Dance of Life

Laura Pettigrew
Composition Date: 2013
Duration: 00:10:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x Trumpet
  • 3 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Double bass
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
Click here to download full work (7.91 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
Commissioned by Andy Anderson, a bequest from his wife Catherine Anderson the work was written specifically for the RSO Chamber ensemble to celebrate Catherine`s love of life, music and community. Catherine was an amateur flutist and cellist and she and her husband Andy an amateur clarinetist spent countless years as members performing with community ensembles, bands and orchestras sharing their time and talent. I chose the title and subsequently the movements became literal forms of dance to depict Catherine as she believed Life truly was a ``Dance`` and as individuals we possessed the gift to create our own music on our journey.
The 1st mvt, the Lullaby represents life as a whole the joy, sadness and love we experience as we travel our path in life. I thought a lot about my own life, the joy, sadness and of course love and strength of conviction that has brought me to this point. A young student of mine who listened to the movement was in tears stating she could feel my pain, love and joy and how I have triumphed against all odds. To depict the love between Andy and Cathy I used the Key centres D , Bb and F - D = Dance (daonnan pronounced doonon means "Always" or “Forever” in Scottish Gaelic) Bb = Beloved Best. F = Friend.
The 2nd mvt, the Waltz which in part because of the tempo is more a Scherzo is set with an ostinato starting on c# to represent Cathy which flows through the entire movement again a binding force in hers and Andy's relationship and loving marriage. I used specific key centers to represent Cathy and Andy. A = Andy, G = gradh which means love in Scottish Gaelic, D = Dance/daonnan. Using a hemolia and a play on the intervals A C# E to represent Andy and Cathy assisting the listener to hear and feel a quick two step waltz was my way to impart how life always has Its interruptions which throw us off balance but we always manage to land on our feet.
The 3rd movement a Jig was a tribute to Cathy`s love of Barqoue music. I used specific key centers and quasi key centers to cement the foundation of Cathy and Andy`s loving relationship. Thus G = gradh (pronounced graw or gaol pronounced gool which both mean love in Scottish Gaelic, E Everlasting, F# Family, C Cathy, ending in G gradh – Love.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 P511da
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • December 10, 2014
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (48 p.) ;
    48 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
    Parts page count: 51
    3 parts ([51] p.) ;
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • This piece was commissioned by Andy Anderson, a bequest from his wife Catherine Anderson.

    This piece has 3 movements:
    I Lullaby
    II Waltz
    III Jig
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