A Little Overture: Opus #2 (for the developing orchestra)

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A Little Overture: Opus #2 (for the developing orchestra)




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Year of composition
Easy (Grades 1-3)
4 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

an original work for the developing orchestra interchangeable instrumentation with the brass band and concert band versions

This work comprises two themes; Theme #1: a simple melody opens the work and repeats with a tenor countor melody leaping around the theme, and Theme #2: an aggressive bridge style melody moving by step and supported by punctuated percussive rhythms. The percussion features are significant to the character of this work, highlighting much of the accented harmonic distractions. For ease of performance, the five percussion parts have been set on four seperate sheets - timps, snare drum, bass drum & cymb, and glock.

THE PERFORMANCE Theme #1 opens the overture with a light and happy little melody comprising soli lead players. The theme is repeated at B accompanied by a smooth countermelody albeit moving by leap. At C the percussion and backing rhythm are added. The backing rhythm should not dominate the melodies The percussion enhances the backing rhythm to provide momentum. There is a slow build at E with tenor instruments playing long notes, rising slowly and indicating something new is about to happen. The volume increases as the tenor end rises on the long notes. Theme #1 is played for the fourth time with a slightly livelier countermelody at F there is notice of change when the melody ends but the style continues with pieces of the theme repeated Just before figure G the backing rhythm changes to double quavers which adds intrigue. Change is afoot and the sound builds There is a bridge section leading into H where the build-up continues. The percussion are important to the presence of sound by crescendo-ing into H At H the intrigue leaves us and is replaced by a tutti band section where the musicians are playing at their luodest, musically. Theme #2 is a gliding style of melody being unison/octave fortissimo legato movement. It is a forceful wall of unbroken sound The theme is supported by sharp intermittent movement of the backing including repeated fortissimo hits regularly on the 1st part of the bar It is a surprise to change the hits to late in the bar. This changes the momentum and gives a feel of inertia rather than brut forward force The continuity of theme #2 ceases and is replaced by a smooth flowing sound. Without the rhythm is has less motion. During the repeat a new couter melody is introduced flourishing over the building of the tenor section through E. The repeat is predictably the same (familiar and reliable) until the last moment when theme #2 ends differently Theme #2 is cut short and surprises in the 2nd time bar The Overture ends with a condensed re-cap of all before featuring long notes accompanied by the short abrupt hits accentuated by the percussion section


  • Percussion features basic instruments with simple tutti rhythms Timpani, S.D., B.D., Cymbs, and Glock
  • The Cymbals should be Hand Held Crash Cymbals for best effect
  • Tutti concert band "colour"
  • Doubling of parts (full sound throughout)
  • Bold variations in sound (dynamics, texture, timbre, colour, layers)
  • Tempo is constant (variation in rhythm, pulses, sustain, layers)
  • 3:37 minutes duration
  • Full instrumentation
  • Easy parts for beginning music students
  • Lead parts are a little more technically demanding and offer leadership opportunities to your lead players. This overture is enjoyable to the performer and audience alike. It offers confidence building rewards for the musicians and it is a spectacle for the audience. As the concert band masters the various passages, the young musicians will appear animated. The ensemble area will be awash with movement, as the performance gathers momentum. The fast four beats per measure will also serve to keep everyone on their toes as they count their place and prepare to play. Everyone is involved and, by the end of your recital, all will be glowing with satisfaction.

Especialliy with combined schools performances in mind, this instrumentation of "A Little Overture: Opus #1" may be performed simultaneously as a combined orchestra, concert band and brass band.


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