Fantasy on "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"

From Wind Repertory Project
Alfred Reed

Traditional, arranged by Alfred Reed

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Subtitle: For Woodwind Choir

General Info

Year: 1973
Duration: c. 4:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Piedmont Music
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Black Is the Colour (of My True Love's Hair) is a traditional folk song first known in the Appalachian Mountains region of the United States in 1915, but most probably originating from Scotland, as attributed to the reference to the Clyde in the song's lyrics. The musicologist Alan Lomax supported this Scottish origin, saying that the song was an American "re-make of British materials."

Many different versions of this song exist, some addressed to females and others addressed to males, as well as other differences. These words are set to two distinct melodies, one of which is traditional and the other was written by the Kentucky folk singer and composer John Jacob Niles. Niles recalled that his father thought the traditional melody was "downright terrible", so he wrote "a new tune, ending it in a nice modal manner."

The song has become a part of the traditional repertory of Celtic music artists. The first recording was made by Mrs. Lizzie Roberts in 1916 as Black Is the Colour.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana Wind Symphony (Carmel) (Charles P. Conrad, conductor) - 21 November 2021 (Concert scheduled by cancelled)
  • Penn State University (University Park) Campus Band (Margaret Pedlow Smith, conductor) – 9 December 2019
  • Charlottesville (Va.) Municipal Band (Stephen R. Layman, conductor) – 10 April 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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