Reviewer: Krista M.



Title: Of Dark Lords and Ancient Kings

Composer / Arranger: Roland Barrett

Publisher: Wingert-Jones Publications

Date of Publication: 1995

Price: $60 Band Set & Score; $10 Extra Score

Ensemble Type: Concert Band

Description/Genre: 20th Century/Contemporary with elements of
ancient/medieval sounds (modes)

Duration: 6:00

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

Score: Full Score ! Reduced Score ! / Transposed ! C-Score !
Picc ! Fl1 ! Fl2 ! Fl3 ! Alto Fl ! Bass Fl !
Ob1 ! Ob2 ! EHn ! Bsn1 ! Bsn2 ! CBsn !
EbCl! Cl1 ! Cl2 ! Cl 3 ! ! Alto Cl ! Bass Cl !
CAltoCl ! EbCBCl ! BbCBCl ! SSax! ASax1 ! ASax2 !
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. !
Gong ! Wind Chimes ! Sleigh Bells !

Unusual Instrumentation/Usage:

Other Considerations:
Highest Pitch – Trumpet: G5 Highest Pitch – Clarinet: Ab5

Clarinet Crosses Break?: Yes ! No ! N/A !
3rd Clar cross break 2-3x; could be taken down the
octave very easily in those few notes/passages

Other Range Concerns: A highish baritone/trombone part

Technical Concerns: Frequent tempo and style changes; often abruptly
Exploration of key signatures and modalities
Frequent contrasting sections - versatility to switch

Articulations/Bowings: Standard
Off-beat and syncopation

Meter(s): 4/4 7/8 3/4 Aleatorical section

Rhythmic Complexities: Besides time signature changes, this piece poses
little rhythmic challenge - pretty straight-forward

Key(s): Primarily D minor, but also explores G Major,
G minor, C Major, Eb minor, F Major, F minor, and
Db Major

Harmonic Concerns: Style changes
Accidentals and key/tonal changes

Primary Texture(s): Homophonic/Polyphonic
Thin and thick - often sparsely orchestrated and
then builds to full ensemble
Mood/timbre matches instrumentation

Featured Instrument(s)/Solo(s):Flute solo
French horn ditty (not a solo but in unison and is
the primary theme material)

Compositional Techniques: Aleatoric section
Although written to be 20th Cent. lit, the elements
of medieval inspiration are evident

Form: Intro - C Preview (1 measure)
A - C Preview 2 (3 measures)
B - Aleatoric
C - D - C’ - E - E’ - Transition
C’’’ - C’’’’ - C’’’’’ - B’ - C’’’’’’ - Closing

Program Notes:
The most successful of composer Roland Barrett’s repertoire is “Of Dark Lords And Ancient Kings.”
Although it is a 20th Century piece, it can most certainly evoke images of medieval times. What is unique
about this piece is the aleatoric section - or a section of music left to chance. Not once has this ever been
played the same, and you undoubtedly won’t have to listen hard to experience this unique element tonight.

Similar Pieces (Title/Composer):
Celtic Ritual - John Higgins

Additional Comments:

What is at the “heart” of this piece?
I am not emotionally involved with the piece yet. I’m not even sure I have a crush on it. The extent of our
relationship was on first impressions only, and I’m on the fence yet about where we are headed. Seriously
though… I think conflict-resolution, should I stay or should I go… those could easily emerge as themes if
given the right nuance in the first couple read-throughs. I originally imaged something a little darker or
sinister but keep feeling let down… I don’t have a heart… Yet.

I would play this piece with: High School Band

I would recommend this piece: Yes ! No ! Eh !
I really liked it the first time I heard it…. but after I ordered it and started evaluating it, I probably
wouldn’t program it unless the kids really liked it.