Moon Goddess

Program Notes:

Moon Goddess was one of the first pieces composed for the American Choral Directors Association Women’s Choir Commissioning Consortium, through which over 35 women’s choirs including Elektra jointly commission three works per year and give regional premieres. Its piano 4-hands accompaniment with percussion is vigorous and exhilarating.

Conductor Notes:

For SSA choir, 4-hand piano, large frame/buffalo drum, finger cymbals and suspended cymbal. With its vigour, a demanding piano duet, and lots of mixed metres, this piece is fun to conduct. I conducted some measures marked 6/4 as 3/2 – worked better with the word stress or piano part. Vocal ranges are good and varied. Huge, flourishing ending.

Composer / Arranger Notes:

Enheduanna (born ca. 2300 B.C.) was a moon priestess, the daughter of King Sargon of Agade, who reigned over the world’s first empire, extending from the Mediterranean to Persia. Sargon is the first important leader to emerge from the half-light of prehistory into the full light of a written record. His daughter, Enheduanna, is the first writer, male or female, in history whose name and work have been preserved. Her personal history survives in highly politicized poems, which in their cosmic vision and ethical outrage recall Isaiah. In her poems to the Sumerian goddess of love Inanna, she speaks to a deity who has descended to earth as an ally, as a friend to help her in her need. In the poems’ sensuality, surprising metaphors, and intimacy, they recall Sappho’s poems to her ally Aphrodite. ~A Book of Women Poets, from Antiquity to Now, Ed. By Aliki and Willis Barnstone


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.


O my lady, on hearing your sound, hills and flatlands bow.

O my lady, guardian of all the great essences, you have picked them up and hung them

on your hand.

You are lofty like Heaven. Let the world know! You are wide like the earth. Let the world know!

You strike everything down in battle.

O my lady, on your wings

you hack away the land and charge disguised as a charging storm,

roar as a roaring storm,

thunder and keep thundering, and snort with evil winds.

O primary one,

moon goddess Inanna of heaven and earth!

On your harp of sighs I hear your dirge.

O my lady, this song has made you great and exalted you.

O my lady, wife of An, I have told your fury!

Text by Enheduanna; adapted by Jocelyn Hagen, based on adaptations by Aliki and Willis Barnstone, from William W. Hallo and J. J. A. van Dijk, The Exaltation of Inanna (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968)