Generic Average Grade-III-Level Music Festival Overture for Band
Below are links to pdf files of an original piece for band that is absolutely FREE to use and even perform.
It is the result of a little experiment of mine to test a theory: How difficult is it to write music if you have low standards?
On July 29, 2007 (a rare day where I didn’t have anything better to do and had no distractions), I began composing a piece with no preconceived notions except a plan for general form (ABA), length (4 minutes), instrumentation (school band), and grade level (III or IV). I set out to answer the question, “How long would it take to write a publisher-quality piece of music if I were to just compose and ignore my nagging conscience when it told me what I was writing was terrible, boring drivel?”
The answer is: about six hours to write the piece, then another six hours the next day to edit and publish it.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this piece: It’s solidly scored, reasonably cross-cued for smaller or weaker sections, uses sound compositional techniques worthy of study, and offers possible solo passages for many instruments. I took the time to ensure that it was technically well within the ability level of a typical grade III group. In short, I think it’s as good as just about anything you’d pay $50-60 for.
Despite all that, this piece adds nothing to the quality literature available for young bands.
It’s a sad truth. There’s too much music out there that is cookie-cutter, formulaic, boring stuff. I confess I feel genuine remorse that offering this piece on my website further contributes to an already-deep ravine of innocuous fluff. Please note that I couldn’t even bear to sign my own name to the work.
So why do it? I hope that perhaps the money saved by using this free piece will be spent on a better one…it doesn’t even have to be one of my own compositions! There’s good literature out there: please take the time to find it, and don’t blow your already meager budget on stuff that a guy can write in an afternoon.
This music is FREE for the use of band directors everywhere, with just a few caveats:
FEEL FREE TO:
- photocopy the score and parts as much as you like
- make minor rewrites or simplifications to suit your instrumentation if necessary
- perform the work at a school function, concert, festival, or other similar event where no admission fee is charged
- share this piece with others
- record the piece for the benefit of you, your students, and their families
- edit or erase any part of the original legal notices on hardcopies of the work or the PDF files
- sell for profit any of the printed materials or a recording of the work
All other legal rights are reserved and in effect. The title page must accompany any hardcopy of the score.