Academic journal article Journal of Singing

"He's Gone Away"

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

"He's Gone Away"

Article excerpt

"He's Gone Away" is one of the best known and most beautiful of Appalachian folk songs and is found in many different versions and arrangements. This arrangement by Alan Louis Smith has a flowing quality provided by the accompaniment that gives the song a sense of dreaming.

The piano begins with a familiar pattern of descending and ascending chord arpeggiation that uses the following intervals: third, fifth, sixth, fourth, third, fourth, sixth, fifth. This pattern continues throughout the song, first without any change, then moving through different harmonies. At the second stanza, sustained open chords are added in the left hand with a snatch of countermelody in the tenor voice. The third stanza is a freer section for voice alone until the last phrase. The piano postlude is a gentle alternation of thirds with wider intervals over a sustained bass chord with a slow melody in the tenor voice. …

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