Eric Coates, Haydn Wood, Albert Ketèlbey, Alfred Reynolds, Hubert Bath, Billy Mayerl, Richard Addinsell and many more. British light music, immensely tuneful and always well crafted, was enormously popular in the early to mid-twentieth century. It has been largely ignored by music dictionaries and serious critics, yet for so long it played an important part in the lives of millions. Not only have changing fashions pushed it into the background, but many of the institutions which nourished it - theatre orchestras, resort orchestras, salon orchestras of all kinds, ballad concerts and of course the BBC - have largely disappeared, changed out of all recognition, or lost interest. Some of its sub-genres, especially brass and symphonic band music and film and television music, still hold up well and there are other signs that interest in light music generally is steadily reviving.
This completely reset edition of a major work on the subject, by a life-long enthusiast for the genre, will help to lead the way. It contains biographical and musical essays on 30 major composers and more than 300 shorter entries on other composers. Ernest Tomlinson, doyen of living light music composers, contributes a thoughtful and challenging Foreword.
For many years prior to retirement in 1993 Philip L. Scowcroft worked as a senior local government solicitor in Doncaster. He has lectured widely on music, transport history, cricket, detective fiction, military history, and the law. He is the author of numerous books and articles on these subjects and has been music correspondent variously for three Doncaster newspapers. Since 1968 he has been chairman of Doncaster Arts and Museum Society, in which capacity he has organised local arts festivals and a series of more than 2,000 lunch-hour concerts.