Night Song, Op.21 (Bird, Peter)

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MP3 file (audio)
Pbird (2013/5/18)

Performers Sibelius
Publisher Info. Peter Bird
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Sheet Music


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Pbird (2013/5/18)

Publisher. Info. Peter Bird
Misc. Notes Explanation of names in text on page 9 of the PDF.
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General Information

Work Title Night Song
Alternative. Title
Composer Bird, Peter
Opus/Catalogue NumberOp./Cat. No. Op.21
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. IPB 14
Key F major
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 1
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 2013
First Publication. 2013
Librettist composer
Language English
Average DurationAvg. Duration 4 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation Mixed chorus, drum

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  • 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.