House Divided, A

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2013
Duration: c. 4:30
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $11.00


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

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


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Commissioned by the Indiana Bandmasters Association, this moving work conveys through music the power and emotional impact of Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, which he gave in 1858 upon accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination as senator. The work draws on the music and lyrics of America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee) and the interesting relationship between the lyrics and Lincoln’s memorable words. Parts of the “America” melody appear throughout, with various alterations intended to represent the complex emotions and conflicts of the day, which would ultimately lead to the Civil War.

Expertly scored, the piece features interesting textures; effective changes of tempo and dynamics; brief solos for clarinet, flute, and bells; two-part scoring for flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, and trombone; and a highly effective ending that allows performers to sing the words, “Let freedom ring.”

-Program Note from The Instrumentalist, March 2014, p. 32.

Drawing on fragments of the music America (My Country 'Tis of Thee), this work vividly portrays the bitter divisions Abraham Lincoln spoke about in his famous 'House Divided' Speech. Fragments of America are twisted melodically and harmonically indicating the mood of the day. Through the anger and rage the strength of America emerges as the tune is finally presented intact during the final four measures.

-Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

  • Georgia: III


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