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Some exponents of the organ, have written pieces, which we may reckon as light music. Cuthbert Harris, who was active between the two wars, brought out such pieces as Caprice in D Flat (1927) and the Three Miniatures (1930), but these appear to have survived less well than the effusions of, say Alfred Hollins and Percy Whitlock, to name two organists whose careers overlapped his. Gordon Phillips, from about a generation later, is better remembered as an editor, especially of all organ music, but he composed, too, both for organ (Lullaby, Carol Preludes and Three Miniatures, as well as a Sonata and other more serious pieces) and for other instruments (an Air for clarinet and piano, Recitative and Slow Dance for bass clarinet and piano and a Suite for oboe and clarinet.

Now for a few more musical comedy "singletons", all active around 1960. Van Phillips "Scots musical comedy" Skerryvore, after James Bridie, was produced at Glasgow in that very year. Ronald Settle had his I Remember, I Remember produced at Liverpool Playhouse, also in 1960. And Lionel Thompsons Solo was put on at Cheltenham in 1962.

Finally Clement Scott (1842-1904, a journalist on The Daily Telegraph, earns a mention here for the "Maori farewell song", Now is the How (Haere Ra), based on a traditional New Zealand melody Scott heard whilst on a visit to that country and later notated to his own words. I recall its being particularly popular in the years just after the Second War, at which time it was frequently sung by Gracie Fields and others.

Philip L Scowcroft

June 2001

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at

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