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Thin Red Line, The

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Kenneth J. Alford

Kenneth J Alford

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General Info

Year:1908 / 1925
Duration: c. 2:45
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Pender Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $45.00   |   Score Only - $5.00


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Although not published until 1925, this march was composed in 1908, Alford's first year as bandmaster of the Second Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlands -- it later became their official regimental march. The composer dedicated the work to the unit's forebears, the 93th Highlanders, who had formed a "thin red line" in a victory over the Russians at Balaklava in 1854.

Included in the London Times of that period was a quotation attributed to Sir William Howard Russell describing the British Infantry: "The Russians dashed on towards that thin red-line streak tipped with a line of steel." Four decades earlier British troops commanded by the Duke of Wellington used the same battle formation to defeat Napoleon, whose solders fought in a thick block-style configuration.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Alford, K. (1925). Thin Red Line, The: March [score]. Hawkes & Son: London.
  • Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "The Thin Red Line." Accessed 5 June 2014.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 505.