Four Canons for Three Voices
for Mixed Choir and Piano (1983)
by Ron Hannah

  1. Good Night!
  2. Little Things
  3. Seal Lullaby
  4. Song of Weeds

Words: Thomas Hood, James Stevens, Rudyard Kipling, Maxine Kumin
Duration: about 10 minutes

    As a former member of the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus (way back when it was conducted by Richard Eaton), I was happy to receive a commission to write a piece for its 40th anniversary. I wrote four pieces, or rather I expanded on a little canon from a few years earlier, adding three more - each exploring a different aspect of canonic writing: strict canon, inverted canon, canon at the fifth, canon at the second. The first is very simple and sight-readable by an amateur choir, but they increase in difficulty until the very challenging final canon. The third, "Seal Lullaby" is a particular favourite of mine. It is a gently rocking piece that has now become the basis for the "Benedictus" section of my Missa Brevis.

    The pieces are tonal and sentimental, delightful to the listener and musically rich and challenging to the performers. They have also proved very popular with choirs as a quick look at the list of performances will attest.

    The full score is available through the Canadian Music Centre, or by sending me an email, below. You can also hear the canons and read the texts by clicking on the boxes below - and download the first page of each canon. One more thing: I ask on every page of this site for information on performances so that I can keep my Performances page current. Almost no one responds, even though I know my stuff is being heard. So please, PLEASE, if you perform my canons, let me know. I'd like to keep track of how famous I am becoming :)