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Mary Had A Baby - 6 guitars/large ensemble

By Traditional

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Guitar, (6 guitars/large ensemble) - Early Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Traditional. Arranged by Derek Hasted. Christian, African, Christmas. Score, Set of Parts. 24 pages. Published by Derek Hasted (S0.633003).

Item Number: S0.633003

Derek Hasted writes "This American 19th Century Spiritual about the arrival of the Baby Jesus contains the words 
“The people keep a-comin’ but the train done gone”.

It’s generally accepted that references to “the train” in afro-American Gospel Music often refer to “The Gospel Train” or “The Way To A Better Life”. But regardless of the actual interpretation for those words, this arrangement just wouldn’t be remotely authentic if it didn’t sound like a steam train. So hopefully, it does!

This piece starts in the key of F, and the lower three parts generate a pulse which mimics the power-stroke of a steam locomotive. There’s a train whistle too - the top three parts sound an augmented chord - you might like to slide up into the chord, or fall down the neck after the chord is resolved. Or just play it as written…

In the centre, the music rises a semitone then another semitone, picking up speed as it does so, playing the same music a tone higher. At the end of the piece, the music slows, and slows and slows to a standstill with a final bass G to tell the audience that the train has stopped…

Before the train picks up speed, there is a gentle choral section, and the dynamic markings will show you where the tune moves about.

The amount you choose to pick up speed is entirely your choice - the occasional strange number in the metronome mark is simply the result of my typesetting software performing a long, steady speed change.

I hope you enjoy playing this piece!"

This is one of a large and growing range of accessible ensembles from experienced arranger Derek Hasted, and is supplied as full score and parts. Check out Derek's other arrangements - search SheetMusicPlus for Derek Hasted and you'll see the full list, all with soundclips and sample score. Derek's website at has all the arrangements grouped by "number of instruments".

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