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David Fanshawe facts for kids

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David Fanshawe (born 19 April 1942 in Devon, England; died 5 July 2010) was an English composer and explorer. He wrote a large amount of music, especially for television programmes. His best-known composition is a choral work called African Sanctus.


Fanshawe went to school at St George's School, Windsor Castle and Stowe School. He started his career as a musician and producer for documentary films. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music. He became known for the music he wrote for films and TV. In 1970 he performed Salaams in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. This was a work based on the rhythms of pearl divers in Bahrain.

He spent several years travelling to many parts of the world collecting recordings of people singing their own traditional music. He travelled to the Middle East, then to Africa and to islands of the Pacific Ocean. In all these places he had to get to know the people and get them to trust him so that they would let him record their music.

His African Sanctus was a result of his trip down the Nile. It combines recordings he made there with a choir and orchestra singing. It has been performed thousands of times all over the world.

Fanshawe died on 5 July 2010.

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