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Belford's Carnival

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Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander

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General Info

Year: 1897 / 1926
Duration: c. 2:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
D-flat Piccolo
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Cornets Solo-I-II
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III

(percussion detail needed)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Although he did not live long, Russell Alexander (1877-1915) managed to go from his small-town birthplace, Nevada City, Missouri, to the huge metropolis of London in about twenty years. After working in his first circus, Belford's Carnival, which resulted in the march title Belford's Carnival (1897), Alexander joined the band of Barnum & Bailey for its five-year tour of Europe. The circus performed in London early in its 1897-1902 triumphal march across that continent.

Belford's Carnival was a popular "bally line" selection. "Bally line" refers to the area outside the sideshow tent which the sideshow band, accompanied by enticing sideshow acts, would play to advertise the marvels of the sideshow that could be experienced inside by playing an additional admission.

- Program Note from Circus Songs

Alexander wrote this march in 1897 while he was with the eight-member Belford Carnival Show Band. Although carnivals and circuses existed before Rome was founded, an English cavalryman named Philip Astley is generally considered to have originated the modern circus in London about 1770. Another Englishman, John Bill Ricketts, organized the first circus in America about 1792. By the end of the 19th century, many of the shows had excellent bands, but most of their music was borrowed from the concert halls. Alexander's marches were among the first t be specifically composed for the bit top act.

The famous twentieth-century circus bandleader Merle Evans, used this march for the high pole acts and the liberty horse routines.

- 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