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Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 09:47 UK

Diamond Jubilee: 'Pirate inspiration' for flotilla music


On Sunday, ten film composers are collaborating on a special piece of music inspired by Handel's Water Music which will be performed at a flotilla as part of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

What are the historical precedents for composers writing new music for royal occasions?

The film composer Debbie Wiseman who will conduct a performance of her interpretation of Gigue, part of Handel's Water Music, explains explains how she wrote her own pirate story to help give inspiration for the flotilla piece.

The writer and musician Michael Bywater told the Today programme's Justin Webb that royal music "has a long history".

Tutankhamen's trumpet is the oldest royal instrument, Charles II was a "great commissioner" but Queen Anne "didn't like music" but would still commission Purcell and Turner, he said.

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