Angel Music

by Pamela J. Marshall

for violin, piano

Duration 10 min.


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Angel Music for violin and piano has the feel of folk fiddling mixed with a moody and expressive atmosphere. It has three movements:

  1. Memory   3.75 min.
  2. Dreams   3.7 min.­
  3. Joy    2.5 min.

Angel Music is based on music I wrote for my Christmas cantata Shepherds and Angels, which set several old American Christmas folk songs for chorus, violin, harp, & tambourine.

I liked the newly composed music I created around the folk songs and wanted to hear more of it. So, I expanded the prelude and several instrumental sections into this set of pieces for violin and piano. The modal tunes have a folk-inspired flavor.

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The Three Movements

“Memory” is contemplative, with a bit of sadness. It expands the prelude of the Shepherds and Angels cantata.

“Dreams” is impressionistic. The piano dominates the opening with its fanfare chords. The mood shifts to mysterious and the violin plays some longer melodies. A hymn-like section leads to a fragment of a waltz near the end.

“Joy” is lively in a reserved way. In the cantata, this music introduced the verses of “Mary and the Baby, Sweet Lamb”, a Texas tune I found in Ruth Crawford Seeger’s collection American Folk Songs for Christmas. I meant to use only the transitions between the verses in Angel Music, but the tune is so infectious that it crept back in, first implied, then played straight out at the end.


Listen to the three movements of Angel Music, in a virtual demo.

1. Memory

2. Dreams

3. Joy


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