Variations on Simple Gifts by Joseph Brackett (1797-1882)
Arranged for 4 C Flutes by Percy Hall
Includes score and parts
Music was an important part of the religious life of the sect we have come to know as Shakers. Simple Gifts was written by Joseph Beckett, an elder in the church, as a dancing song, apparent from lines in the text. Used by Aaron Copland in his ballet score Appalachian Spring, the melody is often mistaken for a folk song and is seldom credited to its composer.
There are six variations in this arrangement, each carefully constructed with a deep respect for the beauty of the tune and text. The melody is often stated in a clear manner, with the accompaniment providing the variation that sets the passage apart. Commissioned by Kimberlee Goodman for the Stratospere flute Quartet.