Herbert Chappell

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Herbert Chappell (born 1934)[1] is a British conductor, composer and film-maker, best known for his television scores.

Chappell's many television scores include The Shadow of the Tower (1972), Clouds of Witness (1972), Murder Must Advertise (1973), The Pallisers (1974),[2] and In Loving Memory (1969–1986). His theme for the BBC television series Songs of Praise, commissioned in 1980, was used throughout the 1980s.[3] His song, "The Gonk," appeared in the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead[4] and again, remixed by Kid Koala, in the 2004 film Shaun of the Dead.[5]

He has also written classical pieces, such as the Guitar Concerto, recorded in 1991 by Eduardo Fernandez.[6]

His children's work The Daniel Jazz (1963), with lyrics by Vachel Lindsay, was popular with schools and was recorded in 1974 by the Southend Boys' Choir.[7] It is a short vocal work suitable for performance by schoolchildren, consisting of songs about people and events from the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament (which covers the period when the Jews were deported and exiled to Babylon by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar), and was published by Novello in 1963.

Chappell's 1975 film about African Sanctus, broadcast in BBC1's Omnibus series, followed the journey of ethnomusicologist David Fanshawe resulting in the composition and recording of the work, and was nominated for the 'Prix Italia'.[8][9] An updated version of the film, African Sanctus Revisited, directed by Chappell, was made in 1995.[10]


  1. ^ "Presto Classical Composers – Herbert Chappell". Presto Classical. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  2. ^ "British Light Music Premieres, Vol. 1 – The Pallisers, television series score". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  3. ^ "SONGS OF PRAISE (THEME MUSIC)". Banks Music Publications. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  4. ^ "The Film League » Blog Archive » The Gonk and Zombies: The Stock Music Score of Dawn of the Dead". 2013-12-07. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  5. ^ Shaun of the Dead (2004), retrieved 2017-12-14
  6. ^ John Duarte. "Works for Guitar and Orchestra". Gramophone magazine. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Southend Choirs Discography". Southend Choirs. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  8. ^ The Times obituary 9 July 2010
  9. ^ The 'African Sanctus' website
  10. ^ "African Sanctus Revisited (1995)". BFI. Retrieved 6 June 2017.