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"Tangled Tunes" - Albert W. Ketelby
"Tangled Tunes"
Entangled by Albert W. Ketelby
by Frank Himpsl, Adam Ramet, Russell Wattem

MIDI file (61 kb) of British 65-note Aeolian No. 8140,
courtesy Frank Himpsl

From: (Frank Himpsl)
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 23:42:04 EST

Subject: Albert W. Ketelbey and "Tangled Tunes"

In response to Larry Norman's question about Albert Ketelby and the "Tangled Tunes" medley:  I believe Albert Ketelby was of British nationality, and worked as a roll arranger for the Aeolian Company in London in the early 1900s.

The earliest roll of "Tangled Tunes" which I've seen is British Aeolian No. 8140 (65-note roll), which is undoubtedly the master from which the 88-note Angelus roll Larry refers to originated.  It is an arranged roll (not hand played), with no acknowledgement of tune ID's or arranger; only crediting Ketelby as composer.

However, Ketelby's name as roll arranger does frequently appear on other similar British 65-note rolls of the period, which leads me to believe that the "Tangled Tunes" might well have been a special issue created for Aeolian by Ketelby, in this case, the composer and arranger being the same person.  I've never seen sheet music for "Tangled Tunes," whereas other Ketelby tunes were well distributed.  "In A Persian Market" was undoubtedly his most popular number, being published by Boosey, Ltd., and probably still in print.

Ketelby's music was a staple in the silent movie era, and I believe he composed with that media very much in mind as did others long forgotten such as Gaston Borch, John Zamecnik, Robert Hood Bowers and many others.   None of the ASCAP directories I checked have any information about Ketelby, so I doubt that he ever joined that association.

It would take quite a bit of research work indeed to name all the tunes which appear on this odd medley roll, which usually only states a few thematic measures of each tune!

Frank Himpsl


From: (Adam Ramet)
To: Mechanical Music Digest <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 23:33:15 -0000

Subject: "Tangled Tunes" Entangled by Albert W. Ketelby

The 106 titles of "Tangles Tunes" are as follows;-

 [ We got multiple replies!  See the complete list in the article below by Russell Wattam.  Thanks anyhow for all your work, Adam!  :-)   -- Robbie ]

In the sheet music (a copy of which I have in my collection) the whole selection may be played from tunes 1 through 55 and end there or, alternately, one may soldier on through the complete 106 tunes.

Tunes 105 & 106 are played together with Zampa paying in the treble over the bass melody to the tune of God Save the King.  In the very last few bars there is also a 107th tune sneaked in which is "Ask a Policeman".

I have seen a copy of this roll with a factory-made paper label stuck to the top of the box with the titles.  More usually for pieces of this type a slip of paper with the titles was often inserted into the box though more often than not these have been lost over the years.  The piece was copyrighted in 1915 and published by Aschberg Hopwood & Crew Ltd.

The Artistyle roll No. 92621 Larry Norman has would have been made from a UK Aeolian master roll originally.  The piece itself is technically a "musical switch" (see my earlier MMD bit on Musical Switches a few years back for more on these).

Yours musically

Adam Ramet


From: (Russell Wattam)
To: "MMD" <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 23:59:14 -0000

Subject: "Tangled Tunes" Entangled by Albert W. Ketelby

Larry Norman asked if anyone had a copy of the sheet music for Albert Ketelby's "Tangled Tunes".  Well, I have one complete with all the tune titles.  The cover has a very nice lithograph of a conductor presiding over a steaming cauldron, the tunes titles appearing to be tangled in the steam.  The sheet describes the piece as "A pot-pourri of 106 Favourite Melodies Humourously entangled by Albert W. Ketelby".  The date given is 1915.  The titles are given below.

Two more pieces in this vein were written by the British march composer Kenneth Alford: "A Musical Switch" and "The Lightning Switch".  Both appear on the CD "The Music of Kenneth Alford" (Chandos CHAN 6584) played by the Band of H.M. Royal Marines.

Albert Ketelby was born in Birmingham, England in 1875 and died on the Isle of Wight in 1959 and was a popular composer of light music as well as theatrical, film and chamber pieces.  He sometimes worked under the assumed names of William Aston and Anton Vodorinski.  He was also for a time musical director for Columbia Records and was able to retire in his forties to the Isle of Wight due to the success of his popular compositions.  Hope this helps

Best wishes,

Russell Wattam

   "Tangled Tunes"

  1. Rule Britannia
  2. Three Blind Mice
  3. Mistletoe Bough
  4. Ah Che la Morte (Trovatore)
  5. Flower Song (Faust)
  6. Three Fishers Went a Sailing
  7. Drinking
  8. Heart of Oak
  9. Charlie is My Darling
 10. The Minstrel Boy
 11. Gathering Nuts in May
 12. Dixie's Land
 13. Soldier's Chorus (Trovatore)
 14. Grandfather's Clock
 15. Marseillaise
 16. British Grenadiers
 17. Home Sweet Home
 18. Blue Bells of Scotland
 19. Intro. Act III Lohengrin
 20. Sailor's Hornpipe
 21. The Girl I Left Behind Me
 22. Garry Owen
 23. Poet and Peasant
 24. 1812 Overture
 25. Tannhauser March
 26. 1812 Overture
 27. Il Bacio
 28. Romeo and Juliet Waltz
 29. Prophete March
 30. Soldier's Chorus (Faust)
 31. O Tender Moon (Faust)
 32. Silver Threads Among the Gold
 33. Killarney
 34. Mary of Argyle
 35. Robin Adair
 36. Wedding March (Mendelsshon)
 37. Anvil Chorus (Trovatore)
 38. Yankee Doodle
 39. Dixie's Land
 40. Maid of Athens
 41. Johnny Get Your Gun
 42. Raymond Overture
 43. Light Cavalry Overture
 44. The Keel Row
 45. For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
 46. The Harp That Once Thro' Tara's Halls
 47. Village Blacksmith
 48. Scenes That are Brightest (Maritana)
 49. Lend Me Your Aid
 50. Blue Danube
 51. Poet and Peasant
 52. Spring Song
 53. Little Brown Jug
 54. La Donna e Mobile (Rigoletto)
 55. Excelsior
 56. Lass of Richmond Hill
 57. Bay of Biscay
 58. Rule Britannia
 59. Vicar of Bray
 60. John Peel
 61. Last Rose of Summer
 62. Villikins and His Dinah
 63. Buy a Broom
 64. The Ash Grove
 65. Sally in Our Alley
 66. Alice Where Art Thou
 67. Sweet Genevieve
 68. Semiramide Overture
 69. Marche aux Flambeaux
 70. Marching Through Georgia
 71. Merry Wives of Windsor
 72. Stephanie Gavotte
 73. Kirmesse Scene (Faust)
 74. March (Damnation de Faust)
 75. Sword Chorus (Faust)
 76. 1812 Overture
 77. Bohemian Girl Overture
 78. Der Freischutz Overture
 79. Tannhauser March
 80. Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue
 81. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
 82. William Tell Overture
 83. Good King Wenceslas
 84. Tannhauser March
 85. Il Balen (Trovatore)
 86. Dio Possente (Faust)
 87. Athalie March
 88. How Can I Leave Thee
 89. Come, Birdie Come
 90. Tarara-Boom-De-Ay
 91. Tancredi Overture
 92. Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
 93. Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep
 94. The Bogie Man
 95. Pop Goes the Weasel
 96. Amoretten Tanz
 97. Valse des Fleurs (Casse-noisette)
 98. Waltz in A flat (Chopin)
 99. Nocturne (Chopin)
100. Fragment from Faust
101. Faust Waltz
102. Flying Dutchman Overture
103. Auld Lang Syne
104. Old English Gentleman
105. Zampa
106. God Save the King

23 February 2001

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