By The Rivers Of Babylon

arr. Paul Jennings

This recorder feature is a fairly rare song, a Jamaican spiritual, with a melody that has been adapted and changed over the years. We have arranged it as a relaxed jazz tune, roughly a jazz samba or almost a bossa nova.

As we have done a lot in the last few years, we give you the option of either part 1, a bit harder and truer to the actual melody of the song, and part 2, that is simpler and also limited to G, A, B, C, and low D. As a matter of fact, if you wish to keep this a BAG tune, play a G in place of any C that is written, and omit the low D. Many teachers find it helpful to start with the easy part then graduate to the harder one. And if you wish to perform the song with some players on each part, that works, too.

One cool effect comes at the end of the tune on the last two measures. Part one shows a four-note divisi, which may seem like a fairly complex thing, but it isn't. Just take the number of kids playing and divide by four. Then assign each kid a note. First have them just play the chord by themselves. They will like it a lot! WOW... four-way harmony. Then play it within the context of the tune. Your players will enjoy it, and the audience will be most impressed. While it is not shown on their part, your part 2 players might also enjoy this adventure. With them, though, just use G, A, and B. They'll sound great, too.

Online extras - The free, downloadable extras mentioned can be found under the Graphics and Extras for Volume 20, No. 3 at

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.