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Apollo (Pennington)

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John Pennington

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General Info

Year: 1968
Duration: c. 3:40
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer, Inc.
Cost: (Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


(More detail needed)

Full Score
English Horn
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
Clarinet (Low Pitch)
Horn in F
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • (Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Apollo is aleatoric ("chance") music. The aleatoric element depends on the players, not the composer or the conductor. In most cases, each player is free to chooser the actual pitches he will play, and the moment he will play them, within the limitations imposed by his part and the conductor.

Except for the flute solo at (B), this work does not consist of melody and harmony, but a series of "sound events." The task of the conductor is to shape and control these events into a coordinated and unified whole. Therefore, conducting consists mainly of marking each "measure" with a downbeat and making an appropriate transition to the next one, besides cuing and controlling of dynamics.

In general, Apollo requires a degree of understanding and imagination from the performers. It is necessary for each player to understand the effects being sought, and to contribute imaginatively so the work will have unity.

The band should be set up so that the woodwinds are on one side of the stage and the brass on another. The percussion may be placed anywhere.

The "anvil sound" requires a device capable of making a loud, abrasive, fairly dull clank. A large piece of cast iron may be used, or a tuning bar, amplified, struck very hard and immediately dampened.

Also, the piece may be coordinated with a light display. Strobe lights, colors, patterns, movements, etc. may be projected to the right, middle, and left of the band on stage to coincide with musical events.

In the measure before (C) the conductor creates "waves" of feet tapping by pointing to the players with a sweeping gesture, using one or both of his hands. The players tap their feet when they receive the indicated cue.

-Program Note by John Pennington, from score

John Pennington’s Apollo (1968) is one of the first aleatoric (chance music) works written for band. It consists of a series of “sound events” that are solely determined by the musicians. The conductor’s role is to mold and form the events and to assist in the transitions.

-Program Note by The Concord Band

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

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Works for Winds by This Composer