Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
7 minutes
Modern classical music
Instrumental parts
Not available
Related scores

Based on part 2 of Yann Martel’s "Life of Pi" which tells the story of a boy shipwreked in a life boat with a tiger, a hyena, an orang utan and a zebra.

Bar 1-2: The glockenspiel symbolises the approach to land at the end of Pi’s 227 day journey.

Bar 4-6: Pi wakes up

Bar 7-9: Richard Parker wakes up

Bar 10: The first step on dry land

Bar 10-36: Flashback to the storm that initially sink the ship

Bar 37-41: The storm sibsides, revealing Pi (flute), Richard Parker (oboe), the zebra (trombone), the hyena (horns) and the orang utan (violins)

Rehearsal mark A (bar 42)- bar 67: the hyena eats the other animals on the lifeboat, first the zebra (bar 47-50), then the orang utan (bar 51-58). Eventually, Richard Parker eats the hyena (bar 59-67)

Bar 68-82: Pi realises that he must train Richard Parker to keep himself alive. As the woodwinds get more disjointed (78-81), Richard Parker loses his footing and Pi gains the upper hand.

Bar 83-84: The glockenspiel symbolises the approach to land again. This time on an island.

Rehearsal mark B (bar 85)-bar 93: The hope of salvation, food, water and shelter after many days at sea. Note the theme is only played by the brass giving it an empty feel because the island is an empty solution to Pi’s problem.

Bar 95-100: The meerkats emerge

Bar 101-Rehearsal mark C (bar 121): Pi and Richard Parker enjoy their time on the island, filling their bellies with food.

Bar 122-125: Pi discovers that the island is cannabalistic and leaves, only to head into another storm.

Bar 126-Rehersal mark D (bar 145): After the storm, Pi loses his sight due to malnutrition and bumps into another lifeboat from the same ship he was on that had sunk. On it is a french cook (horn), a wounded sailor (trombone) and Pi’s mother (violins).

Rehearsal mark D-E (bar 146-157): Due to his blindness, it is not clear whether what Pi hears is real and the glockenspiel in the background serves to suspend reality. The french cook tells Pi that he ate the wounded sailor and Pi’s mother to survive and attempts to board Pi’s boat only to be eaten by Richard Parker.

Rehearsal mark E (bar 158)- bar 179: As Pi’s strength fades, he sees a ship in the distance. He calls out to the large approaching container ship but they don’t see him and sail in to the distance (bar 168-179). His hope of rescue is gone.

Bar 180-194: The glockenspiel re-enters and the scene at the start is repeated i.e. Pi’s approach to land.

Bar 195-205 (end): Finally safe after 227 days at sea

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