John Kilpatrick's Choral Music
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This page contains John Kilpatrick's choral compositions; all are in the public domain.
Items on this page may be freely downloaded, copied and performed, provided all copyright notices are preserved.

John Kilpatrick's music page          

Music by John Kilpatrick with lyrics by Gelett Burgess, from The Burgess Nonsense Book (nonsense songs)
The Burgess Nonsense Book was published in New York in 1901, and in London in 1914. It is now available again as a modern reprint, and online here. The original can sometimes be obtained through Abebooks (e.g. USA or UK); an alternative book to search for is "The Purple Cow and Other Nonsense" (Dover Publications). 
The complete Burgess Nonsense Book can also be read on-line at .
The Knave of Hearts

    PDF (138KB)           Midi        Words
          OVE                  Facsimile

SATB with optional piano accompaniment, 2 minutes. The text is a clever poem by GB, based upon the card game of Euchre. Difficult in places.
"Right Bower", meaning "Knave of Trumps", may be an unfamiliar term. It has been dropped from the latest COD. (Bower = Bauer = Farmer or Peasant = Knave.)
The Purple Cow

    PDF (171KB)           Words
     Part 1  Midi       OVE 
     Part 2  Midi       OVE
     Part 3  Midi       OVE

 SATB div. with optional piano accompaniment. 
Solos in Part 2: T = Narrator in G, B = Knight in F, A = Maid in Eb. 
Difficult in places. About 6 minutes.
Part 1: Gelett Burgess's famous rhyme "I Never Saw a Purple Cow ..." (written in 1895) 
Part 2: GB's amusing poem in the style of Chaucer "The Purpil Cowe"
Part 3: GB's confession "Ah, yes, I wrote the Purple Cow ..."
Cuttings from a Nonsense Book
(2014 edition)
Vocal score     PDF (604KB, 32 pages)  
Full score        PDF (904KB, 44 pages) 
Set of parts     PDF  
User Guide    
PDF (665KB)   DOC(4.2MB)
Words (complete lyrics)  htm, no pictures
   MIDI files (separate page)

For Choir (SATB), Speaker, and Wind Quintet. Some solos from within the choir.
A 30 minute selection from the Burgess Nonsense Book, comprising 12-13 sections, which can be rehearsed separately as required. Some could be omitted if necessary. A version of The Purple Cow is included as one section.
The vocal score includes a piano reduction, which could enable a performance with piano rather than wind quintet, given a good musician who could make something of it. The Speaker works from the vocal score.
The "user guide" is designed to be included in a concert program: the pictures that go with each nonsense quatrain are of great value to the audience. 

John Kilpatrick's music page [top of page] 

Music by John Kilpatrick with lyrics by Edward Lear, from his Complete Nonsense Book (nonsense songs)
There are several online scans of Edward Lear's nonsense book: a good one is perhaps

The Jumblies
  PDF (316KB)   Midi     MP3       OVE      Words 

SATB div. with A solo & short T solo. About 7 minutes. Quite difficult. SSAATTBB
text: Edward Lear's poem "The Jumblies". 
A happy tale of endeavour and success, reflected in the musical setting.

The Dong
   PDF (297KB)   Midi                       OVE     Words

SATB div. with S, T & B solos. About 9 minutes. Quite difficult. SSAATTBB
text: Edward Lear's "The Dong with the Luminous Nose". 
The Dong is a deeper and darker piece than The Jumblies: a sad tale of loss, despair and madness, appropriately reflected in the music.

Jumblies Suite (The Story of the Jumblies)
  (2014 edition)
     Vocal Score   PDF
(657KB, 54 pages)
     Full Score      PDF
(832KB, 118 pages)
     Instrument Parts in separate PDFs
     Overall scheme outline (htm)
     Libretto          PDF     DOC

SATB (div. with soli), piano and wind ensemble; the latter comprising 3 x Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, 3 x trombone, French horn and percussion.
A 35 minute suite of 8 sections on words by Edward Lear, with narrative links by the composer. Versions of the above pieces The Jumblies and The Dong are included as two of the sections. One section  - "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat"  - must be separately sourced, either the version by Victor Hely-Hutchinson or that by Igor Stravinsky (or any other).
The piano is used to accompany the narrative sections sung by the tenor soloist; it is not used in the three choral numbers, but a reduction for use in rehearsal is included in the vocal score.

John Kilpatrick's music page [top of page] 

Music and words by John Kilpatrick
My Briefcase

Piano version PDF (189KB)    Midi

Wind version
  - full score    PDF (266KB)   Midi
  - vocal score PDF (218KB)
- wind parts  PDF (223KB)

Libretto -    Words

SATB div. with  tenor recitatives and a soprano solo. 
Two versions: one with piano accompaniment, the other with wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon).
A few difficulties, here and there. About 10-15 minutes.

This work is based on a true story.
My briefcase was stolen, together with the music therein, and the piece describes the item and the immediate consequences of its loss, with several divergent textual and musical excursions. The piece is suitable for a light-hearted occasion, but has been performed in concerts and enjoyed by the audiences. Apart from being fun, there are some sections which I believe to be of musical merit: perhaps in particular the numbers Fugue and Music.

The wind quintet version has additional bars and a few other minor changes - summarised here.
This has also been re-scored for the a different instrument combination for the 2012 Buxton Performance. The Buxton edition is otherwise basically similar to the one given here.

To Say Goodbye
Vocal score with piano reduction
    PDF (81KB, 8p)   Midi   OVE
Full score with wind quintet/quartet
    PDF (114KB, 12p)   Midi   OVE
Wind parts with printing instructions  
    PDF (86KB)
Libretto                       PERFORMANCE
    Words                            MP3
For everything there is a season (words mine, inspired by Ecclesiastes 3:1 et seq., but entirely secular).
A happy 3-minute Beguine suitable for the end of a concert or for saying farewell to a singer.

SATB div. with solo (any voice), and wind quintet or quartet; alternatively with piano accompaniment.

Performing with piano accompaniment may require some interpretation of the reduction and the included chord symbols.

Live performance, choir and wind quintet -  a little distorted in places

John Kilpatrick's music page [top of page] 

More music by John Kilpatrick - Secular
Two Homer Sonnets
Both sonnets   PDF (c.160KB)
 1. Chapman          Midi       OVE
 2. To Homer         Midi       OVE
Keats's Homer sonnets set for unaccompanied SATB. 
These may be sung separately or as a pair with or without retuning. Quite difficult.
  1. On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. In Db major.
  2. To Homer. In B major.
In no.1 all nouns that start with a letter of the scale (A-H) centre on the corresponding chord. In no. 2 the rule is more relaxed but more pervasive. Keats's confusion between Cortez and Balboa is appropriately represented.
Come Live with Me 
Vocal score   PDF (55KB, 4 pages)
Midi     MP3 (1.6MB)     OVE     Words
Words by Christopher Marlowe. Suitable for wedding music.
SATB (div) - unaccompanied. 2 to 2.5 minutes.
The MP3 was sung by Sheffield Lydian Singers at a concert 11 days after the wedding for which is was composed, .in the same church.
Gone are the Days
Vocal score with piano reduction
    PDF (46KB, 4p)   Midi   OVE     Words
Suitable for a memorial service or similar occasion, religious or non-religious.
SATB - unaccompanied, or with keyboard if desired. About 3 minutes. Performers: please add suitable expression in rehearsal.
Words found on the internet (anon.) and mildly altered
Vocal solo and piano
    PDF (49KB, 4p)   Midi   MP3  OVE     Words
"A message to all dictators"
Written in 2012 following the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring, to the apposite words of the sonnet of the name by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Suitable for soprano or tenor solo, with piano accompaniment (preferably a good sustaining real piano).
MP3 recording: Soprano - Jane Ginsborg; Piano - George Nicholson

John Kilpatrick's music page [top of page] 

More music by John Kilpatrick - Sacred
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis
Mag & Nunc
   PDF  (149KB)
Magnificat        Midi     MP3 (2.6MB)    OVE
Nunc dimittis    Midi     MP3 (1.9MB)    OVE
  the MP3s are of the wind quintet version
SATB div. with Organ. SSAATTBB
Key: F major. Difficulty: ??? (I'd like to know what you think - please email me.)
In the Magnificat the Tenor & Bass are in Latin but the Soprano & Alto in English; the texts are in parallel, with the Latin generally leading. In the Nunc Dimittis the voice selections are reversed.
more details: click here  
Version for Choir and Wind Quintet also available on request. 
Choral score   PDF (217KB, 16 pages)
Full score        PDF (261KB, 24 pages)
Set of parts     PDF (359KB)
   includes part printing instructions


A Latin Gloria for Choir (SATB div,), Brass, Percussion and Keyboard.
For concert use: suitable for a festival or anniversary. Originally written as an entry to the Sheffield Oratorio Chorus Jubilee Competition, under the pseudonym Anthony Saintsman; but unsuccessful, as were all other entries.
Key: based on Bb major. In 10 sections, total time 10-11 minutes: 
Fanfare, Gloria, Et in terra pax, Laudamus te, Gratias agimus tibi, Domine Deus, Qui tollis, Quoniam tu solus, Cum Sancto Spiritu, Amen. 
Full instrumentation, requiring 9 players:
2 x Bb cornet; flugelhorn; 2 x Bb trombone; bass trombone; timpani (3 drums); percussion (cymbal, snare drum, bass drum); vibraphone; organ; piano. The vibraphone may be played by the timpanist or percussionist or both, and the piano by the organist or percussionist.
Fanfare and Grace 
for St Peter's Day
Choral score   PDF (97KB, 8 pages)
Full score        PDF (95KB, 8 pages)
Set of parts     PDF (130KB)
                  Further details and Words
Fanfare   "Tu es Petrus"              Midi     OVE
Grace "Crescite vero in gratiaMidi    OVE
For Choir (SATB div,), Speaker (optional), and Wind Quintet or Organ.
Key: F major. Not difficult.
For use as an accompanied Introit and Grace at a service on St Peterís Day (29th June), or as starting and ending pieces for a concert given on that day, or otherwise in connection with St Peter.
Both pieces are in Latin, and include accompanied spoken introductions in English; any other language may be substituted for the introductions, or they may be omitted. 

The choral score serves choir, speaker and organ, and is suggested that it is apt for choir use even in the case of a performance with wind quintet.
The midi versions omit the spoken sections.
In Paradisum
     PDF (44KB)       Midi              OVE      
     Words (with translation)
Unaccompanied anthem, SSATBB; about 1.75 minutes. In Latin. 4 pages.
Key: Bb major. Not sure about difficulty - needs to be sung in tune, though.
Reasonably interesting harmonies, all palatable to the ear.
And I Saw a New Heaven
Organ:     PDF  (105KB)      Midi         OVE
PDF (95KB)                        OVE
   Organ version:       MP3
Wind quintet version:
   Score:      PDF  (91KB)           MP3
   Parts::      PDF  (71KB)    
Anthem, SATB with Organ (also 1-manual keyboard version); about 4 minutes. 8 pages.   
Key: starts in C, ends in Gb (with optional organ endings to bring back to C or to other keys).
Organ version sung by Danensian Choir in Chichester Cathedral, organist Darren Williams, 10th August 2011
Wind quintet version by Sheffield Lydian Singers & Caccia Wind Quintet, 30th June, 2011

To perform the version with wind quintet accompaniment, for the choir please use the Organ version.
Parts for horn are included both with and without key signatures.

Gone are the Days SEE ABOVE under secular - this item is suitable for either a sacred or secular context