 1882, Freund changed the name to Music and Drama, supplemented by Freund's Daily Music and Drama. Music and Drama evolved into the weekly publication, The Music Trades.
In 1884, Freund, with John Travis Quigg (1839–1893), founded The American Musician, which ran until 1991 and became the official publication of the National League of Musicians, the forerunner of the American Federation of Musicians.[5][6] Before founding the American Musician, Henry Cood Watson (1818–1875) began in 1864 the publication Watson's Art Journal, devoted to music criticism and trade. Watson died in 1875 and his Journal was taken over by his pupil, William M. Thoms, who improved it, renamed it American Art Journal, edited it until his retirement in 1906, then, upon his retirement, merged it with the American Musician.[7][8]
Around 1995, Freund's younger brother, Harry Edward Freund (1863–1950), was editor of Musical Weekly,[9] which continued as a weekly with a new name, beginning January 1896, as The Musical Age. The publication was aimed at piano dealers.

1927 sale by Milton Weil

Milton Weil (1871–1935) was married to the actress Henrietta Lander (née Rich; 1874–1935).[10] On June 13, 1927, three years after the death of the magazine's co-founder, Weil sold The Music Trades and Musical America to a newly formed syndicate that acquired four other publications and consolidated them into Trade Publications, Inc., headed by Walter Crawford Howey (1882–1954) as president, Verne Hardin Porter (1888–1942) as vice president and secretary, and Edwin John Rosencrans (1870–1935), as treasurer. The other publications were The American Architect, The Barbers' Journal, Beauty Culture, and Perfumers' Journal.[11]
Schluter & Company and Shields & Company were the investment bankers who handled the deal, which involved an issuance of $1,100,000 in preferred and common stock.[12] Howey, Porter, and Rosencrans were also directors of Trade Publications, Inc. The other directors were G. Murray Hulbert, John Zollikoffer Lowe, Jr. (1884–1951), and Joseph Urban. Shields & Company and Nixon & Company, of Philadelphia, also made s public offering of ten-year 6 12 percent gold bonds of Trade Publications, Inc., that carried warrants to purchase common stock at a price that closely corresponded with the value of the stock.[11]
Howey and Porter had been former executives of the Hearst Corporation.[12] Rosencrans was the managing editor of The American Architect. Years before the deal, Rosencrans, a civil engineer, had been partners with architect John F. Jackson (1867–1948). Their firm, Jackson & Rosencrans, designed over seventy YMCAs.[13][14] Lowe was a lawyer and onetime law partner in a firm with Samuel Seabury.

1929 bankruptcy

  Henrietta Lander, 1888
Walter Howey, who, before heading Trade Publications, had been the founding managing editor of the New York Daily Mirror, left Trade Publications to again become the managing editor of the Mirror on August 1, 1928.[15] Trade Publications, Inc., filed for bankruptcy in 1929; and, in a bankruptcy sale on July 19, 1929, John Majeski, Weil's former assistant, purchased four of the six magazines for $45,200: (i) Musical America, (ii) The Music Trades, (iii) The Barbers' Journal, and (iv) Beauty Culture.[16] Of the $45,000 Majeski paid in 1929 for the six publications, $11,000 of it was attributable to Musical America and The Music Trades, for which, three years earlier, around 1926–1927, he had offered a quarter of a million dollars, in a losing bid against Trade Publications, Inc. Majeski's acquisition included the publications' names, a collection of back issues, and a few months of office space in the Steinway Building.[17]
A few months before the bankruptcy auction on July 19, 1929, Weil was said to have sold all his interest in Trade Publications, Inc., for $200,000 in preferred stock. After he sold, he and his wife moved to Paris, where they were residing during the bankruptcy auction. The bankruptcy sale wiped-out Weil's stake built-up over a lifetime. Weil, at the time of the bankruptcy sale, was said to have only taken $5,000 with him to Paris. Weil's father, Jacob A. Weil (1835–1913), was a Paris-born American and his mother, Dina (née Lilienthal; born 1843), was a German-born American.
  Hotel Scribe, Paris
Distraught over the loss of their fortune during the pre-Crash of 1929, then the Crash, followed by their subsequent inability to recover during the Great Depression – Milton and Henrietta Weil carried out an apparent double suicide pact on May 22, 1935, leaving a note and taking veronal in their room of the Hotel Scribe in the Opera District of Paris.[18] Henrietta died the next morning, May 23, 7:40 am at the American Hospital;[19] Milton died 23 hours and 25 minutes later, May 24, 7:05 am, at the same hospital.[20] They are buried next to each other at the New Cemetery of Neuilly-sur-Seine.[21]

Legacies of Freund and Weil

Freund and Weil were exponents of American classical music. Their publications Musical America and The Music Trades complemented each other, and, in a unique sense, gave them a comprehensive and credible view of the growth of classical music in America and its international rank, as an art-form and in commerce. To the extent that both publications reached an international readership, Freund and Weil held sway as impresarios and movement leaders of American classical music. Their publications flourished during the early 1900s — on a new wave of American composers, including those of the Second New England School — joined by foreign composers that emigrated to America after 1880 in a flood of nearly 25 million Europeans. In commerce, 1875 to 1932 represented a golden age of piano making — nearly 364,545 were sold at the peak in 1909, according to the National Piano Manufacturers Association.[22] New York City, followed by Chicago, was the manufacturing leader of pianos during that age.
Because Freund and Weil's publications covered all aspects of music, they gained broad access in the field. Notably, they served as bridges between the art and the money, connecting artists, organizations, commerce, and public policy. The spectrum that both publications collectively chronicled gave Freund and Weil a strong platform to serve as advocates, opinion leaders, conciliators, counselors, arbiters, and ambassadors for music and the music trades in America. As an example, Freund and Weil were influential in the founding of the National Music Managers Association (for national managers) and the National Concert Managers' Association (for local managers), aimed at improving cooperation between the two for the benefit of musicians.[23][c] Also, Freund and Weil were, in 1918, the founding president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, of the Musical Alliance of the United States,[24][25] an organization that endures today. At its founding, Freund had called for an an alliance to organize "all workers in the field, from the man at the bench in a piano factory to the conductor of the great symphony."[26]

The Majeski years: 1910–present (one hundred and four years)

In 1929, John Francis Majeski, Sr. (1892–1971) — who in 1910 had joined the staff of Musical America, which at the time owned The Musical Trades — became the new owner of The Music Trades, Musical America, and the two other magazines.[27] In 1959, he sold Musical America — which later merged with High Fidelity in 1964 — but retained his interest in The Musical Trades, and served as its publisher until his death. At the time of his death, his son, John Francis Majeski, Jr. (1921–2011), was the magazine's editor.[28][29][30] John Majeski, Jr., was the magazine's editor until 1982 and its publisher until 1985.[17]

Current ownership[edit]

The Music Trades is owned by The Music Trades Corporation, a New Jersey firm based in Englewood and run by the third-generation Majeski family — Paul Anton Majeski (born 1960), publisher since 1985, and Brian T. Majeski (born 1956), editor since 1982. Brian holds a bachelors degree in philosophy from Saint Lawrence University (1978).

Editors & publishers[edit]

  • 1893–1924: John Christian Freund (1848–1924)
  • 19??–1946: Emil Raymond (1891–1946)
  • 1946-1947: Samuel Charles Klores (né Shlomo Chaskell Klores; 1913–1994)
  • 1946–1951: John Francis Majeski, Sr. (1892–1971)
  • 1951–1982: John Francis Majeski, Jr. (1921–2011)
  • 1982–present: Brian T. Majeski (born 1956)
Managing editiors
  • 1918–1919: Charles Fulton Oursler (1893–1952)
  • 1919–19??: Charles Barrett Bowne (born 1889), formerly of the Poughkeepsie Eagle-News, became an editorial editor in 1926
  • 1924–1929: Arthur A. Kaye (1895–1967)
  • 1920s–1927: William J. Daugherty (aka Dougherty; born 1894), formerly of the Poughkeepsie Eagle-News, joined the staff in 1918 as news editor under Charles Barrett Bowne. He went on to become assistant managing editor, managing editor (1926), and general manager (1927), leaving December 1928 to become editor of both The Soda Fountain the Music Trade Review, both owned by Federated Business Publications, Inc.[31] When his wife, Mary T. (née Lyons) died in 1940, Daugherty was again editor for The Music Trades
  • 1930s: H.P Knowles
  • 2000–present: Richard Watson
Associate editiors
  • 1947–1974: Henry Clay Fischer (1900–1978)
  • 1978–2007: Grace Lila Frary (1934–2013), a graduate of Syracuse University School of Journalism, worked 31 years as an editor, joining in 1976, serving as associate editor sometime before 1978 until her retirement in 2007[32][33]
  • Circa 2011–2012: Sonia Clare Kanigel (born 1982)
Correspondence editors
  • 1918–19??: Miss Katharine M. Kelly
  • 1890–1924: John Christian Freund
  • John Majeski, Sr.
  • 1985–present: Paul Anton Majeski (born 1960)
Holding companies
  • 1897–1925: The Music Trades Co.
  • 1927–1929: Trade Publications, Inc.
  • 19??–1972: The Music Trades Corporation, established as a New York entity (inactive as of December 1972)
  • 1972–present: The Music Trades Corporation, established as a New Jersey entity in March 1972
Selected columnists
  • Bob Popyk (né Robert S. Popyk; born 1940) has published influential articles aimed at the business of music for musicians

External links[edit]

Sister publication[edit]

The Purchaser's Guide to the Music Industries is published by The Music Trade Corporation. It was first published in 1897 as The Piano Purchaser's Guide, but was soon renamed The Piano & Organ Purchaser's Guide for 19XX. Sometime around the 1920s it was again renamed The Purchaser's Guide to the Music Industries, and absorbed The Piano & Organ Purchaser's Guide. Since inception, it has been published annually and, for many of its early years was included with a subscription to either The Music Trades or Musical America. For 2014, The Purchaser's Guide to the Music Industries is in its one hundred and eighteenth annual edition.

Archival access[edit]

Volume numbers

  • Weekly: 1891–1929
The Music Trades — first published published January 3, 1891, Volume I, No. 1 — was a weekly publication from inception to 1929. As a weekly, the volume numbers changed every half year; for example, The Music Trades published the first half of 1924 — January 5 through June 28 — as Vol. 67, Nos. 1 through 26. It published the latter half of 1924 — July 5 through December 27 — as Vol. 68, Nos. 1 through 26.
  • Monthly: 1930–present
Beginning with 1920, when the magazine became a monthly publication, the volume numbers changed every year, at February. For February through December of 1930, publication was on Volume 78. The publication currently, for 2014, is on Volume 162 (CLXII)


Full view — weekly (originals from Princeton University)
Vol. 56 July 6 – December 28, 1918
Vol. 57 January 4 – June 28, 1919
Vol. 58 July 5 – December 27, 1919
(lacking Vols. 59 & 60, Jan–Dec 1920)
Vol. 61 January 1 – June 25, 1921
Vol. 62 July 2 – December 31, 1921
Vol. 64 July 1 – December 30, 1922
Limited (search only; fee-based) — weekly (originals from Princeton University)
Vol. 63 Jan–Jun 1922
(lacking Vol. 64, Jul–Dec 1922)
Vol. 65 Jan–Jun 1923
Vol. 66 Jul–Dec 1923
Limited (search only; fee-based) — monthly (originals from the University of Michigan)
Vols. 123-136, 1975–1988
Google Books (full online free access)
Vol. 56 July 6 –December 28, 1918
Vol. 57 January 4 – June 28, 1919
Vol. 58 July 5 – December 27, 1919
Vol. 64 July 1 – December 30, 1922
Google Books (search only)
Vol. 66, Issues 1–26, July 7 – December 29, 1923
Vol. 126, Issues 1–6, January – June 1978
January 2006 – present


  • AMS Press, Inc.: Vols. 1–117, 1890–1969
  • NCR Microcard Editions: Vols. 1–117, 1890–1969
  • University Microfilms International: Vols. 120–125, January 1972 – December 1977
  • Brookhaven Press, La Crosse, Wisconsin: Vols. 1–120, 1890-1972 (lacking 1890–1902, 1911–1914, 1920)


  • Issues of The Music Trades published before 1923 are in the public domain. The copyrights for those publications have expired.


"The Music Trades," as a standard character mark, is a US registered trademark. It was re-registered January 25, 2011, under Serial No. 85046105 and Registration no. 3910654. The registration officially reflects its (i) first use anywhere and (ii) first use in commerce on January 1, 1891.[34]


  1. ^ The Musical Trade Review founded by Freund should not be confused with the Music Trade Journal founded by "Colonel" Edward Lyman Bill (1862–1916) in 1877 in New York City, which became the Music Trade Review.
  2. ^ Music, A Review, was published weekly on Thursdays, but dated on Saturdays.
        Vol. 1, No. 1, January 7, 1882
        Insert: The Music Trade
  3. ^ Milton Weil of this article should not be confused with:
     • Milton Weil (1888–1937), the Chicago music publisher and composer
     • Milton Weil (1869–1938), (i) former secretary-treasurer of the Driggs & Smith Company, piano dealers in Waterbury, Connecticut, until 1912,(ii) manager of the retail department in New York for Krakauer Brothers from 1914 to 1929, (iii) retail manager of Sohmer & Co's. retail department beginning about 1931, and (iv) a piano salesman with the American Piano Company
     • Milton Weil (1876–1934), stock broker based in New York City, co-founder of Gotham Silk Hosiery Company, and collector of cameos and intaglios that were bequested by his estate to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Inline citations
  1. ^ "120 Years of Industry Coverage," by Brian T. Majeski & Paul A. Majeski, The Music Trades, Vol. 158, No. 10, November 2010, pg. 20
  2. ^ Pianos and Their Makers: A Comprehensive History of the Development of the Piano, Alfred Dolge (1848–1922), General Publishing Company, Ltd., Toronto (1972); ISBN 0-486-22856-8 ISBN 9780486228563
    Originally published by Covina Publishing Company, Covina, California (1911); LCCN 11-20107 OCLC 1199554 and 609801605
  3. ^ "John C. Freund; Founder and Editor of Musical America Dies After Long Illness," New York Times, June 4, 1924
  4. ^ Men and Women of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries, L. R. Hamersley & Co. (Lewis Randolph Hamersley; 1847–1910), (1910), pg. 659; OCLC 2482688
  5. ^ "Mirror To An Age: Musical America, 1918–30," by Mary Herron DuPree (born 1944), Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, No. 23 (1990), pps. 137–147; ISSN 1472-3808
  6. ^ "Freund, John C.," Who's Who in Music and Drama, Dixie Hines & Harry Prescott (eds.), H.P. Hanaford (1914), pps. 126–127; OCLC 21786350
        (alternate view)
  7. ^ A History of American Magazines, 1865–1885, by Frank Luther Mott, Oxford University Press (1970), pps. 196–197; OCLC 310244
  8. ^ A Hundred Years of Music In America, William Smythe Babcock Mathews (1837–1912) (assoc. ed.), G. L. Howe (1889), pps. 380–382; OCLC 862556
  9. ^ "Editorial: Bric-a-Brac," Music: A Monthly Magazine, William Smythe Babcock Mathews (1837–1912) (ed.), Vol. 7, No. 5, March 1895, pg. 525
  10. ^ "Congratulations to Mr. Weil," Music Trade Review, Vol. 28, No. 17, April 29, 1899, pg. 15
  11. ^ a b "Large New Security Offerings Announced," Philadelphia Enquirer, June 27, 1927
  12. ^ a b "The Advertiser: 'Super Business-Paper' Combine Well Under Way With Big Stock Issue Sold—Hearst Men Head Group," New York Evening Post, July 8, 1927
  13. ^ Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada: 1800–1950, website created by Verity Griscti & Joshua Hull (retrieved 6 September 2014)
  14. ^ Edwin John Rosencrans, '93, C.E., '00," The Michigan Alumnus, Vol. 41, October 6, 1934, to September 14, 1935, pg. 128
  15. ^ "Howie Returns to Mirror," New York Evening Post, July 14, 1928, last col.
  16. ^ "Six Magazines Auctioned," New York Times, July 20, 1929
  17. ^ a b "Musical America Looks Back Over Eight Adventurous Decades," High Fidelity Musical America, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1978; ISSN 0735-7788
  18. ^ "Americans Attempt Suicide in Paris," Chester Times, May 22, 1935
  19. ^ "Wife Dead, Mate Near Death In Suicide Pact," Syracuse Journal (INS), May 23, 1935
  20. ^ "Man and Wife Die 24 Hours Apart," Cumberland Evening Times, May 24, 1935
  21. ^ "Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad, 1835–1974," NARA Inventory 15, Entry 205, 1910–1962, Box 1467: 1930–1939
  22. ^ "US Piano Sales History from 1900 to Present", Bluebook of Pianos (2012)
        1900 to 1959
        Piano Shipments reported by the National Piano Manufacturers Association
        1960 to 2012
        Piano Sales reported in MUSIC USA published by the American Music National Piano Foundation and Conference and the National Association of Music Merchants
  23. ^ The Great Orchestrator: Arthur Judson and American Arts Management, by James M. Doering, University of Illinois Press (2013), pg. 75; OCLC 828140136
  24. ^ Musical Alliance of the United States homepage
  25. ^ "The Musical Alliance," John C. Freund, Music Supervisors' Journal, Vol. 4, No. 3, January Jan 1918, pps. 22, 24, 26, 28; JSTOR 3382937
  26. ^ Allied in Music: One Man's Dream of Unity" (radio transcript), by Stephen Greene, On Being (radio show), January 31, 2014
  27. ^ "Music Trades Sold at Auction," Presto-Times, Issue 2232, August 1, 1928, col. 1 (bottom), pg. 8; OCLC 29805477
  28. ^ "John Majeski, Sr., Publisher, Dead," New York Times, November 21, 1971
  29. ^ "John F. Majeski:" Biography Index, Vol. 9: September 1970 – August 1973, New York: H.W. Wilson Company (1974); OCLC 24559910
  30. ^ "John F. Majeski:" Who Was Who in America, Vol. 5, 1969–1973, Chicago: Marquis Who's Who (1973); OCLC 13864526
  31. ^ "Daugherty is Made Trade Paper Editor," Poughkeepsie Eagle-News, March 5, 1930, pg. 1
  32. ^ Foremost Women in Communications, New York: Foremost Americans Publishing Corp. (1970); OCLC 105233
  33. ^ "Grace Frary Retires From The Music Trades," The Music Trades, Vol. 155, No. 6, July 2007;  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  34. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office, Serial No. 85046105, Registration Date January 25, 2011