Merritts Hill Music

Merritts Hill Music

Military March in B flat

P. I. Tchaikovsky

Category: 10-piece Brass

Duration: 4' 00"

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Price: £11.95

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This is a great opener as a change from baroque trumpet tunes. When Tchaikovsky agreed to write this march as a favour to his cousin Andrei Petrovich, commander of the 98th Yurievsky Infantry, he was in the middle of composing the 6th Symphony and dashed it off as a piano score. Having neither the time nor the inclination to write for full band he indicated that the regimental bandmaster should orchestrate it without altering any of the melody or harmony. The edition for very large forces published by Jurgenson in 1894 (the year after the composer’s death) does contain departures from the original, but they generally serve to stiffen it up, and are incorporated in the brass band version elsewhere on the site. Jurgenson’s anonymous arranger sticks to the letter of Tchaikovsky’s law, but he alters passing notes and accompanying rhythms (presumably on the grounds that they are neither melody nor harmony) and even feels empowered to change several minims and crotchets in the tune into quavers! (See the notes attached to the sample score.)

This ten-piece version sticks deliberately to the autograph to test the effect of pure Tchaikovsky. He was more at home in the theatre than on the parade ground and although the piece did its military job once its dedicatees had found a uniform to fit it, it still rather suggests dancers dressed as soldiers and would be just as convincing as a spare scene for the Nutcracker.

Includes duplicate parts for soprano cornet, E flat horn, treble clef trombones and E flat or B flat bass.