Trumpet Voluntary – The Prince of Denmark’s March


Death of Jeremiah Clarke


St Paul’s Cathedral


Trumpet Voluntary – sheet music


Jeremiah Clarke

(c. 1674 – 1 December 1707) English baroque composer and organist.

Jeremiah Clarke’s birth date is uncertain but he is believed to have been born in London around 1674. Jeremiah Clarke was a pupil of Dr John Blow at St Paul’s Cathedral and later became an organist at the Chapel Royal. After his death, he was succeeded in that post by William Croft.

St Paul's Cathedral - Jeremiah Clarke
St Paul’s Cathedral, where Jeremiah Clarke shot himself in 1707

Clarke is best remembered for the perennially famous keyboard work: the Prince of Denmark’s March, more commonly known as The Trumpet Voluntary, which was written about 1700. From about 1878 until the 1940s the work was attributed to Henry Purcell, and was published as Trumpet Voluntary by Henry Purcell in William Sparkes’s Short Pieces for the Organ, Book VII, No. 1 (London, Ashdown and Parry). This was the version that Sir Henry J. Wood made two orchestral transcriptions of, both of which were recorded. The recordings played a significant part in bedding in the idea that the  original piece was by Purcell.

Jeremiah Clarke’s Prince of Denmark’s March aka The Trumpet Voluntary is a popular choice for wedding music, and has been a highlight in a number of royal weddings.

The famous Trumpet Tune in D (also incorrectly attributed to Purcell) was taken from Jeremiah Clarke’s semi-opera The Island Princess, which was a joint musical production of Clarke and Daniel Purcell (Henry Purcell’s younger brother)—which frankly was always going to make its authorship a bit confusing.


Trumpet Voluntary