Titanic Orchestra


Amongst all of the characters that feature in the tragic tale of the Titanic, the fate of the musicians is amongst the more poignant aspects of the story, as all would become casualties of the sinking. Read on for the key facts and figures about this brave band of men.

The brave members of the Titanic orchestra, from The Illustrated London News, May 1912.

Above: The brave members of the Titanic orchestra (Top row L-R: Clarke, Taylor. Middle row L-R: Krins, Hartley, Brailey. Bottom row L-R: Hume, Woodward), from The Illustrated London News, May 1912. Bricoux is not shown.

8 – the number of musicians on the Titanic, all employees of C.W. and F.N. Black, a Liverpool-based agency.

2 – the number of musical groups into which the band members were divided, a quintet (led by Bandmaster Wallace Hartley) and a trio.

1 shilling – the monthly salary of a Titanic band member.

352 – the number of songs contained within a book of music given out to First Class passengers. The musicians were expected to know them all, in case passengers made requests.

Titanic Musicians

Theodore Ronald Brailey – Pianist (aged 24)

Roger Marie Bricoux – Cellist (aged 20)

John Frederick Preston Clarke – Bassist (aged 30)

Wallace Hartley – Bandmaster, Violinist (aged 33)

John Law Hume – Violinist (aged 21)

Georges Alexandre Krins – Violinist (aged 23)

Percy Cornelius Taylor – Cellist (aged 32)

John Wesley Woodward – Cellist (aged 32)

100% – the number of these musicians who perished. Showing great courage, and looking to soothe the nerves of others, all 8 are believed to have continued playing as the crew loaded the lifeboats.

3 – the number of the musicians whose bodies were recovered (Clarke, Hartley and Hume); the other 5 were never found.

38% – the recovery rate of the band members bodies.

Did You Know?

Both British and American passengers reported that the last song the band played was the hymn ‘Nearer My God To Thee’, however this cannot be confirmed. Adding to the uncertainty, the hymn was sung to different melodies in the two countries.

Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea. -Lawrence Beesley, Titanic survivor

473 – the number of musicians who played at a memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 24 May 1912, drawn from seven London orchestras.

A packed Royal Albert Hall for the memorial concert held 24 May 1912.

Above: A packed Royal Albert Hall for the memorial concert held 24 May 1912.

Did You Know?

Among the stories of people having lucky escapes in changing plans to travel on Titanic is that of the London Symphony Orchestra. Originally intending to travel on the ship on their way to a three week tour of the US and Canada, the delay to Titanic’s maiden voyage (caused by the accident Olympic suffered the year before) meant that their 85 touring members instead sailed aboard the SS Baltic, a week earlier.

More To Explore

If you have found this information on the Titanic orchestra of interest, why not find out all about the crew of the ship and about the iceberg that sank Titanic.