The Best Band Music

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Here's a list of some of the best band music compiled by Roger Garrett (rgarrett@titan.iwu.edu)of Illinois Wesleyan University and submitted on the Klarinet list. Contact Roger for any updates or additions to the list, along with any other comments you may have.

Here's a note from Roger:

"Here is the updated list ... I imagine there are more works ... but these are the bulk of the literature. I don't include all the works of a composer just because that composer wrote one good work. Many works are commercial and not very musical, therefore, this is not as objective a list as it could be. Still ... the other lists have been available for some time. By the way, the Thomas Dvorak books on Best Music For Young Bands and Best Music For High School Bands are excellent ... they should be listed as a reference with this list. They cover much of the literature that I choose not to here."

¤ Indicates an especially good (or fun) clarinet part

The Best Music for Band/Wind Ensemble
March, W.w.O. 18 Beethoven/Reynolds ¤
The Leaves are Falling Warren Benson
The Passing Bell Warren Benson
The Solitary Dancer Warren Benson
Winds of Nagual Michael Colgrass
Emblems Aaron Copland ¤
Sinfonietta for Concert Band Ingolf Dahl ¤
Music for Brass and Percussion Ingolf Dahl
Skating on the Sheyenne Ross Lee Finney
Summer in Valley City Ross Lee Finney
Report Lubos Fiser
Children's March "O'er the Hills and Far Away" Grainger ¤
Colonial Song Grainger ¤
Country Gardens Grainger ¤
Duke of Malborough Fanfare Grainger
Hill Song No. 1 Grainger
Hill Song No. 2 Grainger ¤
Irish Tune from County Derry Grainger ¤
Lincolnshire Posy Grainger ¤
Shepherds Hey! Grainger ¤
Sussex Mummer's Christmas Carol Grainger
Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonne Doon Graninger
Geschwindmarch by Beethoven (paraphrase of March W.w.O 18) Hindemith ¤
Konzertmusik fur Blasorchester Hindemith ¤
Symphony in Bb for Concert Band Hindemith ¤
Hammersmith Holst
Suite No. 1 in Eb Holst ¤
Suite No. 2 in F Holst ¤
Al Fresco Karel Husa
Concerto for Wind Ensemble Karel Husa
Divertimento for Brass and Percussion Karel Husa
Music for Prague 1968 Karel Husa
Apotheosis of the Earth Karel Husa (Husa views this as his best work for band)
Country Band March Charles Ives
William Byrd Suite Gordon Jacob ¤
Dialogues and Entertainments Willam Kraft
The Good Soldier Schweik Suite Robert Kurka ¤
Overture for Band Mendelssohn/ed. John Boyd ¤
Canzona Peter Mennin ¤
Oisseaux Exotiques Messiaen
Suite Francaise Darius Milhaud
Masquerade Vincent Persichetti
Symphony No. 6 Vincent Persichetti ¤
Divertimento for Band Vincent Persichetti ¤
La Fiesta Mexicana H. Owen Reed ¤
Concerto for Band Verne Reynolds
Scenes Verne Reynolds
Scenes Revisited Verne Reynolds
Theme and Variations Arnold Schoenberg ¤
Meditation Guenther Schuller
Symphony for Brass and Percussion - Guenther Schuller Guenther Schuller
Symphony for Large Wind Orchestra (In Praise of Winds) Guenther Schuller
George Washington Bridge William Schuman
....And the Mountains Rising Nowhere Joseph Schwantner
Dark Millinium Joseph Schwantner
In evenings' stillnes Joseph Schwantner
Circus Polka Igor Stravinsky
Symphony of Wind Instruments Igor Stravinsky ¤
A Solemn Music Virgil Thompson
Postcards Frank Ticheli ¤
Trauersinfonie Wagner/Leidzen
Trauersinfonie Wagner/Leidzen ed. Mike Votta
Folk Song Suite Ralph Vaughan Williams ¤
Rhosymedre Ralph Vaughan Williams ¤
Toccata Marziale Ralph Vaughan Williams ¤


Excellent Music for Band/Wind Ensemble
Short Ride in a Fast Machine John Adams/Odom
Rondo alla Turca David Amram ¤
Commando March Samuel Barber ¤
Symphony No. 3 James Barnes ¤
Sounds, Shapes and Symbols Leslie Bassett
Designs, Images and Textures Leslie Bassett
Concerto Grosso Leslie Bassett
The Sun Paints Rainbows on Vast Waves David Bedford
Suite of Old American Dances - Robert Russell Bennett ¤
Symphonic Songs for Band Robert Russell Bennett ¤
Wings Warren Benson
Mask of Night Warren Benson
March in D Major Ludwig van Beethoven
Grand Symphony for Band Berlioz
Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Bernstein/Grundman (Clarinet Solo) ¤
Symphonic Concert March Bonelli/Falcone ¤
Serenade for Wind Band Derek Bourgeois
Children's Overture Eugene Bozza ¤
Sinfonia V Timothy Broege
Elegy Mark Camphouse
Batille de Waterloo Jaques Casterede (Brass/Percussion)
Overture in C Catel ¤
Incantation and Dance John Barnes Chance ¤
Symphony for Band John Barnes Chance ¤
Elegy John Barnes Chance ¤
Variations on a Korean Folk Song John Barnes Chance ¤
Blue Lake Overture John Barnes Chance ¤
Gazebo Dances John Corigliano ¤
Symphony No. 1 "The Lord of the Rings" Johan de Meij
Universal Judgement De Nardis ¤
Fantasies on a Theme of Haydn Dello Joio ¤
Scenes from the Louvre Dello Joio ¤
Variants on a Medieval Tune Dello Joio
Cenotaph Donald Erb
Praeludium and Allegro Giannini ¤
Variations and Fugue Giannini ¤
Symphony No. 3 Giannini ¤
Symphony for Band Morton Gould ¤
Ballad for Band Morton Gould
Lads of Wamphray March Grainger ¤
The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart Grainger
Le Bal de Beatrice d'Este Reynaldo Hahn
American Guernica Adolphus Hailstork
Three City Blocks John Harbison
Coast Guard Overture Walter Hartley ¤
Concerto for 23 Instruments Walter Hartley
Pieces of Eigh Jack Hawes
Bach Variations (Nine Etudes for Winds and Percussion) Sydney Hodkinson
La Marche Sur La Bastille Honegger
Symphony No. 4 Hovhaness
Images of Song and Dance Anthony Iannoccone
After a Gentle Rain Anthony Iannoccone
Variations on "America" Charles Ives/Schuman ¤
An Original Suite for Military Band Gordon Jacob ¤
Music For a Festival Gordon Jacob ¤
Suite in Bb Gordon Jacob ¤
Three Merry Marches Ernst Krenek ¤
Propagula Robert Linn
Terpischore (After Micahel Proetorius) Bob Margolis
A Child's Garden of Dreams David Maslanka
Prelude and Fugue Vaclav Nelhybel ¤
Sinfonia Resurrectionsis Vaclav Nelhybel
Symphonic Movement Vaclav Nelhybel ¤
Trittico Vaclav Nelhybel
Passacaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H) Ron Nelson
Elegy and Fanfare Roger Nixon ¤
Fiesta del Pacifico Roger Nixon
Pacific Celebration Roger Nixon ¤
Reflections Roger Nixon
Psalm for Band Vincent Persichetti ¤
Pageant - Vincent Persichetti Solemn Procession George Perle
Tunbridge Fair Walter Piston ¤
Athletic Festival March Serge Prokofiev ¤
March, Op. 99 Serge Prokofiev ¤
Huntingtower Ottorino Respighi
Dance Rhythms Wallingford Riegger ¤
Orient et Occident, Opus 25 Camille Saint-Saens
Dionysiaques Florent Schmitt ¤
Chester Overture William Schuman ¤
When Jesus Wept William Schuman
Circus Overture William Schuman
Newsreel in Five Shots William Schuman
Folk Dances Shostakovitch/ed. Reynolds ¤
Celebration Philip Sparke
Dance Movements Philip Sparke
Ritmo Jondo Carlos Surinach
Paeans and Dances of Heathen Iberia Carlos Surinach ¤
Variations on "Mein Junge Leven hat ein End" Sweelinck
Grand Symphonic March Tanese/Falcone ¤
Amazing Grace Frank Ticheli ¤
Music for Winds and Percussion Frank Ticheli
Spiel fur Blas Orchester Ernst Toch
A Renaissance Fair Bob Margolis ¤
Five Miniatures Joaquin Turina
Fanfare and Allegro Clifton Williams ¤
Sea Songs Ralph Vaughan Williams ¤
Flourish for Wind Band Ralph Vaughan Williams
Peace of Mind for Wind Ensemble Dana Wilson

Good Music for Band/Wind Ensemble
Rogues and Lovers, A folksong Suite for Mixed Chorus and Wind Ensemble Samuel Adler
Four Cornish Dances Malcolm Arnold/Thad Marciniak
Four Scottish Dances Malcolm Arnold/ John Paynter ¤
Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo Malcolm Arnold/John Paynter ¤
Toccata and Fugue in D minor JS Bach/Leidzen ¤
March Hongroise-Rakoczy from "Damnation of Faust" Berlioz ¤
Broadside for Band William Bolcom
Prelude and Fugue in F minor Bright
The Dam Busters March Eric Coates ¤
Celebration Overture Paul Creston
Prelude and Dance Paul Creston ¤
Square Dances '76 Paul Creston ¤
A Jubilant Song Dello Joio
Symphony for Winds Donald Erb
Symphony No. 1 Frank Erickson
Toccata Frescobaldi ¤
Tulsa Gillis ¤
Danza Final (Malambo) from Estancia Dances Ginastera
Jericho Morton Gould
Santa Fe Saga Morton Gould
St. Lawrence Suite Morton Gould
American Salute Morton Gould
Chorale and Alleluia Howard Hanson ¤
Die Natalis Howard Hanson
Laude Howard Hanson
Sinfonia No. 4 Hartley
Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa Ira Hearshen
A Song of Moses David Holsinger
On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss David Holsinger
On a Hymnsong of Robert Lowry David Holsinger
On an American Spiritual David Holsinger
Dance Suite Joseph Horovitz
A Downland Suite John Ireland
A Maritime Overture John Ireland
Finale from Symphony No. 1 in G Minor Kalinnikov
Armenian Dances Aram Khachaturian/R. Satz ¤
Three Choral Preludes William Latham
Joyous Interlude Dai-Keong Lee
Kaddish Francis McBeth
Of Sailors and Whales - Francis McBeth
Overture for Band Missal ¤
Domino Variations Donald Moore
Morning Alleluias for the Winter Solstice Ron Nelson
Rocky Point Holiday Ron Nelson ¤
Pittsburgh Overture Krysztof Penderecki
A Festival Prelude - Alfred Reed ¤
Armenian Dances Pt II - Alfred Reed ¤
Adagio para Orquesta de Instrumentos Joaquin Rodrigo
Jubilee Overture Philip Sparke
Fanfare for a New Era Jack Stamp
With Triumph and Wing Jack Stamp
Emperata Overture Claude T. Smith ¤
Festival Variations Claude T. Smith ¤
Fortress Frank Ticheli
Cajun Folksongs Frank Ticheli
Battle Pavane Bob Margolis
Tidewater Festival Overture Robert Washburn
Miniature Set for Band White
Dramatic Essay Clifton Williams
Pastorale Clifton Williams
Symphonic Suite Clifton Williams
The Sinfonians Clifton Williams
Mannin Veen Hayden Wood ¤
The Seafarer Hayden Wood ¤
The Bandstand, Hyde Park Hayden Wood ¤
Chorale and Shaker Dance John Zdechlik ¤


Transcriptions for Band that are either Approved by the Composer or are of Exceptional Quality for Band
An Outdoor Overture Copland
El Salon Mexicao Copland/Hindsley ¤
Lincoln Portrait Copland
Variations on a Shaker Melody Copland
Marching Song Holst ¤
Fugue ala Gigue Bach/Holst ¤
English Dances (Set I and II) Malcolm Arnold ¤
Come Sweet Death JS Bach/Reed
If Thou Be Near JS Bach/Alfred Reed
My Soul Longeth to Depart in Peace JS Bach/Calliet ¤
Little Fugue in G Minor JS Bach/Calliet ¤
Fantasia in G Major JS Bach/Goldman ¤
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring JS Bach/Leidzen
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring JS Bach/Reed
Passacaglia and Fugatum in C minor JS Bach/Falcone¤
Sleepers 'Wake JS Bach/Chiafferelli
Toccata and Fugue in D minor Bach/Leidzen
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564 JS Bach/Knox
Profonations Bernstein/Grundman ¤
Danzon Bernstein/Krance
Slava! Bernstein/Grundman ¤
Divertimento Bernstein/Grundman ¤
A Musical Toast Bernstin/Grundman ¤
Candide Overture Bernstein/Grundman ¤
Porgy and Bess (Selections) Gershwin/RR Bennett
Molly on the Shore Grainger ¤
Spoon River Grainger/Bainum ¤
The Gum Suckers March Grainger/Rogers
Handel in the Strand Grainger/Goldman ¤
Immovable Do, the Cyphering C Grainger ¤
Scotch Strathspey and Reel Grainger/Osmond ¤
The God Go A-Begging Handel/Sir Thomas Beecham
Symphonic Metamorphosis (Complete) Hindemith/Keith Wilson ¤
Songs of the West Holst/Curnow
The Planets (selected movements) Holst
Colas Breugnon Overture Kabalevsky/Beeler ¤
Three Dance Episodes from the Ballet "Apartacus" Khachaturian/Hunsberger
Overture to the Opera "Le Roi D'ys" Lalo/Godfrey ¤
Wedding Dance Jaques Press/Johnston ¤
Italian Polka Rachmaninoff/Leidzen ¤
Procession of Nobles Rimsky-Korsakov/Leidzen ¤
Italian in Algiers Overture Rossini/Calliet ¤
March Militaire Francaise from "Suite Algerienne" Saint-Saens ¤
Festive Overture Shostakovitch/Hunsberger ¤
Galop Shostakovitch/Hunsberger ¤
Polka Shostakovitch/Hunsberger
Prelude No. 14 Shostakovitch/ed. Reynolds
Three Revolutionary Marches Smetena/Nehlybel ¤
Allerseelen Strauss ¤
Pineapple Poll Sir Arthur Sullivan ¤
Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral Wagner/Calliet ¤
Crown Imperial William Walton ¤
March for Band William Walton ¤
Orb and Sceptre William Walton ¤
Polka and Fugue from Schwanda Weinberger ¤
Variations for Wind Band Ralph Vaughan Williams/Hunsberger


Fun or Interesting but are of Questionable Musicality
American Civil War Fantasy Bilik ¤
Symphony No 1. Daniel Bukvich
Dreams of a Psycopath Mike Francis
Giles Farnaby Suite Gordon Jacob
Epinicion John Paulson
Cave of the Winds Russell Peck
Bagatelles Persichetti
Serenade Persichetti
Armenian Dances Pt. I Alfred Reed ¤
Russian Christmas Music Alfred Reed
Three Pieces for Band William Rhoades
Symphony No. 1 Claude T. Smith

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