Fantasy on Scarborough Fair

Fantasy on Scarborough Fair


Composer: Traditional English folk melody

Arranger: Paul McKlveen

Octaves Handbell: 3 – 5

Octaves Handchimes: 3 – 7

Level: 3+

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This traditional English folk song has been traced to the Middle Ages and many believe it referred to a Fair held in Yorkshire – in the County of Scarborough during that time. Being a folk song, the lyrics focus on young lovers placing demands on each other which can never be met. The melancholic melody lends itself to counter-melodies and luscious harmonies which Paul has beautifully developed, giving this fresh, new appeal. It is ethereal and peaceful as the melody is interwoven and the variations  develop. Well-placed LV passages, suspended bell riffs, and the texture of handchimes plus tempo variations and dynamics make this an amazing setting! A full, rich, and luscious section which includes bass chimes in the 7s culminates in a wonderfully rewarding passage that reprises the melody and fades into a calm, peaceful ending. Perhaps that young love was actually fulfilled…?   You will definitely want to add this to your group’s concert repertoire! 

Octave Ranges
3-7 Octaves
School and Youth
Secular - general usage
Tone Poem
Level of Difficulty
Level 3+
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