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Song of the Blacksmith, The

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Gustav Holst

Gustav Holst (arr. Timothy Loest)

Subtitle: From 'Second Suite in F,' 3rd Movement

General Info

Year: 1911 / 2011
Duration: c. 1:30
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $45.00   |   Score Only (print) - $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
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F
Trombone I-II
Percussion, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Movement III: Song of the Blacksmith. Again, Holst contrasts the slow second movement to the rather upbeat third movement which features the folk song "A Blacksmith Courted Me". The brass section plays in a pointillistic style depicting a later Holst style. There are many time signature changes (4/4 to 3/4) making the movement increasingly difficult because the brass section has all of their accompaniment on the up-beats of each measure. The upper-woodwinds and horns join on the melody around the body of the piece, and are accompanied with the sound of a blacksmith tempering metal with an anvil called for in the score. The final D major chord has a glorious, heavenly sound, which opens way to the final movement. This chord works so effectively perhaps because it is unexpected: the entire movement is in F major when the music suddenly moves to the major of the relative minor.

- Program Note by Imogen Holst

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Gustav Holst's Second Suite in F with this incredibly authentic, yet amazingly approachable arrangement of the third movement.

- Program Note from publisher

Dedicated to the 2011 Oregon Music Educators Association All-State Middle School Honor Band, Gene Burton, Coordinator.

- Program Note from score

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

  • Maryland: II


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