E. T. Paull, 2001, part 1


Roaring Volcano


Music by: E.T. Paull
Lyrics by: none, piano solo
Cover artist: A. Hoen, lithography


This cover and this piano work are what ET Paull is all about. Paull found a "formula" that worked with his first work, The Chariot Race, or Ben Hur March in 1894. That formula was first and foremost, a cover that would captivate the imagination and attention of the buyer and secondly, music that was broad, expansive and also with a theme that captured attention. As a part of his formula, he often included "Descriptives" or an "Explanatory" that told the story the music represented. In addition, as you will see as you view each work (Scorch versions), he added helpful descriptors as a part of the score to help the player add whatever emphasis that was needed. As for his overall approach and life, see our short biography on ET Paull this month for more details about this fascinating man. The Explanatories usually included the history of the event depicted and the musical concept Paull intended for the work. Let's look at his musical concept for Roaring Volcano:

The Author's Musical Conception

The following explanation will give the performer the idea the Author had in mind in composing and arranging this descriptive March Composition.
The first and second strains of the March are supposed to represent the great Olympic Games of ancient times, which demonstration took place every four years in a tremendous hippodrome or stadium, and was a National holiday, lasting a week and longer.
The introduction of the March represents the "Trumpets Sounding" announcing to the contestants that the time had arrived for the games to begin, which consisted of foot races of every description; races of men in heavy armor; chariot and horse races, as well as leaping, wrestling, throwing the disc, etc., etc. Magnificent banquets followed the games, at which time the victors were crowned with wild olive twigs. The beginning of the first strain represents, "Olympic Games Begin," "Foot Races," etc.: the second part of the strain represents, "Assembling of The Victors." These two strains must be played with vim and vigor and properly accented to get the best effects. The beginning of the trio represents, "Ringing of The Angelus Bells," calling the people to evening devotional exercises. To obtain the best bell effect, care must be exercised by the performer to develop well sustained pedal tones in the bass, with a gradual Ral-en-tan-do, as designated in the music. Following the Angelus Bells is the "People's Vesper Hymn." This should be played in a soft, even, smooth and flowing style. Special care must be taken to use the proper pedal effects in the bass passages throughout the entire Trio, which begins in the hymn under the heading, "Volcano's Distant Rumble." Following the hymn the "Volcano Burst In Full Fury of Eruption," which is followed by "Lightning Flashes;" "Belching Volumes of Smoke and Lava;" "Volcano's Thundering Crashes;" "People Fleeing in Terror;" "Terrific Roaring of Volcano;" "People in Death and Destruction."
The performer will notice that the above quoted headings are printed in the music, and will aid very materially in making the Composition an interesting and pleasurable study.

Very respectfully
ET Paull


Never mind that there are more than a few historical inaccuracies, the explanatories were an important part of the entire Paull experience. Let's get ready to rumble, listen to the Roaring Volcano and get set for this month's incredible feature.

Enjoy this fantastic work now (SCORCH format)

listen to MIDI version


Napoleon's Last Charge


Music by: Edward Ellis, arr. ET Paull
Lyrics by: none
Cover artist: A. Hoen, lithography


Many of Paull's marches were military in nature. After all, the mighty charges of military units lend themselves to stirring marches as well as good stories for his "explanatories". As with the Roaring Volcano, many of his works were romanticized tales of real military events. Among the most notable of these events was Napoleon's famous last battle at Waterloo. This work is an example of the many works that Paull acquired from other composers and arranged for his own publication. Usually he gave bold credit but sometimes he left the credits to the inside. In any case, the name of the "real" composer was often lost in all the Paull dash and flash and the work became more associated with Paull than the composer. Aside from some more fantastic music, the cover of this sheet is an incredibly complex and colorful battle scene. For some reason, the name(s) of the artist or artists who painted the Paull covers have not come down with them. Only the printer, A. Hoen Lithographers appears on the covers. As a result, many people, and at least one popular but inaccurate sheet music price guide, have incorrectly attributed the paintings to Paul himself (most probably not Paull). It is possible that there was a staff artist at Hoen who provided the artwork but unfortunately, I am unable to find any references or identification for any of the artists who may have painted these fantastic scenes. For more about Paull, see our new biography of ET Paull.


The explanatory for this work is rather long and goes into the background of the battle of Waterloo and some detail as to Napoleon's last charge. According to the sheet music, the account was taken from a book, The Battle of Waterloo,by Victor Hugo published by Roycrofters of East Aurora, New York. According to a number of sources Hugo's account of the battle is rife with inaccuracies, perhaps even so much so that Amazon.com classifies the book as fiction. The South African Military History Society states that there are a number of myths related to the details of the Battle of Waterloo, many "emanating from the pen of Victor Hugo". Hugo also wrote a series of poems related to Napoleon as well as his novel Les Miserables that had some mention of the Napoleonic wars and Waterloo. I'm wondering if Mr. Paull exercised some "poetic license" of his own. I think perhaps so for the description begins:

"There were three thousand five hundred gigantic men mounted on colossal horses.."

Gigantic men? Colossal horses? Well, regardless, it is a work of colossal proportions so enjoy this tremendous descriptive march.

Hear this descriptive musical charge(scorch format)

listen to MIDI version


Battle Of The Nations


Music by: ET Paull
Lyrics by: none
Cover artist: A. Hoen, Lithography


Along the same lines as Napoleon's Last Charge is a work that Paull issued as the First World War was getting under way. In terms of his works, this may well be the longest one of them all. At well over six minutes playing time and 20 pages in our scorch version, it is a marathon both for the pianist and the listeners. A grand work indeed. The work has an interesting introduction with cannon effects and snippets of melodies representing the major players in the war, France, Germany and Great Britain. As with many (most) of his military works he uses bugle call phrases as introductory or transitional material. In fact, perhaps by now you are noticing that Paull used and reused certain passages and phrases in his works. Much of what he did, especially in later years was interchangeable, of great help to pianists who may have learned many of his works. At least one pianist we know has said that the interchangability has helped him get past "memory lapses" during performances of his works. In some respects, Paull acknowledges the similarities by stating; " Companion Piece to the Celebrated Napoleon's Last Charge Descriptive March." We will see much more in the way of reuse of music as we move through this month's entire issue.


The cover art is fascinating as it shows how W.W.I brought together the old and the new. In the foreground are cavalryman and horsedrawn artillery. Swords and lances abound. In the upper background we see the future of warfare with an airship, an airplane and turreted fortifications. The coats of arms around the borders represent the powers involved, minus the USA at this stage of the war. Though also titled as a "March Descriptive", this copy has no full page descriptive as several of the others do. However, you can read the descriptive notations Paull added to the music as you listen to this work using the scorch player. If you don't have the scorch player, what are you waiting for? You are missing the best MIDI presentation possible on the web. Go to the Sibelius site now and get it!

Listen to this huge work (scorch format only)

Listen to MIDI version


Charge Of The Light Brigade


Music by: ET Paull
Lyrics by: none
Cover artist: A. Hoen, Lithography


Oh no, not another charge, yes, another one but, according to Paull, "The Greatest Cavalry Charge Ever Made in The World." One thing Paull was never short of was expansive descriptors. Every work he published was "grand, greatest, huge" or extolled as a definitive work by the "author". This is a fairly early work and one of the first military marches that Paull published. Now that you have heard some of his later works, you can see that this work is somewhat the seminal work upon which Paull based many of his other military marches. It is an original work, full of original melodies and perhaps more musical than many of the later marches. It is here that we find many of Paull's favorite phrases, used often in other marches; horses galloping, bugle calls and troops marching. The cover image, like all Paull works is stunning. This one is printed on a bright white, almost glossy paper that really brings out the color. Some of Paull's works were printed on bright white, while others were printed on a buff paper. The different papers resulted in either a more subdued image or a brighter one.


The explanatory for this work is supposedly a full page excerpt from the Washington Times that is a description of the Charge of The Light Brigade (Crimean war, 1854) by one of the supposed survivors, a Captain Thomas Morley. I've tried to verify Capt. Morley's role in the Seventeenth Lancers, but cannot. We will assume he was what he claimed to be. According to the explanatory,

"Thomas Morley enlisted in the seventeenth Lancers, famed in British military history as the "death or Glory Lancers" (ed. according to most accounts it was actually the "Death and Glory Boys"). Capt. Morley is the wearer of the Queen's "Death or Glory" medal inscribed: "Sebastopol, Inkerman, Balakava, Alma". We went in with 145 men and at roll call after the fight, only forty five answered. The strength of the brigade was 670, and of those only 195 answered 'here!' Every man had blood on him, with the exception of our commanding officer, Lord Cardigan. Though his clothes were cut and torn, yet I do not think he received a wound, and I am quite certain he is the only man who escaped unhurt."

The description goes on to describe the charge and the fighting that went down in history. Later, Tennyson wrote his famous poem and of course there have been at least two movies that immortalized this famous military action. I think you will enjoy this great Paull march.

Hear this great march (scorch)

Listen to MIDI version


The Home Coming March


Music by: ET Paull
Lyrics by: none, piano solo
Cover artist: Unknown


Of course, eventually, all the soldiers and sailors had to eventually come home from all the battles and Paull had that eventuality well covered also. This cover is one that is full of imagery that covers all aspects of the services, Army and Navy and is full of patriotic and familial ideals. The border lists all of the US States and the corner pictures depict aspects of homecoming. The main image is a parade of victory. Let's let Paull explain it all to us as he did on the inside cover.

Why This Piece Of Music Was Named
The Home Coming March

When the author had about completed the music of the present march, it occurred to him that it might be well to have suggestions made from a number of people, recommending a good name for same, for after all there is considerable in a name. He therefore had a special advertisement placed in several of the leading music Journals throughout the country, offering a prize of $10.00 in gold to any one suggesting a name that would be accepted. Over three thousand names were sent in from all parts of the country, even from far away new Zealand and Australia, in which countries the author's marches are universal favorites. Included in the letters received was one from Mr. W. C. Bates, Secretary of the Sheffield Advertising Agency of New York and Chicago, in which he suggested the name "The Home Coming March." After due consideration, this name was accepted, and the prize was awarded and paid to Mr. Bates, who stated that he was prompted to recommend this name on account of having been present during the impressive celebration of "Old Home Week" in Boston, Mass., last year. Probably no one idea is so universally dominant in the mind of the Human Race as that of home, or matters pertaining to home. The author believes that the name selected is one that will appeal to every one; as the many pleasant associations with the words "Home Coming" are almost without limit. The title page of this march is without any exception the handsomest seen on a piece of music. The main body of the title pace represents a street scene, with buildings decorated and shows a handsome royal Arch of Welcome in the foreground, gaily decorated with flags, emblems and bunting. A band is shown passing under the arch, leading a procession of the "Home Guard," and thousands of people waving handkerchiefs, banners, flags, etc. Four smaller scenes also appear on the page, one representing the "Home Coming" of the soldier from war; another scene shows the "Home Coming" of the sailor boys embarking from their battle ships; another scene represents the "Home Coming" reunion of the family and loved ones; the fourth scene represents the "Home Coming" of the father from work, where a little tot has been watching and waiting, and runs to meet him. The whole design of the title page is then surrounded by a border of differently designed medallions, on which appears the names of all the States of the Union, making without a doubt, the most unique and attractive title page ever conceived for a piece of music."

One thing Paull mastered early in his career was the art of overstatement! Musically, this march is beginning to show the repetitiveness of many of Paull's works, especially evident as time passed. Once Paull found the formula ( a fabulous cover and a playable, rousing march) that sold music, he stuck with it and was quite successful as a result.

Enjoy this great 1908 march (scorch)

Listen to MIDI version

America Forever!


Music by: ET Paull
Lyrics by: H.A. Freeman
Cover artist: A. Hoen, Lithography


Paul was a fervent patriot and many of his works were reflective of his passion for this country and what we stood for. This work is perhaps his most famous example for a patriotic march by Paull. He also often added dedications to his works and in this case the work is "Respectfully Inscribed to the People of the United States." One thing that makes this work especially unique is the rare inclusion of lyrics, a poem by H.A. Freeman. Paull's large output of over 200 works included only a handful of songs as his marches were what really sold so any works with lyrics tend to be special. In this case, Paull also included a bonus at the end; an arrangement of America that makes this entire work just ooze with patriotism. If you are an American, you have to love this work! Be sure you have your scorch player..you just can't miss the full experience of the music, score and lyrics.


Make no mistake though, this is not a song in the normal sense, it is still very much a march and even though it has a nice chorus that is very reflective of songs of the day, it also very unusually then transitions into a trio, then repeats, then transitions to the version of America. The sheet music cover shows the work available as a Piano solo, four hand or Song version. It would play just as well as a piano solo march. Musically, this is one of Paul's best, in my humble opinion.

Listen to this 1898 song (scorch format only)

Listen to MIDI version


WAIT! There's more E.T Paul masterpieces to see and hear. The second part of this issue features some rare and different works.

More Paull Music and Covers in this month's issue, go to part B.

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