Performance Insights


Kum Ba Yah

(click the title to view and hear online)

Kum Ba Yah may be the best known campfire song ever.  It has been sung for generations and continues to be popular. 


This is a three-part arrangement (with all parts written in the treble clef) of the familiar spiritual. Kum Ba Yah originated in the lowlands of South Carolina. The title, in the Gullah language, was spoken by early African-American, and means Come By Here.  The melody is of African origin. 


When performed by early adolescent all-male groups, Part I & II may be sung by Boy Trebles, and Part III by the Cambiatas. 


When sung by other voice combinations, strive to fit the written part to the singer's range.


African Folk Song

Words are the Gullah language

Arranged by Donald Roach

Cambiata Press Catalog #U180136



This work is available in E-Print.

Please remember the copyright law.

It is illegal to purchase a single octavo, then photocopy it.

Order hard-copy scores from your favorite distributor, J.W.Pepper, Inc., or directly from Cambiata Press.




When you click the three-part of Kum Ba Yah you will be able to access an engraved copy of the piece.  When the new page appears, if you haven't already downloaded the scorch plug-in, you will be asked to do so. This plug-in gives you access to all the scores on the Cambiata Press website.  After the music appears on your screen, there are TWO WAYS to view and hear it:

1.  Click the "play" icon and you will hear the piece played electronically, and as it plays, the cursor will lead your vision through the piece.  Read the text as you listen to the music.


2.  Click the "Hear Choir Audio" link (upper right hand corner) to hear a choral ensemble sing the piece.  Use the Sibelius "page" icon to move the pages of the engraved copy manually as you listen.  Do not click the "play" icon while the ensemble is singing or you will hear both renditions simultaneously.  .

Sung by Talent Unlimited HS Jazz Choir,

Christian Smythe, Director; Jessica Horey, Flutist

Their text is slightly different from the published piece.




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Denton, Texas
Brevard, North Carolina