1931 in Music
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1931 in Music

This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1931.

Specific locations

Specific genres


Published popular music

Biggest hit songs

The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the limited set of charts available for 1931.

# Artist Title Year Country Chart Entries
1 Cab Calloway & His Cotton Club Orchestra Minnie the Moocher 1931 United States RYM 1 of 1931, US BB 3 of 1931, POP 3 of 1931, RIAA 82, Scrobulate 87 of swing, Acclaimed 649
2 Ted Lewis Just a Gigolo 1931 United States US BB 1 of 1931, POP 1 of 1931
3 Duke Ellington Mood Indigo 1931 United States RYM 3 of 1931, US BB 7 of 1931, POP 7 of 1931, Acclaimed 518
4 Guy Lombardo Goodnight, Sweetheart 1931 Canada US BB 4 of 1931, POP 4 of 1931, RYM 40 of 1931
5 Isham Jones Stardust 1931 United States US BB 5 of 1931, POP 5 of 1931, RYM 47 of 1930

Top hits on record

Top blues recordings

Classical music

Dans le rêve laissé par la ballade des pendus de Villon, for piano
En dévissant mes chaussettes, for piano
Heureusement, la bonne fé sa marraine y mit bon ordre, for piano
Histoire dur des tapis, entre des murs blancs, for piano
Lumière qui tombe d'un vasistas, for piano
Mélodie-sandwich, for piano
Nocturne, for piano
Petite rhapsodie, for piano
Verset-choral, for piano
26 septembre, 1931, for piano
Due intermezzi, for strings
Vesuvius (Hic est illa Napolis), ballet, for orchestra
Hymnus "Te Joseph celebrent", for soprano, baritone, and organ
Missa pro defunctis, for three voices and organ
"O quam suavis est", for two voices and organ
Sonata No. 2, for violin and piano
À nous la liberté (music for the film by René Clair),
La concurrence (ballet)
Le quatorze juillet (incidental music for the play by Romain Rolland)
Radiogramma, for piano
Uchben X'coholte, for soprano and chamber orchestra
Sextet, for alto voice, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, and piano
Sonata, for violin and piano [unnumbered, precedes Sonata No. 1]
String Quartet No. 1
Dover Beach, for mezzo-soprano or baritone and string quartet, op. 3
Pieces for Carillon: Round, Allegro, Legend
The School for Scandal (overture), for orchestra, op. 5
Duos (Forty-four), for two violins
Hungarian Sketches, for orchestra
Piano Concerto No. 2
Transylvanian Dances, for orchestra
Northern Ballad No. 1, for orchestra
Red Autumn, for piano duo
Symphony No. 4
The Tale the Pine-Trees Knew, for orchestra
Valse, for harp
"Christ in the universe", for alto, tenor, four-part choir, and orchestra, or organ, op. 132
"Juni", for four-part choir and piano (also version for three-part female choir), op. 51, no. 3
Prelude, for violin, cello, and piano
Sea Fever and The Last Prayer, for four-part male choir and piano, op. 126, nos. 1 and 2
"When the last sea is sailed", for four-part male choir and piano, op. 127
Concerto Grosso, for orchestra
Entrückung, for baritone and piano
Pan, for soprano and orchestra
La poulette grise, for two children's choirs, trumpet, and two pianos
Sonata No.1, for violin and piano
Concerto, for two trumpets and string orchestra
Concert Overture, for orchestra
Fünf Sinnsprüche Omars des Zeltmachers, for mezzo-soprano or baritone and piano, op. 3
Toccatas (two), for piano
Trio, for violin, viola, and cello
Zwei estnische Nationaltänze, for piano (later destroyed)
In the Platinum Forest, for medium voice and piano
Sonata, for oboe and clarinet
Tamanar, for piano
The Battle Song, symphonic poem, for brass band
Symphony No. 2 in E minor
Christ's Nativity, Christmas Suite, for SATB choir
Fugue in A major, for piano
Plymouth Town, ballet, for orchestra
Rhapsodies, for violin, viola, and piano
String Quartet in D
Tit for Tat , for voice and piano
Twelve Variations, for piano
Fantasie, for organ, op. 32
Kleine Stücke, for piano, op. 31
Te Deum, for two-voice chorus, trumpet, trombone, timpani, and organ, op. 33
Vierundzwanzig Melodien aus den Hassler'schen Choralgesängen, for four-voice choir, op. 30
Estudio (A media noche en oriental), for ¼-tone guitar
Estudios, for 1/3 -tone arpa-citara
Preludios, for mictotonal arpa-citara
Sonata "Amanecer en Berlin 13", for ¼-tone arpa-citara
Symphony No. 3 "Colombia"
La donna serpente, Suite No. 1, op. 50 bis
La donna serpente, Suite No. 2, op. 50 ter
Ballade des biens immeubles, for voice and piano, op. 68
Concerto "I profeti", for violin and orchestra, op. 66
The Lark, for violin and piano, op. 64
Mi-la, for piano
Film Studies (Two), for piano, op. 67
A Highly Academic Diversion on Seven Notes, for orchestra
Symphony No. 9 in E major (The Pioneers)
  • Arnold Cooke - Passacaglia, Scherzo, and Finale, for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and string quartet
  • Aaron Copland - Miracle at Verdun, incidental music for the play by Hans Chlumberg, chamber orchestra
  • Henry Cowell -
479 [Gig], for piano
Competitive Sport, for piano
Heroic Dance, for ten instruments
"How Old Is Song?", for voice and piano
Rhythmicana, for rhythmicon and orchestra
Steel and Stone, original version, for piano?
Fantastic Dance, for orchestra
Irmelin Prelude, for orchestra*Marcel Dupré -
Chorales (79), for organ, op. 28
Pieces (Seven), for organ, op. 27
Ballade, for piano and chamber orchestra
Printemps, for piano
Piano Concerto No. 1 (revised version)
Grave funèbre, for violin and chamber orchestra
Blasmusik No. 1, for wind orchestra
Blasmusik No. 2, for wind orchestra
Furchtlosigkeit und Wohlwollen, oratorio for tenor, mixed chorus, and orchestra
Musica per banda, for wind orchestra
Lied der roten Flieger, for voice and small orchestra or piano
Das Lied vom vierten Mann, for voice and small orchestra or piano
Die Mutter, for choir and orchestra, op. 25
Songs (Four) from the film Niemandsland
Songs (Three) from the film Kuhle Wampe, oder Wem gehört die Welt?, op. 27
Songs (Three) from the film Das Lied vom Leben, op. 36
Streiklied, for voice and small orchestra or piano
Suite No. 2, for orchestra, (from the film Niemandsland), op. 24
Suite No. 3, for orchestra (from the film Kuhle Wampe), op. 26
Elegy, for harp and string orchestra
String Quartet No. 2
Alla danza ungherese, for orchestra
Canephorae, five pieces for piano or organ
Passacaglia, for organ
Pastorali, for voice and piano or chamber orchestra
Quaderno Romano, six pieces for piano
Sonatina No. 2, for violin and piano
Grenzen der Menschheit, for baritone, five-part choir, and orchestra
Lied der Welt, for male choir
El caballo blanco, for four-part mixed choir
Rumba, for chamber orchestra
Suite cubana No. 1, for chamber orchestra (also chamber version for flute, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano, and timpani)
Yamba-O, for orchestra
Acalanto, for soprano and piano
Aquela china, for voice and piano
Balada para os carreteiros, for baritone and piano
Mãe d'agua canta, for violin and piano, or for string quartet
Madrigal, for four solo voice and string quartet
Quintet, for two violins, viola, cello, and piano
Suite, for orchestra
Trio, for violin, cello, and piano
The Flooded Stream, for voice and piano
The Orchard Sings to the Child, for voice and piano
Padraic the Fidiler, for voice and piano, with violin ad libitum
Pieces (two), for clarinet and piano
Para meu Rancho, for voice and piano
Poemas (Tres), for voice and piano
Rapsódia brasileira, for piano
Leopold Godowsky -
Capriccio, for piano left-hand
Etude (paraphrase of Adolf Henselt), in F major, for piano, op. 2 no. 6
Die Herde sucht (incidental music)
Zwei Betrachtungen (later retitled Letzte Kapitel), for speaker, chamber choir, piano, and percussion, op. 15
Autumn Crocus (incidental music)
Songs (Two), op. 49
Songs (Four), op. 53
Lisbon (Dublin Bay) (second setting)
'Tribute to Foster
Grand Canyon Suite, for orchestra
Knute Rockne, symphonic poem, for orchestra
Concerto No. 1, for piano and orchestra
Poemas de Macunaíma, for voice and orchestra
Sonata No. 1, for cello and piano
Trio, for violin, viola, and cello
Fantazie No. 1, for nonet, op. 40
Toccata quasi una fantasia, for piano, op. 38
Aurora Borealis, overture for orchestra
San Francisco, suite for orchestra, in C major, op. 121
Youth Triumphant, overture for band
  • Johan Halvorsen - Danses norvégiennes Nos. 3-6, for violin and orchestra [originally with piano accompaniment, 1930]
  • Roy Harris -
American Portrait (revised version)
Andantino, for orchestra
Concert Piece, for orchestra
Toccata, for orchestra
Sonatina, for piano
Tanzsuite, for wind quintet
Duette, for two violins
Einige Klavierstücke, for piano
Fünf-und-Vierzig Stücke, for 1 and 2 violins
Konzertstück, for trautonium and strings
Musik zu einem abstrakten Fischinger-Film, for string trio
Musik zu einen Trickfilm, for piano
Reklamefilm Clermont de Fouet, for string trio
Spiel- und Hörschule
"Der Tod", for TTBB choir
Das Unaufhörliche (oratorio), for soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, mixed choir, children's choir, orchestra, and organ
Allegro affettuoso, for piano
Allegro sostenuto, for violin and piano
Chamber Music No. 1, for chamber orchestra
Choral Pieces, for children's chorus
Concerto for chamber orchestra
Concerto, for solo piano
Duets, for two recorders
Provinsen [The Provinces], for soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, choir, flute, oboe, violin, and cello
Requiem, for children's voices, children's chorus, and chamber orchestra
Dirge, for orchestra
Der Einsame, for voice and piano
Liebeslied, for voice and piano
Mailied, for voice and piano
Schlaflied, for voice and piano
Suite mélancolique, for violin, cello, and piano
Whimsy, for piano
"Delicates so dainty", unison voices and piano
"A Maid Peerless", for SSAA choir and orchestra
Severn, for SATB choir
"Sweet Content", for unison voices and piano
Three Folksongs, for voice and piano
Les cinq gentlemen maudits, music for the film by J. Duvivier
S.O.S. Foch, music for the film by J. Arroy
Symphonie marine, for orchestra
Chanson en forme de canon à l'octave, for soprano and baritone, op. 102
Chant de nourrice, for three equal voices, op. 103
Cinq chansons folkloriques et deux rigaudons à une voix, for voice and piano
Le forgeron, for three-part choir and string quartet, op. 104
String Quartet No. 4 (unfinished)
La vengeance du mari, soprano, two tenors, four-part choit, small wind band or piano, op. 105
Passacaglia on a Well-Known Theme, for orchestra
Songs (Three), for soprano and clarinet
Études (Six), for piano
Mélodies sur des poésies anciennes (Quatre), for voice and piano or chamber orchestra
Prière des 13 hommes dans la mine, for baritone or mezzo-soprano and piano
Rondels de François Villon (Trois), for voice and piano
Suite, for viola and piano
Pièces en trio, for violin, cello, and piano, op. 95,
String Quartet No. 5, op. 95
Music for Organ, op. 145
Passacaglia and Fugue on BACH, op. 150
Sempre semplice, for organ, op. 142, no. 2
Hommage à Haendel, for orchestra
Kohtauksia nukketeatterista [Scenes from a Puppet Theatre], for orchestra
Rag-Time and Blues, for two violins, clarinet, trumpet, and piano
Tsheremissiläinen fantasia [Cheremis Fantasia], for cello and orchestra
Mátrai képek, for mixed choir
Nagyszalontai köszönt?, for mixed choir or treble choir
Prelude, for organ
Chorals (22), op. 117
Chorals dans les modes du moyen-âge (Cinq), for orchestra, op. 117bis
Bagatelles (Four), for piano four-hands, op. 70
Durch die Nacht, song cycle, for soprano and orchestra, op. 67a
Die Nachtigall, concert aria, for coloratura soprano and orchestra, op. 68a
Gesänge des späten Jahres, for voice and piano, op. 71
Theme and Thirteen Variations, for orchestra, op. 69
Concerto for Piano & 9 Instruments
Salome (incidental music for the play by Oscar Wilde), for clarinet, trumpet, cello, and percussion
Íslendingaljóð [Poems of Icelanders], for male choir, op. 15a
Íslenskir söngdansar [Icelandic Dance-Songs], for voices with ad lib instrumental accompaniment, op. 17a
Ný rímnadanslög [New Icelandic Dances], for piano, op. 14b
Preludes (Three), for organ, op. 16
Sjávarvísur [Ocean Verses], for male choir, op. 15b
A Hymn to Christ, A Hymn to God the Father, for double choir
The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo, for choir and orchestra
The Willow Plate (dramatic work in three parts, unfinished)
Concerti, for orchestra
Epitaffio, for piano
String Quartet No. 3 "Cantari alla madrigalesca"
  • Igor Markevitch - Serenade for Three Instruments
  • Frank Martin - La nique à Satan (spectacle populaire), for baritone, children's choir, female choir, male choir, wind instruments, 2 pianos, percussion, and contrabass
  • Bohuslav Martin? -
Borova, for oboe, clarinet, trumpet, piano, and strings
Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra
Doux esquisses, for piano
Jeux, for piano
Partita (Suite No. 1), for string orchestra
Sept études rhythmiques, for violin and piano
Seven Arabesques, for violin and piano
Slavnostní ouvertura k sokolskému sletu, for orchestra
Sonata No. 2, for violin and piano
"Staro?eská ?íkadla", for women's choir
Untitled Pieces (four), for piano
Leichte Klavierstücke (Zwei), in B major and A minor, for piano
Sonata minacciosa in F minor, for piano, op. 53, no. 2
Festliches Präludium, for organ
Höstkvällen, for voice and piano, op. 170, no. 2
Hvarje årstid, for voice and piano, op. 171
Långt från land, for voice and piano
Lohdutus [Consolation], for chamber orchestra, op. 168
Muistathan [Do you remember?], for voice and piano (composed under the pseudonym Eero Mela)
Runebergsånger, for voice and piano, op. 172
Sånger till ord av Jarl Hemmer, for voice and piano, op. 162
Sonata, for flute and harp, op. 135b
Sonatina No. 2, for piano, op. 135a
Törnet, for voice and piano, op. 170, no. 3
L'ensorceleuse, cantata for soprano, tenor, bass, and piano or orchestra
Fugue sur un sujet de Georges Hüe, for four unspecified instruments
Le tombeau resplendissant, for orchestra
Suffolk Folksongs (Six), for voice and piano
Trio, for violin, viola, and cello
Whythorne's Shadow, for orchestra
Allegretto, in F ,major, for two recorders
Commotio, for organ, op. 50
"Det som lysner over vangen", for voice and piano
Klaverstykke, for piano
"Kvadet om Nordens harpe", for TTBB choir
Ligbraendings-Kantate, for choir and orchestra
Paaske-aften (incidental music)
Cantata (Werkbuch II), for choir, piano, and percussion
Catulli Carmina II, for choir
"By the Waters of Babylon", for voice and adapted viola
Potion Scene from Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), for voice and adapted viola
Suite for Emperor and Galilean by Henrik Ibsen, for orchestra
Pieces (Three), for orchestra
Sonata, for vioin and piano
Danslek ur Ran [Dance Game from Ran], for choir a capella or choir and piano
Jämtlandssången [Song of Jämtland], for unison choir and piano
Lieder (Sechs), for voice and piano, op. 40
Sonette (Drei), op. 41
Canzoni popolari italiane (Quattro), for small orchestra
String Quartet in A major
Songs for Helen on Nursery Rhymes (Twelve), for voice and piano
String Quartet No. 4
Cinq poèmes de Max Jacob, for voice and piano
Concertino, for piano four hands
Quatre poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire, for voice and piano
Sonata for Violin and Piano
Trois poèmes de Louise Lalanne, for voice and piano
Sonata no. 2, for piano, in B minor, op. 36 (revised version)
Variations on a Theme of Corelli, for piano, op. 42
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto, Suite No. 3, for string quartet
Belkis, regina di Saba (ballet), for orchestra
Maria egiziaca (trittico da concerto), for voices and orchestra
Canons for Woodwinds (Three), for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, op. 9
Fantasy and Fugue, for orchestra and organ, op. 10
Preludes (Three), for piano
Serenata, for violin and eleven instruments or chamber orchestra
Symphony No. 2
Tres toques, for orchestra
Curujey, son for choir, two pianos, and two percussionists
Female Choruses (Two)
Medea, incidental music for the play by Euripides
Song of Mourning and Pastoral (from the incidental music for Medea), female choir and piano
A Flower Given to my Daughter, for voice and piano
Idylles (Deux), for voice and piano, op. 44
Sonata No. 1, for violin and piano, in D minor, op. 11 (revised version)
Suite, for piano, op. 6
Variazioni piccole (50), for orchestra, op. 8
Aire de siembra, for orchestra
Canciones románticas peruanas, for voice and piano, no. 1: "Arrullo de muñeca", op. 17, no. 1
Canciones simbólicas (Tres), for voice and piano, op. 14
Kcachampa, for orchestra
Prelude, for string quartet, op. 15
Suite peruana, for piano, op. 16
Divertissement de chambre, for flute, clarinet, bassoon, viola, and piano
Polymètres, for voice and piano
Choeurs (six), for four-part women's choir, a capella or with orchestra, op. 81
Symphonie concertante, for piano and orchestra, op. 82
Four-part Mirror Canon
Klavierstück, op. 33b
Mirror Canon, for string quartet
Two-part Mirror Canon for Herrmann Abraham "Spiegle Dich im Werk"
Concerto, for cello and orchestra
Trio No. 1, for violin, viola, and cello
Trio No. 2, for violin, viola, and cello
Movement for Voice and Piano
Piano Symphony No. 0
"O ti thel ? mana sou?" [Oh What Does Your Mother Want?], for voice and piano
Octet, for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, two violins, viola, and cello
Piano Concerto No. 1
Concertino, for piano and orchestra, 1931;
Danses polonaises (quatre), for orchestra
Symphony no. 3 (Symphonie concertante), for violin, viola, cello, piano, and orchestra
La belle en dormant, for voice and piano
Chamber Music, for voice and piano
Serenade, for flute and violin
Stabat mater, for soprano and string quartet
String Quartet No. 1
Symphony No. 2
Capriccio, for violin and orchestra
Chansons des sables, for voice and orchestra [from Tam-tam]
Chants de Cyrnos, for voice and orchestra or piano
Fantoches, for piano
Tam-tam, symphonic poem, for orchestra
El castillo de Almodóvar, for piano (also orchestrated), op. 65
El circo, for piano, op. 68
Jardín de niños, for piano, op. 63
Pieza romántica, for piano, op. 64
Quartet, for violin, viola, cello, and piano, op. 67
Radio Madrid, for piano, op. 62,
Rapsodia sinfónica, for piano and strings op. 66
Sonata for Guitar, op. 61
Abinger (I Vow to Thee My Country)
Mantegna (Into the Woods My Master Went)
Marathon (Servants of the Great Adventure)
Piano Concerto in C major
White Gates (Fierce Raged the Tempest)
La ballade du désespéré, for soprano and orchestra, op. 61
Triptyque, for organ, op. 58,
Caixinha de música quebrada, for piano
String Quartet No. 5 (Quarteto brasileiro no. 1)
Belshazzar's Feast (oratorio)
"Make we joy in this fest" (traditional carol), set for SATB choir
Ouverture zu einem ritterlichen Spiel, for orchestra
Passacaglia, for orchestra with organ
Mitte des Lebens, for soprano, choir, and orchestra, op. 45
Piano Concerto, op. 49
Ballade, for violin, oboe, and string orchestra
Feminine Conversations and Promenade of Respectable People, for piano
Prelude and Fugue, for string quartet
Scherzo burlesque, for piano and orchestra
Sextet, for woodwinds and piano
String Quartet No. 1
Lieder (Acht), for voice and piano
Die Mausefalle, incidental music for the play by Gustav von Wangenheim, for instrumental ensemble
Deux études de concert, for two pianos tuned in quarter tones, op. 19
Etude en forme de scherzo, for two pianos tuned in quarter tones, op. 20


The Emperor Jones, op. 36 (not staged until 1933)
Jack and the Beanstalk, op. 35, staged 20 November, Juilliard School, New York
Torneo notturno, staged 15 May at the Nationaltheater in Munich
I trionfi d'amore, triptych (unperformed except for the second opera, Mascherati, not staged until 1954)


Musical theater

Musical films




  1. ^ The Opera Quarterly. University of North Carolina Press. 1995. p. 7.
  2. ^ David Darrah, "Slap Toscanini: Refuses to Play Fascist Antham", Chicago Tribune 90, no. 117 (16 May 1931): 3.
  3. ^ Journal - Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Association for Recorded Sound Collections. 1981. p. 21.
  4. ^ Anon., "Contemporary Music: Festival in England This Year", The Times, issue 45735 (Saturday, 31 January 1931): 10C.
  5. ^ Anon., "Indian Music: Inauguration of Circle in Bombay", The Times of India (Thursday, 22 October 1931): 7.
  6. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third series. 1959. p. 1758.
  7. ^ Alison, Arnold (1992). "Aspects of Production and Consumption in the Popular Hindi Film Song Industry". Asian Music. 24 (1): 122-136. doi:10.2307/834454.
  8. ^ Dayna Oscherwitz & MaryEllen Higgins. The A to Z of French Cinema. Scarecrow Press, 2009.
  9. ^ Manrupe, Raúl; Portela, María Alejandra (2001). Un diccionario de films argentinos (1930-1995) (in Spanish). Editorial Corregidor, Buenos Aires. ISBN 950-05-0896-6. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  11. ^ Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter, 1999. p.321
  12. ^ Bock, Hans-Michael & Bergfelder, Tim. The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. Berghahn Books, 2009. p.156
  13. ^ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/822393
  14. ^ Sir George Grove; Eric Blom; Denis Stevens (1954). Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. St. Martin's Press.

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