Around Tin Pan Alley-era Houston, sheet music was exchanged for the most part among music fans and aficionados, versus the then-fragile but burgeoning cylinder records (phonographs). Sadly, the true sound of musicians who improvised has been lost, but from street musicians to the thoroughly classical, here's the rest of what I heard.
Terrific flights over ponderous elephants, poster for Forepaugh & Sells Brothers, ca. 1899
The first dramatic theater performance in Texas took place in Houston on June 11, 1838. Back in that day, these performances were generally most popular.
One of Houston's first stars was Madame Thielman, née Louise Ehlers, a German opera singer and universal favorite. Houston newspapers showered her with compliments, and she toured Houston and the world in the mid-to-late 1830s.