Vum Vive Vum

from Angel of Light

SATB a cappella
Duration: 2 Minutes
Text: Traditional Shaker
Year: 2015

Commissioned by: Capitol Hill Chorale, Washington, DC
Premiered by: Capitol Hill Chorale, Frederick Binkholder, director, June 6 & 7, 2015
Publisher: E. C. Schirmer #8781

J.W. Pepper
ECS Publishing


Vum Vive Vum is the central movement of Angel of Light, a cantata based on Shaker themes. A dancing and playful rhythmic ride for SATB choir, Vum Vive Vum will bring a burst of energy to any choral performance. It is ideal as a light-hearted opening or closing number and perfect for intermediate choirs and beyond.

The original tune of Vum Vive Vum dates from 1844 and is a lively example of a Shaker dance song. The use of vocables was a common feature of early Shaker music, particularly in the repertoire used for dance. In Vum Vive Vum, the vocal sounds used represent a uniquely American form of “mouth music”—a style of traditional singing where nonsense words are used to mimic the sounds of an instrument or the rhythms of a dance.

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