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Hill Song II

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Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (ed. R. Mark Rogers)

Subtitle: For 15 (or 16) Instruments: 1929 Scoring

General Info

Year: 1907 / 1929 / 1990
Duration: c. 5:10
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ludwig Masters
Cost: Score and Parts - $55.00   |   Score Only - $25.00


Flute I
Flute II/Piccolo
English Horn
Clarinet I
Clarinet II
Bass Clarinet (or Bassoon II)
Trumpet I
Trumpet II
Harmonium/Reed Organ
Mellow-toned Reed Organ*
Piano/Four Hands (2 parts)

  • A note discussing the use of electronic instruments to replace the Harmonium and Reed Organ may be found on the combined Harmonium/Reed Organ part.


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Hill Song II is the result of a wish to represent the fast, energetic elements of Hill Song No. 1 as a single-type whole, without contrasting types of a slower, more dreamy nature. To this end the bulk of the fast, energetic elements of Hill Song No. 1 (composed in 1901 and 1902) were used together with about the same extent of new material of a like character, composed in London in April 1907.

- Note from the composer

Truly one of the inimitable heroes of wind band composition, Percy Grainger's works have maintained their jewel-like quality for almost a century. A lively, single-movement work scored for 15 instruments (including harmonium, organ, and two pianos), it is a delightful challenge for a true wind ensemble.

- Notes from publisher

Considering its early composition, Grainger’s Hill Song II is unquestionably progressive in its idiomatic wind scoring. Grainger takes advantage of the unique sonorities available for the wind band, and the resulting soloistic nature of the work calls for advanced musicians. Audiences have much to enjoy in this brief piece, from thick chromatic counterpoint to elegant, song-like melodies.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

Considered one of the earliest significant works for wind band, this extremely colorful piece captures the essence of a hike through the hills of the Scottish Highlands. Sounds of a bagpipe drone support the earthy and rich tone of folk-like melodies that permeate throughout. Grainger writes:

My Hill-Songs arose out of thoughts about, and longings for, the wildness, the freshness, the purity of hill-countries, hill peoples, and hill-musics -- the Scottish Highlands and their clansmen, the Himalayas and their hill-men, the Scottish and Asiatic bagpipes, etc. These compositions were part of a back to nature urge, and were written as a protest against the tameness of plain-countries and plaindwellers and the dullness, samishness and thwartingness of life in towns. Musically speaking, my Hill-Songs sought to weave the bagpipe tone-type (the skirling drasticness of the “chaunter,” the nasal fierceness of the drones) into many-voiced polyphonic textures. Hill-Song II is the outcome of a wish to present the fast, energetic elements of Hill-Song I as a single-type whole, without contrasting elements of a slower, more dreamy nature.

- Program Note from Michigan State University concert program, 25 October 2018


State Ratings

  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (George Vosburgh, conductor) - 26 March 2022
  • Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (J. Eric Wilson, conductor) - 8 March 2021
  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Rochester, N.Y.) (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) - 9 October 2020
  • Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band (New York, N.Y.) (Henco Espag, conductor) - 14 December 2019
  • Manhattan School of Music (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Kevin Fitzgerald, conductor) - 18 September 2019
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Wind Symphony (John Cody Birdwell, conductor) – 2 February 2019
  • Northwest Wind Symphony (Centralia, Wash.) (Rob Davis, conductor) – 19 January 2019
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Wind Symphony (Hunter Kopczynski, conductor) – 25 October 2018
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (George Vosburgh, conductor) – 29 September 2018
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Symphony (Jonathan Poquette, conductor) – 20 April 2018
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (William Wakefield, conductor) – 19 February 2018
  • Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (Jacksonville, Fla.) Wind Symphony (Ted Shistle, conductor) – 19 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Southern Division Conference, Charleston, S.C.)
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) - 14 May 2011

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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