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Duke of Marlborough Fanfare, The

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Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (ed. Donald Hunsberger)

General Info

Year: 1939 / 2000
Duration: c. 2:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Ride Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Duke of Marlborough Fanfare, originally written in March of 1939, is based on an English folk tune sung by Mr. Henry Burtow, collected by Lucy Broadwood. Percy Aldridge Grainger was an Australian composer who was quite fond of collecting English folk tunes. Having been influenced by the practices of Lucy Broadwood, Grainger would take his Edison recording device out into the countryside to record these songs for preservation purposes. Grainger not only wrote a fanfare, but he also uses The Duke of Marlborough in the first movement of his most famous piece for wind band, Lincolnshire Posy.

- Program Note by Jeffrey E. de Seriere II for the California State University, Long Beach, Wind Symphony

Percy Grainger dedicated his Duke of Marlborough Fanfare to two people who greatly influenced his life. One was the great Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, who recognized Grainger’s talents and enthusiastically supported him, and the other was Miss Lucy E. Broadwood “who first revealed to me the charm of the living English folksong.” Grainger wrote this about the piece:

“My fanfare (written on March 5-6, 1939 at Coral Gables, Florida) is based on the English folksong, “The Duke of Marlborough” as collected from the singing of Mr. Henry Burstow (of Horsham, Sussex, England) one of the very finest of all English folksingers. In my setting, the tune is heard twice. The first time, it typifies the memories of long past wars, vague, far off, poetic. The second time it typifies a war in the present, fast-moving, close at hand, debonair, drastic.”

The opening French horn solo is heard again in the French horns in the Lisbon Bay movement of Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music


State Ratings

  • Kansas: IV


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