From the Maestro Aaron Copland

For the longest time, I had no idea where this music came from. Like a lot of other people, I knew that I had heard it before, just not where it came from.

The theme played here is part of Aaron Copland's (also of "Fanfare for the Common Man" fame) ballet entitled "Appalachian Spring," in which he captured the spirit of Appalachian Mountains culture in music. It is commonly known as either "Quaker Theme," or "Shaker Theme."

There are two main approaches to playing this tune. When played slow, especially when accompanied by a full symphony orchestra (which I'm guessing you may not have just laying around somewhere), the tune is quite majestic. I reccomend giving it a listen if you can find it on the Internet (I suggest www.playlist.com). In order to help you out, I will be playing it slow in the example.

However, once you get the notes down, the song also sounds great when played with a fast, folksy tempo. With the right pacing, it can sound very impressive.

Variations on a Shaker Theme (mp3)

The example is played on a Lee Oskar Major Diatonic in the key of C.


Variations on a Shaker Theme

Part 1

3B 4B 3B 4B 4D 5B 4B 5B 5D 6B 6B 5D 5B 4D 4B 4D 4D 5B 5B 4D 5B 4D 3D 3B

Part 2

3B 4B 3B 4B 4D 5B 4B 5B 5D 6B 6B 5D 5B 4D 4B 4D 4D 5B 5B 4D 4B 4B 4B

Part 3

6B 5B 4D 5B 5D 5B 4D 4B 4B 4D 4D 5B 5B 4D 5B 4D 3D 3B

Part 4

3B 4B 3B 4B 4D 5B 4B 5B 5D 6B 6B 5D 5B 4D 4B 4D 4D 5B 5B 4D 4B 4B 4B


As you can see, this example is a bit longer than our other ones. Play it slow enough, and you'll have learned a decent-length song, which is certainly something to be proud of.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the song history)