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Grandmother Song

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Brent Michael Davids

Brent Michael Davids

General Info

Year: 2002
Duration: c. 3:00
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bandquest, through Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00 | Score Only - $5.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Grandmother Song is an introduction to the Mohican tradition of “sung syllables” or what Native Americans call “vocables.” Combining them with traditional wood flute songs, composer Brent Michael Davids offers a fresh look at the sound of Native American songs. Band instruments are performed less as musical instruments and more as talking sticks, singing reeds, rustling winds and shooting thunder. Through this ballad, performers are given the materials to understand how Native Americans celebrate the world around them through the blending of words and song.

The most striking feature of Grandmother Song is the important role for the singing voice. Flute and vocal songs share an ancient and related history in Native American culture. The music introduces young performers to the customs of Native American singing style and traditional wood flute playing. The performers sing syllables called vocables throughout the music. Davids describes vocables as an inter-tribal form of communicating feeling in song. Singing these vocables within the written band music introduces student performers to the "sound" of Native American song, while challenging them with a good, contemporary band composition.

- Program Note from score

The intent of Grandmother Song is to acknowledge that everyone -- animals, the earth, elements of nature -- deserves to be understood on their own terms, and respected, and treated as cherished relatives. The world -- filled with all kinds of people -- is old and must be respected as an elder, like a grandmother.

- Program note by composer

Commissioned by the American Composers Forum.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Carver, Joseph D. "Grandmother Song." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 200-206. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
  • "Grandmother Song by Brent Michael Davids." BandQuest. Web. Accessed 26 March 2022
  • Davids, B. (2004). Grandmother Song [score]. American Composers Forum: St. Paul, Minn.
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 308.
  • Perusal score