24 pieces of Classical Music for Ranching

To celebrate contributions of agriculture in Nebraska, NET has created lists of music along the themes of Farming, Ranching, Gardening, Forestry & Arboriculture, and Water. Here is the first in observance of National Agriculture Day March 20, and National Agriculture Week March 18—24. You might find some interesting connections between classical music and the land in these pieces. Try requesting one for an upcoming Classics By Request in honor of someone you know in Agriculture.

1. Aaron Copland – Rodeo

2. Aaron Copland - The Red Pony film score: "Morning on the Ranch"

3. Aaron Copland – Fanfare for the Common Man This was written as a tribute to those in the military, but has been used for many different occasions since.

4. Aaron Copland – Prairie Journal This piece had three different names. It started as Music for Radio, since it was a commission for CBS radio. The public was asked to give it a title, it was then known as Music for Radio: Saga of the Prairie. But in the 1930s Copland re-named it again with the title Prairie Journal.

5. Aaron Copland – Outdoor Overture More about this music here.


6. Niels Gade – Symphony No. 1 "On Zealand’s Fair Plains" Uses a number of Danish melodies thinking of the land on Denmark's largest island. The music has a wide-open-spaces feel.

7. Giaccomo Rossini - William Tell Overture Tthe first part is perfect as the sun is rising, starting those chores, and the fast part is a perfect reminder of the Lone Ranger, and riding horses out to round up those cattle.

8. Camille Saint-Saens – Carnival of the Animals: Part 3: "Wild Asses: Swift Animals" & Part 8 "Characters with Long Ears"

9. Modest Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition: "Promenade", for moving animals, No. 4 "Cattle" and No. 7 "The Market," which sounds like arguing over prices

10. Luckyeth Roberts – Pork and Beans A ragtime piece, this has a good pace for getting things done. Can be heard occasionally on The Verge.

11. Edvard Grieg – Calling the Cows

12. Edvard Grieg – Nordic Melodies: "Cow Keeper’s Tune"

13. Jean Sibelius – Our Native Land

14. John Cage – In a Landscape a peaceful and sometimes pensive mood, this music accompanies waiting for something. He's written a few pieces inspired by the American Midwest.

15. George Gershwin – O Land of Mine, America

16. Diana Burrell – Landscape for Orchestra

17. James Horner - Field of Dreams film score

18. Luting He - The shepherd boy and his flute, aka the Cowher’s Flute

19. C.L. Barnhouse - Somewhere a Cow is Bawling A great brass recording with what does sound like cows.

20. John Williams - The Cowboys Overture

21. Roy Harris - Folksong Symphony, mv. 2 "Western Cowboy"

22. Percy Grainger - The Pretty Maid Milking her Cow

23. Luis Narvaez - Variations on “Watch over My Cows”

24. Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz - "Bacas: Cow-her's baile" An early Spanish dance

Listen to classical music on NET Radio from 9am to 4pm each weekday and overnight starting at 7:30pm. Learn more about issues of food, fuel and field from Harvest Public Media.