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SATB arrangement of the spiritual "Going Home"

Hello all!
I'm looking for an arrangement of the spiritual "Going Home". I'm fairly certain everyone knows the tune. I think it's the theme from the Largo movement of Dvorak's 9th symphony.
Preferably not terribly difficult (it's for a relatively small church choir) and definitely SATB. 
Anyone know of anything? Thanks!
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on January 27, 2013 11:49am
Hi, Christopher.  I just finished a concert band arrangement that uses segments from the Dvorak Largo, so I'm fairly current on the piece.  (I did not use his theme, however, but used "Danny Boy" instead!)  I don't believe the theme you cite was ever a genuine spiritual.  Dvorak composed it himself, in the spirit and in the style of an African-American spiritual.  (He said that he conidered such spirituals to be the musical "mother tongue" of truly American music, and of course the pentatonic scale often used was duplicated in a great many European folk songs as well, including those of his native Bohemia, and in many of his own melodies.)
But what that means is that there were no original "spiritual" words to that melody.  A quick Google shows a great many recordings of songs with that title, which may or may not use the Dvorak melody.  (Song titles cannot be copyrighted.)  But every one of those recordings may use a DIFFERENT set of lyrics, and chances are pretty good that while Dvorak's melody is in the public domain, any set of lyrics will be under copyright.
But with all that said, it's certainly a beautiful song and with suitable lyrics certainly suitable for a church service, and I wish you luck in finding an arrangement that will work for you.  It would certainly be quick and easy for any number of ChoralNet members to write one.
All the best,
on January 27, 2013 4:58pm
I did an arrangement of this recently for a friend's funeral; it is hymnlike SATB, two verses with a short coda after the second. I would be happy to share it for free. Contact me at thorngater (a) yahoo (dot) com.
on January 28, 2013 6:05am
William Arms Fisher wrote the word and wrote an satb arrangement which I just bought. Published by Oliver Ditson, Theodore Presser Co.
Cindy LeGette
on January 28, 2013 12:32pm
I have an arangement from an old Lorenz choir magazine entitled, "Heart Divine". The piece was aranged by Ellen Jane Lorenz and was published originally in "The Choir Leader" in 1937. I'd be happy to send you a copy and all you'd have to do is substitute the words from "Going Home"
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 28, 2013 8:59pm
John Leavitt set the "Steal Away" spiritual text to Dvorak's "Going Home" theme:
If you want something that just quotes the Dvorak:
on January 29, 2013 3:23am
I have an SATB A Cappella arrangement I made.
Email me at
on January 29, 2013 6:49am
Just a small point here to those who suggest that words were added after Dvorak wrote the music.  My understanding has always been that it was the other way around.  The spritual (and its words) came first, and upon hearing it during his visit to America, he used its melody as the theme for his Largo movement.  Hence the name "New World Symphony."  While I know this doesn't answer Christopher's question, I just thought I'd clear that up.
on January 29, 2013 9:38am
Hi, Charles.  There's no question that Dvorak was influenced by African-American spirituals, spoke highly of them, and considered them (keeping in mind his own upbringing and familiarity with the folk music of his native Bohemia) the true mother tongue of American folk music.  (A problem even today for Kodaly-trained teachers, since unlike most European countries we are a nation of immigrants from many DIFFERENT cultures and have been a nation for a relatively short period of time.)
But my understanding, as I wrote previously, is the opposite of yours.  (Which doesn't mean that either of us is right or wrong, just that we don't know enough to be definite.)  My understanding is that Dvorak composed his own melodies, often basing them on the pentatonic scale that is common to the folk music of many different cultures, but did not "borrow" existing melodies whether from spirituals or other sources.  And this includes the themes and melodies in both the "New World Symphony" and his "American Quartet" from the same time period.
But if you can find a published source of the "Goin' Home" theme as a spiritual, with words, which predates Dvorak's visit to the New World, that would certainly put the question to rest.  I'm just not aware that any such primary source exists.
The following is quoted from the New Grove I article on Dvorak, and certainly does not suggest any borrowing from an existing spiritual, but if anything more influence from Native American music that he may have heard:  "While working on the Symphony no.9 in E minor, 'From the New World' (1893; published as no.5), Dovrak stated:  'The influence of America can be felt by anyone who has "a nose"'.  In saying later that it was really 'a study or sketch for a longer work', he had in mind his projected composition on "The Song of Hiawatha."  The dance of Pau-Puk-Keewis lay behind the scherzo, and Minnehaha's funeral may have inspired the Largo.  He explained that the title of the work simply signified 'Impressions and greetings from the New World'.  Although some American influences are obvious, it remains fundamentally Czech."
All the best,
on January 29, 2013 1:16pm
Wikipedia disagrees, as does the article to which it links.
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