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Scarborough Fair

Concert Band

PDF Score and Parts: $165

Printed Score: $80

Scarborough Fair - Wind Ensemble
Scarborough Fair Cover Page.png

The tune of Scarborough Fair is a timeless melody that has been recognized for centuries, and has been sung, played, written, and reinvented repeatedly. Diverse interpretations have sprung forth, with each variation striving to carve its own unique sound. I delved into many renditions of the tune, encountering lively and whimsical arrangements, languid and sweeping soloistic passages, as well as those steadfastly loyal to the song's folk origins, and a myriad variations nestled in between. Amid these rich and beautiful accounts, one particular rendition eluded my explorations: a rendition that unfurled at an excruciatingly unhurried pace, yet pulsated with vibrancy and color.


With respect to the mysterious and modal nature of the original folk song, this interpretation of Scarborough Fair unfurls at a tempo that borders on the brink of suspension, coaxing the listener to question the familiarity of the once well-known tune. Beneath and above the melody, harmonies swell and contract, weaving an intricate dance of shifting tonal balances. Yielding blossoming chords and opulent, layered textures that shroud the melody in captivating dissonance, before granting a welcomed release to the drone lying underneath. The arrangement stay soft and peaceful, only gaining volume with the addition of new instruments to allow each instrument and section to show their colors and demonstrate the simple beauty of the Scarborough Fair melody.


As I embarked on crafting this piece, I searched for the perfect blend of sounds and colors that would lend this classic folk song a new and beautiful setting. Each instrument, like a stroke of a brush on a canvas, adds layers of colors and texture to the pallet of the composition, elevating the musicality of the work. In the course of writing this arrangement, I envisioned a fog-draped pier, peering out over a still but menacing gray sea. On the water's edge, a solitary figure, their hair gently stirred by the breeze, gazes out towards the horizon, their heart aching with longing for a lover who may never return

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