Which method of viewing music should I use?
Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:
You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.
Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.
If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.
The static preview shows a basic image of the first page.
The interactive preview also shows a preview of the first page, but it's a bit slower to load. The preview is displayed using the Sibelius Cloud Publishing technology from Avid. With most scores, this technology will provide a higher quality preview, as well as being able to switch to full screen mode and also play the displayed music to you.
Printing after purchase
After you have purchased this item the Cloud Publishing technology is utilised to provide the printing mechanism for the music. As such, we recommend checking that the Interactive Preview displays correctly on your device before committing to a purchase.
This score is free!
This score is available free of charge. Just click the 'Download & Print' button above.
Buy this score now!
Buy this score and parts now!
You have already purchased this score. To download and print the PDF file of this score, click the 'Download & Print' button above. The purchases page in your account also shows your items available to print.
The traditional Appalachian song “Down in the River to Pray” is well-known, especially since Alison Krauss and the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”(released in 2000) popularized it. Yet, its composer remains a mystery, at least in some measure. Research indicates the song was written by slaves in the 19th Century who worked in the fields. Other people believe it was perhaps a derivative of a native American tribal song that was adapted with Christian lyrics. It was reportedly published in Southern Harmony, a 19th Century hymnal, prior to many African-American spiritual songs being gathered and published during the Civil War and the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. And, what if someone told you it was written by George H. Allan in Nashville, Tennessee during slavery in the South, and was published in a slave songbook in 1867? Its appearance in “Slave Songs of the United States” in 1867, with words uniquely colloquial to black slave spiritual songs of that period, seems to point us in that direction to this song’s genealogy. The song had a different name, too, than the one by which we commonly know it today.
The song as originally composed was known as “The Good Old Way”, and is attributed to a G.H. (George H.) Allan in the contents section of the slave song book of 1867. The song may also be known as “Come, Let Us All Go Down”, but has also been known as “Down to the River to Pray”, and alternately as “Down in the River to Pray”. However, as originally constructed by Mr. Allan (or perhaps some other contemporary, most likely a slave), the song entreats worshippers to go to a valley, not a river…
As I went down in de valley to pray, Studying about dat good old way, When you shall wear de starry crown, Good Lord, show me de way. O mourner, let’s go down, let’s do down, let’s go down, O mourner, let’s go down, Down in de valley to pray.
What valley? If George Allan was a slave, or at least was a song collector in Nashville, one would suspect the valley is somewhere in Tennessee –lotsa valleys are there. As shown in the songbook, “The Good Old Way” was # 104, and was among a collection of spirituals in Part III of that book, in which the songs’ origins are the inland slave states of Tennessee, Arkansas, and the Mississippi River. So, perhaps slaves from Arkansas or the Mississippi Valley could have been the original composers, instead. There’s lots more that’s intriguing about this song, and many questions linger. For those who changed the word ‘valley’ to ‘river’, what was significant about going to a river? And, for those who wanna go into the river to pray (and not just to the river), is that an implied message about baptism? Whatever the message, the composer was thinking of family, as mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers are addressed; I can imagine a slave family clinging to one another in this song’s embrace. And, we’re all sinners, the song’s conclusion reminds us. Isn’t it interesting that a song from some slaves still resonates in our culture 150 years later?
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.
Reviews of Down To The River To Pray (choir SATB + violin + piano)
You might also like...