12 Pages

Chapter Eleven: Piano Music

Although ballads had been associated with favourite professional artists, the wider popularity of balladry had been among amateurs. A major factor in this was the spread, particularly in middle-class homes, of piano ownership. Sullivan had written nothing for the instrument after The Princess of Wales 'March – and even that piece, although published for piano, was really for military band. Stanford's keyboard output favoured the organ rather than the piano, although between 1913 and his death in 1924, there appeared the Six Characteristic Pieces. In the early 1920s, a number of publishers attempted to establish catalogues of piano music of quality, music specifically written for the instrument and only rarely to be arranged for other media. The earliest piano music of John Ireland had appeared before the First World War, one of his most accessible pieces – The Holy Boy – dates from 1913.