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Autobahn (flex)

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Ryan George

Ryan George

Subtitle: For FLEX Ensemble

General Info

Year: 2008 / 2020
Duration: c. 2:40
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Fornine Music
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $70.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Soprano Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Violin

Part 2

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Violin

Part 3

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • Horn in F
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Viola

Part 4

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Horn in F
  • Low Brass
  • Cello

Part 5

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Low Brass
  • Tuba
  • String Bass

Kit Percussion, including:

  • Crash Cymbal
  • Floor Tom
  • Hi-Hat
  • Kick Bass Drum
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Snaking through central Europe is a unique highway system called the Autobahn. What makes this highway special is the absence of speed limits. Your only hindrance is the performance ability of the vehicle you are driving.

In writing this piece, I wanted to focus less on the idea of speed and more on the freedom and exhilaration that one feels while driving on a road with no limitations. In the beginning of the work, fast cars whiz by (as imitated by the slide-gliss in the trombones) as the “driver” begins to accelerate onto the highway. Driving fast is a real thrill until they run into traffic. Honking horns and police sirens add to the frustration. The traffic eventually clears, though, and the driver puts the pedal to the metal and cruises off into the European countryside.

The work is dedicated to the students of the Glenn C. Jones Middle School Honor Band and their director, Dr. Tonya Millsap, whose ideas where the driving force behind this piece. A special thanks also goes to Jake Marbury who gave us the title for the work.

Program Note by composer

Performance Notes

Instrument choices for each part are selected to give you as many options as possible while making idiomatic sense. This piece works really well as a brass, woodwind or string quintet, as well as with mixed instrumentation. You'll find multiple octaves are given in certain parts to best fit with that particular instrument's range and/or player's ability.

My hope is that you will take this piece and run with it. Mix and match instrumentation to demonstrate how orchestration can change the color and feel of the piece. Use one-on-a-part, double up, triple up. Do anything to make this a musically rewarding experience for all involved.

Instrumentation considerations:

  • Piccolo – should play the flute line for Part 1
  • Treble Clef Baritone – should play the b-flat Tenor Saxophone line for Part 4
  • Low Brass – this implies either Trombone or Euphonium
  • Part 2 – B-flat Clarinet should lay the upper octave during octave splits if possible. Soprano Saxophone and Trumpet should play lower octave during octave splits.
  • Part 5 Bassoon/Low Brass – tenor Trombone and Euphonium players should play the upper octave. Bassoon and Bass Trombone players can play either the top or bottom octave depending on player ability.
  • Piano – there are optional Mallet parts for two players if preferred or pianist not available.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • National Concert Band of America (Washington, D.C.) (Adrian Holton, conductor) - 24 October 2021
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Campus Band (Madison Argo, conductor) - 11 November 2020

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Autobahn (Flex instrumentation) (2008/2020)
  • Café 512 (Flex instrumentation) (2010/2020)
  • Jinx (Flex instrumentation) (2017/2020)

All Wind Works


  • Creative Repertoire Initiative
  • George, R. (2008). Autobahn : For Symphonic Winds & Percussion [score]. Fornine Music: [Cedar Park, Tx.?]
  • Perusal score
  • Ryan George website
  • Schwartz, Robert M. "Autobahn." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 208-213. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.