Composer:   R. Murray Schafer
Arranger:   NA
Publisher:   Berandol Music Limited
Edition:   DER 1094
Voicing:   SATB div
Setting:   A Cappella


Michael Tamte-Horan
St. Cloud State 2004
R&R Chair High School Choirs

numerous soloists and percussion instruments ad libitum

This classic avant garde work by the well-known Canadian composer is suitable for advanced high school and community mixed choirs. The score at first sight is rather intimidating. However, once the conductor and performers understand how to interpret the non-traditional system of notation (not difficult), once everyone has a concept of how the piece sounds (there are several recordings available), and once a well-conceived plan for introducing and learning the work is established, this work is surprisingly accessible, rewarding to perform, and hauntingly beautiful in its effect. You will want to do some advanced work on whole-tone, half-tone and cluster singing with the choir and incorporate pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments (you can use as many instruments as you want, the parts do not require experienced percussionists, and you can freely adapt their use to provide and reinforce pitches for the singers). With this careful approach, you will find “Epitaph for Moonlight” to be an excellent work to expose your choir to modern musical techniques. The work is especially effective when performed with singers and instrumentalists placed around the audience.