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Down a Country Lane

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Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland (trans. Merlin Patterson)

General Info

Year: 1962 / 1991
Duration: 3:15
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00   |   Score - $10.95


Full Score
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet (optional)
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Vibraphone


In Parts:

  • Trombone II-III, 7th measure of C: The flat is missing on the G-flat.

Program Notes

On June 29, 1962, Life Magazine featured Aaron Copland's composition Down a Country Lane. The piece was commissioned by Life in hopes of making quality music available to the common pianist and student. The work was featured along with an article title "Our Bumper Crop of Beginning Piano Players". The article explains, "Down a Country Lane fills a musical gap: It is among the few modern pieces specially written for young piano students by a major composer." Copland is quoted in the article of saying "Even third-year students will have to practice before trying it in public." Copland then explains the title: "The music is descriptive only in an imaginative, not a literal sense. I didn't think of the title until the piece was finished -- Down a Country Lane just happened to fit its flowing quality."

Copland is very descriptive in his directions on how the piece should be played. The piece begins with instructions to play "gently flowing in a pastoral mood"; a brief midsection is slightly dissonant and to be played "a trifle faster"; and the ending returns to the previous lyrical mood. Down a Country Lane was orchestrated for inclusion in a youth orchestra series and premiered on November 20, 1965, by the London Junior Orchestra. The band arrangement was completed by Merlin Patterson in 1988. Patterson specialized in Copland transcriptions. Copland himself spoke of Patterson's excellent work upon the completion of Down a Country Lane, saying that he produced "a careful, sensitive, and most satisfying extension of the mood and content of the original."

- Program notes from Down a Country Lane


State Ratings

  • Florida: III
  • Texas: III


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts (Murfreesboro) Wind Ensemble (Denny Hawkins, conductor) – 18 June 2022
  • Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro) Symphonic Band (Denny Hawkins, conductor) - 21 April 2022
  • Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) Symphonic Band (Cory Near, conductor) - 13 April 2022
  • University of Louisiana Monroe Wind Ensemble (Derle R. Long, conductor) - 4 May 2021
  • Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Mich.) Wind Symphony (Byron Graves, conductor) - 24 April 2021
  • Central College (Pella, Iowa) Honor Band (Eileen McGonigal, conductor) - 25 February 2021
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.) Symphonic Band (Matt Conaway, conductor) - 22 February 2020
  • La Sierra University (Riverside, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (David Brennan, conductor) – 15 February 2020
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) All-Campus Band (Daniel Johnson, conductor) - 10 December 2019
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Symphonic Band (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 9 December 2019
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Wednesday University Band (Allison Jaeger, conductor) – 8 December 2019
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Concert Band (Curran Prendergast, conductor) – 4 December 2019
  • University of Charleston (S.C.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (John Christian, conductor) - 27 October 2019
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) Wind Ensemble (Fred Harris, Jr.) – 25 October 2019
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla) Wind Symphony (David Sampson, conductor) – 6 October 2019
  • Lowcountry Community Concert Band (Bluffton, S.C.) (David Carbone, conductor) – 14 May 2019
  • North Dakota State University (Fargo) Wind Symphony (Warren Olfert, conductor) – 4 May 2019
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Symphonic Band (Stephen Lytle, conductor) – 24 April 2019
  • Sequim (Wash.) City Band (Tyler Benedict, conductor) – 19 April 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 134-140.