Thomas Ravenscroft – Hey ho, nobody home

This piece was written in the 17th century by Thomas Ravenscroft. It is slightly unusual compared to other rounds, because there are two ways of performing it.

The whole piece sung by one voice would last for 6 bars, if one would put every two bars in one section, then the piece can be performed by three vocalists. The optional bass-line for the piano could be either just the two notes e, followed by d in every bar, or a downwards going section starting from e (assuming the piece has an e-minor key) as shown in the score below :

Hey ho, nobody home one voice mit Klavier.png

The round, parted into those sections and sung by three vocalists would therefore be :

Hey ho, nobody home Version A 3 voices.png


The second way on how to perform this piece would be to put every single bar from the first score into one section, so that the round could be sung by a maximum of six people :

Hey ho, nobody home Version B three voices.png

This though, is a version I myself haven’t found anywhere else yet, but due to the already mentioned possible bass-line which always switches between e and d, the piece would still be harmonic.

I came to this round through having learned the German version a few years ago. It is one of my personal favourites in terms of rounds. Mainly due to its dramatic character, and most of the other rounds I know are often in a major key, whereas this one is in minor.