Irish Reel – Molly on the Shore

British Folk-Song Music Setting on 2 Cork Reel tunes: ‘Temple Hill’ and ‘Molly on the Shore’.

Percy Aldridge Grainger

Arranged for Brass Quintet by Ryan Linham


Cornet 1 and 2

French horn / Tenor Horn in Eb

Trombone / Euphonium

Tuba / Eb Bass

The Percy Grainger Archives

The British Library contains an intimate collection of over 300 recordings and handwritten transcriptions of traditional English folksongs collated by Percy Grainger.

Between 1906 and 1908, Granger visited singers in Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire and London using a phonograph which recorded onto delicate wax cylinders. He became the first collector to record traditional music in the UK using a sophisticated mechanical recording device.

This intricate, time-consuming and by all accounts thoroughly-enjoyable work has allowed modern listeners to hear the voices of people born in the early 19th century and saved hundreds of songs from extinction.

Percy Grainger’s Folk Song Settings

Not fully content with the catalogue of transcriptions he created, Grainger went on to ‘modularly orchestrate’ and arrange many beloved British folksong melodies for concert performance. Famous examples include ‘Shepherd’s Hey’ (1911), ‘Lincolnshire Posy’ (1940) and ‘Country Gardens’ (1919). We were delighted to include both ‘Molly On the Shore’ and ‘Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonnie Doon’ in our first ‘British Folk Music for Brass’ album.

Grainger inspired me to find more minimal approaches within my arranging. I embraced his style of using English performance directions such as ‘pure’, louden’ or ‘heavy’ and enjoyed mimicking his chromatic harmonic movements, cheeky syncopated backings and soaring countermelodies to give my writing some of the qualities found in these fascinating yet little known compositional techniques.