Night song (Peter Bird)
- 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. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
Title: Night song
Composer: Peter Bird
Instruments: Accompanied by one drum
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: http://peterbird.name/choral/
Original text and translations
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.