And the antelope play

From Wind Repertory Project
John Alan Carnahan

John Alan Carnahan

The title of this work is intentionally written as "...and the antelope play".

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 8:20
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $135.00   |   Score Only - $16.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II (one player on soprano recorder)
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Temple Blocks
  • Triangle
  • Wooden Wind Chimes
  • Xylophone

Players blowing air through instruments


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

My tone poem, ...and the antelope play, depicts the transformation through time of the Antelope Valley, from ancient times, to the eventual displacement of the Native American culture, to modern times. The work considers both geographical and cultural aspects in its musical portrayal of the vast and beautiful high desert of California.

The title is taken from the 19th century song Home on the Range, specifically from the line, "Where the deer and the antelope play," although you will not hear the song except in some melodic fragments. The thematic material of the music is based solely upon these fragments and word association from the song. Although well hidden, you may find the themes more readily by word association than by melodic association.

...and the antelope play is a through-composed tone poem in eight sections, played without pause, with each section bearing a descriptive verse from my poem:

...first there was wind
......morning light
.........behold the valley
............and the antelope play
............the plight of the valley
.........the spirit remains
......and the antelope?
...the valley home

...first there was wind - The piece begins with the sound of the warm desert wind and a lone tumbleweed blowing across the valley plain. The haunting sound of the Native American flute breaks the silence and summons forth the spirit world.
...morning light - The rays of the brilliant sun break through the sky.
...behold the valley - The expanse of the Valley is depicted by a warm and lyrical Western chorale.
...and the antelope play - The hot open plains play host to the indigenous pronghorn antelope, which frolic freely across the valley floor.
...the plight of the valley - The western expansion of the railroad and the arrival of the Spanish settlers disrupt the natural serenity of the valley and herald the demise of the antelope and the Native American tribes of the Serrano, Kitanemuk, Kawaiisu and Tatavian.
...the spirit remains - Throughout the vast change toward westernized civilization and industrialization, the Spirit World constantly remains.
...and the antelope? - Although the home to the pronghorn antelope and Native Americans has been changed forever, the valley will always hold their memory and be home to their spirit.
...the valley home - The beautiful expanse of the valley endures, with a reprise of the Western chorale. The piece concludes with the first complete statement of “Oh give me a home,” and ends on a single note, “home.”

This piece is dedicated to the Antelope Valley Unified School District Honor Band and was the winner of the 2007 CBDNA Young Band Composition Competition.

- Program Note by composer

We are animal lovers. Children of all ages, as well as the young at heart, are enchanted with the creatures of the animal kingdom. We are concerned with the treatment of animals. And we know that sometimes, animals in music and literature are symbols for humans in history. John Carnahan’s imaginative writing captures so many moods, from a lonely desert to a beautiful, rich valley, from the playfulness of animals frolicking to the parched skeletons that remain after they have been conquered. We hear mariachi trumpets and drunken partiers as new settlers move in on fertile lands. The music is mysterious -- we hear barely a hint of the original song, Home on the Range, throughout most of the piece.

In the end, memories remain. Sometimes the memories are comforting, and sometimes they are harsh. ... and the antelope play gives musicians a beautiful, musical way to experience both the sorrow of a moment in history and the insight gained by looking back.

- Program Note by Nancy Moser for the Joaquin Miller Middle School Advanced Band concert program, 21 February 2015


  • College Band Directors National Association Young Band Composition Contest, winner, 2017


State Ratings

  • Michigan: Junior High AA
  • Michigan: Senior High B
  • Texas: III. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • John Carnahan website.
  • Carnahan, J. (2008). ...and the antelope play: For Concert Band [score]. Manhattan Beach Music: Brooklyn, N.Y.