March from I.O.U. March & Two-Step (1898)

Vernon Barford

This delightful work by Vernon Barford (1876-1963) might have been played at a dance in a community gathering somewhere on the prairies, back at the turn of the last century. In the days before radio and widespread recorded music, people had to play an instrument to hear music at all!


Level: K-grade 3

Answer the following questions:

  1. What is a march?
  2. What was the “two-step”?
  3. What do all marches have in common in their rhythm?

As a class, find a clear, open place, and play Barford’s March nice and strong on the stereo, and:

  1. March around the room, single-file, in a large circle.
  2. Try leading with the right foot, then the left.
  3. Clap the beat together – don’t go too fast or too slow.
  4. Follow your teacher around the room – march the same way he/she does!
  5. Choose a volunteer to lead the class.
  6. Everybody make up his/her own march style at the same time.