Wagtail & Baby (SA / duet + piano)

Year of composition
Thomas Hardy
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
2 minutes
Modern classical music
Choir + keyboard
Instrumental parts
Not available

This is a setting of one of Thomas Hardy’s later poems, about a baby watching a bird at a river crossing. The wagtail remains there happily while various animals cross, but flies off in terror as soon as a ’gentleman’ approaches. Hardy’s poem is an early alarm that all may not be well with the human place in the wider eco-system.

These days society is more ’green’ and eco-aware. It’s now more about solutions than symptoms. What should we be doing to promote wildlife, conservation and sustainability?

Musically, the piano accompaniment paints the context quite literally and needs a fairly competent pianist. The harmonic language strays into (and out of) bitonality but you always sense the home key. The time signature changes quite freely, but without disrupting the natural flow. There are wide contrasts and bold lingering pauses.

This piece could be performed by a choir or by 2 soloists.

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:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

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.

cloud scorch goes here

Licensing for this music

This score was published on Score Exchange by Andy Murray. When you buy it, you are granted a license that includes the following:

Sharing the file you download
When you buy the score - make multiple copies
When you buy parts - make multiple copies

For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

In order to submit this score to ScoreExchange.com Andy Murray has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this score should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this score using the copyright abuse form.