By William F. Sharpe
The topic of music encompasses a great variety of stamps. You can find music composers, performers, instruments, and titles honored in this category.
One site that offers many choices is the Philatelic Music Group. This is a German site, but clicking on the flag in the left column of the home page will translate most of the pages into English, as shown nearby.
Founded in 1959, the group includes more than 300 members from 36 countries. Membership information is provided on the site.
You also can read or download a sample copy of the group’s quarterly publication Der Musikus as a PDF (portable document format) file. This 64-page magazine is written in German but includes English and French summaries for articles.
To find articles about music on stamps, click on the word “Articles” in the left-hand column of the home page.
The articles are listed by year. The flag shown with each article indicates the language it is written in.
For example, in the listing of 2015 articles, the article about Billie Holiday is written in German. To see the article, click on the title next to the flag. You might need to use your browser’s translate function to read the article in English.
A variety of stamp exhibits related to music can be viewed by clicking on “Our Stamp Album” in the left column on the home page and then clicking on “Music Stamp Collections.”
Shown nearby is the second page from the exhibit titled “Tango.” This 16-page exhibit provides a philatelic history of the development of that dance form.
While you are still on the Our Stamp Album page, click on “More Websites about Music on Stamps.” You will see the composers page, but you can select musicians, instruments, opera, dance, or others from the top menu to see additional sites.
Another links page is accessible from the home page. I clicked on the first choice here, “Our Members on the Internet,” and visited Hans Timmerman’s page showing pipe organs on stamps.
I also played Frederic Grosz’s “The Magic Flute on Stamps,” a performance of a small part of Mozart’s opera, illustrated with postage stamps.
An extensive collection of music stamps can be found in a blog format. The blogger is Jiumn-wen Lin, a collector of classical music on stamps.
Brief biographies about composers are included in the alphabetical listings on the left side of the page.
I clicked on G for composers from Gadbois to Gullin, and then found George Gershwin among the composers listed on the right side of the page. The Gambia’s se-tenant stamps honoring George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Scott 2050c and 2050d) were among those shown.
Another choice offered on the home page is a link to a page featuring stamps honoring nonclassical musicians.
Pinterest, a graphic website that I wrote about in Linn’s Nov. 5, 2012, issue, also includes stamp images related to music, although these images are arranged for browsing.
I would suggest visiting Pinterest and searching for “music on postage stamps” in the search box at the top of the page.
You will see a variety of stamps illustrated, but clicking on the “Boards” choice at the top of the results screen will lead you to individual boards about music stamps, as shown nearby.
You also can click on an individual stamp image to see a larger view of that stamp.