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Image by Weston MacKinnon

Tar Hollow

2015 • Unaccompanied Solo Violin • 3'

a freely played, Appalachian-inspired ballad

Image by Mel


Performed by Dr. Cora Cooper.

Explore Dr. Cooper's Violin Music By Women series.

Program Note

When I was a child, I spent a short, precious time at a camp in Tar Hollow in Laurelville, Ohio. 

I loved the golden sunlight through the foliage, the mist on the lake in the early morning, the sounds of the birds and crickets, and the soft crunch of grass and pebbles beneath my shoes. 

I enjoyed the company of a dear friend who loved me as his own child. We would sit on the shore, talking and laughing, and pass afternoons writing poetry. This piece is for those sweet times.


This ballad draws some inspiration from folk music. The tune is sweet and freely played. Its motivic ideas are simple, tender, and fanciful. I invite you to make this piece your own and to come to the score as a framework. Breathe. Play with the phrasing, rhythm, and pacing. Embellish or expand if your imagination leads you there. Explore room to stretch and to hasten. Find new moments of space and silence. I hope you will find your own serenity and joy here.

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