Sumer is icumen in (2012)

For SSAATBB Chorus, SATB Recorders, Bassoon, and Handbells, 5′
Commissioned by the Regis University Recorder Music Center for the Regis University Collegium Musicum
Excerpt 1

Excerpt 2

Regis University Collegium Musicum; Mark Davenport, Director
About the Music
The anonymous 13th-century round Sumer is icumen in is the oldest extant piece of six-part polyphony. In addition to the four canonic parts, it has a “pes,” or “foot,” which is a steadily repeating two-part bass line. The Middle English text is about summer’s arrival and features merry language about singing “cuckoo,” meadows blooming, farm animals nurturing their young, and possibly a farting goat (some scholars say “farting,” some say “cavorting–” take your pick!). I introduce this setting with a chorale for recorders that is a meditation on the “sing cuckoo” motive. The singers enter gradually, picking up the pace as they introduce the main tune. A middle section takes us into more modern harmonic and melodic language (with a nod to minimalism), again featuring the “sing cuckoo” motive. The last section reveals the full six-part polyphony of the original, with a new ending. Throughout, I alternate between the use of the flat seventh and the raised seventh of the scale, a modal inflection I believe medieval musicians would have appreciated. I dedicate Sumer is icumen in (Summer Has Arrived) to my friends, students, and colleagues in the Regis University Collegium Musicum, directed by Mark Davenport. This ensemble, now in its tenth season, has surely entered a summer of its own.

Sumer is icumen in DM_sample_p7Full Score Sample Printed Score and Parts Sheet Music $50.00
Full Score and Parts PDF Sheet Music $25.00
Vocal Score Sample Coming Soon Printed Vocal and Handbell Sheet MusicĀ $2.00
Vocal and Handbell Score PDF Sheet Music $1.25