A Source Guide to the Music of Percy Grainger
by Thomas P. Lewis

Selected Chapters


Table of Contents to Source Guide
1. Biographical/Artistic Vignettes
4. Program Notes

4. PROGRAM NOTES, continued




Youthful Tone Works No. 3

"They Were Three Friends is the third 'Youthful Tone Work' from 1899 [See also Fisher's Boarding House (1) and We Were Dreamers (2). (Ed.)] though the theme may have been written a year earlier. It is based on Kipling's Northern Ballad:

There were three friends that buried the fourth
The mould in his mouth and the dust in his eyes
And they went south and east and north
The strong man fights but the sick man dies.

There were three friends that spoke of the dead
The strong man fights but the sick man dies
"And would he were here with us now" they said
"The sun in our face and the wind in our eyes"
"The scoring is for 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns and strings. The strings open with a strong, defiant theme which is answered by the flutes and clarinets. This is followed by an angular melody on the horns in which the intervals of 4ths, 5ths and octaves figure prominently. This second theme also appears in Fisher's Boarding House."--John Hopkins (Orchestral 3).

THE THREE RAVENS--chorus & instrument(s)

British Folk-Music Settings 41

Grainger: "Old English Song set for baritone solo and mixed chorus accompanied by 5 Bb Clarinets (or accompanied by Flute and 4 Clarinets; or by 5 other Wood-winds; or by Harmonium or Reed Organ or Pipe or Electric Organ). Set Ju ly 8-10, 1902.

"For my dear friend and tone-fellow, H. Balfour Gardiner."

"[Headnote:] Quietly flowing."

Additional notes (1949): "My setting of the old melody was made to a modernised version of the original text by Sir Harold Boulton--the original text being then (1902) unknown to me. In the present publication [Edition for man's middle voice (baritone solo), 2 women's voices, 3 men's voices and piano (for practice only), publ. by Schott & Co., 1950. (Ed.)] the original text is used throughout. But in three places (bars 41-45, 59-63, 75-79) Sir Harold Boulton's modernised text is printed (by kind p ermission of J. B. Cramer & Co. Ltd., London, England) in italics below the original text--at points where my music may be deemed to reflect the gentler mood of Sir Harold Boulton's version of the words. Here conductors may choose between the two forms of the text. Words within square brackets have been added by me to the original text to fit the rhythms of my setting where these rhythms (which were, of course, moulded on those of Sir Harold Boulton's modernised text) differ from those of the original text."

TIGER-TIGER--piano solo

"Tiger-tiger began life as a choral setting of a text from Kipling's Jungle Book (not, as one might infer from the title, the more famous Blake poem!).

What of the hunting, hunter bold?
Brother, the watch was long and cold.
What of the quarry ye went to kill?
Brother, he crops in the jungle still.
Where is the power that made your pride?
Brother, it ebbs from my flank and side.
What is the haste that ye hurry by?
Brother, I go to my lair to die!"

--John Pickard (Piano 4).


Version for orchestra

Grainger: "Program-Note. Now and then in Scandinavia may be met a Nordic type of womanhood, half-boyish yet wholly womanly, whose soft flawless loveliness is like that of a fairy-tale princess; whose wondrous radiance makes real for us the sun goddesses of the nature-myths; whose broad shoulders, amazon limbs, fearless glance, and freedom of deed and bearing recall the viking chieftainesses of the sagas; whose cornfield hair and cornflower eyes awaken throughts of the silent fruitfulness of the soil and of the lowly lives of land-tillers; whose graceful ease in riming, painting, singing, dancing, swimming, is the all-life-embracing giftedness of an unspoiled nature-race.

"Such an uncrowned princess may be found in castle or cottage, in town or country-side, amongst high-born or low-born alike; for hers is bed-rock aristocraticness of race, not mere top-layer aristocraticness of class, culture, and breeding. To meet her is to have all one's boyhood fairy-dreams and hero-dreams come true.

"Such a one is my sweet wife-to-be--Ella Viola Ström--and to her this bridal song is offered as a wedding-gift and fondly honor-tokened in pride of race and personal love. (Coatesville, Pa., U.S.A., Jan. 16, 1928.)"

"For solo instruments, then full orchestra with organ....

"Percy Grainger married Ella Viola Ström in a short ceremony following a concert on August 9, 1928, at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles. Percy, conducting an orchestra of 126 musicians, concluded the programme with this work and the wedding took place on the stage in front of many thousands of people attending the concert. "The work is in effect a lengthy 'ramble' commencing with solo instruments and later rising to great climaxes, using full orchestra with organ."--John Hopkins (Orchestral 2).

Version for piano solo

Grainger: "Loving wedding-gift to Ella Viola Ström, my sweet wife-to-be. Bridal Song for Orchestra (Pipe Organ at will) dished-up for piano, 2 hands. Tone-wrought (composed), Jan. 21, 1927-Feb. 25, 1928. Dished-up for piano, 2 hands, Nov . 1928. This piano setting is 99 bars shorterd than the full form of the work for orchestra. It begins at the hundredth bar of the orchestral version. "[Headnote:] Fairly slowly flowingly." "To a Nordic Princess was finished in 1928 and first performed in its original orchestral version on 9 August of that year at the Hollywood bowl before an audience of over 15,000. A central feature of the evening was the wedding, on stage, of Grainger and Ella Viola Ström. This `Bridal Song,' dedicated to her, concluded the concert. Its voluptuous, almost decadent, chromaticism is reflected in Grainger's rather eyebrow-raising programme-note reproduced in the score [see above]."--John Pickard (Piano 1).


Version for 3 (or any multiple of 3) pianos (1927-28)

[See edition published by G. Schirmer, Inc., 1940, which includes the following note: "Excerpt from Grainger's Bach for Keyboard Team-work. Arranged for 3 (or any multiple of 3) pianos (suitable for massed pianos). Arrangement begun around 1927, ended Sept., 1938. [Headnote:] Allegro moderato (calmly flowing)." (Ed.)]

Grainger (May 1938): "FOREWORD. THE METHOD OF ARRANGEMENT. There is nothing personal or original about this arrangement of the F major Toccata. It is, rather, a sample of a normal way to transfer to 3 pianos any lively or fairly lively 3-voice, or mainly 3-voice, composition by Bach or other polyphonic composer--allotting to each of the 3 piano parts one voice of the original.

"Amateurs, piano teachers, piano students & organisers of massed piano programs need not wait for the appearance of 'arrangements' like this one, but can easily make their own arrangements along these and kindred lines, using the oridinary printed edi tions of Bach's compositions for harpsichord, clavichord and organ. It is a good musical exercise for 3 pianists (or massed pianists) to extract each their own part from the 3-voice weft of the original score; it takes but little practise and greatly deve lops score-mindedness. The compositions of Bach amenable to this treatment are legion. I here list but a few of them easily found in his harpsichord and clavichord works:

In The Well-Tempered Clavier: All 3-voice Fugues (but especially Nos. II, XV, XIX in Book I; Nos. IV, VI, XII, XVIII, XX in Book II) & the following Preludes in Book II: Nos. V, XIV, XIX, XXII.

The Fugue of the Chromatic Fantasia & FugueQUOTE 2 = Prelude & Fugue in A Minor for Harpsichord (usually published between the Italian Concerto & the Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue). (The Prelude should be played by a single pianist.)

In the English Suites: Prelude & Gigue from No. III; Passepieds I & II from No. IV; Gigue from No. VI.

In the French Suites: Gigues from Nos. IV & V.

Gigue from Partita III.

Most of the 3-voice Inventions.

"Where a prelude that is not suitable to 3-piano treatment is followed by a fugue that is suitable to 3-piano treatment it is often advisable to have the prelude played by a single pianist and the fugue played by 3, or more, or massed, pianos. Such a procedure brings tonal variety into piano team-work programs. [Grainger has stressed elsewhere that the massing of pianos does not increase the volume so much as it deepens or enriches the tone. (Ed.)]

"Nothing can give a more misleading impression of Bach's organ & harpsichord music than to play it on the modern piano (especially in large rooms or halls) as it appears in the original scores--sounding single notes on the piano where single notes appear in the score & making no provision for the sparkling or enriched effects produced on the organ & harpsichord by means of the octave couplers. (It may be argued that much of Bach's keyboard music was written for the clavichord & that the clavichord was as barren of octave couplers as the modern piano. But the clavichord was not used in places anything like the size of our concert halls. In Bach's time the wont was to play clavichord compositions on the harpsichord when they were performed in large rooms or halls. So clavichord sonorities should not enter our consideration of concert performances of Bach's keyboard works.)

"In the present type of arrangement (the method of which may be readily understood if this copy be compared with the edition for organ) the coupler possibilities of the organ & harpsichord (the ability, on those instruments, to add upper & lower octaves to what one is playing merely by drawing the octave coupler stops) are tallied by often adding one, 2 & 3 octave doublings to the single notes that appear in the original score. (This is, of course, easy where only one voice is allotted to each piano, but is impossible when a single pianist plays 3-voice music.) Separation of a 'coupled' voice 1, 2, 3, 4 or more octaves apart is a device lending to piano sonorities an equivalent to the variety of tone-color contrasts native to the organ & harpsichord. This method may be especially studied in measure 83-137, 270-290, 332-352 of the present arrangement.

"As Bach provided no expression marks for the Toccata my expression marks are offered merely as tentative suggestions and all groups playing this arrangement, or conductors conducting it, are invited to work out their own sound-strengths & other inter pretative details. It is possible that many loud explosive chords (such as those occurring in measures 204-216, 318-331, for instance) that appear in my arrangement as quarter-notes (in conformity with Bach's original) might sound brighter and better if played like short (staccato) eighth-notes. Maybe such shortening of quarter-note values should be applied also to many quarter-notes ending phrases--for instance in measures 176, 184, 188, 192, 204, etc. In this connection it should be noted that Bach ends his typical & constantly recurring 3-chord phrase with an eighth-note the first time it appears (measures 81-82), but at all other times (measures 203-204, for instance) ends it with a quarter-note. In my opinion all such final chords & endings of bas s phrases should be eighth-notes throughout (in line with Bach's notation of measures 81-82) with the possible exception of measure 388 & the final chord of the piece.

"ONE OR TWO PIANISTS AT EACH PIANO OPTIONAL. Each piano part of this arrangement may be played either by one or by 2 pianists--by one player if he is strong & skulful & can negotiate octaves effortlessly; by 2 pianists if they are less resou rceful or have trouble with octaves (young players with small hands, for instance). Learning to divide up into 2 hands passages printed for one hand helps to de-conventionalize the mind & habits of the average piano student, who is too apt to play unquest ioningly just what he sees in print, but who should be encouraged to adapt all passages to fit his individual hands & individual style of playing. When thus divided up heavy octave passages may be played with the 3rd finger (only), or with 'bunched' finge rs, in each hand, rather than 'fingered out' in the conventional way. (The 'fingered' method does not give enough power.)

"HINTS FOR MASSED PIANO PERFORMANCES. In massed piano performances it is advisable to place each advanced pianist alone at a piano & less advanced pianists in pairs at a piano.

"Even when playing by heart the most experienced pianist finds it hard enough to unfailingly follow a conductor's beat--especially in passages where the hands jump about on the keyboard & need eye-control. It is wellnigh impossible for a pianist to look at his music & follow a conductor's beat at the same time. So it is unreasonable to expect massed pianists to follow a conductor satisfactorily unless they are controlled by beat-counters. A beat-counter should stand or sit by each piano, tur ning the music, keeping his eye on the conductor and his mouth near the ear of the pianist (or pianists), counting aloud in strict accord with the conductor's every beat--softly as long as his piano happens to play exactly together with the beat, but l ouder as soon as the least rhythmic discrepancy arises & at all spots dangerous from a team-work standpoint (slowings-up, quickenings, holds, speed-changes & the like). The use of beat-counters has this further gain, that it draws more music-lovers into habits of musical team-work. [This parenthesis is very typical of Grainger's approach to music generally, which is never to exclude but is always to invite participation. (Ed.)]

"With massed pianos it is even more wish-worthy than it is in team-work by single pianists to use the damper pedal warily. In the case of short (staccato) loud chords (as in measures 424-436 of this arrangement) the damper pedal may be put down just before playing the chord and lifted quickly just while playing it, thereby lending to the chord-sound an explosive quality very telling in massed work.

"In massed piano playing you need never be afraid of playing loud passages too loudly. Pianists who can play REALLY LOUD are always rarities & in massed playing sonorities always err on the side of over-mellowness. Massed piano team-work should be used as a means of inducing tonal extremes in pianists. As the production of an unrelieved mf is the greatest danger in massed piano performances, violent tonal extremes should be wooed at all costs--partly because their sharpness tends, in the nature of things, to become blunted in large groups & in large halls."

Version for piano solo (1950)

"Grainger arranged and transcribed many of the works of J.S. Bach. The D Minor Toccata and Fugue, an early Bach work, was a particular favorite of Grainger which he performed frequently. The version used [in the Selma Epstein] recording consists of excerpts from the Busoni and Tausig arrangements interspersed with Grainger's own editing."--Selma Epstein (Epstein 1).

"The 'Concert version' of Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is itself based on transcriptions by Carl Tausig and Ferrucio Busoni. The somewhat chaotic manuscript (rather like that of the arrangement of the A minor fugue from the '48) is literally a scissors and paste amalgamation of what Grainger considered to be the best sections of the two arrangements with the addition of his own alterations. The result is rather difficult to read and was clearly intended for Grainger's ow n use in piano recitals. Nevertheless, it is an impressive piece of work managing as it does to convey the illusion of organ sonority in pianistic terms whilst remaining faithful to the substance of Bach's original."--John Pickard (Piano 4).


"A prededessor to his Free Music, Grainger's Train Music [is] a study in constantly changing rhythms. It was inspired by the irregular rhythms of a very jerky Italian train that he took going from Genoa to San Remo in 1900. As yet unperformed [1972], Train Music would, in its original, enormous scoring, surely create an immense effect comparable to Honegger's Pacific 231, composed twenty-two years later."--Margaret Hee-Leng Tan.

TRIBUTE TO FOSTER--solo voices, chorus & orchestra

Grainger: ""A study in 'musical glasses' effect based upon Stephen Foster's Camptown Races (also called Doodah). For 6 single voices, mixed chorus, men's voices behind platform, musical glasses & bowls, bowed metal marimba, piano solo and orchestra (or 2nd piano). Begun in the spring of 1913. Piano piece [Lullaby, below] worked out summer of 1915 in New York City. Loving birthday-gifts for mother, July 3d, 1914, and July 3d, 1916."

"One of my earliest musical recollections is that of my mother singing me to sleep with Stephen Foster's song Camptown Races (Doodah).


"In the spring of 1913 I began a composition for solo voices, chorus and orchestra based on this entrancing ditty, entitled Tribute to Foster, in which I wished to give musical expression to these Australian memories and to my ever-increasing l ove and reverence for this great American genius--one of the most tender, touching and subtle melodists and poets of all time; a mystic dreamer no less than a whimsical humorist. It is, maybe, only natural that I should instinctively think of Camptown Races both as a dance-song and as a lullaby, and at the beginning and end of my above-mentioned choral composition the tune is heard in its original lively character, while in the middle of the work is interposed a 'lullaby' section mirroring a mood awakened by memories of my mother's singing, in which the Foster tune is treated very freely indeed, and in which solo strings, piano, harp, celesta, glockenspiel, Deagan steel marimbaphone or Hawkes' resonaphone (played with bows), Deagan wooden marimbaphone (played with bows), and a large army of wineglasses and glass bowls of greatly varying sizes and pitches (their rims rubbed by wet fingers) accompany six solo voices that sing the following verses of my own:

In Pittsburgh town a man did dwell;
(Doodah! Doodah!)
His name was Foster as I've heard tell.
Oh! Doodah day!)

Foster's dead and gone away;
(Doodah! Doodah!)
His songs dey lib for eber an' aye.
Oh! Doodah day!)

Gwine to still be sung
As long as de worl's heart's young.

Foster's songs weren't Darkie quite;
Yet neither were they merely 'white'.
Foster's songs dey make you cry;
Bring de tear-drop to yo' eye.

Deze songs dey trabble de worl' around'
At las' dey come to Adelaide town.
When I was young on my mummy's knee
She sang dat race course song to me.

Sang it to me sweet as a lullaby;
Hear dat song till de day I die.

"The piano piece [Lullaby from 'Tribute to Foster', below] is a free paraphrase of the lullaby section, and sets out to reflect, in its twiddly filigree work, something of the almost mesmeric quality of the sound of the 'musical glasses' and Deagan instruments."

"The full resources of a large symphony orchestra with a vast 'tuneful percussion' section, solo pianist, five solo singers and mixed chorus were insufficient to embrace all Grainger wanted to say in this 9 minute piece. He added further dimensions and colours by the strings of the orchestra bowing a special metal marimba and the chorus playing tuned musical glasses and bowls in the middle, lullaby section. Spatial effects are gained at the end of the work by using 2 additional conductors to direct separate groups of musicians offstage. These include a trumpet, clarinet and bass clarinet playing the second theme from The lonely desert man sees the tents of the happy tribes [above] at one speed whilst a side-drum at another speed imitates the clickety-clack of a train disappearing into the distance. At one point the audience is invited to 'sing along with the chorus' and this was done in the concert performance [recorded by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for EMI Australia's The Orchestral Works of Percy Grainger, Volume 4].

"After the middle section, in which the five solo voices sing the freely treated Stephen Foster tune, the opening tempo returns and some doggerel verses of Grainger's own composing are sung.

"Tribute to Foster was begun in the Spring of 1913 and completed in time to be a birthday gift to his mother in 1914. The final scoring which was very similar to the original sketch-scoring was not completed until 1931."--John Hopkins (Orchestra 4).

Lullaby for piano solo

[Edition published by Schott & Co., 1917. (Ed.)]

Grainger: "[Headnote:] Slowly flowing: very wayward in time.

"HINTS TO PERFORMERS. To reproduce upon the piano something of the mesmeric charm of 'musical glasses' and bowed Deagan steel and wooden marimbaphones (or Hawkes' resonaphone) the repeated fluttering figures should be played very evenly and with legato pedaling, so as to give an unbroken rhythm-less flow of singing sound. Do not try to make each repeating note come out distinctly in such passages as


on the contrary, try and get a rich blur of pedalled sound, with no individual note sticking out; no separate blow of the hammer clearly heard. Likewise


should be sounded as a quickly prattling rush of indistinctly-heard notes, not like clean clear passage work.

"You need not play the joins between the various sections of florid passages note for note as they stand, nor need you follow this copy implicitly as to the exact rhythmic relation between your right and left hands. For instance,


"The speed of the passage-work should vary slightly from moment to moment at the discretion of the player, and both hands should play very waywardly as to time, and quicken and slacken independently of each other. Thus the speed of the f luttering right hand arabesques may be greatened at the same time that the left hand is slowing off, or the left hand quicken while the right slackens.

"This Lullaby is a sound-study to be solved by each player individualisticly in his or her own way, with plenty of freedom as to expression marks (those printed should be taken merely as hints), swells (<>) and treatment of the twiddly passage-work. This copy is noted down by me from a Duo-Art Pianola record of an actual hand-played performance by me, thereby preserving, as it were photographicaly, all the rhythmic irregularities of an individual rendering, and is not intended to be followed slavishly, note for note, by other players."

"In his childhood, Grainger's mother would sing him the songs of Stephen C. Foster--'This exquisite American genius--one of the most tender, touching and subtle melodists and poets of all time; a mystic dreamer no less than a whimsical humorist.' In 1913, Grainger began a vocal and orchestral composition which at its final scoring of 1931 he entitled Tribute to Foster. Employing Foster's 'Camptown (or Campton) Races', he whirls the listener off into a romp of festive boysterousness. In the middle of the composition, however, is a section which suggests a backward glance at his own unhappy childhood with his mother bringing solace by her singing 'Camptown Races' as a lullaby. The piano arrangement of this nostalgic section was ma de in 1915."--John Bird (Adni).

"The still centre of the Tribute to Foster is [this] lullaby which Grainger transcribed with great care for solo piano from an improvised version which he had made on a Duo-Art pianola roll in 1917--thereby reversing the normal com positional process of writing down and then performing. [Grainger's associating of the tune] with his mother who apparently used to sing him to sleep with the melody as a child... explains the intimacy and dreamlike quality of the music--a quality emph asised in the choral and orchestral version by the bold imaginative stroke of having the chorus play musical wine-glasses, tuned to a chord of F-sharp major throughout this section. Something of the magical sound world is reflected in the piano version wh ich makes extensive use of the tremolando or `woggle' described [in our notes to Love Walked In, above]."--John Pickard (Piano 2).

TUSCAN SERENADE (Gabriel Fauré)--concert band

"Grainger was fond of the music of his French contemporaries Ravel and Debussy, both of whom he met, and whose piano music he often transcribed. He also held a special admiration for Gabriel Fauré. When Grainger performed his own English Dance for the senior composer, Fauré exclaimed upon its conclusion, 'It's as if the whole country were a-dancing!' Grainger later included outstanding piano transcriptions of Fauré's songs Après un rêve and Nell [See notes above. (Ed.)] into his Free Settings of Favorite Melodies. Thus, it is not surprising that he chose to transcribe one of Fauré's songs for band. La serenade Toscane, Op. 3 No. 2, an early Fauré work dating from 1865, is set to the words of Romain Bussine . The transcription as Tuscan Serenade was completed at Interlochen. Keith Brion has described it as 'a Franco/Italian cowboy tune, scored in the manner of Grofé's "On the Trail" from the Grand Canyon Suite. The Fauré song is played as a euphonium solo by horsey accompaniment in tuneful percussion.'"--Dana Perna (Michigan).

THE TWA CORBIES [The Two Ravens]--voice and instruments

[Edition for voice & piano published by G. Schirmer, 1924. (Ed.)]

Grainger: "For my dear friend Roger Quilter. Scotch folk-poem from Sir Walter Scott's The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, set for a man's voice (high middle) and 7 strings (2 violins, 2 violas, 2 'cellos, 1 double-bass). Composed F eb. 25-28, 1903, London. Scored Nov. 24, 1909, London. No musical material of a traditional origin is used in this composition.

"[Headnote:] Slowly."

"This is one of Grainger's very few original settings using no folk material other than the words. Grainger may have first come across it in the Songs of the North which Karl Klimsch showed him during his student days at Frankfurt. Th e song is included, with music by Malcolm Lawson, in the first volume of Songs of the North, from which Grainger made 14 settings in June/July 1900. He sketched a 'bad setting of The Twa Corbies' in his Sixpenny Music Box (which is no w in the Grainger Museum, MG3/83). The sketch occupies the first three pages of the book and is for voice and solo strings, the latter being written on two staves. He evidently thought better of the setting later, scoring it for strings on 24 November 190 9. It was published by Schirmer in the fall of 1924.

"There are also (undated) manuscript transcriptions one tone lower. A version in this lower key (F minor) for voice and piano is in the National Library of Scotland and string parts are in the Grainger Museum (MG3/95-4: 1 to 7)."--David Tall (S ongs).

UNDER EN BRO (UNDER A BRIDGE)--contralto, baritone & orchestra

Danish Folk-Music Settings No. 12

"Under en Bro was originally planned as a wedding gift to his wife but not completed until 18 years later in 1946 when on a ship off the coast of Scotland. Grainger had gathered the tune in Jutland in 1922 and retained the impatient r estlessness of the two lovers who at first taunt each other with references to their other lovers until the man says 'It's you with whom I'll live and it's you with whom I'll live and it's you with whom I'll die, it's you with whom my wedding shall be holden' and the piece ends with a 'gamelan' sound of marimbas and xylophones, piano, strings, and a few wind instruments."--John Hopkins (Orchestral 1).


LA VALLÉE DES CLOCHES (Maurice Ravel)--arr. for orchestra

"Grainger's fascination with 'tuneful percussion' dates back to his visit to the Paris exhibition of 1900 where he first heard the gamelan percussion instruments from Indonesia. It will be recalled that this same occasion inspired Debussy to write Pagodes for piano solo--a work Grainger transferred back to large tuneful percussion ensemble years later. La Valée des Cloches is another such arrangement of a piano piece by Ravel. The tuneful percussion includes wooden and metal marimbas, harp, piano (played inside with marimba sticks by two players), celeste, dulcitone, staff bells, chimes and gong. To this is added the string section of the orchestra."--John Hopkins (Orchestral 1).


Version for Wind Five-some

Room-Music Tit-bits No. 3

"'Walking Tune' for Wind Five-some (no quintets here please!) is based on a little tune Grainger hummed to himself as an accompaniment to his tramping feet on a three days' walk in the Scottish Highlands in 1900."--John Bird (Rambles).

Version for piano duet (2 pianists at 1 piano).

Grainger: "Originally composed for wind 5-some, 1904. Dished-up for piano solo, 1911. Dished-up for The Easy Grainger, (piano duets) 1939.

"I composed the little tune on which this piece is based as a whistling accompaniment to my tramping feet while on a three day's walk in Western Argyleshire (Scottish Highlands) in the summer of 1900. At that time--I had just turned 18--I was de eply in love with thoughts of the Celtic world. I had already made settings of several Scottish, Irish & Welsh folksongs. So I was delighted to find that most of the older folk in the glens of Western Argyle spoke only or mainly Gaelic--tho most of the children spoke both Gaelic & English. It was in this pro-Celtic mood that I worked up my walking tune into the Walking Tune for wind 5-some in 1904. In ending the composition with the mild discord G, D, B, E, G I was repeating the formula first us ed at the end of my orchestral Rustic Dance, composed 1899 (now part of my Youthful Suite for orchestra). [Archivist Stewart Manville notes that on another, presumably earlier sheet for The Easy Grainger headed Walking Tune, this sentence reads: "In ending the piece with the chord G, D, B, E, G I was repeating the procedure I had inaugurated in the close of my partsong At Twilight, (which is in this collection)." (Ed.)] In 1899 this was a drastic innovation. But the tonic triad with the sixth of the scale added has since become the expectable ending of thousands of orchestrations of popular music.

"[Headnote:] Gently flowing."

Version for wind-choir of symphony orchestra

Dana Perna: "The materials from which this edition was prepared came from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Library. These materials were all in Grainger's hand with the exception of a few parts which appear to have been copied out by someone else. Tha nks must further be extended to Philip Feo for his help in copying the Chicago materials. Another copy of Grainger's autograph score was supplied by Barry Peter Ould of the Percy Grainger Society in Great Britain.

"The parts for this edition derive from the engraved set which can be found for Lawrence Daehn's full concert band arrangement [below] of Walking Tune. These parts have been adjusted to correspond with the edited score of Grainger's original sc oring. Grateful thanks is extended to Mr. Daehn for his having granted permission to use his parts for this edition."

Version for full concert band (ed. Larry D. Daehn)

Larry D. Daehn: "Various existing Walking Tune manuscript fragments (Grainger's 'sound trials') for families of clarinets and saxophone, flutes, oboes, bass oboe, and horns, dating from as early as 1918, suggest that Grainger planned to score i t for a larger wind group [than the 'wind five-some' specified above]. So, in 1940, when Eugene Goossens suggested that Grainger might score Walking Tune for the winds of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, he probably eagerly accepted the commission.

"Grainger completed the symphonic wind arrangement during a round-trip train ride between New York City and Birmingham, Alabama, October 7-13, 1940. His setting 'for the Wind-Choir of the Symphony Orchestra' was scored for the following instruments:

Piccolo, Two Flutes, Two Oboes, English Horn, Two Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Two Bassoons, Contrabassoon, Four Horns, Three Trumpets, Three Trombones, Tuba, and Double-Bass.

"Walking Tune was premiered by the winds of the Cincinnati Symphony on November 1, 1940 and was very well received by the audience and press, though it was never published. Like many other lovely Grainger manuscripts, this setting of Walking Tune became neglected and 'lost'.

"In making this arrangement, I did not change any of Grainger's original instrumentation; I augmented his scoring for concert band or wind ensemble. The conductor has the following performance options:

1) Walking Tune may be performed just as Grainger scored it, using only the above-named instruments, without cues.

2) Walking Tune may be performed by full concert band, using all of the parts.

3) Walking Tune may be performed with various combinations at the discretion of the conductor; using or omitting cues, doubling or singling parts, etc. etc....

"Special thanks to Stewart Manville, White Plains, N.Y. (International Grainger Society) and the Grainger Museum of Melbourne, Australia for their assistance with this publication--and to Dr. Richard E. Strange and the Arizona State University Wind Ensemble for their fine premiere performance of this setting."


Version for orchestra (with 3 or more pianos)

Grainger: ""For Frederick Delius, in admiration and affection. Begun Dec. 1913, in London. Ended Dec. 22, 1916, in San Francisco.

"The Warriors, which is dedicated to Frederick Delius, was begun in London in December of 1913 and ended in San Francisco in December 1916, the bulk of it beging composed in London and New York.

"No definite program or plot underlines the music, though certain mind pictures set it going. Often the scenes of a ballet have flitted before the eyes of my imagination in which the ghosts of male and female warrior types of all times and places are spirited together for an orgy of war-like dances, processions and merry-makings broken, or accompanied, by amorous interludes, their frolics tinged with just that faint suspicion of wistfulness all holiday gladness wears. I see the action of the ballet shot thru, again and again, with the surging onslaughts of good-humoredly mischievous revellers who carry all before them in the pursuit of voluptuous pleasures. At times the lovemakers close at hand hear from afar the proud passages of harnessed fighting-m en, and for the final picture I like to think of them all lining up together in brotherly fellowship and wholesale animal glee; all bitter and vengeful memories vanished, all hardships forgot, a sort of Valhalla gathering of childishly overbearing and arr ogant savage men and women of all the ages,--the old Greek heroes with fluttering horse-haired helms, shining black Zulus, their perfect limbs lit with fire-red blossoms, flaxen-haired Vikings clad in scarlet and sky-blue, lithe bright Amazons in winds wept garments side by side with squat Greenland women in ornately patterned furs, Red Indians resplendent in bead-heavy dresses and negrito Fijians terrible with sharks' teeth ornaments, their woolly hair dyed pale ochre with lime, graceful cannibal Polynesians of both sexes, their golden skins wreathed with flowers and winding tendrils,--these and all the rest arm in arm in a united show of gay and innocent pride and animal spirits, fierce and exultant.

"ANALYSIS. Fifteen distinct themes and motivs (none of them of a traditional or popular origin, and none of them used as 'leit-motivs' or with any 'program-music' significance of any kind) occur during the eighteen minutes duration of the work, in which, though cast in one continuous movement, the following divisions of mood and tempo are clearly marked and easily traced:

"1. Fast. Martial or dance-like in character.

"2. Slow and langorous.

"3. Fast. Begins in the dance spirit but gradually becomes broader and more 'flowing' in style. In this section most of the thematic material of the entire work is subjected to varius kinds of treatment and development.

"4. Slow pastoral melody on the [heckelphone or] bass oboe [an instrument also used by Richard Strauss in several works], accompanied by tremolo of muted strings and by a staccato organ-point consisting of harp harmonics and piano strings struck by ma rimba mallets. [This is one section where more than one conductor is suggested, as the various sections play in different tempos.] "5. Slow langorous music (similar to section 2), on the platform. At the same time snatches of quick martial music are faintly heard from behind the platform [played by an off-stage band conducted by the third conductor].

"6. Dance orgy, beginning very gently but working up to a high pitch of commotion and excitement. During this section (as also in section 8), there is considerable 'double-chording'--different instrumental groups simultaneously playing different chord passages that pass thru, above and below each other and are harmonically independent of each other.

"7. Climax. The chief theme of the composition is given forth slowly and majestically by the full orchestra.

"8. [A short coda:] the dance orgy is resumed with vigor, but is broken off suddenly while at its height, whereupon the work ends with an abrupt anticlimax."

"The Warriors is perhaps the first important, groundbreaking composition to have been produced by an Australian-born composer....

"The large percussion section, along with the pianos and harp, are intended to form a distinct group able to hold its own in tonal strength with the woodwinds, brass, or strings. It bears some resemblance to a gamelan orchestra and often sounds very s imilar in effects used in present day minimalist music by composers such as John Adams and Philip Glass. Grainger specifically indicates that the three piano parts are intended for exceptionally strong and vigorous players;

if players of sufficient strength are not available, the conductor should not hesitate to double or triple each piano part--using up to nine pianos!

"Fifteen distinct themes and motives are presented during the course of the piece (Grainger assures us that they are all original) and, although the work is cast in one continuous movement, the composer has [eight distinct] divisions of mood and tempo [see composer's notes, above]."--David E. Gruender (Albany) & Dana Perna (Chicago).

"Grainger's The Warriors is the grandest essay by our century's most endearing musical eccentric. Its rumbustiously diffuse 20 minutes contain enough pioneering ideas to have earned comparisons with the most radical scores of Charles Ives, though the overall impression is of bright, tuneful energy rather than experimental grittiness. The stage of Orchestral Hall [in Chicago for the January 5, 6, 7 and 9 1990 performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the Australian conducto r Stuart Challender,] had to be extended to accommodate forces including three grand pianos and a virtual orchestra-within-an-orchestra that evoked the sonorities of an Indonesian gamelan ensemble. Two other groups, on and off-stage, performed at differen t speeds from the rest of the players, and at one point the xylophonist even improvised--quite a novelty from a score completed in 1916. Grainger's biography John Bird cites an earlier Chicago performance with 30 pianists playing 19 pianos, though Thur sday's aggregation was ample enough.~"--Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune.

"Let me say a word regarding The Warriors' 'hidden agenda'. According to what Percy told Ella [Grainger], at the time he wrote the curiously benign programme note appearing in his pub-lished score, anti-war sentiment could (and undoub tedly would) have been considered treasonable. Yet this music, much of it intentionally brutal, constitutes perhaps the most devastating indictment in artistic creation of armed conflict and the wasting of young lives. (Picasso's Guernica deals wit h a separate aspect thereof). Composed during the First World War era, it places in contrast the desolation of deserted battlefields against a blatant militaristic hubris that reasserts itself at the conclusion, the humanitarian plea trampled and forgotte n."--Stewart Manville.

"In 1912 Sir Thomas Beecham asked Percy Grainger to write a ballet for the Diaghilev Company, but whilst the commission did not proceed it did not prevent Grainger from embarking on his largest piece of continuous music--The Warriors< 196>Music to an Imaginary Ballet. During the space of 20 minutes vast forces are used. The large orchestra includes a heckelphone or bass oboe which has a prominent solo part in the slow middle section. This melody was also used by Grainger in The lonely desert man sees the tents of the happy tribes [above]. The normal percussion section is increased greatly by the addition of many 'tuneful' instruments--xylophone, glockenspiel, vibraphone, bells, marimba, celeste--as well as a minimum of three grand pianos which are played with marimba sticks at times. Two assistant conductors are needed to direct the groups of musicians on stage and offstage who are required to play at different speeds to the rest of the orchestra. Grainger adds a note t o conductors of the score saying that the offstage music by brass instruments can be left out if desired. Whilst this may not sound so unusual today, it certainly did in 1917. The work has enormous energy and graphically conveys the impression in Grainger 's mind of 'an orgy of war-like dances, processions and merry-making, broken or accompanied by amorous interludes'.

"At times the contrapuntal devices push one tune against another with a drive similar to the rough-hewn counter melodies in Berlioz' music. Towards the end of the work Grainger writes fortissimo 4-note chordal passages for the xylophone with an instru ction on the part: 'The actual notes do not matter; anything of this sort will do equally well.' The task of writing The Warriors (which was dedicated to Frederick Delius) occupied Grainger for several years and clearly he was endeavouring to stret ch the bounds of current orchestral writing."--John Hopkins (Orchestral 5).

Version for 2 pianos (6 hands), 3 trumpets, 3 horns, 2 trombones & tuba

[See also edition "dished up by the composer for 2 pianos, 6 hands, spring, 1922. (1st pianist at 1st piano, 2nd and 3rd pianists at 2nd piano)"; published by B. Scott's Söhne (Mainz), Schott & Co. (London), G. Schirmer Inc. (New York). (Ed.)]

"After meeting in 1907, Grainger and Frederick Delius formed a close friendship that lasted until Delius' death. It was through this association that Grainger became acquainted with Thomas Beecham who, in 1912, commissioned the Austra-lian to write a ballet score. The work was completed by the end of 1916. However, the outbreak of a world war had caused Grainger to leave Europe and settle in America, a move which spoiled plans for the ballet's performance. As a choreography was not forthcoming, Graing er eventually gave his composition the title The Warriors--Music to an Imaginary Ballet, and dedicated it to Delius. In this, his most controversial work (which originally demanded a colossal orchestra) he attempted to break some of the rigidity of the bar-line by such means as staggering his themes in canonic fashion, sounding two or more harmonically independent chordal passages simultaneously, or notably, in the case of the off-stage brass, dispensing with synchronization entirely."--D avid Stanhope (Piano 3).


Kipling Settings Nr. 2

Grainger: "For mixed chorus, brass and strings (the strings can be done without at will). [Edition published by Schott & Co., 1911. (Ed.)] From 'The Song of the Dead' in A Song of the English [by] Rudyard Kipling. Begun: San Remo, ab out 24,2,1900. Ended: London, 1,7,1904. Re-scored: Summer, 1911. Birthday gift, mother, 3,7,1904.

"[Headnote:] Flowingly and very clingingly.


Youthful Tone Works No. 2

"At the age of 17, Grainger wrote three 'Youthful Tone Works' for orchestra. The first of these, based on the Kipling setting 'Fisher's Boarding House' [see above], was written for the Perth (Western Australia) Orchestral Society in March-Ap ril 1899. The second, bearing the dedicaton 'To mother, July 3rd 1899' was based on ideas from 'We were Dreamers'. It is for a small orchestra of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, and strings. The tempo marking is Allegretto and the for m of the work is ABA. The woodwind open with a simple tune using both repeated notes and repeating phrases. This led Cyril Scott to write a pencil criticism on the original manuscript (held at the Grainger Museum in Melbourne) to the young composer saying , 'repeated yourself too much like your last piece for Australia' (i.e. Fisher's Boarding House). The quicker middle section is legato and shows the influence of Brahms and Schumann, especially in the undulating string quavers against the sustained chromatic writing in the horns."--John Hopkins (Orchestral 3).


Version for men's chorus and orchestra

[Edition published by Schott & Co., 1923. (Ed.)]

Kipling Settings Nr. 7

Grainger: "For men's chorus with instrumental accompaniment. The words of this song are reprinted from Mr. Rudyard Kipling's Barrack Room Ballads by permission of the author. Composed June 30-July 2, 1906, as birthday-gift to mother for Jul y 3, 1906. Re-scored August 11-13, 1926, as yule-gift to the memory of my beloved mother.

"3 choices of instrumental accompaniment, as follows:

Full orchestra. The full orchestra enters, for the first time, at bar 78. Up to then only single instruments (of the orchestra) must be used, as shown in [the published] score.

Small (room-music) orchestra (17 to 20 players) consisting of: Flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, kettle-drums, 2 percussion players, harmonium, piano, 5 (single) strings (to which may be added, at will, piccolo, xylophone, piano II).

Piano 2-some (4 hands, at 1 piano). See Vocal & Piano Score.

"[Headnote:] Fast marching speed."

Version for piano solo

"The Widow's Party exists in several versions including one for men's chorus and orchestra. The song is of great interest as some of it was incorporated into 'The Gum-suckers' March in the suite In a Nutshell. In fact, much of the material for that movement can be traced back to the song. This setting dates from 1954."--John Pickard (Piano 3).


Settings of Songs and Tunes from William Chappell's Old English Popular Music No. 1.

Grainger: "For Roger Quilter. Mo te hoa takatapui.

"[Headnote:] Flowingly, rather wayward in time."

"Grainger first set Willow Willow for voice and piano on November 2nd 1898, when he was sixteen years old. It was his first folksetting....

"In 1902 he sketched a version for voice, strings and guitar, which is essentially the first two verses of the published version plus the instrumental coda. The richer setting of verse three presumably came later. The transcription for voice and piano and the version for [man's or woman's] voice, guitar [or harp] and four strings [violin, viola and 2 cellos] were published by Schott & Co. (1912)."--David Tall (Songs).


Version for chorus and whistlers

[Edition for women's or children's voices, high and low men's voices, and harmonium or organ (at will) publ. by Schott & Co., 1937. (Ed.)]

British Folk-Music Settings Nr. 30

Grainger: "Set Oct. 22-24, 1901. Scottish folksong (words by Robert Burns) set for women's or children's (or both) unison chorus, accompanied by 4 men's voices (singly or massed) and whistlers (harmonium or organ at will).

"The 4 men's voices (when massed) should not be too many, so that as many men as possible (women also) may take the whistler's part (many more whistlers, to a part, than voices, to a part, are needed to get a proper tone balance). This version (Nr. 30 ) may be used together with any or all of the parts of the orchestral version (British Folk-Music Settings Nr. 31), Elastic Scoring--3 instruments up to Full Orchestra). Thus if the whistlers are too weak for the voices add flutes or piccolo or violins (or all of them) from Nr. 31.

"[Headnote:] Slowly flowing."

"The traditional song has words by Robert Burns. The tune was originally called The Caledonian Hunt's Delight, and Burns wrote 'Ye Banks and Braes' to fit it. Grainger's 1901 setting was for chorus, single voices, whistlers and harmon ium or organ 'at will'. In May 1932, he-reset that version in an 'elastic scoring' for 'school orchestra' or band with harmonium (or pipe-organ), the latter part bearing the instruction 'very clingingly thru-out'."--Dana Perna (Michigan).

Note to edition for wind band (military band) with or without organ (or harmonium) or for wind choirs with or without organ (or harmonium), publ. by Schott & Co., 1936, and G. Schirmer, 1949: "Any or all of the following combinations (as well as Full or Symphonic Band) may be used in conjunction with Percy Grainger's version of Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon for Mixed Voices and Whistlers; or with Mr. Grainger's version of Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon for School or Amat eur Orchestra or School Ensembles of String and Wind Instruments (British Folk-Music Settings No. 31); or with both.

Wind Choirs

Complete Wood-Wind Choir

Double-Reed Choir

Clarinet Choir

Saxophone Choirs

(a) Complete Saxophone Choir

(b) Saxophone Six-somes (Soprano, Alto I, Alto II, Tenor I, Tenor II, and Baritone II; or Soprano, Alto I. Alto II, Tenor I, Baritone I, and Bass)

Complete Brass Choir

Narrow Bore Choir (Cornet I, Cornet II, Cornet III, Trombone I, Trombone II, and Trombone III [The Cornet parts may be played by Trumpets, if desired.])"

Version for band

British Folk-Music Settings Nr. 32

"Difficulty: medium easy.

"Probably the easiest of all Grainger's band pieces to play, this lovely Scottish melody has been treated in a straightforward and simple manner, and thus makes an excellent introduction to the Grainger style. The conductor must be able to sustain the very slow ending effectively and also make the necessary changes of tempo smoothly."--Joseph Kreines (GSJ IV/2).

"This warmly-scored Scottish folksong is an example of Grainger's innovations in band arranging. Through careful voicing, doubling, and balancing of melody and accompaniment parts, Grainger produced an arrangment that can be performed succes sfully by a number of ensembles smaller than full band. These chamber groupings include full woodwind choir, double-reed choir, clarinet choir, saxophone choir, full brass choir, and 'narrow-bore brass choir' of cornets and trombones."--Frank Hudson.

YOUTHFUL RAPTURE--cello & piano

"Youthful Rapture, an original composition (1901), is a neglected gem hardly ever performed even during Grainger's lifetime (with the exception of Beatrice Harrison who recorded it with Malcom Sargent) and was written originally for ' cello and piano (entitled in this form 'A Lot of Rot') with the composer and 'cellist, Herman Sandby, in mind. It is dedicated 'in love and worth-prizement' to Sandby, Grainger's closest male friend from Frankurt Conservatorium days. The work is passionat e, rhapsodic and at times slightly reminiscent of the harmonies of the young Delius (though written long before he and Grainger met)."--John Bird (Rambles).

"Youthful Rapture, a richly chorded piece, was 'tone-wrought' (composed) in March 1901 and subsequently scored for solo cello, violin, harmonium (or pipe organ) and piano--to which can be added a host of other instruments, in true Grainger elastic-scoring style."--John Bishop.


1. Northern March

2. Rustic Dance

3. Norse Dirge

4. Eastern Intermezzo

5. English Waltz

Version for orchestra

"The 'Rustic Dance' and 'Eastern Intermezzo' were composed and fully scored for a small orchestra in 1898/9--Grainger's seventeenth year. 'Rustic Dance' begins with a gentle pastoral theme as the title suggests and takes on a more energetic charact er with a lilting and occasionally syncopated 6/8 rythm. 'Eastern Intermezzo' with its stuttering and stamping rhythms and surprising cadences takes its inspiration from Grainger's passion for Oriental music which was kindled during his boyhood expedition s into Melbourne's Chinatown. For a seventeen-year-old boy without formal compositional training these pieces display a remarkably mature grasp of scoring and an assured fluency in unusual harmonic organisation (e.g. mediant progressions of parallel major triads over a pedal and a fondness for closing on added sixth or secondary seventh chords)."--John Bird (Rambles).

"The Youthful Suite is an example of material dating back to Grainger's earliest years as a composer being used at a much later period of his life. Whilst the 'Rustic Dance' and 'Eastern Intermezzo' were fully scored in 1899 the whole work was not put together as a complete suite in its present form until 1945.

"The five movements are as follows:

"1. Northern March. A strong, vigorous opening theme suggests a North country or Scottish origin but this is an original tune by Grainger. The alteration of speed near the end shows aspects of Grainger's mature writing.

"2. Rustic Dance. A gentle 6/8 rhythm with a haunting melody in the middle section of the movement.

"3. Norse Dirge. A richly scored piece using extensive tuneful percussion instruments. It is the longest and most mature movement in the Suite and it conveys Grainger's great love for Scandinavian folk-lore. When a boy, his mother read much of the literature of the northern countries to him.

"4. Eastern Intermezzo. This brief movement is a strongly rhythmic work and it is not surprising to find that Grainger made another version of it for some 20 tuneful percussion instruments.

"5. English Waltz. This is strong, energetic music. It is full of imaginative orchestration and attractive melodies. It represents Percy Grainger in one of his most outgoing moods!"--John Hopkins (Orchestral 4).


Grainger: "Composed for small orchestra, 1898 or 1899, Frankfurt-am-Main, German. Dished-up for piano solo, July 15-16, 1922, Chicago, U.S.A. Also for 2 pianos, 4 hands (Room-music Tit-bits Nr. 5)."

Version for piano solo

"In Eastern Intermezzo Grainger gives voice to his love of Asian culture which was a great stimulant during his boyhood visits to the Chinatown of Melbourne in the 1880s and 90s. This piano 'dish-up' is derived wholly from material written between 1899 and 1901." --John Bird (Adni).

Version for small orchestra

In the period February-April 1933 Grainger made [a new] version for Tuneful Percussion. It is written for trumpet, double bass, harmonium, 2 pianos, glockenspiel, 'Shaker', chimes and other bells, dulcitone and staff bells, metal marimba (vib raphone) and tubular bells, xylophone, wooden marimba.

ENGLISH WALTZ--piano solo

"English Waltz was originally sketched around 1899-1903 in an orchestral version, but was not completed until 1940-42 when it constituted the finale of the five-movement Youthful Suite. It was `dished up' [for piano solo] between 1943 an d 1945--an astonishingly drawn-out period for a work whose youthful freshness and vitality is so evident (even by Grainger's standards)."--John Pickard (Piano 1).

ZANZIBAR BOAT SONG--piano six hands

[See edition published by Schott & Co., London, 1923. (Ed.)]

Room-Music Tit-Bits Nr. 6

Grainger: "For Mother. For 6 hands at one piano. Well fitted to be played by a teacher and two pupils; the teacher taking the 2nd pianist's part. Composed March 5-11, 1902, London.

"[Headnote:] With a gentle lilt.

"PROGRAM-NOTE. Zanzibar Boat-Song was inspired by the following poem from Rudyard Kipling's Plain Tales from the Hills:

They burnt a corpse upon the sand--
The light shone out afar;
It guided home the plunging boats
That beat from Zanzibar.
Spirit of Fire, where'er Thy altars rise,
Thou art the Light of Guidance to our eyes!

--'Salsette Boat-Song' (by kind permission of Mr. Rudyard Kipling)

"The reading of these verses induced a musical mood (in which the wistful theme of the poem and the rhythmic suggestion of 'the plunging boats' played their part) out of which the composition emerged. But in no sense is it 'program-music'; in no sense does the music aim at portraying the events and thoughts set forth in the poem--nothing beyond voicing of a musical mood evoked by the poem."

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