“Prospect” is a tune that appears in William Walker's Southern Harmony (1835), which stands alongside Benjamin Franklin White's The Sacred Harp (1844) as one of the most important compilations of shape-note hymns — a genre of singing and method of teaching that originated in 19th-century American Protestant Christian churches. Like many folk tunes, it is pentatonic (including notes 1-2-3-5-6 of the major scale), and this simplicity of melody lends itself to rich harmonization. In Southern Harmony, the tune is attributed only to “Graham,” and the accompanying text is by the English clergyman and hymnist, Isaac Watts (1674-1748). The tune has grown in popularity since the 20th century, due to its association with the text, “The Lone, Wild Bird,” by Henry Richard McFadyen (1877-1964).
This arrangement of the lovely, lyrical tune features a statement of the melody by euphonium in verse 1, euphonium descant over the tune in verse 2, and recapitulation transposed one step higher in verse 3, with short, original interludes between verses.
This video is a demo of the sheet music available from Con Spirito Music. Visit conspiritomusic.com.