Passamezzo Antico

Wind ensemble, 2000

Duration: 11 minutes

2 Flutes
2 Oboes* (2. English Horn*)
2 Bassoons*
Clarinet in Eb*
3 Clarinets in Bb
Bass Clarinet
Contra-Bass Clarinet**
2 Alto Saxophones
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets in Bb
4 Horns in F
2 Trombones
Bass Trombone
6 Percussion
   1: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Tambourine, Crash Cymbals
   2: Marimba, Jawbone
   3: Triangle, Bongos, Mounted Tambourine, 2 Suspended Cymbals, Chimes
   4: 3 Tom-toms, Jawbone, Suspended Cymbal
   5: Snare Drum, Mounted Tambourine, Timbales, Suspended Cymbal, Wind Chimes, Tam-tam
   6: Vibraphone, Triangle, Jawbone, Tambourine, Timbales, Wind Chimes, Bass Drum

*If Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, or Eb Clarinet are unavailable, cues are provided in other parts to cover the music.
**The Contra-Bassoon, Contra-Bass Clarinet, and Double-Bass are all highly desirable, though not essential, as they have no independent parts.

Program Note:
Passamezzo Antico is a common name for one of the standard harmonic patterns used in the late Renaissance. This work, commissioned by The Baylor University Wind Ensemble, Michael Haithcock, conductor, is a fantasy loosely based on this progression. Pass’e mezzi, or passamezzi, (meaning either step-and-a-half, or passing measures) were used chiefly for dance and entertainment purposes, where performers would improvise over a steady progression. In written form, the passamezzi represented a sort of composers improvisation, and it is in this vein that the present work was conceived. Considerable liberty is taken with the standard progression in terms of rhythm, register, and, above all, style, as the music travels from the Renaissance to the modern era, and many points in-between. A typical example of the sixteenth-century variety, by Vincenzo Galilei (Galileo’s father), is quoted half way through the piece on mallet percussion.

Winner, 2001 Truman State University/MACRO Analysis Composition Competition.

perusal score

Recorded by The University of Florida Wind Ensemble, David Waybright, conductor, Musique Francais et Americaine, Mark Records, 3837-MCD (2001)