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Autumn Leaves

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Joseph Kosma

Joseph Kosma (arr. Alfred Reed; ed. R. Mark Rogers)

General Info

Year: 1945 / 2017
Duration: c. 4:35
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Keiser Southern Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $75.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
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-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This iconic jazz ballad hardly requires an introduction to jazz aficionados. This classic band arrangement by Alfred Reed showcases the rich harmonic language that underlines the melody with the masterful thick and sonorous orchestration.

- Program Note from publisher

Southern Music Company’s edition of Alfred Reed’s arrangement of Autumn Leaves, one of the most enduring of all tunes in the great body of popular music, is a welcome return to the repertory of the wind band. Few would guess that this well-known melody is the creation of Joseph Kosma, a relatively obscure Hungarian composer, but such is the case. Appearing in 1945 under the title Hulló levelek (Falling Leaves), the tune encapsulates the feelings of despair in war-ravaged Europe, as people struggled to make sense of the destruction of civilization that had been left to them. With a French lyric by Jacques Prévert, Les Feuilles Mortes (The Dead Leaves), the song appeared in the 1946 film Les Portes de la nuit. In 1947 when Johnny Mercer wrote the English lyric Autumn Leaves, the path to immortality was secure and innumerable recordings were made. In 1955, pianist Roger Williams recorded a rendition for solo piano which remains the only piano instrumental to ever reach No. 1 on Billboard’s popular music chart; it sold over two million copies and was awarded a gold disc. Williams’ solo piano recording is famous for Williams’ descending scales and arpeggios, depicting the leaves falling from the trees to the ground below

Autumn Leaves is in AABC form. The melody remains popular with jazz musicians as the chord progressions consist almost entirely of ii-V-i sequences typical in jazz.

- Program Note from score

Autumn Leaves is a popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song, "Les Feuilles mortes" (The Dead Leaves), with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma - derived from a ballet piece of music (Rendez-vous, written for Roland Petit), itself partly borrowed from Poème d'octobre by Jules Massenet - and lyrics by French poet Jacques Prévert. Yves Montand (with Irène Joachim) introduced Les feuilles mortes in the film Les Portes de la nuit (1946).

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Cobb Wind Ensemble (Marietta, Ga.) (Alfred L. Watkins, conductor) - 21 May 2023
  • Symphonic Winds of the Pacific (Chino Hills, Calif.) (Stephen Rochford, conductor) - 1 December 2022
  • Arizona Wind Symphony (Tempe) - 20 October 2022
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Concert Band (Travis Higa, conductor) - 5 October 2021
  • McClellan College (Waco, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Jon Conrad, conductor) - 2 March 2021
  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Symphonic Winds (Travis Almany, conductor) - 18 October 2020
  • Arkansas Winds (Farmington) (Michael Ferguson, conductor) -15 December 2019
  • Spring Garden Band of York (York County, Penn.) (Dale Groome, conductor) - November 24, 2019
  • Prairie Wind Ensemble (Peoria, Ill.) (Jim Tallman, conductor) – 20 October 2019
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 15 September 2019
  • Lakeshore Symphonic Band (Cedarburg, Wisc.) (Michael Zens, conductor) – 20 October 2018
  • Phoenix (N.Y.) Community Band (Ronald Nuzzo, conductor) - 21 May 2018
  • Gettysburg (Penn.) College Wind Symphony (Russell McCutcheon, conductor) – 16 February 2018
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor) - 15 October 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer