Molly on the Shore (tr Ragsdale)

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (trans. Ragsdale)

This article is a stub. If you can help add information to it,
please join the WRP and visit the FAQ (left sidebar) for information.

Subtitle: For 8 Hands on 4 Marimbas

General Info

Year: 1907 / 2005
Duration: c. 4:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: String Band
Publisher: Aux Arcs
Cost: Score and Parts - $100.00  |   Score Only - $30.00


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Molly on the Shore is based on two Cork reel tunes, Temple Hill and Molly on the Shore. It was originally set for string four-some or string band in the summer of 1907, and was also set for symphony orchestra, theatre orchestra, and violin and piano in early 1914. Grainger “dished-up” his band version in the spring of 1920, creating one of the great “finger-busters” in the literature. It remains one of his most popular and beautifully conceived creations.

The version for “8 hands on four marimbas” was suggested in 1978 by Eldon Janzen, director of bands at the University of Arkansas. The current performance edition was realized in 1995. Conceived as a sort of concerto grosso for four marimbists and band, it starts with Grainger’s scoring, assigning much of the melodic material to the marimba soloists. Though some might object to a treatment which tampers with Grainger's scoring. Grainger's propensity for re-arranging his own music should lead one to feel at ease with other scoring possibilities for his music. Grainger himself said that, so long as appropriate instrumental weight could be brought to each melodic line of his music, he was not overly concerned with instrumental color (though his artistry and “ear” as an orchestrator for band has seldom been equaled); Grainger believed that his music, as Bach's, could safely be re-set for many different combinations (as Grainger and band both did) so long as the Grainger texture is maintained.

Chalon Ragsdale is professor of music at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He is a percussionist conductor and arranger. In 2003 he was presented the International Percy Grainger Society’s “Grainger Medallion” in recognition of his work on behalf of the music of Percy Grainger. His publications include A Tribute to Grainger for concert band, as well as a concert band setting of Grainger’s Jungle Book song cycle.

- Program note by Owasso High School Wind Ensemble concert program, 20 December 2012

Other sources list the subtitle of this work as Dished Up for 8 Hands and 4 Marimbas, and Irish Reel Set for Military Band.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.