Sounds of Yesteryear

(1903 - 1941)

The recordings on this page are archivist selections from over 3,500 shellac and vinyl records preserved by the National Archives of Singapore. These are rare sound recordings that trace the development of the recording industry in Singapore - an important regional centre for recording music from the 1900s to the early 1980s. Recording companies used the island as their base and performers from surrounding countries were drawn to Singapore, bringing with them an amazing mix of musical styles, languages and cultural traditions that were enjoyed by the diverse local population.

The recordings you will be treated to range from the very first commercial recordings produced locally in 1903, to recordings made in late 1941 but were never commercially released due to the onset of World War II. Listen to early folk songs, orchestral pieces, Malay dramas, Chinese operas in different dialects, and many more. A newly digitised recording from this priceless selection will be streamed every week throughout 2017.

New Release This Week: Bahaja Bom

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Past Weekly Releases

1. Lagu Dari Nandoeng Sayang
Gramophone Concert Record | Sound | 1903 | Malay
GC-12894 | E-620 | Ismael
2. Lagu Selamat Ghobar
Gramophone Concert Record | Sound | 1903 | Malay
GC-12933 | E-659 | Polyphonic Singers
3. Bureng Puteh
Beka-Grand Record | Sound | 1906 | Malay
1828 | Empress Victoria Jawi Peranakan Theatrical Company, Penang
4. Lagu Orang Terbang
Odeon | Sound | 1907
90250/90288 | 90250, 90288 | Unknown
5. Boria Heap-Heap-Horrey
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1916 | Malay
P-4105 | 3624-AK, 3626-AK | Wahab, Timah, Munah Kechik
6. Dasima
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1925 | Malay
P-7069 | BD-3693, BD-3694 | Merry Opera Company
7. 织女弄梭 (其三) Zhi Nu Nong Suo (Part 3)
Beka 德国壁架唱片 | Sound | c.1927 | Teochew
B-19775-III/IV | 26637, 26638 | Lao Sai Tao Yuan; 老赛桃源
8. Senang Senangan Duet
Columbia | Sound | 1929 | Malay
15645 | 23097, 23098 | Lee Cheng Kim, Kah Tiong Ann
9. 杀子报公堂骂和尚潑妇 ( 其一 )
Quek Swee Chiang Record 郭瑞昌唱机盘 | Sound | c.1928 | Hakka
3037 | TCL-599, TCL-600 | Chao Mei Di Yi Ru Jia Wai Jiang Ju Yuan; 潮梅第一儒家外江剧员
10. Sambas Pontiansk
Beka | Sound | 1927 | Malay
27779/27823 | 27779, 27823 | Miss Riboet
11. 丑女洞房 (其一中板)
Polyphon 蓬里波 | Sound | 1927 | Cantonese
V-494/495 | V-494, V-495 | Lin Kun Shan; 林坤山
12. 鸳鸯梦 (其三)
Foo Ann | Sound | 1935 | Hainanese
NX-9 | OMH-1358, OMH-1359 | Xin Chang He; 新长和, Gen Xiang; 艮香
13. 五娘抛荔枝 (其一)
Regal | Sound | 1939 | Hokkien
45003a/b | A-5698, A-5699 | Xin Jia Po Jin Yu Lian Ban; 新加坡金玉莲班
14. Hejascar, Part 1
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1938 | Arabic
P-13007 | OMG-4058, OMG-4059 | Mohd Yusoff bin Abd Rahman
15. Dajong Sampan
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1929 | Malay
N-2696 | BD-6848, BD-6859 | Miss Louise, Miss Mira
16. 交演吹 (其三) Wedding Music Part III
Pagoda 宝塔 | Sound | 1930s
V-3904 | 7751-GD, 7752-GD | Unknown
17. Moonlight And Shadows (From The Film: "Jungle Princess")
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1938 | Malay,English
P-13002 | OMG-3998, OMG-4498 | Muluk Karim, Anthony L. Tobing
18. Kewadjiban Manoesia
Canary | Sound | 1938 | Malay
HS-132 | A-6939, A-7029 | S. Abdullah, R. Koesbini
19. Peranakan Malay
Odeon 高亭 | Sound | 1930 | Malay
A-206-156 | STR-1214, STR-1215 | Safiah, Jutat
20. Nasib Sim (La Paloma)
Limophone | Sound | 1934 | Malay
NE-101 | OE-4422, OE-4425 | Lim Choon Sim
21. Babu Rosina Part 7
Chap Singa | Sound | 1937 | Malay
QF-24 | OMG-4528, OMG-4529 | Dean Opera Co.
22. Bunga Raya
Chap Kuching | Sound | 1939 | Malay
NG-80 | OMH-928, OMH-929 | Miss Tijah
23. Krng, Tengah Malam
Chapple | Sound | 1930 | Malay
1001 | H-1011, H-1012 | E. Hussin, Che Fatimah
24. Samagan
Pagoda 宝塔 | Sound | 1930 | Hokkien
V-3160 | 2183-BD, 2184-BD | Mei Yu; 美玉
25. 新雪梅 (其一)
Pagoda 宝塔 | Sound | 1930 | Hokkien
V-3160 | 2183-BD, 2184-BD | Mei Yu; 美玉
26. Goreng Pisang
Columbia | Sound | 1939 | Malay
GE-10062 | CEI-9005, CEI-9225 | Miss Julia
27. Keroepoek Oedang
Extra | Sound | 1941 | Malay
SE-5 | OMG-6977, OMG-6991 | Siti Noer'aini
28. Singapore
Columbia | Sound | 1920 | English
A-2686 | 78194, 78195 | Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra
29. Singapore Sorrows
Victor | Sound | 1928 | English
21437 | 43541, 43540 | Ben Pollack and His Californians, Ben Pollack
30. On A Little Street In Singapore
Vocalion | Sound | 1939 | English
5211 | 25481, 25484 | Al Donahue and His Orchestra
31. Dendang Singapora
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1933 | Malay
P-16148 | OE-465, OE-496 | Che Norlia, Dara
32. Nona Di Kota Singapura
Columbia | Sound | 1941 | Malay
GE-12088 | SP-C-1566, SP-C-1585 | A. Rahman
33. Sri Tanjong Katong
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1916 | Malay
P-4109 | 3595-AK, 3605-AK | Timah, Munah Kechik
34. Sri Katong
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1932 | Malay
P-16094 | OE-470, OE-533 | Che Norlia, Menah
35. Chatra Radin Mas Ka 9: Kesedi'han Radin Mas
His Master's Voice (HMV) | Sound | 1936 | Malay
P-12838 | OMH-704, OMH-705 | Che Rahmah, Syed Ali Al'Attass, Che Asmah
36. 玉堂春 ( 其一 )
Columbia | Sound | 1940 | Hakka
KCG-1009 | SP-C-961, SP-C-962 | The Kheh Community Guild National Dramatic Corporation Singapore; 新加坡客属总会国乐部
37. 花下结拜 ( 其一 )
Pagoda 宝塔 | Sound | 1930
V-3220 | 2299-BD, 2230-BD | Er Woo Amateur Musical & Dramatic Association
38. A-Tisket A-Tasket
Parlophone | Sound | 1938 | English
A-7059 | CE-9348, CE-9403 | Stella Yau, Nat Gonella
39. 小桃红 (其一)
Columbia | Sound | 1930s
GHC-655 | C-527, C-528 | Thau Yong Amateur Musical Association
40. Swing Dondang Sayang
Columbia | Sound | 1941 | Malay
GE-12087 | 1579-MB, 1580-MB | Miss Julia
41. Junaini
Test Pressing | Sound | 1938
OMG-4867 | Simin
42. Poedjoek Rajoe
Test Pressing | Sound | 1938 | Malay
OMG-4876 | Simin
43. Olah
Test Pressing | Sound | 1941
OMG-7150 | Olah
44. Doendjankadjedid
Test Pressing | Sound | 18/01/1939
OMG-5473 | Hadji Mamat
45. Bahaja Bom
Test Pressing | Sound | 1941 | Malay
OMG-7075 | Miss Maimoenah (Poen)

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