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First Edition
choir (SATB), 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba, percussion
Catalogue Number: HV111
Duration: approx. 27 minutes
Conductor's score and parts
Hire only — please contact us
Study score: £18.00
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Vocal score: £11.00
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Skill level (A-E): C/D
1. Pavane & Galliard
2. Tarantella
3. Gavotte & Foxtrot
4. Valse Antique
5. Samba — Salsa

(Live performance)

Note that the instrumental parts and conductor's score are for hire only. Vocal scores are available for purchase (see above) as well as a study score. Complete sets of vocal parts purchased will include a piano rehearsal part. Please contact Hop Vine Music for further details.

Terpsichoreana (words by Nia Williams) was given its premiere in Thame, Oxfordshire, on 10November 2012 by the Oxford Pro Musica Singers and an ensemble directed by Michael Smedley.

Composer's Note

Terpsichore was one of the nine muses of classical mythology. She presided over dance, particularly that which incorporated choral singing, and is thus the ideal figure to evoke for a set of choral dances, the scenarios of which may be summarised as follows:

  1. Pavane & Galliard: Mediaeval Procession

    A procession approaches from the distance to the stately beat of a Pavane, and its arrival is celebrated by the dancing of its lively counterpart, the Galliard. Both lyrics and music for this latter section owe more than a little to the Galliard's more athletic cousin, La Volta, a dance beloved of Queen Elizabeth I.

  2. Tarantella: Tarantula!

    In popular folk-lore the lively Tarantella was danced in the hope that such vigorous activity might help sweat away the poison of a tarantula's bite. Incongruously, the elusive arachnid is represented by the scurrying of the tuba and the panic of the crowd is emphasised by the siren-like alarums of the trombone and percussion effects.

  3. Gavotte & Foxtrot: English country house party, 1920s

    In the grounds of a country house, a minor stately home, perhaps, typified by the graceful metre of the Gavotte, dusk is falling. The interior of the house is illuminated as guests gather to dance to a jazzy 1920s number played on an old wind-up gramophone. As the revelry fades away there is a moment of elegaic reflection and the calls of owls are heard out in the stillness of the darkened parkland.

  4. Valse Antique: Figures on an ancient vase

    Imagine, if you will, that you are standing in front of a museum display case in which an ancient vase rotates slowly on its pedestal. Upon its surface dancers in elegant poses are depicted, frozen for ever in their terpsichorean display, their youthful beauty never fading beneath the warmth of a Mediterranean sky, the surf lapping gently on the shore...

  5. Samba — Salsa: Dances of the Sun and Moon

    Sounds of the sea from two thousand or more years ago blend into a contemporary scene on a beach on the far side of the Atlantic. In the burning heat of the day, a languorous Samba is danced. Night falls and in the cool of the evening the pace gradually increases as revellers gather to dance the night away beneath the moon.


  • Choir: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
  • Brass Quintet (2 Trumpets, French Horn. Trombone and Tuba)
  • Percussion (2 players): Side Drum, Triangle, Cymbals, Temple Block, Castanets, Maracas, Tambourine, Tubular Bells, Glockenspiel, Xylophone
What people say ...
"... a splendid and highly original piece of work. ... The score is laid out very well. I hadn't heard of Hop Vine. They deserve recognition."Gwyn Arch (dir. Reading Male Choir)
"... very rewarding to do and the choir enjoyed it immensely!"Michael Smedley (dir. Oxford Pro Musica Singers)
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