Bobby Shafto


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Instrumentation: Flute 1, Flute 2, Descant Recorder, Bb Clarinet 1, Bb Clarinet 2, Violin, Accordion (also for Piano / Guitar), Bass

This folk band arrangement of this traditional tune incorporates some of the ideas found in my Wind Band arrangement.

It opens very simply, with just the flutes playing the melody. The cellos / bass join in for the repeat of the opening 8 bars before the full group enters for the next section, the “B” music. Various accompaniment patterns and counter-melodies are added to produce a contrapuntal texture while never letting the melodic line be swamped. Look out for the version of the “B” music which alternates chords of G and F.

N.B 1: Although the Cello / Bass part is marked to be played pizzicato, it could be played arco if preferred.

N.B. 2: The instrumentation can be adapted to suit the resources available.

It is a lively, happy tune and should be played at a quick tempo.

It makes an entertaining concert item and is good ensemble practice at both KS4 and for submission as a GCSE ensemble piece, though care would have to be taken to ensure there is not excessive doubling. Please note that there is also an arrangement of this melody for Wind Band.