Classical MusicWeb

Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


First, a group of representatives from the ranks of the present day- or nearly present-day - writers of music for TV. Andy Price's latest effort is his score for Channel 4's biographical film Elizabeth R [i.e. Elizabeth I] which has been issued on CD. Brian Lock was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and then in Warsaw; his scores for the screen include The Gambler and The Land Girls. Ty Unwin seems to be most associated with films about wild animals in their natural habitats as his incidental music scores include Born to be Wild and Vets in the Wild; his other screen music includes that for Holiday and for sundry commercial videos. One of Matthew Scott's most recent commissions was for the incidental music for the stylish Mrs. Bradley TV detective stories, based (rather distantly, it has to be said) on the novels of Gladys Mitchell, though much of the musical soundtrack was made up of actual 1920s song hits. Earlier TV series by Scott included Family Matters and In Suspicious Circumstances.

Dudley Simpson was active in television particularly in the 1970s and 1980s with his music for The Brothers, Blake's Seven, some of the music for the long-running Dr. Who and, in 1985, for Oliver Twist. Richard Holmes seems, memory insists, to have been involved with productions of a warlike character: Fortunes of War (1987), A Perfect Hero (1991) and Churchill (1992). Paddy Kingsland's musical scores included The Power and the Glory, Your Life in their Hands and Falklands War, all from the 1990s. And Arthur Blake, from Scotland, has composed music for the TV feature Take the High Road, also attractive music for The Pride of Miss Jean Brodie.

Our two ballad composers this time are Fred Whishaw, whose settings of popular Russian Songs (in English) could be heard in ballad concerts early in the 20th Century and E. Kingston Stewart, active around the same time, with settings such as Denis Darling and Where the Children Sleep.

And so finally to Ed or Edward Jakobowski who was a significant figure on the London musical stage during the last two decades of the 19th Century. He did not challenge Sullivan, nor quite equal Fred Clay or Alfred Cellier but his gift of charming melody was frequently remarked on at the time. With the exception of Erminie (154 performances at the Comedy Theatre in 1885) none of his works had more than a short London run, though a number of them were produced in America and one or two even made Broadway, while The Queen of Brilliants (1894) was first produced in Vienna. His principal shows were Dick (1884), The Lady of the Locket (1885), Erminie, The Palace of Pearl (1886, described as a "musical spectacular extravaganza", but its run at the Empire was hardly "spectacular"), Mynheer Jan (1887, which was liked by the critics but unsuccessful - oddly, its vocal score was published but not until 1924), Paola (1889, first produced in America), La Rosiere (1893, in one act), The Queen of Brilliants (1894), Milord Sir Smith (1898, originally titled Cumpano) and The Devil's Deputy (1894) and Winsome Winnie (1903) both the last two being staged only in the United States. For two musicals - The Three Beggars (1883) and Little Carmen (1884) Jakobowski used the name Edward Belville. He was one of eight composers who contributed to Pat in 1892.

Philip L. Scowcroft

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at

Return to:   index page
                              Classical Music on the Web