From Wind Repertory Project
Alfred Reed

Traditional, arranged by Alfred Reed

General Info

Year: 1993
Duration: c. 5:25
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $65.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Clarinet I-II-III (all div. a2)
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass 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-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion (3 players), including:

  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals


In Score and Parts:

  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, m. 71 (Letter H + 3), beat 2: B-flat4 should be a B-natural4
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, m. 79 (Letter I + 3), beat 2: B-flat4 should be a B-natural4

Program Notes

The tune of Greensleeves may be the oldest documented piece of secular music. It has been traced to the early 1300s and is most familiar as the melody of Martin Luther’s Christmas hymn What Child Is This?. In Shakespeare’s time, it was already what could be considered a “standard,” and he used it in many of his plays. Reed’s arrangement is considered to be the standard in the contemporary band library, requiring a high level of musicianship to bring out the full beauty and emotion of this simple folk melody.

- Program Note by Karen Berry for the San Jose Wind Symphony concert program, 27 January 2013

It is generally agreed that the melody we know as Greensleeves is probably the second oldest piece of secular music in our Western culture, its origins having been traced back to about 1360. While we are not certain this was the original title, it is known that in the latter 14th century, English ladies wore gowns with great billowing sleeves, and the lyrics that have come down to us speak of a lover's lament over his lady's cruel treatment of him by a lady clad in a dress of green sleeves.

By the time of William Shakespeare, this song had already become a classic and he made use of it in two of his plays, most notably in the Merry Wives of Windsor. Over 300 years later, the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams used this melody as an intermezzo between two acts of his opera Sir John in Love, which was based on the same play. Since then the tune has been adapted as the basis for at least one Christmas carol (What Child Is This?), several popular songs, and even by the Swingle Singers on one of their albums. In addition, it has been performed instrumentally by groups of all sizes and styles from full symphony orchestra to small jazz and rock groups.

This arrangement is a symphonic development of this 600-year-old classic melody adapted for the full resources of the modern wind orchestra or concert band.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Maryland: IV
  • North Carolina: IV
  • Texas: III. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David Kehler, conductor) - 3 December 2023
  • South Carolina Governor's School of the Arts (Greenville) Wind Ensemble (Leslie W. Hicken, conductor) - 12 December 2022
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Matthew Morse, conductor) - 11 December 2022
  • Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Coquitlam, B.C., Can.) (David Branter, conductor) - 10 December 2022
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 4 December 2022
  • Patrick Henry High School (Roanoke, Va.) Wind Symphony (Alexander Schmitt, conductor) - 14 December 2021
  • Clovis East (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Timothy Kaiser, conductor) - 9 December 2021
  • Wind Symphony of Clovis (Calif.) (Gary P. Gilroy, conductor) - 28 November 2021
  • Brevard (N.C.) College Symphonic Band (Neil E. Jenkins, conductor) – 17 December 2020
  • Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, Minn.) Bands (Heidi Johanna Miller, conductor) – 8 December 2020
  • Grace College (Winona Lake, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Eric Criss, conductor) - 20 November 2020
  • Charlottesville (Va.) Municipal Band (Stephen R. Layman, conductor) – 15 December 2019
  • Lone Star Symphonic Band (Katy, Tx.) (Bob Bryant, conductor) – 15 December 2019
  • Whitehouse Wind Symphony (Somerville, N.J.) (James P. Sheeley, Jr., conductor) – 8 December 2019
  • Gateway Concert Band (Enumclaw, Wash.) (Jack Prindle, conductor) – 9 December 2019
  • Muskegon (Mich.) Community College Wind Ensemble (Daniel M. Meyers, conductor) – 9 December 2019
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 8 December 2019
  • Stetson University (Deland, Fla.) University Concert Band (Doug Phillips, conductor) – 8 December 2019
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, Penn.) Symphony Band (Jason Worzbyt, conductor) – 7 December 2019

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