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Title "Battle of the Marne March", sheet music for piano, 1916
Collection Swanson Collection
Object Name Music, Sheet
Scope & Content "Battle of the Marne March". Sheet music, "Descriptive March Fantasia" for piano. By J. Luxton. Published by: Church, Paxson & Co, New York, 1916.
Illustrated title page depicts a World War I battle scene: soldiers with bayonets charge enemy trenches, with a biplane and an airship overhead. Helmet and swords are used as decorative devices with various national flags in the border. Stamped "SAMPLE COPY".

Contents: Soldiers' prayer before the siege -- The sound of distant guns -- The call to arms -- Cavalry call -- Gunners rush to their posts -- Army corps approaching in the distance -- Gradually getting in line -- Infantry marching in perfect order -- Field guns -- Rain of shrapnel -- Machine guns -- Groans of the dying -- Battle rages with terrible fierceness.

Publisher's advertisement on verso of page 5 has incipits of sixteen piano pieces: By the sea: reverie / Leander Fisher. Rose waltz: standard / W.C. Powell. Little soldier march: school march / W.C. Powell. Twilight shadows: referie / Jerome Heller. Love's whispering: waltzes / L. Gould. Twinkling stars: three-step / Jerome Heller. Reflections: reverie / Jerome Heller. Beautiful tho'ts of love / Jerome Heller. Greyhound march / John Parker. Con amore: valse hesitation / W.C. Powell. Vision waltz: reverie-waltz / J. Holfman. Rippling waters: caprice / Wm. T. Pierson. Battle in the sky: march / J. Luxton. Valse Estelle / E. Goldston. Evening prayer: reverie / L. Gould. Twittering birds: reverie / John J. Fitzpatrick

Note from composer on inside: "In submitting this descriptive composition for public approval, it has occurred to the composer that perhaps it might be well to offer a few words of explanation. Being an American citizen, and having many warm friends among those fighting on both sides in the distressing European war, he wishes to state most emphatically his strict neutrality and his hearty approval of the code laid down by our beloved President. It is for this reason that he has deemed it advisable to make the music as characteristic of the scenes in the famous battle as possible, but to eliminate (in the program notes) all words depicting the scenes as they actually occurred in the battle, indicating them only in a vague way to assist the player or listener to more readily interpret the character of the music. And those who have read of the terrible battle, he believes, will have no difficulty in imagining themselves on the actual scene of battle when reading the notes and listening to the stirring military music. Respectfully submitted, J. Luxton."

The First Battle of the Marne took place September 5-12, 1914, and resulted in an Allied (France and Great Britain) victory. It stopped the German advancement on Paris and set the stage for four years of trench warfare on the Western Front.
At the time, the US pursued a policy of non-intervention (instituted by Woodrow Wilson) that would last (despite the death of 128 Americans in the sinking of the Lusitania) until April of 1917 when the Zimmerman Telegram - detailing a proposed alliance between Germany and Mexico - was released to the public.
Accession# 1995G1057
Object ID 1995G1057.3
Date 1916
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