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SSA or SSAA: with Guitar

Here's a compliation of the responses I received.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mulder, Steve
> Sent: Thursday, February 04, 1999 1:57 PM
> To: choralist(a)
> Subject: Guitar and Women's Voices
> I am looking for repertoire for women's voices and guitar. If you have
> performed or heard a performance of anything (of quality) that fits this
> description, please respond to me privately and I will create a
> compilation. Title, composer/arranger, and publisher if known would be
> appreciated. Thanks!
> Steve Mulder
> UNC-Chapel Hill
[Mulder, Steve]


Last year the UC Irvine women's chorus adapted "Tecolote," a Spanish
lullaby by Victora Ebel-Sabo published by Mark Foster. The piano part
tries to imitate a guitar, and I substituted a real guitar, writing out a
chord chart for our guitarist to improvise his own idiomatic style.
"Tecolote" is very easy, for two-part treble voices -- published in a
series of choruses for young voices -- but quite lovely and respectable.

One of these years I plan to adapt some Dowland lute songs.


I am told you can find a lot of this information from a publisher and
website called GSP, Guitar Solo Publications. They have everything
"guitar" under the sun!

Happy hunting!

(Note: I did search here and didn't find much of anything)


The only thing I've done is "Child of Peace" by Jeffrey Van. I don't recall
the publisher, but I seem to recall that it might have been Jenson and that
only the SATB version is still in print.

Jeffrey Van would be worth contacting. He writes well for chorus (you can
hear some of his works on various Dale Warland Singers CD's) He teaches
guitar at the main University of Minnesota campus.


Sorry, but I can't resist: Anything by the Indigo Girls.


If you can throw in a harp, I highly recommend "Tria Carmina Paschalia"
by Domenick Argento, published by Boosey & Hawkes. A stunning set, it
was recorded on LP by the Dale Warland Singers a number of years ago.


Pfautsch's Annunciation (Christmas) fits that bill in that the piece is
written for SSAA and harp or guitar.


Not a lot here, unless you look for renaissance stuff playable with lute as
continuo (of which there should be quite a bit, theoretically).

Aside from maybe some Xmas carol arangements Jeffrey Van did for Dale
some years back (pub. Jensen, of all places), the only recent thing that
to mind right away is Kirke Mechem's *Ballad of Befana,* an Epiphany piece
SSA (soli?) & guitar, pub. ECS.


I have done arrangements of songs such as Dowland's "Come Again" with womens
voices and guitar. Even the soprano and alto lines of the SATB arrangement
along with a classical guitar works just fine. In my mind, any arrangement
what was originally a lute song would work in this way. I apologize, I
have publishing information about Dowland's "Come Again" handy, but it
shouldn't be hard to find. It would take a guitarist sitting down and
figuring out the chords- which any decent one should be able to do with no

Randy Giles, a composer living in Amherst, Mass, wrote a piece setting a
Gregorian chant for Ephiphany (not the Mass, maybe Vespers?) along with
classical guitar. The guitar part is somewhat challenging but not
It would probably require a professional, though. This is lovely- unison
women's voices would work very well. The words of the chant are also quite
nice. If you are interested, I could give you Randy's e-mail address, as
piece is not published.

Finally, I have used classical guitar along with cello or gamba as a
instrument for numerous baroque pieces for women's voices. There are duos
trios by Monteverdi, Strozzi and Scheutz that would work. Schutz wrote a
series of sacred pieces for voices and continuo which I use frequently.
Examples include Das Blut Jesu Christe, Der Herr schaut von Himmel... I got
these works from the library in their collection of Scheutz's opera omnia,
again, I don't have a publisher. Barbara Strozzi's music (17th C) is mostly
in Italian, and the ensemble works are secular. Very dramatic and similar
Monteverdi. This would be one-on-a-part singing. There are more and more
editions of her music being published. If you are interested, again, I
provide more information.


Evergreen by Daniel Pinkham

it is a lovely Christmas work that is marked
unison vcs
elect. tape
and has a variety of instrumental choices for the ostinato
accompaniment. It seems Pinkham gives the conductor the choice. Guitar
is one of the choices.


Jeffrey Van has several published pieces that fit your criteria.
His list includes:
Sleep, O Lovely One (SA, harp or guitar or piano) published by Mark
Foster, recorded by Manitou Singers of St. Olaf College
Echo (SSAA, cello or piano) published by Mark Foster, commissioned by
Minnesota Music Educators Association and ACDA
Child of Peace (SATB, guitar BUT he has a version for SA,
unpublished, which is the same as the SATB for the first two verses.
If you buy the SATB version, he'll supply you with the SA version of
verse three - only two pages) published by Hal Leonard, recorded by
Dale Warland Singers
Also, consider
The Journey of Mary (SSAA, handbells, oboe) published by Boosey &
Hawkes, commissioned by St. Olaf College
There's a list of SATB pieces as well, which Jeff can provide you
upon request. I sang three of his SATB pieces this last Christmas,
in a variety of venues, and they were all quite beautiful. Hope this


Finally, I did contact Jeffrey Van. He sent me the following reply:

Dear Mr. Mulder,

"Child of Peace" is published by Hal Leonard (who took it over from Jenson)
is for SATB, but...... there was an SA version, now long out of print.
However, since the first two verses are the same in both versions (verse one
solo and the second verse is two-part), and it is only the last verse which
differs, here is my suggestion/offer: if you will buy the SATB version
is in print, I will send you the SA version of verse three (which is only
last two pages, as is the four-part version) and you can insert it and
it with your Women's Glee Club. The text is Christmas, or Epiphany, but I
guess you can sing it any time of year you wish!

The only other piece I have for Women's chorus and guitar is also a
piece entitled "Sleep, O Lovely One" (SA and guitar, or harp, or piano)
published by Mark Foster. The publication has it in reverse order, listing
piano in large type, and the harp or guitar option in ultra-fine print, but
was originally written for guitar, even though it is notated in bass clef,
first performed with harp at the St. Olaf College Christmas concerts.
an interesting tale about that and the bass clef notation, but we can save
for another time.

I have one more piece for women's chorus, a setting of Christina Rossetti's
"Echo" for SSAA and cello (or piano), also published by Mark Foster.


Jeffrey Van


That's the end of the compilation. Thanks to all who replied (even the
Indigo-Girls guy).

Steve Mulder
UNC-Chapel Hill

on September 11, 2003 10:00pm
"God of Times and Seasons", contemporary religious song for folk-style guitar and SSA. Text from Jewish prayer book. Appropriate for a variety of temple and church settings. To preview the piece, go to and click on the 'repertoire' list. Or, if you'd like a .pdf file of the score, e-mail
on November 29, 2004 10:00pm
Adrian Vioque-Lorenzo, a gifted composer of Spanish descent, lives in France, and he composed a very exciting "Romance de la Luna Luna", based on the Garcia Lorca poem, for SSA choir with string ensemble + guitar + violin solo. He can be contacted at Association Musique Enseignement, 14 rue de Pontoise, 95220 Herblay, France.
Alan Bennett