These musical scores represent Western Australia’s contribution to the MusicAustralia project, sponsored by the National Library of Australia.

Much of the music is patriotic in nature, as under Australian copyright law, only music prior to 1927 is in the public domain and this time frame includes Federation in 1901, and World War I.

They have now been redigitised as PDF format for ease of access. The scores can be downloaded and further information about each score can be found on the individual catalogue record.

Patriotic Music

Many of the scores are patriotic to Britain, the motherland, while others proclaim loyalty to Australia as an independent nation.

Some of the songs of Britain include:

Many are about Australia:

Still others are about Western Australia, the newest, most isolated colony/State:

These songs are the result of a growing sense of identity as Australians, but also reflecting the ties to the settler’s mostly British heritage.

Joseph Summers

Born in Charlton, Somerset, England in 1839, and died in Perth, 10 October, 1917. Summers was a composer, church musician and school music inspector. Before emigrating to Melbourne in 1865 on the Royal Standard, he studied with Goss, Gauntlett and Sterndale Bennett, completed a Bachelor of Music at Oxford and a Doctorate of Music at Canterbury. Summers was the organist at St Peter’s, Eastern Hill from 1868-1879, then at All Saints, St Kilda from 1879-1896. While at St Peter’s, he was also the conductor of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, 1872-1874.

As a school music inspector for the Victorian Department of Education (1878-91), he supported the teaching of staff notation rather than the traditional tonic sol-fa method.

He moved to Perth in 1897. Although he had plans for retiring in Subiaco, he was persuaded by local musicians to form a musical society, the Philharmonic, which had 50 members. Summers also conducted a Liedertafel Society.

Soon after his arrival in Perth, Rev. James Duff commissioned him to compose music to his dramatized version of Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, entitled The Two Worlds. It was completed after fifteen months’ work, and was first performed at a private hearing at Bishop’s Palace. The work was well received, and was later performed for Governor Lawley at Government House by Williamson’s Royal Opera Co., with one reviewer claiming that ‘it is glorious music’.

From 1903-1910, Summers was only working as a composer, and during this time he wrote An Australian Christmas Carol. The majority of his compositions were choral music, including hymns, anthems, and patriotic songs.

Further reading:

They Shall Grow Not Old

They shall grow not old. Words from St. John 15:13, and Laurence Binyon ; music by E.L. and H.N. Summers.

Article about a 2004 performance from The Cambridge Post, April 24, 2004, p. 4. Reproduced with permission.

Anzac airing for flyer Bert’s song

A choral evensong at 5pm is how St Edmund’s Anglican Church in Wembley will mark Anzac Day.

The choir will sing the moving anthem, In Memorium, which has strong local links, according to the church’s newsletter.

The anthem was sung for the first time at St Barnabas’s Church in West Leederville at a memorial service for Bert Daymond, a young airman killed over Germany during World War II.

Bert had been a member of the St Barnabas choir before the war and the music for In Memorium was composed by his choirmaster H.N. (Harry) Summer and his son, Ted.

According to Sheila Andrew and Connie Robinson, who were in the choir at the time, the bugle parts were performed by an air force trumpeter and it was very moving.

Sheila has also investigated the origins of The Ode that’s always recited on Anzac Day: “They shall [grow not] old as we that are left grow old …” The Ode is the fourth verse of a poem called For the Fallen, by English poet Laurence Binyon.

The seven-verse poem was first published in The Times in September 1914 and honoured those who had died in World War I.
This page last updated on 19 January 2022