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Spoon River (arr Bainum)

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (arr. Bainum)


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Subtitle: An American Folk Dance


General Info

Year: 1929 / 1967 / 2009
Duration: c. 4:40
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Fiddle
Publisher: G. Schirmer, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $12.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano (optional)
Harp (optional)
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III

(percussion detail needed)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

A Captain Charles H. Robinson heard a tune called Spoon River played by a rustic fiddler at a country dance at Bradford, Illinois in 1857. When Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology appeared in 1914, Captain Robinson (then nearly 90 years old) was struck by the likeness of the two titles — and he sent the Spoon River tune to Masters, who passed it on to me.

The tune [is] very archaic in character; typically American, yet akin to certain Scottish and English dance-tune types. My setting (begun March 10, 1919; ended February 1, 1929) aims at preserving a pioneer blend of lonesome wistfulness and sturdy persistence. It bears the following dedication: “For Edgar Lee Masters, poet of pioneers.”

- Program Note by composer


Based on an early American fiddle tune, the melody is fully explored and developed in a variety of harmonizations and instrumental colors, and is particularly noteworthy for the extensive use of mallet percussion as well as important parts for piano and harp. This publication brings back the classic 1967 edition arranged for band by Glenn Cliffe Bainum.

- Program Note by publisher


Spoon River Anthology (1915), by Edgar Lee Masters, is a collection of short free-form poems that collectively narrates the epitaphs of the residents of Spoon River, a fictional small town named after the real Spoon River that ran near Masters' home town. The aim of the poems is to demystify the rural, small town American life.

Percy Grainger wrote his piano-centric Spoon River inspired by Spoon River Anthology and based on a preexisting fiddle tune called Spoon River, which has since been adapted for bands.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Captain Charles H. Robinson heard the American fiddle tune Spoon River at a country dance in Bradford, Illinois, in 1897. When Edgar Lee Masters published his Spoon River Anthology in 1914, Robinson was amazed by the similar titles. He sent the folk tune to Masters, who sent it to Grainger. Grainger composed Spoon River in 1922, first as a piano solo and later utilizing elastic scoring, which allowed it to be played by any combination of instrumentalists from three to full orchestra. A version for band was performed in 1933 by Edwin Franko Goldman, but it was never published and the parts were lost.

The version performed this evening was created by Glenn Cliffe Bainum in 1967. Throughout the work, the upbeat 16-measure American dance tune is fully explored and developed using varying harmonies, accompanimental textures, and shifting instrumental timbres. The use of harp, piano, and “tuneful percussion” (i.e. chimes, bells, xylophone, marimba) adds melodic and harmonic interest.

- Program Note from University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University Band concert program, 2 October 2018


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media


State Ratings

  • Kansas: IV
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Minnesota: I


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 7 December 2018
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Symphony Band (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) – 16 November 2018
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University Band (Carolina Perez, conductor) – 2 October 2018
  • University of Texas (Austin) Tower Concert Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 26 February 2017
  • Capitol Symphonic Winds (West Hartford, Conn.) (Gary Partridge, conductor) – 30 November 2016
  • Plano (Tex.) East High School Symphonic Band – Spring 2015


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources