Flow gently, sweet Afton


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Instrumentation: Flute, Descant Recorder / Flute, Bb Clarinet, Violin, Accordion, Piano / Guitar, Bass

This is an arrangement of a beautiful traditional Scottish melody. It should be noted that the recording is, I feel, at slightly too fast a tempo.

I arranged it for the Folk Band at my last school simply because all members produced wonderful tonal qualities from their varied instruments.

As usual, the accordion carries the melody for the majority of the arrangement while the other instruments weave a variety of countermelodies around it. However, at one point in this arrangement, as in one or two others I did for this group of players, the accordion plays quiet chords to support the melody played by the rest of the group.

There are several lines of melodic interest and the arrangement is completed by the addition of chords played by the accordion and guitars plus a pizzicato bass line. The guitarists should be encouraged to play the chords in a finger-picked style rather than merely strumming them.

Other slow airs arranged for this combination included “Air”, “The Spinning Wheel”, “Dark Island” and “Carolan’s Air”.