Garth Baxter is noted as a modern traditionalist composer. This is a style that combines the traditions of form and clear melodic writing with the use of contemporary approaches to harmonies and other elements. He has composed works for various performance mediums, ranging from intimate solo and small group settings to larger ensembles such as orchestra and concert band. His compositions have been performed around the world.

Flute Compositions

* Click a song title to view (or hide) a description.

Variations on the Willow Tree YouTube

Lower intermediate level, ALRY, See publisher for price. For flute or alto flute.

This is a set of four variations on the beautiful, but little known English folk song. The work begins and ends with a statement of the actual folk song melody. The Willow Tree is a tragic song of lost love. The last verse reads:

  • I once had gold and silver, I thought them without end,
  • I once had gold and silver, I thought I had a true friend.
  • My wealth is lost, my friend is false, my love hath he stolen from me,
  • While here I lie alone to die beneath the willow tree.

A Touch O'Carolan YouTube

6 minutes, intermediate. ALRY, CD $5.

A medley of four tunes of various styles, by the Eighteenth Century Irish harpist Turlough Carolan, freely arranged for flute and guitar.

The tunes are:

  • Blind Mary

  • Carolan's Concerto

  • Sheebeg and Sheemore

  • Carolan's Draught

A fun piece of traditional Irish "folk music" with just a hint of Baroque influence. The songs were arranged from the original melodies, which were written without any harmonies. Mr. Baxter added the harmonies, counterpoint and ornamentation while trying to keep as close as possible to the original melodies. The melodies are spread between the two instruments.

This work has received high praise from Flutar, one of the premier flute and guitar duos in the world.

Moszkowski - Three Spanish Dances

Arranged for Flute and Guitar.

9 Minutes, intermediate to upper intermediate. Mel Bay Publications availible in 2006.

Three light, melodic dances from the Opus 12 dances for piano by the German composer (1854-1924).

Dance #2 YouTube Dance #4 YouTube Dance #5 YouTube

Tchaikovsky - June

Arranged for Flute and Guitar.

4 minutes Intermediate ALRY Publications.

This is an arrangement June from The Seasons (sometimes called The Months) for Piano by Tchaikovsky.

La Nostalgie YouTube

3 and one-half minutes, lower intermediate level. ALRY Publications. (Check with the publisher for the price.) CD $5.

La Nostalgie is a simple tune based on two Jewish folk songs (Tumbalalyka and Dundai). Although the original folk songs are generally played rather fast, the mood portrayed here is one of sadness and nostalgia. To achieve that mood, La Nostalgie should not be played too quickly. This is a light piece that is perfect for student performers, but there is enough depth here to interest professionals as well.

The Silver Run YouTube

"Commencing with a haunting pick-up phrase from the flute that is joined by cascading chords from the piano, Baxter instantly establishes his harmonic colors as modern, but still based in the Classical tradition. Baxter's composition gives space to both instrumental colors [flute and piano] and his form is clear as he develops the themes. There is a beautiful interplay between the flute and the upper melody of the piano's right-hand part in the middle section. This is classical music that represents the history of the tradition while moving it forward."
-Elberton Cisnero

9 minutes, upper intermediate level, ALRY Publications. CD $5 (available late fall, 2003)

The Silver Run is a two-movement work in the neo-romantic style that takes its inspiration from the natural beauty of the Silver Run area of Carroll County where Mr. Baxter lives.

The first movement, in ternary form, begins with a lyrical chromatic melody that is the centerpiece of this movement. The middle section develops a transitional motive from the first section. The second movement, also in ternary form, is rather upbeat. The first of the two primary themes is lyrical, but active. The second is more rhythmic and chromatic. This is a substantial and fun composition that is sure to be a hit at recitals.

Une Belle Fleur for flute and guitar YouTube

Commissioned by the Friedman-Wysong Duo.

Published by Les Productions, d'Oz

5 minutes, upper intermediate level

Romantic piece featuring two main melodies. The flute and guitar are equal partners.

April Twilight SoundCloud

Published by Doberman-Yppan

For Soprano, Flute and Piano (Also for Soprano, Flute and Guitar)

4 minutes.

The lyrics for this song come from a poem by Willa Cather that she dedicated to two of her brothers in remembrance of the times when they played together as children.

When Lights Begin to Show (Flute, Clarinet and Guitar) YouTube

"When Lights Begin to Show exudes rapture, so it should, given that (Baxter) wrote it to celebrate the marriage of close friends. The guitar partners with a flute and clarinet for a gorgeous trio setting that's as swoon-inducing as they come. It's hard to resist drawing a parallel between the woodwinds and the wedding couple when the instruments intertwine so lovingly."
February 2023

"When Lights Begin to Show is marvelously reminiscent of salon-type chamber stylings from an earlier period, but with a modern sensibility."
-Emily Kerski

5 minutes, Les Productions d'OZ

Written for the marriage of Amit and Rajni.

The Darkness Between Us (Flute and Piano) YouTube

Published by Alry Publications.

This work is dedicated to Jwandune, a young casualty of a bomb dropped from a US drone in Afghanistan. This young girl was leading a typical carefree life playing; then suddenly her face was blown off. Her physical life was saved, but her face was destroyed. Through multiple surgeries, her appearance has been reconstructed. She remains blind. The amazing thing about Jwandune is that she also has recaptured her happy perspective although the trauma lingers, and her fears remain close to the surface. 

The Darkness Between Us is divided into two sections. The first, Â lalo lalo lalo, begins with a quote from the Afghan nursery rhyme of the same name. This section represents Jwandune’s easy early life moving into struggle and pain at the moment of attack. As the music tries to recapture the soft nursery rhyme, we find it is changed – now sad, never to be quite the same again. The second part is Jwandune’s Song, which depicts the uplifting strength she has exhibited in her new life.

Commissioned by flutist Karen Johnson.