|Composer:||Sir Percy Carter Buck (1918)|
|Incipit:||56143 23166 275|
Percy C. Buck (b. West Ham, Essex, England, 1871; d. Hindhead, Haslemere, Surrey, England, 1947), director of music at the well-known British boys' academy Harrow School, wrote GONFALON ROYAL for “The royal banners forward go” (gonfalon is an ancient Anglo-Norman word meaning banner). Buck published the tune in 1913 in his Fourteen Hymn Tunes.
Each stanza moves toward a rhythmically intense but inconclusive ending, propelling the singer on to the next stanza. The final ending is reserved for the "Amen," which appropriately concludes this sung prayer. Sing boldly in unison (the usual practice for the boys at Harrow School) with strong organ or piano accompaniment.
Buck studied at the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal College of Music, and Worcester College, Oxford, England, where he received his doctorate. An organist at Worcester College and at Wells and Bristol Cathedrals, he served as director of music at Harrow School from 1901-1927, taught at Dublin University, and then taught at the University of London until his retirement in 1937. He was also knighted that year. Buck wrote pedagogical books on the history and theory of music, on acoustics, and on the psychology of music. A composer of chamber music, anthems, and hymn tunes, he also edited The English Psalter (1925), The Oxford Song Book (1929), and The Oxford Nursery Song Book (1934).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988