Shenandoah

One of America’s most recognizable and beautiful folk tunes, “Shenandoah” had by the mid-nineteenth century achieved wide popularity on both land and sea.

American folklorist Alan Lomax suggested that “Shenandoah” was a sea-shanty and that the “composers” likely were French-Canadian voyageurs traveling down the Missouri River — men who sought their fortunes as trappers and traders of beaver fur, loners who became friendly with and sometimes married Native American women. American sailors heading down the Mississippi River picked up the song and made it a capstan shanty — a work song — that they sang while hauling in the anchor.

Various lyrics to the tune exist. Some believe that the song refers to the Shenandoah river. Others suggest that it is of Native American origin and tells the tale of Sally, the daughter of an Algonquin Indian chief, Shenandoah, who is courted for seven years by a white Missouri river trader.

This arrangement features trombone (or euphonium) solo on verse 1, flute solo with more active countermelodic accompaniment in piano on verse 2, and trombone/flute duet on verse 3.

Piano score, bass clef and Bb treble clef solo parts, flute part — $5.99