Suo Gan

From Wind Repertory Project
Larry Clark

Traditional Welsh lullaby, arranged by Larry Clark

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 4:35
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Folk Song
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00; (digital) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
Oboe (optional Flute II)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Suo Gan is a Welsh lullaby. It is a hauntingly beautiful folk song that has been set by many composers because of its pure and simplistic beauty. You may recognize this song from its use in movies and television. It was my goal to approach this song in a different manner than others and to bring out the lush nature of the song in various harmonic settings.

The song is a mother’s lullaby to her sleeping child. It speaks of the child’s look of content as they sleep in their mother’s arms. With this in mind, I set out to write a subtle treatment of this lovely song. It starts out with soft harmonies in the upper woodwinds with arpeggiation in the bells to set up the lush harmonies of the piece. The melody is then expressed the first time very simply with basic chords in the Horns and low clarinets. This is then expanded with a counter line in the flutes the second time. I then composed a transition section that serves as a bridge between statements of the melody to give the piece some variety.

This song’s sixteen-measure form is made up of simple four-measure phrases that can be outlined as AABA with the B-phrase being the climatic one. I took this idea and used my transitional section in place of some of the A-phrases at times. After the piece builds to a strong forte, the melody is stated in parallel seventh chords with the whole ensemble playing similar rhythms for a different harmonic twist. This is a nod to a technique used by Percy Grainger, who is well-known for his folk-song settings. The piece then builds to a climax fermata before dying down with a return to the opening material and the last phrase of the melody stated in the cello, followed by a short coda with lush harmonies to end the setting.

- Program Note by arranger

Suo Gân is a traditional Welsh lullaby written by an anonymous composer.

It was first recorded in print around 1800 and the lyrics were notably captured by the Welsh folklorist Robert Bryan (1858–1920). The song's title simply means lullaby (suo = lull; cân = song).

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class C
  • Florida: II
  • South Carolina: II
  • Wisconsin: Event 3000 Concert Band Grade C


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Middle School Ostrander Honor Band (Phillip Ostrander, conductor) - 27 January 2023
  • Hartt Harmony Winds (Hartford, Conn.) (Alan Francis, conductor) – 14 May 2017
  • Hong Kong International School Symphonic Winds – Spring 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works