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Composed for orchestra, Saraband was completed on January 4, 1948. It is 3 minutes and 5 seconds long. It was first performed on May 27, 1948 at the Boston Pops, with Arthur Fiedler conducting. Saraband was first recorded on June 19, 1950, in analog mono sound by Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. It was first recorded by the composer on September 11, 1950, in analog mono sound. Saraband was re-recorded in analog stereo sound by the composer on June 5, 1959.

Composer quote: "I have often wondered if our modern popular dance forms, such as the foxtrot and rhumba, will be used by composers two centuries from now as much as the 18th century classical dances are used by composers of the present day. The gigue, hornpipe, and pavane of the classical suites are still used today, but with modern styles. In the setting of the "Saraband", I have kept the slow triple rhythm of the classical saraband in the melody but the underlying rhythm has been doubled in tempo to produce the effect of the modern foxtrot. In the middle section, however, the slow triple rhythm is heard alone for a while, like an echo of the past, but then the doubled rhythm is resumed."