JOY for concert band

Joy for concert band by Frank Ticheli. Hear streaming audio on this page. Suitable for middle school and Jr. high school bands, 2 1/2 minutes duration, Grade 2.

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Performance by USC Thornton Wind Ensemble, reading session conducted by the composer.

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Program Note is: Here


Main Theme: mm. 1-17 Bb Mixolydian...Bb Major
Episode: mm. 18-27 Bb Mixolydian....V7 of F
Theme 2 (lyrical theme): mm. 28-38 F Mixolydian
Episode: mm. 39-50 Bb Major
Main theme (Recapitulation): mm. 51-67 Bb Mixolydian...Bb Major
Coda: mm. 68-74 Bb Major


Main Theme (mm. 1-17)

Built on a series of rising thirds, the main melody is stated in two parallel phrases, the second one being in imitation at the octave. Strive to keep the melody bright and lively. On the second phrase (m. 6-9), it may be necessary to encourage the flutes to play out so that the imitation is heard.

The melody is answered by a joyous outburst of sound (mm. 10-13), which then dies away through a series of calm, legato-style descending scales.

Episode (mm. 18-27)

The legato scales from measures 14 to 18 are now marked staccato, stated twice as fast, and running in both ascending and descending directions. Note the use of hemiola in much of this section - the use of two-beat patterns separated by quarter-note rests, suggesting a 3/4 meter. Sometimes all of the parts conform to this pattern (mm. 18-19 and mm. 22-23), but on one occasion (mm. 20-21) the parts are in opposition to one another, some conforming to 3/4 while others suggest 4/4. These simple rhythmic techniques - hemiola and polymeter - help to keep the music alive and unpredictable, and they might serve as fun and interesting topics of discussion with your students.

The music gathers strength, bursting out at measure 24 as the tonality shifts suddenly from Bb Mixolydian to C Major. Be sure that the accents are observed in the fanfare-like calls stated by the first trumpets and flutes, and imitated by the altos, 2nd trumpets and horns.

Theme 2 (mm. 28-38)

Once again, a new section ushers in a dramatic change of style, the tempo being slightly held back, the texture made calmer and more lyrical. Free, cantabile lines are passed from the flutes, to the low brass, to the tubas and bass clarinets, and finally to the horns and second trumpets. As an accompaniment, simple eighth-note patterns undulate in the woodwinds. Note the manner in which these patterns are offset against one another (e.g., mm. 34-38, alto saxophone pattern is offset by flutes and oboes) as a way of hiding the seams and enhancing the sense of continuous flow.

Episode (mm. 39-50)

The music swells and accelerates back to the main tempo, ushering in the joyful second episode. A brief percussion section solo passage concludes the episode. (Note that all of the percussion parts are marked forte in measure 47 except for the crash cymbals, marked mezzo-piano).

Recapitulation of Main Theme (mm. 51-68)

The main theme is essentially the same as in the beginning, the most notable exceptions being those of simple orchestration changes and the addition of a one-bar extension.

Coda (mm. 68-74)

The timpanist should command the most attention at the coda, and none of the players should be timid in their interpretations of the crescendos, as well as the subito piano indication at measure 70. A final reminder of the main tune is shouted out in octaves, bringing the piece to an exuberant finish.


Frank Ticheli
Genoa, Italy


1 Full Score

8 Flute (and optional Piccolo)

2 Oboe

1 Bassoon

6 Bb Clarinet 1

6 Bb Clarinet 2

2 Bb Bass Clarinet

3 Eb Alto Saxophone 1

3 Eb Alto Saxophone 2

2 Bb Tenor Saxophone

1 Eb Baritone Saxophone

4 Bb Trumpet 1

4 Bb Trumpet 2

3 F Horn

6 Trombone

3 Euphonium B.C.

2 Euphonium T.C.

4 Tuba

2 Timpani

2 Mallets

3 Percussion 1

2 Percussion 2

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