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 digitised recording from this priceless selection was streamed every week throughout 2017.

Past Weekly Releases

1. Lagu Dari Nandoeng Sayang
Sound | 1903 | Malay
GC-12894 | E-620 | Ismael
2. Lagu Selamat Ghobar
Sound | 1903 | Malay
GC-12933 | E-659 | Polyphonic Singers
3. Bureng Puteh
Sound | 1906 | Malay
1828 | Empress Victoria Jawi Peranakan Theatrical Company, Penang
4. Lagu Orang Terbang
Sound | 1907
90250/90288 | 90250, 90288 | Not Available
5. Boria Heap-Heap-Horrey
Sound | 1916 | Malay
P-4105 | 3624-AK, 3626-AK | Wahab, Timah, Munah Kechik
6. Dasima
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
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 )
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
Sound | 1927 | Malay
27779/27823 | 27779, 27823 | Miss Riboet
11. 丑女洞房 (其一中板)
Sound | 1927 | Cantonese
V-494/495 | V-494, V-495 | Lin Kun Shan; 林坤山
12. 鸳鸯梦 (其三)
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)
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
Sound | 1938 | Arabic
P-13007 | OMG-4058, OMG-4059 | Mohd Yusoff bin Abd Rahman
15. Dajong Sampan
Sound | 1929 | Malay
N-2696 | BD-6848, BD-6859 | Miss Louise, Miss Mira
16. 交演吹 (其三) Wedding Music Part III
Sound | 1930s
V-3904 | 7751-GD, 7752-GD | Not Available
17. Moonlight And Shadows (From The Film: "Jungle Princess")
Sound | 1938 | Malay,English
P-13002 | OMG-3998, OMG-4498 | Muluk Karim, Anthony L. Tobing
18. Kewadjiban Manoesia
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)
Sound | 1934 | Malay
NE-101 | OE-4422, OE-4425 | Lim Choon Sim
21. Babu Rosina Part 7
Sound | 1937 | Malay
QF-24 | OMG-4528, OMG-4529 | Dean Opera Company
22. Bunga Raya
Sound | 1939 | Malay
NG-80 | OMH-928, OMH-929 | Miss Tijah
23. Krng, Tengah Malam
Sound | 1930 | Malay
1001 | H-1011, H-1012 | E. Hussin, Che Fatimah
24. Samagan
Sound | 1930 | Malay
V-2618/V-2619 | 1967-BH, 1968-BH | Miss Ja Emah
25. 新雪梅 (其一)
Sound | 1930 | Hokkien
V-3160 | 2183-BD, 2184-BD | Mei Yu; 美玉
26. Goreng Pisang
Sound | 1939 | Malay
GE-10062 | CEI-9005, CEI-9225 | Miss Julia
27. Keroepoek Oedang
Sound | 1941 | Malay
SE-5 | OMG-6977, OMG-6991 | Siti Noer'aini
28. Singapore
Sound | 1920 | English
A-2686 | 78194, 78195 | Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra
29. Singapore Sorrows
Sound | 1928 | English
21437 | 43541, 43540 | Ben Pollack and His Californians, Ben Pollack
30. On A Little Street In Singapore
Sound | 1939 | English
5211 | 25481, 25484 | Al Donahue and His Orchestra
31. Dendang Singapora
Sound | 1933 | Malay
P-16148 | OE-465, OE-496 | Che Norlia, Dara
32. Nona Di Kota Singapura
Sound | 1941 | Malay
GE-12088 | SP-C-1566, SP-C-1585 | A. Rahman
33. Sri Tanjong Katong
Sound | 1916 | Malay
P-4109 | 3595-AK, 3605-AK | Timah, Munah Kechik
34. Sri Katong
Sound | 1932 | Malay
P-16094 | OE-470, OE-533 | Che Norlia, Menah
35. Chatra Radin Mas Ka 9: Kesedi'han Radin Mas
Sound | 1936 | Malay
P-12838 | OMH-704, OMH-705 | Che Rahmah, Syed Ali Al'Attass, Che Asmah
36. 玉堂春 ( 其一 )
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 )
Sound | 1930
V-3220 | 2299-BD, 2230-BD | Er Woo Amateur Musical & Dramatic Association
38. A-Tisket A-Tasket
Sound | 1938 | English
A-7059 | CE-9348, CE-9403 | Stella Yau, Nat Gonella
39. 小桃红 (其一)
Sound | 1930s
GHC-655 | C-527, C-528 | Thau Yong Amateur Musical Association
40. Swing Dondang Sayang
Sound | 1941 | Malay
GE-12087 | 1579-MB, 1580-MB | Miss Julia
41. Junaini
Sound | 1938
OMG-4867 | Simin
42. Poedjoek Rajoe
Sound | 1938 | Malay
OMG-4876 | Simin
43. Poentjak Doenia
Sound | 1941 | Malay
OMG-7207 | Miss Woo
44. Masri
Sound | 1941 | Arabic
OMG-7150 | Olah
45. Doendjankadjedid
Sound | 18/01/1939
OMG-5473 | Hadji Mamat
46. Bahaja Bom
Sound | 1941 | Malay
OMG-7075 | Miss Maimoenah
47. Joengkal Eniss
Sound | 17/01/1939
OMG-5481 | Che Ollah
48. Junallaha-alu Jahfa 2
Sound | 01/03/1939
OMG-5650 | Tji Din
49. Nasjid Madrasijah
Sound | 1941 | Malay
OMG-7182 | Oestazah R.A. Rhodijah
50. Poetri Sekarang
Sound | 1941
OMG-7157 | Miss Woo
51. Kebuasan Hitler
Sound | 1940 | Malay
GE-12011 | A-7590, A-7596 | Miss Fadillah
52. 大家来杀鬼子兵
Sound | 1939 | Mandarin
32008 | CEI-9291, CEI-9292 | Xing Zhou He Chang Tuan; 星洲合唱团

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