The Widow’s Party – Full Score

Arranged by Leroy Osmon

Grade 4

Product: 10291FS Category:

Concert Band Score



‘The Widow’s Party’ is a poem from Rudyard Kipling’s series titled Barrack-Room Ballads and is Grainger’s Kipling Setting Nr. 7. Grainger set this poem twice [the first setting was in 1901 and, as noted by Grainger scholar Barry Peter Ould, remains unperformed]. The second setting was originally conceived for men’s chorus accompanied by piano duet, orchestra or military band, and Grainger’s manuscript puts the date of composition as June 3 – July 2, 1906. This work, like many of Grainger’s, was presented to his mother on July 3, 1906 as a Birthday gift. Grainger re-scored the work between December 9 — 17, 1924 and presented it as a Yule gift to the memory of his mother. As with many Grainger works he re-scored it again between August 11 — 13, 1926 and again presented it as a Yule gift to the memory of his mother, Rose. In the 1926 setting Grainger list “3 choices of instrumental accompaniment, as follows”

Full orchestra
Small (room music) orchestra (17 to 20 players)
Piano 2-some (4 hands, at 1 piano)

All settings have a heading at the top of the score that read ‘Lovingly dedicated to my mother’. In the 1924 setting that Grainger did for military band he changed the key from the original up one-half step to A flat. In doing this transcription | used the original setting as well as the instrumental settings and reintroduced percussion and piano that Grainger removed from the wind and male chorus setting. Although the piano part is totally optional it will add a greater feeling of ‘Grainger the concert pianist’ to the performance.

It is important to note that the ‘Widow in the title refers to Queen Victoria (The Widow of Windsor) and the ‘Party’ is one of the many frontier wars in India.

In the event that a conductor wishes to perform ‘The Widow’s Party’ with male chorus and the original military band setting of 1924 it is available from Bardic Editions of London. This transcription for the standard American wind band was made possible by kind permission of Stewart Manville (White Plains, New York) and Barry Peter Ould (London, England).

This setting, scored from June 3 to July 2, 2009 dates exactly 103 years from Grainger’s original, was commissioned by the Clear Lake High School Band (Joe Munoz, conductor) for performance at the December 2009 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago, Ill.).

Additional information

Weight 2.5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 0.5 in

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