I am totally unable to paint without music and usually, when painting Sudan British happily listen to the Complete Marches of Kenneth Alford (alright Alford, real name Fredrick Joseph Ricketts, wasn't born until 1882 but it sounds right) on my computer. Whilst painting Highlanders I also have some Scottish military music but, honestly, there is only so much bagpipe music I can bear. I was very pleased, therefore, to acquire this weekend a cd of the soundtrack for the film Khartoum (1966) with music by Frank Cordell (1918-1980). The score is a mix of cod Walton and Elgar and Islamic (well, "Egyptian") sounding music. John Williams, when writing about the music for the throne room scene of Star Wars (1977) said that he wanted an English feel like Elgar. Frankly, he must have been thinking of Cordell's overture to Khartoum; the similarities are, er, remarkable. As to the "Egyptian" sound, the whole exotic "Egyptian" scale, with its flattened supertonic was invented by Verdi for Aida (it's about as authentic as Sir Walter Scott's version of Scotland) but everyone since has used it from Maurice Jarre in Lawrence of Arabia to Jerry Goldsmith in The Mummy.
Anyway it makes a change from all those wailing bagpipes (it does quote Highland Laddie)!