Their story is unequalled in maritime history. Their last act of bravery made headline news, and has since become enshrined in popular culture. For the first time ever, a book has been written about them. They are the eight musicians who went down with the Titanic. They were the ones who played soothing songs and hymns to quell the storms of panic and help survivors to hang on to hope – amid the horror of the icy Atlantic. ‘As the screams in the water multiplied,’ said a syndicated news report on April 19th 1912, ‘another sound was heard…It was the melody of the hymn Nearer, My God, To Thee’, played by the string orchestra in the dining saloon. ‘Some of those on the water started to sing the words, but grew silent as they realised that for the men who played, the music was a sacrament soon to be consummated by death.’ It was a ‘symphony of sorrow’.