The Devil's Quickstep

Donald Erb

Duration: 00:09:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The Devil?s Quickstep was composed during the summer of 1982, spent on my farm near Spencer, West Virginia. The title is actually taken from an old Appalachian mountain fiddle tune. The reason the name caught my fancy has to do with a couple of things. The Devil?s Quickstep is mentioned in a folk tale concerning one Jim Barton, a young man who was made to leave home after his father, a fundamentalist, surprised him one evening playing the above mentioned tune. He left during the night and was killed in an accident while crossing the mountains. This points up a conflict between sacred music (mostly vocal) and secular music which is still evident in the area today. This one-movement piece is an attempt to capture some of the Gothic quality of the folk tale, plus some of the conflict that one feels for the symbol of the Devil.

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the National Endowment Consortium
Composition Date 1982
Orchestration Fl./Picc./G Harmonica, Vln. Hp./Slide Whistle, Cl./B.Cl./C and Cs Harmonicas, Vcl./A( Harmonica, Kbd. Perc.
Premiere 1982-83 season. Voices of Change, Dallas, TX.

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