June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Boosey & Hawkes
Instrumentation:bn. pft.
Publisher Ref:M060835865
Four nineteenth century compositions or arrangements, three of which became popular songs with music hall audiences in the UK and at minstrel shows in the USA, arranged here for bassoon and piano

Price: £28.99
Skill Level:D/E
Publisher:Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
Year of Issue:1908
ISBN:none specified
James Ord Hume (1864-1932), was one of the most respected brass band composers and adjudicators of his day. Several of his brass band marches and other pieces remain in print including 'The Carnival' which is a tour de force for bassoon and piano with tempi marked Allegro vivace and Allegro brillante for the second half of the piece.

'My Grandfather's Clock' is a song which tells a story, said to be based on fact, which originates from the mid nineteenth century George Hotel in Piercebridge near Darlington, County Durham, UK. It tells how the 'long case clock' or 'floor clock' owned by the two innkeeper brothers kept perfect time until the survivor died when it "....stopped, dead, never to go again....". The song was composed by Henry Clay Work following his visit to the hotel in 1874 and published in his native U.S. two years later, and it became so popular on both sides of the Atlantic that long case clocks generally became known as grandfather clocks thereafter. W.H.Foote is shown as the composer of this edition, but no information about him can be found, and the song is attributed by some to the American Arthur William Foote, but this is almost certainly wrong. It seems likely that 'WHF' took 'HCW's' tune and added his own Introduction, two Variations, Adagio and Finale which make up by far the greater part of this 'Song - With Humorous Variations'.

Beginning with its possible origins in Medieval Europe, the history of 'Yankee Doodle' is complicated and wide-ranging. The earliest recognizable version was as a fifteenth century Dutch farmworkers' nonsense song ('Doodle' may be from German 'Dudel' = 'playing music badly'). About three hundred years later it had crossed the Atlantic and picked up 'Yankee' as a British insult to their 'uncouth' American allies in their war against the French, and 'dandy', feathers in hats and 'macaroni' are all references to these early Americans putting on airs and graces, to British eyes. As the American War of Independence was waged (1775-1782) the song was taken up by the revolutionaries and, ironically, became an anthem to American patriotism and later, a nursery rhyme. The melody in this version, by the brass band composer, arranger and adjudicator Haydn Millars, takes up only three lines of music while the introduction, four variations in various tempi and the Finale cover three and a half pages.

The earliest known publication date for the song 'Lucy Long' is 1842 when it appeared in the collection 'Old American Songs' with the composer un-named. Three years later it had become very popular in the United States where it was used by a number of minstrel troupes as a closing number for their shows. Despite a lack of any formal musical training, the Welsh born music hall composer Fred Godfrey (1880-1953) wrote at least 800 popular songs of which 'Who Were You With Last Night?' (1912), 'All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor' (1908) and 'Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty' (1916) are probably the best remembered. His arrangement of Lucy Long for bassoon and piano follows the pattern of the other arrangements in this collection - Introduction with cadenza, theme and four variations. Its date is unknown but must be before the 1908 copyright date of this collection, so quite early in Godfrey's career.

  • Foote - My Grandfather's Clock (with Humorous Variations)
  • Millars - Yankee Doodle (with Variations)
  • Godfrey - Lucy Long (with Original Variations)

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