Funiculi Funicula Rhapsody

From Wind Repertory Project
Luigi Denza

Luigi Denza (arr. Yo Goto)

General Info

Year: 1880 / 2001
Duration: c. 6:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bravo/Brain Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $85.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
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-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crush Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Whip
  • Wind Chimes
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The words to Funiculi Funicula were written by journalist Peppino Turco and set to music by Denza in 1880, for the opening of the first funicular railway on Mt. Vesuvius. Although the song was composed in only a few hours, it has remained popular for over a century. Richard Strauss later included the tune in the fourth movement of his orchestral tone poem, Aus Italien, believing it to be a popular Neapolitan folk tune.

- Program Note by Edward C. Harris for the San Jose Wind Symphony

The famous melody Funiculi-Funicula was written in 1880 by Luigi Denza to lyrics by Peppino Turco to celebrate the opening of Mount Vesuvius’ funicular railway. A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other.

Yo Goto’s arrangement begins with bold fanfares that segue into a traditional tarantella. As the melody passes through each section of the ensemble, the polyrhythms eventually give way to a simple, slow, romantic rendering before the vibrancy of the original melody returns in the finale.

- Program Note from University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Wind Ensemble concert program, 21 April 2016


State Ratings

  • North Carolina: V
  • Tennessee: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Concert Band (Drew Hardy-Moore, conductor) - 4 April 2023
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem) Wind Ensemble (Mark Harmon, conductor) - 12 February 2023
  • Los Alamos (N.M.) Community Winds (Ted Vives, conductor) – 5 May 2022 (ACB 2022 Annual Convention (Santa Fe, New Mexico))
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Symphony Band (John Cody Birdwell, conductor) - 14 October 2019
  • Foothill Symphonic Winds (Palo Alto, Calif.) (Roy Stahle, conductor) – 9 June 2019
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Symphonic Band (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) University Band (Brett Penshorn, conductor) – 8 April 2019
  • New England Conservatory (Boston, Mass.) Senior Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble (Michael Mucci, conductor) – 18 December 2017
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Symphonic Band (Kirk Saville, conductor) – 7 November 2017
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Symphonic Band (Dennis W. Fisher, conductor) – 23 April 2017
  • Tallahassee (Fla.) Winds (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) – 26 April 2016
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Wind Ensemble (John R. Locke, conductor) – 21 April 2016
  • Macungie (Penn.) Band (Michael Moran, conductor) – 2 April 2016 (ACB 2016 Annual Convention (Pittsburgh, Penn.))
  • Macungie Band (Bethlehem, Penn.) (Michael Moran, conductor) - 5 June 2015
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Summer Band (Linda Moorhouse, conductor) - 18 July 2013
  • Wheaton (Ill.) Municipal Band (Bruce Moss, conductor) – 30 July 2009
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro Wind Ensemble (John R. Locke, conductor) – 27 March 2009 (CBDNA 2009 National Conference, Austin, Tx.)
  • Dobyns-Bennett High School (Kingsport, Tenn.) Symphonic Band (Lafe Cook, conductor) – 18 December 2002 (2002 Midwest Clinic)

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Denza, L.; Goto, Y. (2001). Funiculi-Funicula Rhapsody: For Concert band [score]. Bravo Music: [Deerfield Beach, Fla.]
  • Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Luigi Denza." Accessed 19 May 2015
  • White, Christopher G. "Funiculi-Funicula Rhapsody for Concert Band." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 571-578. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.