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Simple Gifts (arr. Thurston)

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Robert Thurston

Folk song, arranged by Robert Thurston


General Info

Year: 1848 / 2017
Duration: c. 2:30
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Religious song
Publisher: Robert Thurston
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe
Bassoon
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-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Shaker
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Simple Gifts is a Shaker song written and composed in 1848, generally attributed to Elder Joseph Brackett from Alfred Shaker Village.

The tune was written in 1848. There are two conflicting narratives of Shaker origin as to the composer of the song. One account attributes the song to a "Negro spirit" heard at Canterbury, New Hampshire, which would make the song a "gift song" received by a Shaker from the spirit world. Alternatively, and more widely accepted, the song's composer is said to be Joseph Brackett (1797–1882) of Alfred, Maine. A lifelong resident of the state, he first joined the Shakers at Gorham when his father's farm helped to form the nucleus of a new Shaker settlement.

The song was largely unknown outside Shaker communities until Aaron Copland used its melody for the score of Martha Graham's ballet Appalachian Spring, first performed in 1944. (Shakers once worshipped on Holy Mount, in the Massachusetts portion of the Appalachians). Copland used Simple Gifts a second time in 1950 in his first set of Old American Songs for voice and piano, which was later orchestrated.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Media

(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor) - 23 May 2021
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Wind Ensemble (Brandon Meeks, conductor) - 23 February 2021


Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources