[Sheet music] A soldier's life

Accession Number RC11111
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 626
Collection type Published Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Measurement Overall - closed: 35.9 cm x 25.2 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Reber, Carl
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1910
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Digital format and content protected by copyright.

Sheet music for the musical work titled 'A Soldiers Life', composed by Carl Reber. This largely instrumental piece is described on a First World War concert program as a “descriptive fantasia” and appears to have been first published in 1900. Different sections of the notation reveal different scenes in the life of a soldier with only the chorus having lyrics. This piece has been inscribed 'Dedicated to those whose lives are here represented'. This copy was published by Bayley & Ferguson, London and sold for 3/-.

This piece is the first piece composed as part of a series of twelve musical illustrations, composed by Reber, titled 'Life Pictures'. Other titles in this series include 'A Sailor's Life', 'A Farmer's Life', 'A Fisherman's Life', 'A Bellringers Life', 'A Huntsman's Life', 'A Monk's Life', 'A Gypsy's Life', 'A Showman's Life', 'A Cotton-Picker's Life', 'A Chorister's Life' and the final piece, 'The Shepherd's Life'.This copy shows a circle containing the names of every piece in this series on either side of the front cover with a banner containing the words 'Life Pictures' unfurled above. A description of the series appears underneath the banner reads 'A series of twelve musical illustrations. Each piece is very descriptive of its title, and being founded on popular melodies combines instruction with pleasure. They are carefully fingered and will therefore be of the utmost value for teaching from.' On the back cover is an advertising preview of the final piece in the series ' A Shepherd's Life'.

Some of the melodies that have been incorporated into this work are 'Let me like a soldier fall', 'Soldier's Chorus' and 'The British Grenadier's'. The music describes several scenes that are pertinent to the life of a soldier including being in a camp, sitting around a fire and an alarm being raised during the night while soldiers are sleeping.

Carl Reber was known for his descriptive pieces and wrote a series of these works under the title "Life Pictures" which included 'A Soldier's Life'. His most famous piece was titled 'Remembrance', and most of his music was published in London between 1908 and 1916. The National Library of Australia has the largest collection of his music in the world - with 17 pieces in total. It is believed that the name 'Carl Reber' is a pseudonym in some circles. There is a copy of one of his works held by the National Library of Australia with the name 'Cyril Stafford' as the composer on the front cover. Some of Reber's other works include: 'The Slave's Dream', 'Ellan Vannin', 'The Fire Brigade', 'The Emigrant Ship', 'Country Scenes', 'A Summer Song', 'An evening meditation' and 'Autumn Fancies'. Another series of musical works that he produced were based on popular airs and was titled 'Good Company'.

Towards the bottom of this page is a sound recording of this sheet music, or a parody, that was created as part of the Music and the First World War project. More information about this recording, including names of the performers, can be found on the catalogue record for the sound recording. A link to the catalogue record for the sound recording can be found at the bottom of this page, under the heading ‘Related objects’ where it can be identified with the prefix [sound recording].