Homage to Pérotin

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Ron Nelson

Ron Nelson

This work is the second movement of the composer's Medieval Suite.

General Info

Year: 1983
Duration: c. 4:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - $17.95


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

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Crotales
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (or Tam-tam)
  • Marimba (2)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended
  • Tenor Drum
  • Tom-Toms
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Medieval Suite was written in homage to three great masters of the Middle Ages: Leonin (middle 12th century), Perotin (c. 1155-1200), and Machaut (c. 1300-1377). These are neither transcriptions of their works nor attempts at emulating their respective styles. Rather, the music served as a sort of launching pad for three pieces which draw on some of the stylistic characteristics of music from that period, e.g., repetition of rhythmic patterns or modes, modules of sound, proportions that produce octaves, fourths and fifths, use of Gregorian chant, syncopation, long pedal points where a sustained tone regulates melodic progression.

Homage to Perotin springs from his Viderunt, with its driving rhythmic intensity, repetition, and pedal points. The opening section features insistent dissonances in alternation with brass fanfare-like passages. A second theme played by unison brass is written in the Aeolian mode.

Homage to Perotin was first performed March 18, 1983, at the National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association by the Western Michigan University Symphonic Band, Richard J. Suddendorf, conductor.

- Program Note by composer

Wikipedia provides a helpful summary of the importance of this particular chant:

[Viderunt Omnes] is based on an ancient gradual of the same title. The chant was subsequently expanded upon by composers of the Notre Dame School who developed it as a type of early polyphony known as organum. Thought to be written for Christmas, the polyphonic settings would have retained the same liturgical purpose as the original gradual, while being musically enhanced for the festivities. The cantus firmus, or tenor, "holds" the original chant, while the other parts develop complex melismas on the vowels. The various settings of Viderunt Omnes provide context for specific trends in medieval music.

…Perotin's four-part version of Viderunt, one of the few existing examples of Organum Quadruplum, may have been written for the Feast of the Circumcision in 1198. We know that at this time Eudes de Sully, bishop of Paris, was promoting the use of polyphony.

Whatever the original context may have been, Nelson brings the chant into a new era in a deft celebration of the marriage of compositional craft and emotional effusion.

- Program Note by University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Wind Ensemble concert program, 7 October 2015


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Nelson, conductor) - 26 October 2023
  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 19 February 2023<!-19 -->
  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 1 February 2023
  • College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University (Collegeville, Minn.) Wind Ensemble (Justin T. Zanchuk, conductor) – 12 December 2022
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte Wind Ensemble (Hunter Kopczynski, conductor) – 2 December 2022
  • Mansfield (Penn.) University Concert Wind Ensemble (Adam F. Brennan, conductor) – 20 November 2022
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Symphonic Band (Matthew O. Smith, conductor) – 31 March 2022 (CBDNA 2022 Southwestern Conference, Waco, Tx.)
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Symphonic Band (Matthew O. Smith, conductor) – 22 March 2022
  • Stephen F. Austin University (Nacogdoches, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (David Campo, conductor) - 2 March 2021
  • West Chester (Penn.) University Wind Ensemble (Andrew Yozviak, conductor) - 29 November 2020
  • Texas State University (San Marcos) Symphonic Winds (Kyle Glaser, conductor) – 5 March 2020
  • California State University Northridge Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • Oklahoma City (Okla.) University Wind Ensemble (Matthew Mailman, conductor) – 7 November 2019
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 25 October 2019
  • University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Wind Ensemble (Janet Kim, conductor) – 29 May 2019
  • Batavia (Ill.) High School Wind Symphony (Chris Owen & Brian Van Kley, conductors) – 23 February 2019
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony I (Sarah Wilson, conductor) – 14 November 2018
  • University of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, PE, Canada) Wind Symphony (Karem J. Simon, conductor) – 4 November 2018 (Only Leonin and Perotin!)
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 26 April 2018
  • Penn State University (University Park) Symphonic Band (Dennis Glock, conductor) – 25 April 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Miles, Richard B. 2000. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 3. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 383-388.