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Arafura dances

Sheet Music: Score

Arafura dances : for harp and string quartet / Ross Edwards.

Also known as: Concerto for guitar and string orchestra

by Ross Edwards (1995)

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  • Library Availability: This item is not available from the Australian Music Centre Library
  • Instrumentation: Harp, 2 violins, viola, cello
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Karin Schaupp, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills from the CD White ghost dancing

    (this sample is of the Guitar with string orchestra version of this work)


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Arafura Dances is in three movements: a lyrical and expressive adagio framed by two pulsating maninyas (Australian dance/chants) in which references to a variety of Australasian and Pacific musical cultures are woven into a fabric of insect rhythms and drones. Edwards, clearly under the spell of Darwin and coastal Arnhem Land as he composed, refers to the turquoise Arafura Sea as a constant backdrop. Other influences include flora and fauna of the region and the colourful Macassan sailing boats in Darwin's Maritime Museum. Edwards also mentions Ian Morris's photograph "of a gloriously flowering Red Bud Mallee against a deep blue sky", an image he likes to think is "somehow inlaid in the music".

Originally composed as a Guitar Concerto for John Williams, who gave the first performance with the Darwin Symphony in 1995, Ross Edwards arranged the work for string quartet especially for performance at the 2006 Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, where it was performed for the first time by Marshall McGuire (who also transcribed the guitar part for harp) and the Goldner String Quartet.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (35p. -- B4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-720135-14-4

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Arafura dances
Parts: Arafura dances : for harp and string quartet / Ross Edwards.

This work also exists as the following versions:
- Guitar with piano
- Guitar with string orchestra


- Browse other works for Quintets: Harp, 2 violins, viola, cello

- Browse other works by Ross Edwards

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