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Fantasia on an English Folk Song

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Gordon Jacob

Gordon Jacob

Subtitle: Dashing Away with a Smoothing Iron

General Info

Year: 1984
Duration: c. 5:45
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G & M Brand
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet/Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion (3 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Like many of his British contemporaries, Jacob took an interest in the folk song tradition. His Fantasia on an English Folk Song is one of three such pieces composed shortly before his death. (The others were based upon Sweet Nightingale and Blow the Man Down.)

Fantasias, as a musical genre, date back to the mid-sixteenth century. They first embraced a quasi-improvisatory nature that later evolved into creative polyphonic expressions. After the 18th century, fantasias became through-composed re-workings of popular songs and folk melodies. This work features Jacob’s adaptation of the popular tune Dashing Away with a Smoothing Iron. Following a rather sentimental introduction, the melody is then subjected to contrasting modes, tempi, and styles, wonderfully reflecting Jacob’s penchant for clearly presenting primary lines and scoring for “families” of instruments.

- Program Note from Calvin University Symphonic Band concert program, 12 March 2021


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class BB
  • Florida: IV
  • Kansas: IV
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Maryland: V
  • Michigan: Senior High B
  • Minnesota: IV
  • Oklahoma: IV-A
  • Tennessee: IV
  • Texas: IV. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. Volume I: A-K. Galesburg, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 165. Print.
  • Jacob, G. (1984). Fantasia on an English Folk Song : (Dashing Away with a Smoothing Iron) [score]. R. Smith & Co. Watford, Herts, Eng.
  • Perusal score