Cajun Folk Songs, Part One

From Wind Repertory Project
Frank Ticheli

Frank Ticheli

General Info

Year: 1990
Duration: c. 6:25
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $135.00   |   Score Only - $16.50


1. La Belle et le Capitaine – 3:10
2. Belle – 3:15


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanets
  • Marimba
  • Sand Blocks
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


See Kish book in Resources section (below) for errata list.

  • Oboe I, Mvt. 2, mm.22-23: Add accent to the fourth note and a tie to the fourth and fifth notes
  • Oboe I, Mvt. 2, m.78: Add a crescendo
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, Mvt. 2, mm.22-23: Add accent to the fourth note and a tie to the fourth and fifth notes
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III, Mvt. 2, m.86: Add the dynamic level of p
  • E-flat Alto Clarinet, B-flat Bass Clarinet, B-flat Contrabass Clarinet, Mvt. 2, m.86: Add a diminuendo
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet, B-flat Contrabass Clarinet, Mvt. 2, m.123: Add an accent
  • B-flat Contrabass Clarinet, Mvt. 2, mm.46-47: Add a diminuendo to a mp
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I, Mvt. 1, m.72: Add the dynamic level of mf
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II, Mvt. 2, mm.29-30: Add accents on the first and fourht notes and a tie to the fourth and fifth notes
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone, Mvt. 2, m.38: Add a2
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I, Mvt. 2, m.65: Add the dynamic level of f
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone, Mvt. 2, m.78: Remove the printed letter a
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone, Mvt. 2, mm.81-82: Add a crescendo and a slur from A-sharp to B
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, Mvt. 1, m.68: Add the diminuendo
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, Mvt. 2, m.123: Add an accent
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone, Mvt. 2, m.78: Add a crescendo
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone, Mvt. 2, m.123: Add an accent
  • Trombone II-II, Mvt. 2, m.31: Add a2
  • Trombone II-III, Mvt. 2, m.39: Add a2
  • Trombone III, Mvt. 2, m.43: Add a natural sign to the G
  • Euphonium, Mvt. 1, m.50: Change the dynamic level to mf
  • Tuba, Mvt. 2, m.122: Remove the accent
  • Percussion II, Mvt. 2, m.1: Add the dynamic level of mp

Program Notes

Cajuns are descendants of the Acadians, a group of early French colonists who began settling in Acadia (now Nova Scotia) around 1604. In 1755 they were driven out by the British, eventually resettling in south Louisiana. Today there are nearly a million French-speaking descendants of the Acadians living in Louisiana and parts of Texas, preserving many of the customs, traditions, stories, and songs of their ancestors.

Although a rich Cajun folk song tradition exists, the music has become increasingly commercialized and Americanized throughout the twentieth century, obscuring its original simplicity and directness. In response to this trend, Alan and John Lomax traveled to south Louisiana in 1934 to collect and record numerous Cajun folk songs in the field for the Archive of Folk Music in the Library of Congress. By doing so, they helped to preserve Cajun music in its original form as a pure and powerful expression of Louisiana French Society.

La Belle et le Capitaine and Belle can both be heard in their original versions on the Lomax recordings (Swallow LP-8003-2, Swallow Records Co., Ville Platte, Louisiana). La Belle et le Capitaine tells the story of a young girl who feigns death to avoid being seduced by a captain. Its Dorian melody is remarkably free, shifting back and forth between duple and triple meters. In this arrangement the melody is stated three times. The third time an original countermelody is added in flutes, oboe, clarinet, and trumpet.

Belle is about a man who goes away to Texas only to receive word of his sweetheart's illness, forcing him to return to Louisiana. Finding her unconscious upon his return, he pawns his horse to try to save her, to no avail. The folk melody is sometimes varied rhythmically, texturally, and coloristically, and an original melody is added for variety.

Cajun Folk Songs is composed as a tribute to the people of the old Cajun folk song culture with hopes that their contributions will not be forgotten. The work is dedicated to the Murchison Middle School Band, Austin, Texas, Cheryl Floyd, director, who commissioned the work and gave its premiere on May 22, 1990.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Florida: IV
  • Minnesota: II
  • Texas: III. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

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  • University of Louisville (Ky.) Symphonic Band (Thomas Farless, conductor) - 29 April 2022
  • Bemidji (Minn.) State University Symphonic Band (Ryan Webber, conductor) - 19 April 2022
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) University Band (Tyler Strickland, conductor) - 11 April 2022
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  • Syracuse (N.Y.) University Wind Ensemble (Peri Bernstein, conductor) - 16 November 2021
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  • Houghton (New York) College Wind Ensemble (Dakota Hirsch, conductor) - 13 March 2021
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Band (Kelvin Jones, conductor) - 15 December 2020

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