The Pateroller Sonata


The Pateroller Sonata was written for William Feasley in 2011 by the celebrated American composer Peter Madlem. The piece had its premiere later that same year at the Forfest festival of New Music and Art in Kromeritz, Czech Republic.

The piece gets in name from an old “field holler” song that in turn became a claw hammer banjo staple. “Pateroller” is thought to have been a bastardization of the name escaped slaves gave to the posses or “patrols” that pursued them:

“Run boy run, the pateroller’s on your trail… run boy run, until the break of day...”


Movement 1 – Frailing

Movement 2 – Behind the Moon

Movement 3 – The Pateroller