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Celebrate The Harvest Season With Music


It’s time to celebrate harvest time in Wisconsin! There is plenty of music inspired by this time of year, from joyous jigs in praise of bounty to solemn songs about the hard work.

Here’s a collection of 10 pieces that will remind you of this time in earth’s beautiful cycle. Whether in the city or country, harvesting or not, these pieces are worth exploring.

Percy Grainger’s “Harvest Hymn” has a lovely tune that speaks for itself. It’s inspired many arrangements.

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“Harvest,” a tone poem by American composer Morton Gould, has a more grim beginning, perhaps reminiscent of the difficulties associated with the harvest. The piece grows in depth as it continues and may remind you of rolling landscapes and Autumn’s changing weather.

Tchaikovsky’s upbeat piece for piano from “The Seasons” is accompanied by a poem, as is each piece in this set of 12, one for each month of the year.

“The harvest has grown, people in families cutting the tall rye down to the root! Put together the haystacks, music screeching all night from the hauling carts”.

This is August: Harvest.

Now a song with lyrics! “Harvest Home,” written by John Dryden with music composed by Henry Purcell, is a rollicking, fun song.

The first movement of Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” is titled “Awakening of Happy Feelings Upon Arriving in the Countryside.” Anyone who has gone apple or pumpkin picking or has enjoyed the Autumn countryside will relate to this piece.

Glazunov’s “Autumn” from the ballet “The Seasons” is a beautiful piece depicting harvest time and Autumn in general.

There are many folk-inspired pieces related to the harvest too! “The Harvest Home Suite Overture” by Jay Unger and Molly Mason includes the “Fertility Theme” followed by “Harvest Home.”

Rick Sowash’s “Harvest Hymn & Harvest Dance” is a homage to Willa Cather and her novels about frontier life and the Great Plains. This piece is a joyous representation of the harvest in America’s breadbasket.

The singers in the first part of “Autumn” from Haydn’s oratorio “The Seasons,” praise the abundant yield from the harvest, and the benefits of the exhaustive work!

Don Ray’s “Farmhand’s Dance” from “Homestead Dances” is a perfect ending to this list. It’s a joyous and colorful dance in celebration of Autumn.