We have been encouraging band directors, music librarians and others to share their suggestions for Golden Age band music that is fun to play and pleasing to audiences. Here are favorites from Marcus L. Neiman, conductor of the Medina Community Band.
Burning of Rome (E. T. Paull) 1903. Key: D-flat/G-flat. Time: 2/4. Score: solo cornet. Length: 3:30. Difficulty: 4. D-flat piccolo, no C flute/piccolo. Performance on YouTube. This is a descriptive march/two-step. There is a complete description, written by the composer.
Chili Sauce Rag (Fischler-Losey-Bentley) Vandersloot, 1911. Key: A-flat/D-flat. Time: 2/4. Length: 2.20. Difficulty: 4. I recommend John Bentley’s new arrangement for lots of reasons, but prime among them are the full score and the fantastic arrangement of the ragtime gem. I first found and downloaded the original, then found Bentley’s arrangement. H.A. Fischler is a pen-name of Harry L. Lincoln.
Country Shuffle (F.E. Holmes) C.L. Barnhouse, 1911. Key B-flat. Modern instrumentation with C piccolo and F horn parts added. Subtitled “Jig two-step”.
Crab Apples (Percy Wenrich, arranged by Frank Losey) Brehm Brothers, 1909. Key: B-flat/E-flat. Time: 2/4. Length: 3:00. Score: solo cornet. Difficulty: 4. D-flat piccolo part, but manuscript C-flute/piccolo part. Performance: Old Towne Band, Rockford, IL. A very playable, straight ahead rag.
Hyacinth Rag (George Botsford, arr. William J.C. Lewis) Jerome H. Remick, 1911. Key: F/B-flat. Time: 2/4. Grade: 4. Length: 2:50. Another very playable and straight-ahead rag.
Hungarian Rag (Julius Lenzberg ) Jerome H. Remick, 1913. Key: B-flat/E-flat. Time: 2/4. Score: solo cornet. Length: 2:27. Difficulty: 4. Seeking SS,BS, EUTC. Performance: Backstage Gubbs. This should be considered New York vaudeville music.
Jack Rabbit Rag (Garcia-Losey) Vandersloot, 1910. Key: E-flat/A-flat. Time: 2/4. Score: solo cornet. Length: 3:15. Difficulty: 4. D-flat piccolo, but has C flute/piccolo in manuscript, E-flat alto horns. Straightforward rag and very playable!
Junk Man Rag, The (Charles Luckyth Roberts, arr. William H. Tyers) Jos. W. Stern & Co., 1913. Key: E-flat/A-flat. Time: 2/4. Length: 2:27. Score: solo cornet. Performance: United States Marine Marine Band.
Operatic Rag (Julius Lenzberg) Jerome H. Remick, 1914. Key: E-flat/A-flat. Time: 2/4. Score: solo cornet. Length: 3:00. Difficulty: 4. D-flat piccolo part, but manuscript C-flute/piccolo. Horns are in E-flat. Lots of surprises in this rag and again, very playable.
Procastination Rag (George Cobb) BandMusic PDF Library. Key: Ab-flat/B-flat. Time: 2/4. Score – Full (Ed Schwartz). New edition by Ed Schwartz. Original publication was by Walter Jacobs, 1910. Performance: Piano version.
Ragtime Nightingale (Joseph F. Lamb, arr. Mark L. Heter) 1915; CC. Key: C/F. Performance: Joshua Rifkin, piano.
Rags don’t all have to be played loudly. Lamb’s delightful rag is a soothing and delightful example of a different style of ragtime. Mark Heter’s arrangement is just right, including its full score.
A Signal from Mars (E. T. Paull) 1911. Key: E-flat/A-flat. Time: cut. Score: solo cornet. Length: 3:50. Difficulty: 3. C flute/piccolo included, manuscript F horn parts. Performance: piano version. Listed as a march or two-step. Very playable.
Overture Vautour (John Philip Sousa) Harry Coleman, 1894. Key: F/D-flat/B-flat. Time: Common, Cut. Length: 4:50. Score: solo cornet. Difficulty: 3. Comments: D-flat piccolo, E-flat horns. Very much in the style of von Suppé and the period. Very interesting and worth doing.
White Rose March – (John Philip Sousa) Harms, Francis, Day & Hunter, 1907. Key: D-flat/G-flat. Time: 2/4. Length: 3:00. Score: solo cornet. Difficulty: 4. A unique march, based on themes from C. C. Frick’s Nittaunis. Both D-flat piccolo and C flute/piccolo, and E-flat horns. Also in a new edition with modern parts and score by Mark Sczublewski.
Marcus Neiman is a retired high school band director and arts education administrator. He has conducted the Medina Community Band since September of 1972, and is currently on the music education faculty at Kent State University.