Titanic orchestra

By admin • Titanic Music • 29 Mar 2012

It is a grieving history of the Titanic orchestra just like the other passengers of the RMS Titanic, which went down to the sea bottom at around 2:20 am on the 15th April 1912. Wallace Hartley was the bandleader by the time Titanic sank on the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland. He had been a bandleader in other rival cruise liners like the Mauretania and Lusitania.  The appealing and classic modern design of the Titanic with its class of passengers certainly lured Hartley to take up the orchestra leadership at the majesty cruise, the Titanic.

The pay was certainly good and Hartley could not image leaving such a chance in his life. The Titanic orchestra band was actually not employed by White Star Liner and therefore never featured in the company’s payroll. Instead, it was hired by Messrs. CW. & F.N. The agents had been paid by White Star Liners Company but their lodging and food expenses where outstanding. The band traveled as second class passengers in the Titanic vessel.

All the musicians who were aboard the ill-fated Titanic display an unusual scene when they continued playing at the time of sinking of the RMS titanic. Interestingly, when the lifeboats where assembled to be loaded in the rescue exercise, courageously and yet amusingly, Hartley assembled his Titanic orchestra in the first class lounge and they began playing. Survivors have reported that they could hear the bad play tunes such as the Waltzes, ragtime and specific melodies such as “In The Shadows”.

It is believed that one of the last songs played by the Titanic orchestra before the ship went down was the famous Christian hymn song, which is composed by Sara Flower Adams. The song is “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. Whether these stories are true of false, the most astonishing part is that the band continued to play when the rescue was taking place and this is quite ironical and difficult to explain.

How could they have gained such as courage to assemble and begin playing songs when a life threatening event was engulfing the ill-fated Titanic? They should have been seen in helter-skelter trying to find their way out from the collapsing Titanic. All the 8 musicians of the Titanic orchestra are believed to have died during the sinking of the Titanic. About two weeks later after the tragedy, the body of Wallace Hartley was recovered in Atlantic Ocean with the band uniform and also strapped with a music box.

The body of Harley arrived in Liverpool on 12th May 1912 aboard the White Star Liner Arabic. He was buried in his home town of Colne and during his burial an orchestra played the song “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. A plaque has been displayed at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall and this is in commemoration of the brave band, which was under the stewardship of Wallace Hartley.

In a nutshell, the Hartley Titanic orchestra displayed a brave act of singing to suit their fellow passengers who were filled with fear and agony as the ship began to sink. Other members of the orchestra were W.T. Brailey of London, G. Krins of Liege of Belgium, P.C. Tailor of London and R. Bricoux of Lille, France. Others were J.L. Hume of Dumfries, J.W. Woodward of Headington, and J.F. Clarke of Liverpool.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *