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Drummer Hodge

Composer
Year of composition
2006
Lyricist
Thomas Hardy
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Modern classical music
Instrumentation
Voice + keyboard
Instrumental parts
Not available
Related scores

Hardy’s Drummer Hodge was written at the end, possibly, of the final century in which glory and heroism could be regarded as proper themes of war poetry: forty years earlier Tennyson had asked "When can their glory fade?…Honour the charge they made". Hardy’s war poems seem to have much more difficulty finding meaning in violent death, and anticipate themes found in some first world war poetry only a few years later. In my music for this short poem, the military references in the accompaniment never sit comfortably with the text or the vocal melody - nor should this poem leave us feeling comfortable.

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