Discover Philadelphia Music History

History, music and places in Philadelphia are all around us. The Philadelphia Freedom Band encourages you to discover the musical history with us through this page.

Discover, our Philadelphia music history initiative, explores Philadelphia's role in the creation and evolution of American and world music, instruments and movements.

Music Instruments in America

We all know that Philadelphia is rich with history - even musical instrument history. Explore this map to see where Klemm & Brothers started importing and eventually manufacturing brass musical instruments. The Klemm family, German Moravians, were well-know musical instrument makers prior to their arrival in the United States around 1816.

In 1819, Frederick A. and Johann G. Klemm opened up a music store at 1 N. 4th Street in what is now Center City Philadelphia. Their business continued at various address’s for almost 80 years, as you can see in this map. Klemm family members included: Klemm, Edward M.; Klemm, Frederick August (1795-1876); Klemm, George M.; and Klemm, John George.

An ad placed in the Philadelphia Gazette 14 May 1823 stated: J.G. Klemm of the late firm of Klemm & Bros. opened a store selling music instruments from the manufactory of G. and A. Klemm in Germany having purchased from Messrs Bacon and Hart their entire stock of music plates. It says that he intends on printing and publishing music. In 1839, F. A. Klemm is listed in the directories at 3 city row separate from Klemm & Bros.. Also in 1864, a George M. Klemm is listed at 124 N. 13. This name does not appear in the directories again.

Music - Made in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Freedom Band likes to explore the history of American music and its roots in our history.

"Made in America" was a concert in 2015 but it's also an ongoing project for the band. Click on each marker to learn more about the music, its composer, arranger or performer and that specific place. You can even hear a song related to that place, person and time.

The markers and songs span generations, musical styles and important turning points in our history. Come back often to see what we've added. You'll learn something and gain a deep appreciation of our city, culture and its impact on the world.