page one of the Eb Bass part from Cambrai Quick March

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Full details

The Quick March “Cambrai” takes its name from the village in France which provided the location of the first battle in which the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry (RGLI) was involved in 2017.

Alan West has used the original theme from the bugle march “Chanson de Roland” which, itself, was taken from a Norman marching song composed by the Marquis de Paulmy said to have been sung by the invading Norman Army at the Battle of Hastings. “Chanson de Roland” was adopted by the RGLI as its Regimental Quick March.

The composer was provided with a piano transcription of the piece from a press cutting of 1916 but this only provided the first theme of the march. To this the bugle fanfare was added to provide authenticity and create the spirit of the original. Further themes were added to create a full march.

INTRODUCTION: The march opens with a fortissimo motif in unison from which follows a short semi-quaver passage in the Solo Cornets, Baritone and Euphonium over harmonic quavers. A 2 bar decrescendo leads to the main theme.

SECTION 1: The original theme of Chanson de Roland which is a very simple, crotchet-based, melody. To this has been added an optional bugle fanfare thus honouring the information that the original was a bugle march. The tune is heard in the Solo Cornet and Flugel Horn with an answering motif in the Trombones. When repeated, a counter melody is heard in the 1st Baritone and Euphoniums.

SECTION 2: With a 3 quaver lead, the bass solo provides a strident fortissimo theme set against a fanfare accompaniment in the top section of the band. Also heard is a harmonised semi-quaver motif in the Cornets which provides brilliance.

SECTION 3: A reprise of the opening theme.

SECTION 4: A 4 bar modulation to the sub-dominant leads to the Trio. Set against a simple off-beat accompaniment through the lower Cornets, Horns and Baritones, the lilting legato melody is heard in the Solo Cornets and Flugel Horn. During the repeat a counter melody is played in the Euphoniums.

SECTION 5: An 8 bar, repeated, fortissimo section in the relative minor in contrapuntal style, this features the Solo Cornets with a rhythmic semi-quaver based theme. Counterpoint is provided by 1st Baritone, Trombones and Euphoniums.

SECTION 6: A reprise of the Trio, this time at fortissimo with added 1st Baritone to the counter-melody.

The march concludes with a Da Capo to the Fine bar (it is customary to omit all repeats in this section).

4 minutes

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