Karl King

From Academic Kids

Karl L. King (21 February, 189131 March, 1971) was a United States march music bandmaster and composer.

Karl Lawrence King, a native of Paintersville, Ohio, grew up as a self-taught musician with very little schooling of any kind. At eighteen, he began a career playing in and directing circus bands, including those of Barnum and Bailey, Robinson Famous Shows, the Sells-Floto Circus, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. King settled down in Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1920 and for the next fifty-one years conducted the city's municipal band.

King the composer published more than 300 works: galops, waltzes, overtures, serenades, rags, and 188 marches and screamers. His name appeared on the sheet music as Karl King, K. L. King, or sometimes Carl Lawrence.

It is interesting to note that Karl King out-wrote John Philip Sousa by over 50 marches, and yet he still was not as famous or well known. The reasons for this could be due to the lesser status King held. Sousa became leader of the United States Marine Corps Band and traveled around the world to his death, unlike King. The actual musicality of the marches may also have limited Karl's success, but many musicians can argue this, noting King's most popular marches. The ways in which these marches were presented to the public could have also contributed to the status of these composers. Regardless, both are still seen as vital contributors to world of band music.

"Barnum and Bailey's Favorite" remains his best known circus march, but other pieces that retain their popularity among fans of band music include:

  • "The Purple Pageant"
  • "Garland Entrée"
  • "The Melody Shop"
  • "The New Madison Square Garden"
  • "Woody Van's"
  • "The Big Cage"
  • "Valley Forge"
  • "Emblem of Freedom"
  • "The Royal Scotch Highlanders"
  • "Allied Honor"

External links

  • Karl L. King (http://www.s-hamilton.k12.ia.us/karlking/kkingbio.htm)
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