Scroll down for a lead sheet for Camptown Races that includes the melody and chords, with versions of the song in seven different keys. There are also links to the song for piano, recorder, woodwind, brass, and string instruments. The arrangements are all written in 4/4 time and are easier for beginner students to play at a moderate tempo. If you would like to play Camptown Races at a faster tempo, simply treat the song as if it is in cut time (2/2), with the half note equal to one beat.
Stephen Foster was born on July 4, 1826, in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, and even though he only lived to the age of 37, he was such a successful songwriter that he eventually came to be known as “the father of American music.” Many of his songs are still popular today, including Old Folks at Home, Oh! Susanna, My Old Kentucky Home, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, Camptown Races, and several more.
Camptown Races was published in 1850, and while the inspiration for the song is not definitively known, it was probably named after the town of Camptown, Pennsylvania which was not far from Foster’s birthplace. The song has been used in numerous movies and cartoons and has become a standard melody for children to play because it is relatively easy to learn and is very catchy and memorable.
Camptown Races for flute
Camptown Races for oboe
Camptown Races for clarinet
Camptown Races for bassoon
Camptown Races for alto saxophone
Camptown Races for tenor saxophone
Camptown Races for trumpet
Camptown Races for French horn
Camptown Races for trombone
Camptown Races for tuba