On the Mall

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"On the Mall" is a famous march composed by American bandmaster Edwin Franko Goldman (1878–1956). It vies with Goldman's "Chimes of Liberty" as his two most popular compositions. “On the Mall” still in 2013, as indicated by Jack Kopstein, remains a featured march and continues to be performed and recorded by bands throughout America and around the world.[1]

Publication history[edit]

The score of "On the Mall" was first published in 1923 by Carl Fischer LLC. A version edited by Edward S. Lisk is frequently used. Goldman wrote a number of marches whose titles begin with words On the, the first being "On the Green" in 1920.[2]

Meaning of title[edit]

The phrase “On the Mall” refers to the Mall at the Naumburg Bandshell where Goldman’s Band frequently performed in New York City’s Central Park. Goldman composed "On the Mall" (possibly as early as 1922 but published the march) in 1923 to honor Elkan Naumburg, who had funded the related construction in that year as "On the Mall" premiered there on September 29 with Franz Kaltenborn as conductor and Naumburg in attendance.[3]

Singing, whistling, lyricizing[edit]

In a technique identified with Goldman, the trio (third movement) is predominantly sung by the band members and then repeated, after a breakstrain, with whistling. A great believer in public participation as Goldman toured with his band in countless venues, he encouraged audiences likewise in "On the Mall" to sing along and then whistle with the band.[4] Audience clapping in sync with the score is also common. The concluding strain of the march can be sung with lyrics written by Goldman's wife Adelaide Maibrunn Goldman.[5] To reinforce the physical setting and the title, renditions have been known to substitute the words On the Mall in lieu of some of the lyrics.


Of the many renditions of "On the Mall" one of the most-frequently listened to has been the performance by South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble.[6] For "On the Mall" played in the Naumburg Bandshell by Columbia Summer Winds Ensemble, click here.[7]


  1. ^ Kopstein, Jack (2013-01-21). "World military bands: The heritage of military bands". Retrieved 2013-09-13.  |article= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "Mabel Rosenthal Collection on Edwin Franko Goldman". ArchivesUM. College Park, MD: University of Maryland Special Collections. 1980. pp. 10–142–ABA. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  3. ^ "Music pavilion". Naumburg Orchestral Concerts. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-15. [dead link] See Zajec, Victor William; Camus, Raoul F. (2012). "The Edwin Franko Goldman Memorial Citation" (PDF). New York: American Bandmasters Association. Retrieved 2013-09-13.  See also Keane, Frank (1933). "The Goldman Band on the Mall, Central Park". National Stolen Art File. Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 2013-09-13. [dead link]
  4. ^ "On the mall concert march". JWPepper. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-13. Item 2477466. Bands frequently camouflage the piccolo into the whistling to enhance its volume.
  5. ^ Goldman, Adelaide Maibrunn (1923). "'On the Mall' lyrics". Lyrics zoo. Chatham, New Jersey: River City Brass Band. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  6. ^ Goldman, Edwin Franko; Goldman, Adelaide Maibrunn (2008). South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble (SJAWE), ed. "On the Mall". Side by Side Concert. Stockton University Performing Arts Center. Retrieved 2013-09-16.  Conducted by Keith W. Hodgson.
  7. ^ Goldman, Edwin Franko (2010-07-10). "On the Mall". Columbia Summer Winds Ensemble. Retrieved 2013-09-23.