Go Down, Moses

Published by Santa Barbara Music Press
as part of the Daniel Hughes Choral Series
Cat. # SBMP657


SATB/piano/shaker percussion
Traditional text in English
Difficulty rating (1-5): 3

arrangement of traditional spiritual


listen to Go Down, Moses

performed by The Choral Project, Dan Hughes, conductor

This has always seemed to me to be a spiritual with a strong sense of purpose-- strong lyrics with a powerful melodic line. I decided to make this arrangement drive forward as hard as possible by writing a piano part that borrows from the style of legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner (John Coltrane’s pianist in the 1960’s), still going strong on the jazz concert tour circuit at age 68. To drive even harder I decided to add shaker rhythms pulsing away on all the quarter note beats. Other  composers have used percussion in  their spiritual arrangements to symbolize the noise of slave shackles, etc, and I suppose one could envision this here as well.



When Israel was in Egypt's land, let my people go.
Oppressed  so hard they could not stand, Let my people go,
Go, down, Moses, way down in Egypt's land.
Tell old Pharaoh, let my  people go!

“Thus  spoke the Lord," bold Moses said, let my people go,
If not I'll smote your first-born dead." Let my people go!

(repeat chorus)

The Lord told Moses what to do, let my people go.
to lead the He-brew children through. Let my people go!

(repeat chorus)



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