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Prairie Songbook, A


Genre: Band
# of Players: Standard
Level: 3.5 | Duration: 9:30
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2015

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    With varied instrumental textures, exciting harmonic treatments, and sensitive use of percussion this suite of four of the most enduring cowboy songs of the old West is sure to be a concert highlight. A Prairie Songbook includes such folksongs as The Old Chisholm Trail, Green Grow the Lilacs, Snagtooth Sal, and Yippee Ti-Yi-Yo.

    Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
    Level: 3.5 | Duration: 9:30

    Piccolo (optional)
    Flute 1
    Flute 2
    B-flat Clarinet 1
    B-flat Clarinet 2
    B-flat Clarinet 3
    B-flat Bass Clarinet
    Alto Saxophone 1
    Alto Saxophone 2
    Tenor Saxophone
    Baritone Saxophone

    B-flat Trumpet 1
    B-flat Trumpet 2
    B-flat Trumpet 3
    F Horn 1
    F Horn 2
    Trombone 1
    Trombone 2
    Baritone T.C.

    Timpani (3 drums)
    Percussion 1 (Bells, Mark Tree)
    Percussion 2 (Whip, Triangle, Suspended Cymbal, Tambourine)
    Percussion 3 (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Sleigh Bells)

    Program Notes
    A Prairie Songbook is a four movement setting of some of the better known cowboy songs of the old West.

    The Old Chisholm Trail is a song that is emblematic of the cattle drive. While not the longest trail, the Old Chisholm Trail was the most famous, moving cattle from Southern Texas up to railheads in Kansas. The journey could take up to two months, with hardships including the crossing of rivers, conflicts with Indians and rustlers, and unpredictable weather. While the melody can be traced to an old English tune there are hundreds of different verses, as cowboys would make up their own to pass the time.

    Green Grow the Lilacs is a ballad based on a 17th century Scottish tune that tells the love of a soldier for his sweetheart. A plaintive alto saxophone solo is featured in this setting. This beautiful song became the inspiration for Lynn Riggs play of the same name and, through that play, the musical Oklahoma!.

    Snagtooth Sal is a saloon song about the love of a cowboy for the less-than-lovely Sal. The tune is traditional Irish and the lyrics were written by Lowell Reese and published in the Saturday Evening Post in March of 1917.

    The song Yippee Ti-Yi-Yo is also known as Get Along Little Dogies. A dogie is a motherless calf, and there were often orphaned calves on the trail from Texas to Wyoming. This upbeat tune, with its syncopated rhythms and jaunty melody, offers a fitting finale for A Prairie Songbook.

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