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Parting Glass, The

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Matt Conaway

Traditional Ballad, arranged by Matt Conaway

General Info

Year: 2019
Duration: c. 4:55
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Folk Song
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $79.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.00


Full Score
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, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This haunting and beautiful setting of the traditional Irish farewell song The Parting Glass contains reflective solos, lush harmonies, and sensitively scored percussion all combine to create this soundscape of memories, loss, and hope.

This particular setting takes into account a parting that goes beyond the end of a typical night among friends; it recalls the post-Famine emigration of many rural Irish to find a new life in the United States. In some communities, family and friends held a wake for those leaving Ireland (called an “American wake” or “live wake”), for it was understood that they would likely never return. The second half of this setting includes some reel-like countermelodies that ultimately give way to a mournful final melodic statement that retreats to silence, as a ship slowly sailing out of sight into the western sky.

- Program Note from score

The Parting Glass is a Scottish traditional song, often sung at the end of a gathering of friends. It has also long been sung in Ireland, enjoying considerable popularity to this day and strongly influencing the style in which it is often now sung. It was purportedly the most popular parting song sung in Scotland before Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne.

The earliest known printed version was as a broadside in the 1770s and it first appeared in book form in Scots Songs by Herd. It was known at least as early as 1605, when a portion of the first stanza was written in a farewell letter, as a poem now known as Armstrong's Goodnight, by one of the Border Reivers executed that year for the murder in 1600 of Sir John Carmichael, Warden of the Scottish West March.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class BB
  • Texas: IV. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (Robert Calonico, conductor) - 18 September 2021

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