Witness the historic battle of 1314 between England and Scotland. In the opening of Bannockburn you will hear the marching of the English army advancing toward the battlefield. The tension builds and the tempo increases as the battle begins and victory is claimed and celebrated!
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3 | Duration: 4:30
1st Bb Clarinet
2nd Bb Clarinet
3rd Bb Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet*
1st Eb Alto Saxophone*
2nd Eb Alto Saxophone*
Bb Tenor Saxophone*
Eb Baritone Saxophone*
1st Bb Trumpet
2nd Bb Trumpet
3rd Bb Trumpet
1st F Horn
2nd F Horn
Percussion 1 (high tom, snare drum)
Percussion 2 (low tom)
Percussion 3 (bass drum, low tom)
Parts marked with an asterisk (*) are NOT ESSENTIAL, although their presence will obviously enable a fuller realization of the composer's intention to be achieved.
I have a long connection with the town of Bannockburn, as my wife was born and brought up there. It has therefore been a long ambition to write a work based on the history of the town and its most important tale.
In 1314, the forces of Edward II and Robert I met on the flat land south of Stirling. Edward had accepted a challenge to relieve Stirling Castel - one of the few Scottish castles still under English control - by midsummer's day. The Scottish forces, although smaller, were better led and better positioned. They won a heroic victory and Edward fled the field and Scotland (narrowly escaping capture). Although it was not until 1328 that the English monarchy (under Edward III) accepted Scotland's right to full independent status, the Battle of Bannockburn marked the end of any English pretensions to control the northern British kingdom
Musically, the opening represents the advance of the English army. The Scots had prepared extra long spears to defend against the expected cavalry onslaught. The tension builds and the tempo increases as the English charge, only to find that the spears are extremely effective. The Scots manage to force the English into retreat and are victorious. I have used tiny fragments of two melodies to build up my own set of working notes - Flower of Scotland, a song which immortalizes the victory, and a song called the Fields of Bannockburn.
Hopefully, the music demonstrates the thrill of battle and victory and will also thrill players and audience.
- Bruce Fraser