Reviewer: Krista M.



Title: A+: A Precise Prelude and an Excellent March

Composer / Arranger: Thomas C. Duffy

Publisher: ACF Publications

Date of Publication: 1998

Price: $60 Set & Score; $5 Extra Score

Ensemble Type: Concert Band

Description/Genre: Prelude & March; Experiential Learning

Duration: Approximately 3:00-3:30

Difficulty: V. Easy ! Easy ! Mod. ! Diff. ! V. Diff. !

Score: Full Score ! Reduced Score ! / Transposed ! C-Score !

Picc ! Fl1 ! Fl2 ! Fl3 ! (opt) Alto Fl ! Bass Fl !
Ob1 ! Ob2 ! EHn ! Bsn1 ! Bsn2 ! CBsn !
EbCl! Cl1 ! Cl2 ! Cl 3 ! Alto Cl ! Bass Cl !
CAltoCl ! CBCl ! SSax! ASax1 ! ASax 2 ! TSax !
BarSax ! BassSax !

Cor1 ! Cor2 ! Cor3 ! Trp1 ! Trp2 ! Trp3 !
Hn1 ! Hn2 ! Hn3 ! Hn4 ! Flg1 ! Flg2 !
Tbn1 ! Tbn2 ! Tbn3 ! BTbn ! BarTC ! BarBC !
Euph1 ! Euph2 ! Tuba1 ! Tuba2 ! StBass !

Harp ! Celeste! Glock. ! Xylo ! Mar. ! Vibes !
Piano ! Synth ! Chimes ! Crotales ! Timp ! Bass Dr. !
Snare ! Toms ! CrCym ! SusCym ! Tam ! Tri. !
Other Perc:
• Mallet is the only direction given in the score and can include all mallet instruments
• Timpani requires 4 drums

Vln 1 ! Vln. 2 ! Vla. ! VCello ! CBass ! ElecBass !

Unusual Instrumentation/Usage: Opt. alto & bass clarinet, F horn, & electric bass

Other Considerations:
Highest Pitch – Trumpet: C5 Highest Pitch – Clarinet: C6

Clarinet Crosses Break?: Yes ! In both parts No ! N/A !

Other Range Concerns: None

Technical Concerns: Aleatoric opening section (semi-structured)
Eighth-note pick-up

Articulations/Bowings: Slur
fp Cresc.

Meter(s): 4/4

Rhythmic Complexities: Repetitive 4-bar snare rhythm needs to be solid
Eighth-two sixteenth in most melodic parts

Key(s): Concert Bb Major
Few samplings of Concert F Major

Harmonic Concerns: Three-four major rhythmic and harmonic textures
Horizontal alignment within voice parts

Primary Texture(s): Homophonic with a few moments of polyphonic

Featured Instrument(s)/Solo(s): None

Compositional Techniques: Margin of Error (see program notes/heart)

Form: Prelude/March
Prelude: m1-10; numbers for aleatoric sections
March 1: m11-28 A; m29-36 B; m37-41 C (transition)
March 2: m42-72 same as above but with errors

Program Notes:
Can you imagine a musical performance with even 1% error, never mind 3%? Most musical performances
are flawless in execution and routinely require one hundred percent accuracy. Those are high demands!! We
will show you what impact a single mistake has on a performance by playing a section of the piece at with
deliberate mistakes. Nevertheless, by all academic standards, the performance of this march, with anything
less than 779 mistakes (a 3% margin of error) will be “excellent.”
Similar Pieces (Title/Composer):
Paper Cut - Alex Shapiro - Hal Leonard
Experiential Learning: choreographed moves; “playing” paper; play
along with an MP3; no instruments until half way through

Additional Comments:
I like to perform this piece almost every other year on the spring junior high concert so that the audience and
students who go through my program have an opportunity to see just how critical practice, rehearsal, and
accuracy is to our art. A missed shot can lose the whole game, just like a dropped stick, or a honk, or a
wrong note can throw a whole performance.

What is at the “heart” of this piece?
I believe the experiential learning and margin of error are at the forefront of preparing and performing this
piece. We have such high demands of perfection, and this piece is a prime example of why our level of
achievement has to be high - a song can so quickly become virtually unrecognizable in moments with even a
very small amount of mistakes. The experiential factor - where students are able to construct their own
understanding of the crucial element of accuracy by actually making mistakes - makes this piece to a
meaningful learning opportunity for the students and the audience.

I would play this piece with: Junior High or Middle School Band
Advanced 6th Grade Band (esp. clarinets)

I would recommend this piece: Yes ! No !