Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger

General Info

Year: 1903 / 1936
Duration: c. 3:05
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II-III
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone I-II
E-flat Baritone Saxophone I-II
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Flugelhorn I-II (optional)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III (Bass Trombone preferred for Trombone III)
String Bass
Organ (or Harmonium)


In parts:

  • Clarinet IV, m.21, beat 4: Should be a C natural, not a C#.
  • Cornet III, m.20, beat 6: Should be a D, not a B.

Program Notes

Grainger considered the folk singers the "kings and queens of song...lords in their own domain -- at once performers and creators." He once described concert singers as slaves to tyrannical composers. It was for the wind band, a "vehicle of deeply emotional expression, that Grainger made some of his most memorable folk song settings, several of which are now cornerstones of band repertoire. Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon is a slow, sustained Scottish folk tune. Grainger's original setting of this was done in 1901 for "men's chorus and whistler," and the present version for band was published in 1936.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Percy Grainger’s folk-song settings are nothing short of legendary. In this work, he succeeds not only in capturing the essence of a song, but also in infusing the work with captivating charm, piquant harmonies, and resplendent sonorities. Only two seventeen-measure strophes in length, this relatively simple setting features a drone background, a tender countermelody, and tempo rubato. Grainger’s original musical adventure with this song was penned some 34 years earlier, for “men’s chorus and whistlers,” but he has surely eclipsed that original version in this work for the wind band, which was for him a “vehicle of deeply emotional expression.”

- Notes by Brian Casey

Grainger’s arrangement of the Scottish song The Caledonian Hunt’s Delight became Ye Banks and Braes O Bonnie Doon. The river Doon flows gracefully between the Loch Doon and the Firth of Clyde in Stirlingshire, Scotland. It was inspired by Robert Burns poem, The Banks of Doon, written in 1783. The piece was originally scored in 1903 for a chorus of women’s unison voices, accompanied by men’s voices, whistlers, and harmonium or organ at will. This was one of Grainger’s earliest folk-music arrangements, and it was dedicated to his dear friend Sigurd Fornander. The setting for band was completed in 1932 (British Folk-Music Setting Nt. 31) and could be combined with the original choral arrangement.

- Program Note by the Boise State University Symphonic Winds concert program, 5 March 2015


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: BB
  • Arkansas: III
  • Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association: C
  • Florida: IV
  • Georgia: IV
  • Iowa: III
  • Louisiana: III
  • Florida: III
  • Massachusetts: IV
  • Minnesota: II
  • New York: IV
  • North Carolina: IV
  • Oklahoma: III-A
  • South Carolina: IV
  • Texas: III. Complete
  • Virginia: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro) Symphonic Band (Denny Hawkins, conductor) - 26 September 2023
  • North Cheshire (UK) Wind Orchestra (Timothy Reynish, conductor) – 12 March 2023
  • Syracuse (N.Y.) University Concert Band (Timothy Diem, conductor) - 23 February 2023
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Yozviak, conductor) - 2 March 2022 (87th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) Symphonic Band (Lanie Radecke, conductor) – 24 February 2022 (CBDNA 2022 Southern Conference, Columbia, S.C.)
  • Harlan High School (San Antonio, Tx.) Band (Andrew Tucker, conductor) – 11 February 2022 (2022 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Luther College (Decorah, Ia.) Symphonic Band (Cory Near, conductor) – 10 November 2021
  • Cuesta Wind Ensemble (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 1 May 2021
  • Dallas (Tx.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) - 24 April 2021
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Campus Band (Adam Friedrich, conductor) - 9 March 2021
  • Texas State University (San Marcos) Symphonic Winds (Kyle Glaser, conductor) – 5 March 2020
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Hannah Morrison, conductor) – 25 November 2019
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Symphonic Band (Jonathan Caldwell, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Concert Band (Arturo Martinez, conductor) – 18 October 2019
  • Texas A&M University (Lubbock) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) – 13 October 2019
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Robert Taylor, conductor) – 4 October 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Symphony (Donna Dolson, conductor) – 3 October 2019
  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (Robert Calonico, conductor) – 16 June 2019
  • High School Concert Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) – 31 July 1992

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Glaeser, Joseph F. "The Music of Percy Grainger: The Flex Band Music You Already Have in Your Library with a Focus on 'Ye Banks and Braes O'Bonnie Doon'". NBA Journal, Summer 2020, 44-46.
  • International Percy Grainger Society website
  • Percy Grainger website
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 251.