Night song (Peter Bird)

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  • (Posted 2013-05-18)  CPDL #29168:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Peter Bird (submitted 2013-05-18).   Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 100 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Text, and some explanation of text, on last page of the PDF.

General Information

Title: Night song
Composer: Peter Bird

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularEvening Canticles

Language: English
Instruments: Accompanied by one drum

First published: 2013

Description: This style of this song is inspired by both Native American and African choral traditions. The Paiute place-names in the text fix it in the lonely lands north of the Grand Canyon: the High Plateaus around the Arizona-Utah border. (Paunsagunt, Kaibab, & Kaiparowits are the great plateaus which frame the country; Kanab & Nankoweap are two permanent creeks which supported small Indian villages.) This song expresses the joy of togetherness on a starry night with gentle breezes in the pines and perhaps a far-off sound of running water.
This is a shingled part-song consisting of repeated 4-bar phrases of 5/4. The diatonic pitches are easy to read, and the only challenge is to count correctly until this meter becomes natural. As each voice part has only 4 or 5 distinct phrases (totalling 16 or 20 distinct bars), it is not hard to memorize. It could serve well as a concert-closer (or encore number) in an evening concert. Length: 3:45

External websites:

==Original text and translations==

English.png English text

Paunsagunt, Kaibab, and Kaiparowits
walk under the stars.

Pinyon, ponderosa, and bristlecone
whisper the wind.

Kanab and Nankoweap
flow on through the night.

Shinumo. Tokawana. Shinumo.