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Katja Kleyensteuber

Gaelic Rhapsody
by Elliot A. Del Borgo
Published by Wingert-Jones Music 1987
Gaelic Rhapsody is a fairly straightforward piece and showcases
some of Elliot Del Borgos more typical meter changes. A few familiar
tunes are set in this piece:
- Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
- The Galway Pipers
- The Irish Washerwoman
- The Minstrel Boy
Although their titles may not always be known, many of these melodies
are very recognizable. With the familiar tunes and a variety of playing
style, this piece is an excellent work for high school musicians. It allows
students to experience multiple times signatures, tempo changes
(transitions), key signatures, expressive styles, and melodies. Our
rehearsals will need to concentrate on many different aspects in each
of the five sections in this piece, as well as the piece as a whole.
Sectionals and individual practice are important in this piece as some
lines are harder than others. This is a piece our ensemble could do well
performing and gaining musicianship through.
Approximately 7:00 minutes duration
Difficulty level Grade 4
Good recordings on YouTube Gaelic Rhapsody by Elliot Del. Borgo
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsG4YMKk1KY
Instrumentation:
Piccolo
Flute 1, Flute 2
Oboe 1, Oboe 2
Bb Clarinet 1, Cl. 2, Cl. 3
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contralto Clarinet
chimes,

Trumpet 1, Tpt. 2, Tpt. 3


F Horn 1, Horn 2
Trombone 1, Tbn. 2, Tbn. 3
Euphonium
Tuba
Percussion 1
- xylophone, orch. bells,
crash cymbals, sus.

cymbals,
Alto Sax
Tenor Sax

woodblock, field drum


Percussion 2

Bari Sax
- snare drum, bass drum,
triangle
Bassoon
Timpani
All instruments are necessary except for the Eb Alto Clarinet, which
doubles the bassoon and/or saxophones, and the Eb Contralto Clarinet,
which doubles the bass clarinet and/or tuba. Flute and Piccolo are
important because they play alone together at C. Trumpet is also
important because it has a solo. A skilled Euphonium player is
encouraged (16th note runs with woodwinds). Percussion is also
necessary and five players are needed in order to play all necessary
parts.

Technical considerations:
-

Horn 1 and Horn 2 range to high F (and one high G)


Trumpet melody pick-up to m. 18, and range to high A
Grace notes (bagpipe sound) in low brass, bari sax, bassoon, and
bass clarinet at m. 34 making sure they are together and sound

like bagpipes
Flute and Piccolo have melodies alone together (m. 38, m. 95,

and m. 117)
Snare drum solo (trading with flute/piccolo at m. 117)
Xylophone doubles woodwinds occasionally (m. 75, m. 108, m.

147)
Woodwind 16th note runs from mm. 179 203 (staying in time

here)
Euphonium has 16th note runs with woodwinds after m. 179
Trading 2/4 and 3/8 meters at m. 163 (conducting and playing
issue of keeping eight notes in time throughout)

The beginning of this piece is soft and very lyrical, while each section
that follows is different. It grows faster and louder, but remains fairly
light through the B section. The C section begins even lighter than the
previous ended, but grows gradually until the D section. This next
section (section D) begins very busily with 16th note runs in the
woodwinds and a powerful brass line underneath. We reach the final
section (section E) and the piece takes on a triumphant, march-like
quality that continues, with a grand build up in instrumentation from

m. 237 until the end. This would be a good piece to end a concert
program with.

Teacher Guide
Learning Goals
By the end of this instructional period the student should be able to:
1. Play his or her part to Gaelic Rhapsody.
2. Play the initial melody Londonderry Air (Danny Boy).
3. Perform the attached rhythms.
4. Count his or her part accurately, including measures of rest.
5. Play the F, Bb, and Eb major scales appropriately at their
development level.
6. Identify phrases and place breath marks to indicate the
recognition of these phrases.
7. 2/4 and 3/8 alternating meters.
8. Hum the tonic and/or tonic triad during or after playing the piece,
if asked (this can be done in each section and/or key of the
piece).
9. Recognize parts of assigned listening(s) in larger work.
Strategies and Activities
Scheduling:
- Learn individual parts and the initial melody (Londonderry Air) in
weekly sectionals/lessons and during practice at home.
- Combine individual practice into group learning of the entire
piece during band class.
Concepts:
- Warm-up on scale(s) and play the initial melody in unison (entire
band).
- Hum the tonic and tonic triad frequently in rehearsal (in each
section/key of the piece) to reinforce modality in each section.
- Know the key signatures (F, Bb, and Eb), time signatures (4/4,
6/8, 2/4, and 3/8), and be aware of tempo changes practice
individual parts accordingly.

Skill Development:
- Learn/improve the F, Bb, and Eb major scales.
- Listening skills through assigned listening(s) and connection to
where they are found in the overall piece.
Assessment Strategies:
- Listen to students play their part in lessons
- Listening quiz (identifying assigned listening pieces)
Resources (score info, instrumentation, etc. pgs. 1 and 2)
Phrase analysis (see attached sheet)
Student Guide
Learning Goals
By the end of this instructional period the student should be able to:
1. Play your part to Gaelic Rhapsody.
2. Play the initial melody Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) provided
for your instrument at the end of this guide.
3. Perform the attached rhythms.
4. Count your part accurately, including measures of rest.
5. Play the F, Bb, and Eb major scales provided at the end of this
guide.
6. Identify phrases and place breath marks in your part to indicate
the recognition of these phrases.
7. 2/4 and 3/8 alternating meters.
8. Hum the tonic and/or tonic triad during or after playing the piece,
if asked to do so (this can be done in each section and/or key of
the piece).
9. Recognize parts of assigned listening(s) in larger work.
Practice Guide
1. Practice your part until you can play it well and with:
a. Characteristic tone
b. Correct notes and rhythms
c. Correct dynamics
d. Good balance/blend with other players (the ensemble as a
whole)
2. Practice the provided initial melody Londonderry Air (Danny
Boy) until you can play it well.
3. Practice the attached scales F, Bb, and Eb Major.
4. Practice the attached rhythms.

Extra Assignments
1. Listen to each song that Elliot Del Borgo uses in this piece (some
more prominent than others). Recordings:
a. Londonderry Air - https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=eAPyRB7fy10
b. The Galway Piper - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIDmkBEa-k
c. The Minstrel Boy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=0ssHxZABrpE
d. Irish Washerwoman - https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=_6hmqAHE1gk