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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

A 222nd GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS

Brief mention first of all, for yet more singletons of the British musical comedy stage. Tony Kinsey and Bill le Sage joined in 1960 to provide the music for The Lily White Boys, which struggled to 45 outings at the Royal Court Theatre. In 1963 What Goes UpÖ! was put on at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Murray Graham being the provider of the score. And Elizabeth Quinn wrote both lyrics and music for Fancy Free, produced in Belfast, also in 1963.

Lionel Tertisís skill as a viola player and his tireless proselytising for his instrument are both well known but we should also remember that Tertis (1876-1975), in addition to major arrangements like the re-jigging for viola of Elgarís Cello Concerto and compositions like the Variations on a Four Bar Theme of Handel for viola and cello unaccompanied published a number of shorter pieces for viola and piano (although some were also arranged for violin or cello) which we may properly count as light music: arrangements of the Londonderry Air, a (different) Old Irish Air and French Air; and the original compositions Hier Air Soir and Sunset (Coucher du Soleil). As a player Tertis came from a generation who, as often as not, believed in composing their own pieces for use as encores in their recitals.

And so finally to Norman Demuth (1898-1968), a Francophile composer and author, who studied at the Royal College of Music and was later a professor at the Royal Academy. His rather austere melodic gift means that one does not immediately associate him with the lighter forms of music but he did make substantial contributions in that direction: much incidental music, especially for radio (e.g. two productions of The Tempest, Prometheus Bound, Prometheus Unbound, Allís Well That Ends Well, MacBeth and The Queen of Cornwall), film music (e.g. for Pink String and Sealing Wax, 1945), an Overture For a Joyful Occasion, some music for military band including the Regimental March of the Royal Pioneer Corps (1943: Demuth served in both world wars) and a considerable number of miniatures for piano Ė Canzonet and Reverie (1925), Tambourin (1928), Three Dance Movements (1956), Album Leaf (1959), Country Caper (1960), Two Meadow Melodies (1960), Vilanelle (1961) and, for duet, Waltz For Two.

Philip L Scowcroft

September 2001


Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount

DONCASTER

S YORKS DN2 5PJ

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 rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


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