Tag Archives: hymns

Music 455-461: Te Popo Variations

Here are seven duets for four hands with two pianos. They are called “Te Popo Variations” because they are variations on tunes and Te Popo is the name of the rural area in which I live.

“Te Popo” means Dark Night – and in fact at night even with the light shining through a window you can’t see the sides of the house. I’ve never seen anything like the darkness before. It is pitch-black. The only way to walk around the house outside at night is to walk around patting the walls. It’s not scary but it’s a bit different and perhaps explains the traditional name of the place. All that has nothing to do with the music – the pieces are called “Te Popo Variations” simply because I live there.

The variations are duet arrangements of old hymns. I found in a second hand book shop’s reject bin an old hymnal called “Hymns Ancient and Modern”. It cost all of fifty cents. Inside is written “A token of affection from the Scholars of S. Barnabas Sunday School. 21 June 1917”. The arrangements are a little irreverent perhaps at times. I simply took a hymn or two at random and recomposed them with a bit more oomph! Incidentally the hymn book is still used today but is much updated.

Here then are seven duets for two pianos –Te Popo Variations.

  1. Te Popo Variations 1: Audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
  2. Te Popo Variations 2: Audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
  3. Te Popo Variations 3: Audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
  4. Te Popo Variations 4: Audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
  5. Te Popo Variations 5: Audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
  6. Te Popo Variations 6: Audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
  7. Te Popo Variations 7: Audio HERE, sheet music HERE.