PRB Piano Series: RAF March Past (Walford Davies)

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PRB Piano Series: RAF March Past (Walford Davies)


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
3 minutes
Classical music
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While searching Archive sites for another piece, I came across this well-known tune by British composer, Sir Henry Walford Davies, who held the title Master of the King’s Musick from 1934 until 1941 - quite coincidentally, he was born near the Welsh border in Oswestry, where my late Aunt Gladys’s family also hailed from.

In 1918 he was appointed the first director of music to the newly-created Royal Air Force, which led to him writing the march, RAF March Past, which is still regulalry played by many marching bands today.

The piano copy I sourced was, of course, an arrangement of the orchestral original, and where, to keep it simpler, the left hand accompaniment was often a simple oom-pah on successive quaver (eighth-note) beats - root, then 3rd and 5th as a chord. This is not an essentially pianist figuration, especially lower in the keyboard, so I have revised this, and made a number of slight improvements (hopefully!) along the way. There is, of course, a very Elgarian-English sound about the Cantabile trio.

The accompanying photo needs no introduction!

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