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Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon

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Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger

General Info

Year: 1903 / 1936
Duration: c. 3:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00   |   Score - $7.50

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II-III
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone I-II
Baritone Saxophone I-II
Cornet (in Bb) I-II-III
Trumpet (in Bb) 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)


The following errors are in the PARTS:

  • Cornet III, m.20, note on beat 6 should be a D, not a B. Score is correct.
  • Clarinet IV, m.21, note on beat 4 should be a C natural, not a C#. Score is correct.

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

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

State Ratings

  • Arkansas: BB
  • Arkansas: III
  • California: III Class 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
  • Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association: C


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • 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
  • University of Tasmania (Australia) Wind Ensemble (Sean Priest, conductor) – 10 May 2019
  • Greensboro (N.C.) College Wind Ensemble (Benjy Springs, conductor) – 16 April 2019
  • Greensboro (N.C.) College Wind Ensemble (Jane McKinney, conductor) – 11 April 2019
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Beckett, conductor) - 3 March 2019
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) University Band (Kerri MacPhee, conductor) – 3 March 2019
  • Texas Woman's University (Denton) University Band (Carter Biggers, conductor) – 1 March 2019
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) University Band (Corey Jahlas, conductor) – 28 February 2019
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) University Band (Alexander Gonzalez, conductor) – 28 February 2019
  • Saitama (Japan) Sakae High School Wind Orchestra (Akira Oku, conductor) - 14 February 2019 (2019 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Penn State University (University Park) Concert Band (Herbert Payung, conductor) – 4 December 2018
  • High School Concert Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 31 July 1992

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works