Circus Songs : An Annotated Anthology book cover
1st Edition

Circus Songs
An Annotated Anthology

ISBN 9780789008794
Published November 18, 1999 by Routledge
330 Pages

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Book Description

Circus Songs: An Annotated Anthology provides musicians and librarians with the musical scores of 85 circus songs along with historical annotations. Informative and entertaining, this collection explores the history of American circus music and provides some background on circus musicians that will delight and enchant even the most avid music buff. Circus Songs will help you appreciate the role of circus music in American culture and will preserve these songs for future generations to enjoy.

Through Circus Songs, you will discover well-known circus favorites as well as obscure tunes, including:

  • “Battle of the Winds,” written by Edward Duble, which was published in 1917 while the author was performing for the John Robinson Circus
  • “Belford’s” Carnival, composed by Russell Alexander, a march played outside the sideshow tents to advertise the marvelous spectacles that could be seen by paying an additional admission
  • “Bravura,” one of the most recognizable and most frequently played circus marches, frequently used for wild animal acts or attractions with a foreign flavor, due to its exotic sound
  • “Buffalo Bill’s Equestrian March,” composed by William Paris, written in honor of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show
  • “Con Celerita,” a Spanish term meaning “with a little velocity,” a fast tempo gallop composed by J. J. Richards
  • “Kentucky Sunrise,” a two-step that is often used as part of the circus finale, was created by Karl L. King
  • “Olympia Hippodrome,” written by Russell Alexander during his employment with Barnum & Bailey, was usually played during daring feats of horsemanship

    Circus Songs is chock full of entertaining essays to inform and intrigue you about an era that shaped our culture and entertained us at circuses all over America. This unique book will surprise and satisfy even the most zealous music historian with facts and information on the songs that reflected America’s spirit and captured a nation’s attention.

Table of Contents


  • Preface
  • A Brief History of American Circus Music
  • Historical Notes on Circus Marches
  • Historical Notes on the Songs in this Collection
  • Barnum & Bailey’s Favorite
  • Barnum and Bailey’s Royal Pageant
  • Bastinado
  • Battle of the Winds
  • Belford’s Carnival
  • The Billboard March
  • Bombasto
  • Bravura
  • Broadway One-Step
  • Buffalo Bill’s Equestrian March
  • Caesar’s Triumphal March
  • The Cantonians
  • The Circus Bee
  • The Circus King
  • Clair’s Triumph
  • Colossus of Columbia
  •  Con Celerita
  • The Crimson Flush March
  •  The Crimson Petal
  •  The Crimson Plume
  • Cyrus the Great
  • The Denver Post
  • Eclipse Galop
  • Entry of the Gladiators
  • Evans Fashion Plate
  • Fan Tan
  • Father of Victory
  • Floto’s Grand Pageant
  • Floto’s Triumph
  • The Flying Trapeze
  • From Tropic to Tropic
  • Gallant Zouaves
  • Galop-Go!
  • Garland Entree March
  • Gentry Entry
  • Gentry’s Triumphal
  • Go, Galop
  • Gollmar Brothers Triumphal
  • High and Mighty
  • International Vaudeville
  • Jewell’s Triumphal
  • Jungle Queen
  • Kentucky Sunrise
  • Lassus Trombone
  • March to Mecca
  • Memphis the Majestic
  • Neel’s Fashion Plate
  • Oh! You Circus Day
  • The Old Circus Band
  • Olevine
  • Olympia Hippodrome
  • Over the Waves
  • Pahjamah
  • Passing of the Red Man
  • Prince of Decorah
  • Quality-Plus
  • Rameses
  • Razzazza Mazzazza
  • Repasz Band
  • Ringling Brothers Grand Entree
  • Robinson’s Grand Entree
  • Rolling Thunder
  • Royal Decree
  • Salute to Alexander
  • The Screamer
  • Sells-Floto Triumphal
  • Shoot the Chutes
  • Shoutin’ Liza Trombone
  • The Southerner
  • Stop It!
  • The Storming of El Caney
  • Tent City
  • They’re Off
  • Thunder and Blazes
  • Thunder and Lightning
  • Trombone Blues
  • Under White Tents
  • Valse Bleue
  • The Walking Frog
  • Wedding of the Winds Waltz
  • The Whistler and His Dog
  • Wizard of the West
  • Woody Van’s March
  • Wyoming Days
  • Yankee Robinson
  • Song Texts, Arranged Alphabetically by Title
  • Appendix A: Historical Data on Some Other Musical Works Associated with the Circus
  • Appendix B: Illustrations of Circus Musicians and Bands, and Other Circus Graphics
  • Bibliography
  • Discography
  • Index of Personal and Group Names
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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William E Studwell (Author) , Charles P Conrad (Author) , Bruce R Schueneman (Author)