Home On The Range

Home On The Range


3-part arrangement of the classic western/cowboy song.

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The words to the quintessential cowboy song “Home On The Range” were written as a poem by Dr. Brewster Higley in 1871, shortly after he moved to Smith County, Kansas, from his home in southeastern Ohio.  A few years later, he met Dan Kelley, a violinist with the Harlan Brothers Orchestra, and showed him the verses.  Kelley started humming to find a tune to fit the words, and later shared it with orchestra leaders Cal and Gene Harlan.  They suggested that it needed a chorus, and the 3 of them came up with one.  They taught the words to Cal Harlan's 9-year old daughter Virgie, and they performed it for the first time at a dance near Gaylord, Kansas, with Dan and Gene playing "twin fiddles", Cal on guitar, and Virgie singing.  It was an immediate hit, and quickly spread all over the country.  In 1947, a bill was passed by the Kansas State Senate officially naming "Home on the Range" as the Kansas state song.

There are 3 parts to this arrangement.  The first part is a basic chord-melody arrangement.  This can be enhanced by adding the backup chord arrangement, which uses various "color chord" substitutions (7th chords, related minor chords, etc).  Finally, for more advanced players, there is a "kitchen sink" version, which combines the basic melody with the enhanced chords, and also adds some left and right hand techniques, such as flat-picking, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and even bent strings.