compositions | band | legend of the sword (2007)

legend of the sword (2007)

Medium: Concert Band
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Composed: 2007
Duration: 3:30
Difficulty: Grade 4


Flute 1/2
Oboe (opt.) 
Bb Clarinet 1/2
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

Horn in F 1/2
Bb Trumpet 1/2
Trombone 1/2 
Baritone B.C.
(Baritone T.C.) 

Percussion 1 (bells, xylophone, medium tom or taiko drum)
Percussion 2 (chimes, bells, medium low tow or taiko drum)
Percussion 3 (bass drum or large taiko drum, low tom)
Percussion 4 (wind chimes, tam-tam, 3 graduated cymbals)

Legend of the Sword
 tells the tale of a Japanese Samurai warrior as he prepares for and goes into battle. After a mysterious and ominous opening, the work comes to a rather dissonant climax followed by a brief silence (m. 17-18). The stage is now set for the intense battle that ensues. Just imagine the hundreds of warriors engaged in the fights with swords clashing.

The work was commissioned by the West Forsyth High School Marching Band (Jim Kirkpatrick and Chris Garmon, directors) as the opener for their 2007 marching band show. It has been re-imagined here for concert band.

REVIEW (excerpt)
Legend of the Sword, by Nathan Daughtrey, is a departure from anything that may suggest writing by formula or exploiting current models. As the composition unfolds, listeners hear an evolution of timbres and colors created through combinations of instruments that gives students experience playing truly expressive music. The piece lacks a theme in the traditional sense and instead develops rhythmic patterns and chord progressions.

Polyrhythms in the percussion and winds define the texture as the clarinet and flute parts develop syncopated, technical passages. The music always seems to move ahead with writing that contrasts tone clusters, outbursts in the percussion, and rapid figures in the woodwinds. The intensity increase near the end of the piece as the composer combines instruments in extended note groupings.   

Charles R. Groeling, Roosevelt University, retired (Chicago, IL)
The Instrumentalist Magazine