Alexander's Ragtime Band

From Wind Repertory Project
Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin (arr. Jerry Nowak)

General Info

Year: 1911 / 2013
Duration: c. 3:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Drum Set
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Jerry Nowak gives this Irving Berlin classic a real big band treatment. An up tempo swing leads to a jazz ballad in the middle of the piece. A swing roll-off and a catchy Dixieland-style brass quintet follows, with the full band swinging to the conclusion. This work is ideal for pops concerts and community bands.

- Program Note from publisher

This arrangement would be an excellent encore selection. The arranger sets this famous song in the swing style of the big bands of the 1940s, starting in swing style, while the center section of the piece is a jazz ballad , still in swing style. The piece then changes to a Dixieland style featuring a brass quintet and ends with the full band swinging again at the original tempo.

- Program Note from The Instrumentalist, May 2014

Berlin wrote this tune as a vehicle for his own appearance in the 1911 Friar's Club Frolics. He did not appear in the revue, however, and it was only after Emma Carus began using the song in her vaudeville act in Chicago that it climbed to the top. Within a few months, the song sold a million copies of sheet music and several hundred Thousand piano rolls. Although the title helped to popularize ragtime, this is not a ragtime tune. The "Alexander" in the title was reportedly Jack Alexander, a cornet-playing band leader which died in 1958.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 59.