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Dies Natalis

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Howard Hanson

Howard Hanson (transcribed by the composer)

General Info

Year: 1967 / 1973
Duration: 14:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts (print) – Unknown   |   Score Only (print) - $63.25


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tenor Drum
  • Tubular Bells
  • Xylophone


  • Baritone TC, 3 m. after 9, beat 3: C natural should be C#
  • Baritone TC, 2 m. before 22, beat 3: C-flat natural should be C natural

Program Notes

Dies Natalis, for band, is in the form of an introduction, chorale, five variations, and finale, based on the ancient and beautiful Lutheran Christmas chorale-tune, celebrating the birth of Christ. It was performed for the first time in the Eastman Theatre, April 7, 1972, by the Eastman Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Donald Hunsberger for the 50th birthday of the Eastman School of Music.

"I used to sing it as a boy in the Swedish Lutheran Church of Wahoo, Nebraska. This chorale has, without doubt, been the greatest single musical influence in my life as a composer. Traces of the chorale appear in my early orchestra work, Lux Aeterna, and in sections of my opera, Merry Mount. The chorale form has also influenced by Chorale and Alleluia for band and my fourth and fifth symphonies for orchestra."

Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Florida: V   ---  (The Florida Bandmasters Association denotes this as "significant literature")
  • Minnesota - Category I
  • New York: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Hanson, H. [1973]. Dies Natalis for Band [Score]. Carl Fischer: New York.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 623-627.