Bushes and Briars – Resource Pack

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Bushes and Briars 202109 - SECURE

This is a simple arrangement of a very beautiful English folk song.  Fans of cinema will recognise it from the 1967 film, Far from the Madding Crowd, where it was famously sung by Julie Christie.

As with many arrangements I write, this song can be done using virtually any combination of singers. As indicated in the score, the parts can be taken down an octave if necessary. Directors of mixed choirs might also wish to create mixed voice parts that span an octave. Choir leaders know their choirs’ voices far better than arrangers, so it down to your discretion as to how you would like to organise your choir to sing this song. However, in an ideal world this is the configuration I would suggest, depending on the make up of your choir…

All women: voice 1 – soprano, voice 2 – soprano, voice 3 – alto
Women with a small number of men: voice 1 – soprano, voice 2 – alto, voice 3 – alto and tenor (at pitch)
Two thirds women / One third men: voice 1 – soprano, voice 2 – alto, voice 3 – tenor (at pitch)
An equal number of men and women: voice 1 – soprano and tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – soprano and baritone (an octave lower), voice 3 – alto and bass (an octave lower)
Two thirds men / One third women: voice 1 – tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – soprano, voice 3 – tenor (at pitch)
Men with a small number of women: voice 1 – soprano and tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – baritone (an octave lower), voice 3 – bass (an octave lower)
All men: voice 1 – tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – baritone (an octave lower), voice 3 – bass (an octave lower)

This resource pack contains the score and full audio learning tracks for every part as well as an ensemble recording.

Learning tracks performed by Eleanor Rastall (www.eleanorrastall.co.uk).

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  • Stunning arrangement

    This is one of my absolute favourites as an arrangement, everyone gets to share the melody at different times, each part is interesting and the combination is just beautiful. I sing it with my trio and it is always extremely well received, I haven’t tried it with my choir mainly because we (the trio) want to keep it for ourselves!

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