Sounds of the Nightingale (Fine, Vivian)

Free public domain sheet music from IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library
Jump to: navigation, search



No files submitted.

Sheet Music


 Complete score
#226865 - 6.22MB, 42 pp. -  10.0/10 2 4 6 8 10 (1- !N/!N/!N - 312x

PDF typeset by Paul Hawkins
rhymesandchymes (2012/5/30)

 Complete parts
#226866 - 4.83MB, 26 pp. -  0.0/10 2 4 6 8 10 (0- !N/!N/!N - 160x

PDF typeset by Paul Hawkins
rhymesandchymes (2012/5/30)

PMLP371765-Sounds Nightingale Score.pdf
Publisher Info.:

Vivian Fine Estate


Performance Restricted Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 1.0 [tag/del]

However, the lawful copyright owner has generously released the file for distribution at IMSLP under one of the Creative Commons licenses or the IMSLP Performance Restricted License, which allow for the free distribution (with proper attribution) of the file with various levels of restriction with respect to the creation of derivative works, commercial usage, or public performances.

Misc. Notes:

Request Licenses from ASCAP
Report performances to Vivian Fine Estate


Javascript is required for this feature.

Javascript is required to submit files.

General Information

Work Title Sounds of the Nightingale
Alternative Title
Composer Fine, Vivian
Year/Date of Composition 1971
First Performance 1971-05-19, Bennington College, Valerie Lamoree, soprano, Bennington choral and instrumental ensembles, Vivian Fine, conductor
Librettist John Keats and Vivian Fine
Language English and birdsong
Average Duration 13 3/4 minutes
Composer Time Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation Soprano, female chorus, flute, alto flute, oboe doubling on English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, two violins, two violas, piano, percussion (tuned tom-toms, woodblocks, susp. cymbal, and tissue paper)

Misc. Comments

Sounds of the Nightingale… is a further step in [Fine’s] expansion of timbre and texture. The piece consists of independent layers of birdsong as portrayed by an ensemble of flute, alto flute, oboe doubling on English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, piano, percussion (tuned tom-toms, woodblocks, suspended cymbal and tissue paper), two violins, two violas, soprano, and the female chorus. Each birdsong is scored meticulously, with appropriate attacks, dynamic changes, and other nuances, to recreate the sounds she wanted. Differing simultaneous tempi, such as the quarter-note = 66 for the soprano, 54 for the choral group and piano, 80 for the English horn and strings, and 60 for the French horn, create the layering and independence of materials she desired. Strategic entrances are cued by the conductor, and, at times, entrances are numbered in thick textures to ensure the kinds of timbre and tenure mixtures she wanted. Although the birdsongs are not labeled, Fine’s meticulousness resembles that of Messiaen’s in scoring birdsong. Nothing is left to chance, and Fine knew exactly what she wanted to hear in her piece.

—Heidi Von Gunden, The Music of Vivian Fine, Scarecrow Press, 1999
Personal tools
Browse scores
Browse recordings
For iPhone & iPad


Associated with