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The Song of Tailitnama : for soprano and piano

by Peter Sculthorpe (1974, this version: 1994)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart, Kirsti Harms from the CD Sculthorpe

This sample is of the Mezzo-Soprano with piano version of this work

Selected products featuring this work — Display all products (8 more)

Peter Sculthorpe, 1929-2014


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Peter Sculthorpe, 1929-2014 : the ABC recordings.

Version: This product features the Mezzo-Soprano with piano version of this work

Library shelf no. CD 2599 [Not for loan]

song of Tailitnama

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We expect this item to be back in stock and available for purchase on 30 May 2024.


The song of Tailitnama : for soprano and piano / Peter Sculthorpe

Library shelf no. Q 783.66542/SCU 1 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (8 more)  

Work Details

Year: 1974, this version: 1994

Instrumentation: Soprano voice, piano.

Difficulty: Medium

Text from Central Australian Aboriginal rock wallaby song.

Text from the Northern Aranda poem: The song of Tailitnama, translated by T.G.H. Strehlow.


Article: Scored in black and white
by Gordon Kalton Williams — © News Limited
Source: Source: The Australian, 14 April 2005, pp.14

Resonate article: Narrating the Early Music of Ross Edwards by Andrew Robbie


Performances of this work

17 May 2012: at Bachianas Brasileiras (Gallery of Australian Design).

11 May 12: Various venues in Canberra, ACT

11 May 12: Various venues in Canberra, ACT

6 May 74: featuring John Hopkins, Halina Nieckarz.

User reviews

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My favourite Australian art song repertoire

Posted by Australian Music Centre on 22 July, 2013

The AMC asked leading practitioners to select their favourite Australian art song repertoire, to provide delegates to the 2013 International Conference of Vocal Teachers (Brisbane 2013) with an introduction to this rich and diverse landscape.
The Song of Tailitnama (original version for soprano, 8 cellos, 2 percussion; arrangements available for mezzo-soprano with piano accompaniment – arranged by the composer, or classical guitar – arranged by Ken Murray; 8.5 mins) The distinctive material explored for the first time in this work went on to become important in a number of Sculthorpe’s compositions, so it is highly recommended that advanced students get inside this major work by this major Australian composer. Alternating slow, wordless, dramatic sections, with driving, rhythmic sections setting an Aboriginal text, this work is a substantial addition to a vocal program. The main challenge for the singer lies in switching between the contrasting vocal range and vocal demands of the alternating sections (high and sustained in the slow sections, low and punchy in the fast sections). The singer needs to work closely with the guitarist or pianist to achieve the tight ensemble, rhythmic accuracy, stamina, and total security with the form of this extended piece, that are required for a successful performance. A strong, dramatic vocal quality is needed for this work.
Jeannie Marsh