Year: 1938 / 1941
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.
1. Reel (Interlochen Camp Reel) - 3:25
2. Caoine - 4:20
3. Hornpipe - 5:25
Movements may be played separately.
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
F Horn I-II-III-IV
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Snare Drum
- Wood Blocks (2)
None discovered thus far.
Celtic Set explores the traditional music of Ireland, using original melodies rather than pre-existing folk songs. Two dance movements (Reel & Hornpipe) frame a slow lament (Caoine). Henry Cowell and Percy Aldridge Grainger collaborated on the orchestration, exploring the richness of the saxophone and double reeds to great effect, as well as considerable innovation in percussion writing in the first movement.
The collection of movements titled Celtic Set were written on the encouragement of Percy Grainger, while Cowell was imprisoned in San Quentin. Cowell had written a number of short works for the prison band.
- Program Note by World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE)
Celtic Set was written for Percy Grainger while Cowell was incarcerated at San Quentin Prison in California. It was premiered by Grainger at Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, with the Susquehanna University Band, May 6, 1938. It was also arranged for orchestra (1943), piano solo and two pianos, four hands.
The first movement, Reel, begins with a droneline introduction, followed by contrasting original reel melodies; Caoine is a mournful, continually singing Irish lament for the dead; and Hornpipe is a rollicking, swift moving movement with rapidly alternating solo and tutti scoring. The movements may be performance separately.
- Program note from Program Notes for Band
- Celtic Set has been recommended as interesting, serious and distinctive music by members of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
None discovered thus far.
- Tennessee: IV
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Ancient Desert Drone (arr. Worman) (2014)
- Animal Magic (1945)
- Celtic Set (1938)
- A Curse and a Blessing (1950)
- Grandma's Rhumba (1946)
- Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 1 (1945)
- Little Concerto (1951)
- Rondo (1959)
- Shipshape Overture (1942)
- Shoonthree (1943)
- Singing Band (1957)
- Belser, Robert. "Celtic Set." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 505-511. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
- Cowell, H. (1941). Celtic Set [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Henry Cowell." Accessed 30 July 2016
- Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 141
- World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Accessed 30 July 2016