Here’s a very brief harp video for you to enjoy in honor of the start of the summer Olympic Games.
This is my arrangement of “Salut des étendards” or “Salute to the Standards” written by Joseph David Buhl. Buhl was a French trumpet player, composer and conductor of the early 19th century. His “Salut” was written as a military fanfare to be performed as a salute to the banners, or standards, in a military parade. It is almost certainly his best-known work today, due to its association with the Olympics.
In 1958, the conductor Felix Slatkin commissioned film composer Leo Arnaud to write a piece for an album called “Charge!” Arnaud composed “The Charge Suite,” which included a piece he called “Bugler’s Dream.” In “Bugler’s Dream,” Arnaud took Buhl’s “Salut” and expanded it into the piece that for most of us TV watchers is the musical symbol of the Olympic Games. In 1968, ABC first used “Bugler’s Dream” as its theme for their Olympic broadcasts, and the piece has been associated with the games ever since.
When film composer John Williams was commissioned to write a musical theme for the Los Angeles Olympics, he used his own arrangement of “Bugler’s Dream” as the beginning section of his music, thereby ensuring that Buhl’s original work lives on.
This is my own adaptation of Buhl’s original piece, but arranged for harp. It’s a different take on an old favorite. Please feel free to share this post and the video with others, to spread the Olympic feeling!
Note: If you would like a copy of my arrangement, I am offering it for free. All you need to do is subscribe by email to my blog. I will email it automatically to all my current email subscribers.
“The important thing in these Olympiads is not to win, but to take part.” – Quote from a sermon by the Bishop of Pennsylvania, given in London, England during the 1908 Olympic Games.