Sep 192017
 

Music and ballet intertwined right from the beginning of time. Without music, ballet is nothing more than the empty motions of a ritual. Without the movement and rhythm of the dance, music loses all vitality. Moreover, so, ballet as a doorway to human expression hinges on both music and dance.

Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the Italian-born French composer who founded the French national opera was not just a court composer to Louis XIV, but also a choreographer who produced court ballets for Moliere’s plays. Because of his work in music and choreographer, his productions never lacked an accompaniment. However, theater productions of the eighteenth century turned composers away from ballet and toward the music of ballroom dancing.

This phase sustained its self straight through the nineteenth century except for pieces by Russian classical composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) which include the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty.

In the twentieth century, however, ballet came back to the spotlight. Once again considered a respectable art form, choreographers looked to the works of classical composers such as Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin, Brahms, and Handel to perform the art of ballet dancing too.

Many agree that dance owes its very existence to the likes of those who are both composers and choreographers. Because being musicians in nature, they naturally pay close attention to ballet following the rhythmic structure of its accompaniment precisely. One who does not understand music can easily create choreography that looks good that in of itself, yet at the mercy of a great classical piece the novice falls short of expressing the true nature of the piece. Instead, they turn the production into a form of movement that is devoid of both art and beauty. The experts instead know when it is appropriate to go against the grain of the accompaniment to heighten those dramatic periods which capture their audience’s attention and leaves them breathless.

As we dawn a new era of music and dance, it is undeniable that ballet will continue to change. However, just as music and dance have always been the best of friends, the ballet will continue to find its new identity in the evolving music of today.

Do you have a brass band and looking for new music to play at your next performance? Check out and purchase my arrangement of No. 5 Pas de deux From Act I from the Ballet Swan Lake Op. 20 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by clicking on the link.

No. 5 Pas de deux From Act I from the Ballet Swan Lake Op. 20

 

Sep 062017
 
Originally composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II for the musical, Very Warm for May in 1939, All The Things You Are is a piece that is a jazz standard performed by many performers including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Parker, and Michael Jackson.
This arrangement for Horn Quartet is 3 minutes, 32 seconds long, and is an endurance challenge for the first part. It also should be played lyrically at quarter note equaling 120.
Sep 062017
 
Written by Richard and Robert Sherman and featured in the 1964 motion picture, Mary Poppins, Feed the Birds is a song that tells of an elderly beggar woman who sits on the steps of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.  As the birds gather around her, she sells bread crumbs to those who pass by for tuppence a bag.
With the duration of 3 minutes long, this arrangement of Feed the Birds is for six horns and is a great piece as far as phrasing, chamber ensemble playing and dynamic levels.
Sep 062017
 
The Hanging Tree is a composition written by James Newton Howard and featured in the 2014 film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 from the Hunger Games film series. This arrangement is for a British Style Brass Band by Lisa Lenke Sousa.
The brass band arrangement starts with a cornet solo and later joined by the solo horn. As the piece grows in dynamics, so does the instrumentation until it reaches a full band at a double forte. At the very end of the composition, the solo cornet returns with the melody and slows down at the end. It is a tiered piece with different dynamics that make the arrangement.
Sep 062017
 

This arrangement of No. 5 Pas de deux From Act I from the Ballet Swan Lake Op. 20 is a challenging piece for British Style Brass Band. It contains a full score including parts for 9 cornets ( 4 solo cornets, 2 second cornets and 3 3rd cornets), 1 Flugelhorn, 3 Tenor Horn parts, 2 Baritone, 2 Tenor Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone, 2 Euphoniums, 2 E flat Tubas, and 2 BB flat Tubas.  Please order this piece today!!

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