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An Aleatoric Piece for Band by John Pennington
Apollo is aleatoric; chance music. The aleatoric elements depends on the players, not the conductor or the composer. The musicians are allowed to pick and choose the pitches they want to play, within the limitations imposed by his part and the conductor.
In general, Apollo requires a degree of understanding and imagination from the musicians. They nedd to understand the effects being sought, and contribute imaginatively so that the piece will have unity.
A Composition written by Andrew Boysen Jr.
I AM is a modern sounding work written for concert band that incorporates some very interesting sounds. It also includes singing from within the band that adds a very interesting color to the work. This piece was written and dedicated to a yound saxophone player who was killed in a car accident. The work depicts the day of the crash and the sounds that may have occured before, during , and after the accident.
Sinfonia's 1 - 10
Three sets for band written by Timothy Broege
These three sets for band are all considered valuable pieces to perform with your ensemble because they offer the a variety of music to perform that is of the modern style, and these works vary in difficulty from medium easy, to very difficult. When reviewing these woks be sure to look at each of the ten, to see which one will best be suited for your band's level of performance.
A traditional work arranged by Frank Ticheli
This beautiful composition offers a band the opportunity to present a tradtional favorite with a modern day style. Allthough it is not considered a contemporary piece, this work offers the audience some very interesting sounds, and colors.
Written by John Boccio
Canto-W. Francis McBeth
- Southern Music Company
- Grade 2
- Commissioned by the All-Japan Band Association to be used in their national contest by the Japanese Junior High School Bands
- Easy rhythms, lots of accents, clapping
- Two percussionists needed to play different length woodblocks
- High A's in the trumpet part
- Performance problem - rushing the clapping and percussion rhythms
Epinicion for Winds and Percussion-John Paulson
- Neil A. Kjos Music Company
- Specific instructions in the score
- Each performance will be a new experience
- Involves compositional techniques such as: blowing air through the instrument, tone clusters, and ad lib solo lines.
- An EPINCION is an ancient song of victory sung at conclusion of a triumphant battle. The Greeks would sing it as they walked through the battlefield sorting the wounded from the dead.
- Three movements (I. The Stars Come Out; II. Comets, Meteors, Shooting Stars; III. The Surface of the Sun)
- High school level
- Used with electronic tape, slide whistles
- Combines traditional and non-traditional elements with electronically produced sounds to uncover a new world of band sonorities. "Each of its three movements concerns itself with exploring a different sound sphere. The first movement employs a quasi-aleotory technique to build tension through increasing density; the second movement is a scintillating interplay of brief chromatic fragments; the third movement throws bright stabs of light against an ominously rumbling background. The taped sounds add a unique dimension to the work." (Taken from program notes)
The Armies of the Omnipresent Otserf-David R. Holsinger
- Carl Fischer Music
- College level
- Filled with imagery, vocal singing and chanting
- Extensive percussion and instrumental ranges (high C# in the trumpets)
- Solo ad lib lines
- Some sections use seconds for musical duration instead of meter
- Mixed meter
- Different performance experience each time
- Instrumentation expanded to include: Piano, watergong, marching machine, and chimes (played by two players)
- Very difficult French Horn parts
Submitted by Tim Knabe
Elliot Del Borgo, composer and trumpet player, born in 1938 in New York, and studied theory and composition with Vincent Persichetti at the Philadelphia Conservatory, and trumpet with Gilbert Johnson. He has taught instrumental music in public schools and at the Crane School of Music.
In Memorium: Babi Yar
On September 29th and 30th, 1941, the invading German armies killed 34 000 Ukrainian Jews at Babi-Yar, a place four miles from Kiev. The Soviets filled and leveled the area to erase the tragedy from the minds and eyes of the Russian people. This piece is dedicated by the composer to those victims.
This is a piece for a good high school band. It calls for fairly average instrumentation but makes demands on the percussion section. It also allows for contra bass clarinet and the use of a contra alto clarinet. The percussion requires minimally four players to cover the given parts, which includes vibraphone, timpani, xylophone, marimba, snare and bass drum as the major instruments, and a host of auxiliary instruments, all of which are used much.
The ranges of the instruments do not reach extremes in any of the sections, and intervals are also not excessive for a high school instrumentalist. Individual parts require a good knowledge and familiarity with multiple meters, 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 6/8, syncopation, triplets, and hemiola (3 against 2).
There are demands made of the woodwinds, especially the clarinets and flutes. They have sections of very interesting rhythmic activity.
The form of In Memorium is A B A'.
Scoring does not require too much individual independence of performance, but as sections, these parts must be secure.
Keys are not difficult, D minor and G major but lack of key signatures and amorphous transitions could be a stumbling block that could be avoided with planning.
This is a long and challenging work of over ten minutes.
Prelude, Passacaglia and Fugue
This is a three movement work without major divisions between the movements.
The instrumentation is a normal band setting, with a doubling of the tuba part in a string bass. It calls for flutes 1 and 2, oboe 1 and 2, bassoon 1 and 2, Bb Clarinets 1, 2, and 3, Eb Alto Clarinet, Bb Bass Clarinet, Eb Alto Saxophone, Bb Tenor Saxophone, Eb Baritone Saxophone, Bb Trumpets 1, 2, and 3, F Horn 1,2,3, and 4, Trombone 1,2, and 3, Baritone Horn, Tuba, String Bass, and five percussionists; three percussion parts, mallet percussion, and timpani.
Again, Mr. Del Borgo uses no key signature, and seems to slide from one tonal center to another. He starts in F and appears to continually return to that center.
Ranges tend to get high, especially for the clarinets, and trumpets. Playing this work will require maturity in these sections.
There is much use of multiple meter, syncopation and triplet/sextuplet rhythmic figures, especially in the Prelude. This work requires a strong sense of individual independence of part. Third clarinets in the Prelude are given figures that normally the firsts would have. Sectional entrances in the Passacaglia require each member to be confident in entrances: there is no opportunity to listen for the first player. Hemiola in the final movement has triplets against sextuplets in the trombones, baritones and tubas against the flutes, oboes, clarinets, and alto saxophones; all of which is against trumpet and horn. This is not easy.
This is a good piece for refining musicianship and challenging enough to keep performers interest from its first presentation to its final performance.
It is a well crafted work, and deserves to be used.
This is a long and demanding work of over nine minutes.
Sammy Nestico, composer, trombonist, and former director of the US Air Force’s Airmen of Note, from which he became known as an outstanding composer and arranger for service musical organizations. He is known as one of the few composers who can writer equally well for both professional and school musicians.
A Tribute to Stephen Foster
This is a collection of several of Stephen Fosters tunes, presented sequentially. It includes Suwanee, Camptown Ladies, O Suzanna, and others. Each tune is blended into one another, rather than being presented as a separate work, which leads to continuity and interest.
It has a standard instrumentation: c piccolo, flute 1 and 2, oboe 1 and 2, bassoon 1 and 2, Eb clarinet, clarinet 1, 2, and 3, Eb alto clarinet, Bb bass clarinet, alto saxophone 1 and 2, Bb tenor saxophone, Eb baritone saxophone, cornet 1, 2, and 3, F horns 1, 2, 3, and 4, trombones 1, 2, and 3, baritones bass and treble clef, basses and string bass, percussion, timpani, bells, xylophone, and chimes.
The flute ranges are bordering on extreme, and only experienced flutists who are confident of not chipping notes should try the ascending runs.
Other instrumental ranges are not as challenging as that of the flutes.
As a collection of individual songs, this work changes time, meter, and key frequently. This is a challenge as nothing by itself is difficult in the work, except the range extreme and passing of parts between sections. This work requires a thorough grounding by the entire ensemble in the fundamentals of each instrument to pull off a performance. The familiar and infectious tunes, and the way they are presented, makes this an attractive, technical, and fun piece to play, because everyone has something of interest to play in it. It will maintain student interest, and it has great audience appeal because nearly everyone will recognize at least one of the themes.
The craftsmanship is superb in both arranging these tunes and assigning solos and sections melodic parts. It is well worth consideration.
Arthur Frackenpohl, a prize-winning composer and teacher of composition, piano, and theory at the Crane School of Music. He has received numerous awards from professional organizations for his work.
American Folksong Suite
A collection of American folksongs; He's Gone Away, an Appalachian folksong that originated in Scotland; Go 'Way From My Window,
a love song form the Ozarks; John Henry, a hammer song; and Mama Don't Allow, a fast folksong. Unlike the Stephen Foster, each melody is presented individually as a movement.
This work uses a slightly expanded instrumentation; c piccolo, flutes 1 and 2, oboe and English horn, bassoons 1 and 2, Eb clarinet, clarinets 1, 2, and 3, Eb alto clarinet, Eb contralto clarinet, Bb bass clarinet, Bb contrabass clarinet, alto saxophone 1 and 2, Bb tenor saxophone, Eb baritone saxophone, cornet 1, 2, and 3, F horn 1, 2, 3, and 4, trombone 1, 2, and 3,
baritone bass and treble clef, string bass and tuba, timpani, xylophone, percussion, and auxiliary percussion.
This work uses multiple keys and meters as it is a collection of individual tunes. It generally uses simple meter, but does include compound meter.
Ranges are challenging for flutes, and even trombones have a tough section.
This is a technically demanding piece in places where either counting, range, ensemble, or key is a consideration. The key ranges from G concert to Ab concert which should not a problem for mature high school bands.
Syncopation is an often used technique and with multiple meter, triplet hemiola, and other special effects, makes this a fun and interesting work both to perform and enjoy.
Submitted by Paul Helfter
Last Updated: 2 December 1996