Dudley Buck (March 10, 1839 – October 6, 1909) was an American composer, organist, and writer on music. He published several books, most notably the Dictionary of Musical Terms and Influence of the Organ in History, which was published in New York City in 1882. He is best known today for his organ composition, Concert Variations on the Star-Spangled Banner, Op. 23, which was later arranged into an orchestral version.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Buck was the son of a merchant who gave him every opportunity to cultivate his musical talents. After attending Trinity College, he studied in Leipzig at the Leipzig Conservatory where he was a pupil of Louis Plaidy. He then pursued further studies in Dresden and Paris. On returning to America he held positions of organist in Hartford, Chicago, and Boston. In 1875 Buck went to New York City to assist Theodore Thomas as conductor of orchestral concerts, and from 1877 to 1902 was organist at Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn. By this time he had become well known as a composer and virtuoso organist.
"Home, Sweet Home" was published in 1868 by. S. T. Gordon, and is dedicated by Buck: "To his friend W. H. Johnson."
It is a "small" set of variations, consisting of an introduction, theme, and several variations, consisting mostly of running 16th notes. The colors of the Armley organ really add to the "19th century feel," and the music is excellent in balance and proportions.
It seems like these variations may have "marked the way" for some of Buck's larger variation works, but the style and craftsmanship of the bigger works is present in this one.
The text of "Home, Sweet Home" is given in the FIRST COMMENT, along with some history surrounding the origins of the words and music.
The score is attached below (You'll need GOOD eyes and/or STRONG glasses!), several photos of Dudley Buck, and of the composer of the song, Henry Rowley Bishop.
With wishes of peace in your homes, and "to Toto too!" ;-)