Composer ALLEN, FRED J
Voicing/Instrument CONCERT BAND
Publisher TRN MUSIC PUBLISHER,INC
There are 100+ variants of the folk song Barbara Allen (Barb'ry Ellen), found both in the British Isles and America. Though elements of the story change from version to version, they are all tales of unrequited love, often leading to revenge. Though they can be divided into two groups, diatonic and modal, even those two main categories resemble each other in melodic contour.
The 7/8 measures in this piece are all performed 3+2+2 and all of the 5/8 measures are performed 2+3. Therefore, this is a good piece for teaching asymmetrical meters. Many directors have commented on how much they enjoy the fact that this piece has so many solos which showcase their young musicians.
Performance note: Most soloists play the cadenzas too slowly. These cadenzas are taken from the original vocal line; they should be played simply and freely, but not so slowly as to sound labored or contrived.