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Down to the River to Pray - brass quintet
Digital Sheet Music
By American Folk Hymn

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Brass Ensemble Horn, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba - Level 3 - Digital Download
Composed by American Folk Hymn. Arranged by Todd Marchand. Christian, Folk, Sacred, Traditional. Score and parts. 15 pages. Con Spirito Music #4762059. Published by Con Spirito Music (A0.726085).

Item Number: A0.726085

"Down to the River to Pray" (also known as "Down in the River to Pray," "Down in the Valley to Pray," and "The Good Old Way") is a 19th-century American folk hymn variously attributed as an African-American spiritual/slave song, Appalachian song, and gospel song. In recent years, it was popularized in the 2000 motion picture, "O Brother, Where Art Thou," and by folk/bluegrass performer Alison Kraus.

In this arrangement, the first three presentations, or verses, of the pentatonic tune employ simple, traditional harmony and limited instrumentation, evoking the simplicity of folk-singing style. Verse 4 is characterized by a direct key change up a fourth (from concert Eb to Ab) and more active harmonies. After a short, two-bar modulation up one more step to Bb major, the final verse begins with rising parallel harmonies under the melody in trumpet 1, and continues with more contemporary harmonies. The piece concludes with a simple "Amen"-like ending.

©2019 Todd Marchand /

This product was created by a member of ArrangeMe, Hal Leonard’s global self-publishing community of independent composers, arrangers, and songwriters. ArrangeMe allows for the publication of unique arrangements of both popular titles and original compositions from a wide variety of voices and backgrounds.

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