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Gordon Jacob National Anthem fanfare


Arp Schnitger
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With the prospect of playing the National Anthem a few times in the next few weeks, does anyone happen to know if the Gordon Jacob fanfare written for (or certainly used at) the 1953 coronation is available in a organ reduction? My copy of the vocal arrangement only has the final bar or two of the fanfare, and I don't have a copy with the full brass parts. Or has anyone transcribed it? I usually use a fairly short intro, but maybe this year it would be good to do something a bit more special- as I can't, as Sir William McKie is once supposed to have said to an organist at St John the Divine NYC boasting about the state trumpet, say "Young man, when I need a fanfare, I pick up the phone to the Life Guards or the Blues and Royals and engage their services!"

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With the prospect of playing the National Anthem a few times in the next few weeks, does anyone happen to know if the Gordon Jacob fanfare written for (or certainly used at) the 1953 coronation is available in a organ reduction? My copy of the vocal arrangement only has the final bar or two of the fanfare, and I don't have a copy with the full brass parts. Or has anyone transcribed it? I usually use a fairly short intro, but maybe this year it would be good to do something a bit more special- as I can't, as Sir William McKie is once supposed to have said to an organist at St John the Divine NYC boasting about the state trumpet, say "Young man, when I need a fanfare, I pick up the phone to the Life Guards or the Blues and Royals and engage their services!"

I don't think it is written down anywhere but I do have this 'sorted' in my mind. If you listen to it (great recording of Coronation Music from St Paul's on itunes) to get the rhythm and the top line it goes like this - all chords are in root position - it's very straightforward...

Unison Bs

G major triads

E major

B major

B flat

F major

C major

G major

Repeated unison Ds

B flat triplets

F major triplets

B major

B major

Ab major

Triplets based on E flat major

Dominant 7th on A major

resolving to A major

D major

organ then leads from unison D in contrary motion to G major for start of Nat Anthem.

 

Is that OK? It wouldn't take long to transcribe it - I've just committed it to memory and can manage. The other good one is the David Willcocks' fanfare for the Nat Anthem from the Prince of Wales, Lady Diana wedding in St Paul's.

Martin.

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I've also often played this by ear as well, and it's available on YouTube. Could I just add one or two differences (in red) to Martin's excellent harmony scheme above:

 

Unison Bs

G major triads

E major

B major

B flat

F major

C major

G major

Repeated unison Ds

B flat triplets

F major triplets

C major triplets

B major

Ab major with 7th

Three ascending chords of E flat major (Ic; I; Ic)

Two A major chords constituting a 4-3 suspension (D- C sharp) between them

D major

organ then leads from unison D in contrary motion to G major for start of Nat Anthem.

 

I would also endorse the Willcocks arrangement/descant which we tend to do instead of the Jacobs.

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I have written it down (by arranging it directly from the set of brass parts), and have a copy in my car (having played it last Sunday, for our Civic Service). If you would like a copy, you are welcome to send me a PM.

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Many thanks to all- I think I've managed to reconstitute a decent organ version from the chord sequences kindly provided, and by a bit of careful listening to the Kneller Hall Trumpeters, which should just about pass muster. Now all I need is a suitable stop to play it on!

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Many thanks to all- I think I've managed to reconstitute a decent organ version from the chord sequences kindly provided, and by a bit of careful listening to the Kneller Hall Trumpeters, which should just about pass muster. Now all I need is a suitable stop to play it on!

Maybe PCND can lend you something :wacko:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another fanfare which I have found works well as an intro to the National Anthem is "Dignified Occasion" by Bliss, though it needs transposing out of B flat to fit (either into G if you want to end the intro in the tonic, or into D if you want to end in the dominant and do a quasi-Jacob contrary-motion scale).

 

[This also works well as an intro to "To God be the glory" - we have done this at Ordinations with a quartet of ex-Royal Engineers bandsmen. :D ]

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