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Henry Law

Wind Band Literature Review

1. Fanfare for the Common Man, By: Aaron Copland, Arr: Longfield Type: Opener
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Year: 1944 (original) 2007 (arrangement). Price $55
This piece is a standard and has been rearranged for less technical demand on
every instrument. It would still be a blow for any high school trumpet player and
would take French Horns that could handle leaps of 4ths and 5ths. It is still only
graded a 3 which I think is a little high for this piece, even after the arrangement.

2. Clash, By: Ryan Main Publisher: Wingert-Jones, Type: Opener Year: 2009 Price: $65
This piece is ranked at a grade 4 and has a connection to Kansas (kind of). Ryan
Main graduated from UMKC with a degree in composition. Clash does require
strong upper woodwinds. The clarinets begin with a repeated 8th note line a half
step apart from each other with other woodwinds coming in as back grounds. The
brass parts are not too difficult they just require fixing tuning problems.

3. The Big Cage, By: Karl King. Publisher: Barnhouse Company, Type: March, Year: 1934
(Original) 2004 (Arrangement) Price: $65
While listening to it I was a little skeptical about it. There are a lot of quick runs
in the woodwinds and in the upper brass but I think if you work the scales they
belong to everything should be fine. It is definitely a quick one that clicks off at
half note = 132. It follows a normal march form.

4. El Capitan, By: John Phillip Sousa, Publisher: Willow Blossom Music, Type: March,
Year: 1999 (arrangement) Price: $60
El Capitan has a lot of moving melodies for all instruments. The beginning has a
couple of flourishment lines along with the melody that could prove difficult and
there is a counter line in the trombones and French horns. The trio has a clarinet
section melody that grows and falls with every 8 bars. The coda has a very simple
line with half and quarter notes.

5. Trombone King, By Karl King, Publisher: Barnhouse Company, Type Novelty, Year:
1945 (original) 1983 (Arrangement) Price: $48
If you have a good trombone section, then this is a great piece to reward them
with their hard work. The melody is not too difficult for an advanced group but it
does require clean articulation and delicate dynamics. The rest of the band has
flourishment lines with quick 2 to 3 beat scales in 8th notes. It follows standard
march form.
6. Lux Aurumque, by Eric Whitacre, Publisher: Hal Leornard, Type Ballad, Year: 2005
Price: $90
Originally written for choir this piece can prove difficult for any level of band. It
has very soft entrances in all instrument groups and high soaring lines in the upper
brass parts. Although it has a very big and bold section in it, it never feels
overwhelming. It begins with with open intervals and then moves to various
chords through great part writing. Clarinets must be able to hold notes at a very
soft dynamic level.

7. Contre Qui Rose, By Morten Lauridson/trans. H. Robert Reynolds, Publisher: Peer Music
Classical, Type: Ballad, Year 2006, Price: $80
Another piece originally written for choir. It has beautiful textures between
different groups of instruments. The difficulty in this lies with the music:
rearticulating the same note at a soft dynamic, controlled entrances, following
dynamics, the juicy things of what we do in music. There is dissonance in this
piece. Within sections parts are a half or whole step apart from each other.

8. Bond….James Bond, By Stephen Bulla, Publisher: Hal Leonard, Type: Closer, Year:
2012, Price $80
Although it can be considered “old” there is nothing more soothing than a good
spy story. This piece does require a drum set player and transition skills from the
band. There is an oboe solo for “gold finger”. There is nothing to complex about
the arrangement and everything is pretty straight forward from the recording. A
fun piece for parents to listen.

9. An American Christmas, By: Robert W. Smith, Publisher: Alfred Publishing, Type:


Novelty/Closer, Year: 2004, Price: $72
This piece throws a mixture of classic march feel with Christmas songs added for
your pleasure. I count Stars and Stripes Forever, Jingle Bells, and March of the
Toy Solider with a jazzy feel in it. Nothing too difficult in it just requires students
to want to play it.

10. First Suite in Eb, By Gustav Holst, Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Type Big/Multi-
Movement, Year: 2005 ed. Price: $115
This is a band standard. It has 3 movements, Chaconne, Intermezzo, and March.
This piece requires all instrumentalists to have an understanding of music. There
are very subtle things within the music like melodies turned upside down and
backwards. Some of the difficulties include chamber like playing, tuning
difficulties across the band, soft/controlled entrances, maintaining pulse. Many
little solos with in the piece.