The Ratcliffe Highway

For: Orchestra
page one of The Ratcliffe Highway

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The Ratcliffe Highway


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Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
3 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

This piece is based on a modal melody, the song "Ratcliffe Highway" (a road which runs past St George�s in the East in London) - the lighthearted song is about a sailor's exploits in a gin-shop. The melody is used in the piece in various modes and various voices. However some time after the song originated (18th century?) the Ratcliffe Highway was the scene of some horrific murders in the early 1800s - the main suspect committed suicide in police custody and was buried at the crossroads there with a stake through his heart. Towards the end of the piece the "darker" modes come into play, against that background.

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