Dances at Threave

by John Maxwell Geddes

Arranged for Band by Hal Peterson


Standard Instrumentation: Full Score, Piccolo, Flute 1 (3), Flute 2 (3), Oboe 1, Oboe 2, Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet 1 (3), Bb Clarinet 2 (3), Bb Clarinet 3 (3), Bb Clarinet 4 (optional — replaces Alto Clarinet), Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet (2), Eb Contrabass Clarinet (optional — replaces String Bass), Soprano Saxophone (optional — replaces Oboe 1), Alto Saxophone 1 (2), Alto Saxophone 2 (2), Tenor Saxophone (2), Baritone Saxophone, Bassoon 1, Bassoon 2, Horn 1 in F (2), Horn 2 in F (2), Horn 3 in F (2), Horn 4 in F (2), Bb Trumpet 1 (3), Bb Trumpet 2 (3), Bb Trumpet 3 (3), Trombone 1 (2), Trombone 2 (2), Bass Trombone (2), Baritone T.C., Euphonium (2), Tuba (4), String Bass, Timpani, Percussion 1 (Tambourine, Snare Drum, Crash Cymbals (2), Percussion 2 (Tambour or Tom, Triangle, Snare Drum) (2), Vibraphone.

World Parts Set includes the standard instrumentation above, plus: Horn 1 in Eb (2), Horn 2 in Eb (2), Horn 3 in Eb (2), Horn 4 in Eb (2), Trombone 1 in Bb Treble Clef (2), Trombone 2 in Bb Treble Clef (2), Bass Trombone in Bb Treble Clef (2), Trombone 1 in Bb Bass Clef (2), Trombone 2 in Bb Bass Clef (2), Bass Trombone in Bb Bass Clef (2), Baritone in Bb Bass Clef (2), Tuba in Eb Treble Clef (2), Tuba in Eb Bass Clef (2), Tuba in Bb Treble Clef (2), Tuba in Bb Bass Clef (2).

Duration: 9 minutes.

Suggested Programming Formats: Concert or Festival performance where a short piece with a Scottish flair is appropriate.

Description: Dances at Threave is based on fifteenth to seventeenth century dance forms and airs. It is a festive piece, designed for a gala occasion. Apart from two quotations of early Scottish airs, “I dowe not own gold” and “I love my love for love again”, the work consists of original courtly airs created in that style by composer John Maxwell Geddes. He describes the work as containing “the rhythms and meters of galiards, lilts, and bransles abound, tied together with a complete disregard for historical accuracy or stylistic authenticity!”

Historical Note: Threave was the stronghold on an island in the river Dee, a tower house built by Archibald the Grim in the fourteenth century. For three hundred years it was associated with important and often bloody events in Scottish history — the Black Douglases, the Maxwells, and James VI. It was finally destroyed by the Covenanters in 1640.

History: Dances at Threave was written in response to a commission from the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival for its final concert in June, 1993, with the financial assistance of the Scottish Arts Council. A short piece with a Scottish flair was requested: immediately accesible music for a gala occasion. The work has met with much success in Scotland, and has been performed by professional, community, and youth orchestras. The band arrangement was completed in July, 2003 by San Jose composer and conductor Hal Peterson. While every effort was made to preserve the original sound of Dances at Threave, certain changes were necessary to accommodate today’s contemporary concert bands. Much of the string work was converted into clarinet and saxophone choirs, with assistance from bassoon and muted trumpets in pizzicato passages, and the harp part was replaced with a combination of string bass and vibraphone. Although band directors programming Dances at Threave are encouraged to used the original instrumentation whenever possible, several optional parts have been included in this edition to accommodate performances, and exposed solo or important accompaniment passages are cued.

About the composer.

About the Edition. The full score for Dances at Threave is published in a spiral bound edition. The instrumental parts are folded paper. Click here to see some score pages in pdf.

Click on the player to hear a performance of Dances at Threave.

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