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Dark Night Sky

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Children enjoy the melodic richness of songs written in minor keys. Singing a minor melody as a round creates delicious harmonic textures that can leave the listener with “goose bumps”.

Dark Night Sky has non-seasonal lyrics (composed by Donna Rhodenizer) set to the melody of Ghost of John, a round that has been enjoyed by singers for many decades. Donna’s arrangement includes melodic and rhythmic ostinati options. These options allow performers to make choices regarding how they will build textures to create a multi-layered performance piece. This versatile arrangement can be as simple or as complicated as you wish.

With Donna’s newly composed lyrics, Dark Night Sky has ensured that this lovely minor round and all its musical extensions can be sung and performed at any time of year. If a Halloween theme is the goal, simply reintroduce the original “Ghost of John” lyrics.

Download Includes:

  • Vocal score
  • Director/piano score
  • Lyrics
  • Accompaniment – with melody guide
  • Accompaniment – piano

See "Additional Information" for - context, level, topic, vocal range, voicing, duration

Dark Night Sky

Audio & Lyrics

Dark Night Sky - Arrangement by Donna Rhodenizer - SAMPLE - Lyrics

Teaching Tips

Sing Dark Night Sky as a simple minor melody.

Have students add rhythmic ostinati as they sing.

Have students add a melodic ostinato to create some simple harmony.

Add both melodic and rhythmic ostinati but add them one at a time to build the texture of the song with each repetition.

Start the song in unison, adding ostinati and then sing the song as a round, adding harmonies to the ostinati foundation that has been created.

Create your own rhythmic and/or melodic ostinati.

Discuss minor tonality.

Sing the song expressively, adding dynamics and articulation.

Composer's Notes

October Night

I enjoy teaching my students songs in minor keys. I have always enjoyed inviting my students to sing Ghost of John as a round, creating lovely harmonies as the parts are added. I started creating multiple textures by having my students add melodic and rhythmic ostinati as we sang. I thought we would spend one or two classes on the process, but it became very complex and we continued adding more and more elements. When we have spent four classes on our “soundscape” we still have more things we wanted to explore. However, the song was timed to coincide with Halloween and the time had arrived and then gone by. I decided to write non-seasonal lyrics to use with the melody of Ghost of John. I created the lyrics for Dark Night Sky and now I have a song I can use at any time of year. I no longer feel pressured to rush the students’ creative engagement based on the calendar date. Sometimes needing a piece of music for a specific purpose is a quick way to inspire composer to compose!

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Vocal Range

C4 – D5

Voicing

Duration

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