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Genre: Band
# of Players: Standard
Level: 3 | Duration: 4:30
Publisher: G & M Brand | Copyright: 2006

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    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 Flute
    2nd Flute
    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
    1st Trombone
    2nd Trombone*
    (TC Baritone)

    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.

    Program Notes
    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

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