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Ghost Dance

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James Thornton

General Info

Year: 1990
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alliance Publications
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $35.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Cowbell
  • Field Drum
  • Maracas
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ghost Dance was composed in 1990, as a result of being inspired by Ghost Dance, a dance-drama by James Fenelon of Standing Rock College, Fort Yates, North Dakota, and the great vision of Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux as told by John G. Neihardt. Living midst of the historic geography which was and remains home to the American Indian, it stands to reason that a musician would be inspired by this rich culture.

The composition is based on four chants of the Plains Indians which are used in toto as well as in development: 1. Sundance Chant which is the sacred dance of the ritual and fulfillment through the father sun, Atee; 2. Prancing They Come which signifies the horsed of the North, South, East and West, the earth and the sky; 3. In a Sacred Manner which is the presentation of the pipe; and 4. The Earth Only Endures which signifies the Great Hoop, the circle of life of the American Plains Indian.

Ghost Dance was premiered by the Minot State University Band under the direction of James Thornton in 1993.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer