American Overture For Band Analysis

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American Overture for Band is a level six, wind band, piece that has been played and enjoyed by advanced high school and university bands. The scoring is dense and somewhat atypical, however. Jenkins includes a sting bass, a cello, three baritone parts, three flute parts, and four clarinet and trombone parts.
Jenkins includes the string bass part because is important to the texture of the piece. The tuba cues, like all the cues in the piece, are “safety doublings” and “should be played only in the absence of the instrument shown”. The cello part is also critical to measure one hundred twenty-seven, one hundred twenty-eight, one hundred thirty-three, and one hundred thirty-four as it supplies the only rhythmic off beats. Also, when seating
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This piece has “characteristics of classic sonata form, and is similar in energy and length to such concert overtures as Shostakovich’s Festival Overture.” As with a typical sonata form, the piece is broken down into five main sections. The first introductory section features the opening horn fanfare and a full ensemble crescendo into the exposition. Starting at measure four, the first theme is articulated with tutti figures thru many different instruments. Immediately following that in measure twelve, we hear the inversion of that melody in the clarinets and alto saxophone. The inversion is then repeated in the upper woodwinds and in the cornet. The original fanfare, original theme, and the inversion of the theme are then all passed around the ensemble. It is not until measure forty-one until the second theme …show more content…
The two themes, the inversion, and motifs are expanded and played upon. Also during the development, we encounter many different keys. Thru many chromatic sequences and patterns, we pass through D major, C# major, F# major, B major, e minor, a minor, f minor, and g minor. The build up into the recapitulation at measure one hundred ten features familiar passages and ideas. The recap leads us to the original horn fanfare, the inversion motif, and the original two themes, all seamlessly composed together with new and old material as we push our way to the end. Here at the end, the piece arrives back in the tonal center of C major and accelerando to unison rhythms to end out the

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