From Wind Repertory Project
Samuel Hazo

Samuel Hazo

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $125.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-alto 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
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV (7 Players), including:

  • Bass Drums (2: one medium or large)
  • China Cymbal
  • Congas (2)
  • Darabuka or Doumbek
  • Glockenspiel
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine (plastic, mounted)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Commissioned by the Indiana Bandmasters Association for the 2008 All-State High School Honor Band, this stunning work from the pen of Samuel Hazo is a tour de force of Middle Eastern sounds for the contemporary wind band. From delicate and sensual soloistic writing to full-blown ensemble passages with rapid fire tutti rhythms and frenzied percussion, here is a rewarding piece with drama and depth that will be the high point of any concert or festival program.

- Program note by publisher

Arabesque was commissioned by the Indiana Bandmasters Association and written for the 2008 Indiana All-State Band. Arabesque is based in the mystical sounds of Middle Eastern music and it is composed in three parts. “Taqasim” (tah’-zeem), “dabka” (dupp-keh) and “chorale.” The opening flute cadenza, although written out in notes, is meant to sound like an Arabic taqasim or improvisation. Much the same as in jazz improvisation, the soloist is to play freely in the scales and modes of the genre. In this case, the flute plays in bi-tonal harmonic minor scales, and even bends one note to capture the micro-tonality (quarter-tones) of the music from this part of the world. However, opposite to jazz, taqasim has very little change to the chordal or bass line accompaniment. It is almost always at the entrance to a piece of music and is meant to set the musical and emotional tone.

The second section, a dabka, is a traditional Arabic line dance performed at celebrations, most often at weddings. Its drum beat, played by a dumbek or durbake hand drum is unmistakable. Even though rhythmically simple, it is infectious in its ability to capture the toe-tapping attention of the listener. The final section, the chorale, is a recapitulation of previous mystical themes in the composition, interwoven with a grandeur of a sparkling ending.

Both sets of my grandparents immigrated to the United States; my mother’s parents were Lebanese, my father’s mother was Lebanese and his father was Assyrian. Sometimes in composition, the song comes from the heart, sometimes from the mind, and sometimes (as in this case) it’s in your blood. The Indiana Bandmasters Association asked for a piece that was unique. I had not heard any full-out Arabic pieces for wind orchestra, and I knew of this culture’s deep and rich musical properties … so I figured that one might as well come from me.(Plus, my mom asked if I was ever going to write one.) I hope you enjoy Arabesque.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Georgia: VI
  • Maryland: VI
  • Michigan: A
  • Minnesota: I
  • North Carolina: VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: V
  • Wisconsin: New Titles for WI Festival List 2010


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ontario (Can.) Provincial Honour Band (Shelley Axelson, conductor) - 3 November 2023
  • Beaver County (Penn.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Kevin Newton, conductor) - 21 October 2023
  • North Saskatchewan Wind Symphony (Saskatoon, Sask., Canada) (Mark Tse, conductor) - 27 August 2023
  • Traverse City (Mich.) West Senior High Wind Ensemble (Chad S. Mielens, conductor) - 17 May 2023
  • Indiana University (South Bend) Wind Ensemble - (Dennis Gamble, conductor) - 26 April 2023
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Concert Band (T.j. Anderson, conductor) - 25 April 2023
  • Central High School (Fresno. Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Dennie Turner, conductor) - 26 March 2023 (2023 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Clovis (Calif) High School Wind Symphony (Esmeralda Rocha Lozano, conductor) - 24 March 2023 (2023 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Fairmont (W. Va.) State University (Alyssa Schwartz, conductor) - 23 February 2023
  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Paul Bryan, conductor) - 16 December 2022
  • Idaho State University (Pocatello) Wind Ensemble (Patrick Young, conductor) - 16 November 2022
  • University of Wyoming (Laramie) Wind Symphony (Robert Belser, conductor) - 10 November 2022
  • Southwest Civic Winds (Durango, Colo.) (Rhonda L. Muckerman, conductor; Diann Cates, flute) – 4 May 2022 (ACB 2022 Annual Convention (Santa Fe, New Mexico))
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Concert Band (Scott Rikkers, conductor) - 24 March 2022
  • Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, W.V.) Wind Ensemble (Arden Cline, conductor) - 7 May 2021
  • Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, W.V.) Wind Ensemble (Scott Hippensteel, conductor) - 23 April 2021
  • Southeast Polk High School (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) Wind Ensemble (Jacquelyn Meunier, conductor) - 2 March 2021
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor; Barry Houser, guest conductor) – 8 March 2020
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla) Wind Symphony (David Samson, conductor) – 10 November 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works