Imperial March, The

From Wind Repertory Project
John Williams

John Williams (trans. Stephen Bulla)

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Subtitle: Darth Vader's Theme

General Info

Year: 1980 / 2008
Duration: c. 3:10
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $215.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo/Alto Flute/Flute
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass 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
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

John Williams’ menacing musical signature for Darth Vader and the Empire from George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy remains one of the most iconic symphonic themes in all film music. Like many of Williams’ award-winning scores to these classic films, this theme is instantly recognizable, both as a portrait of Darth Vader, one of the most unforgettable characters in Star Wars, as well as an exciting and dramatic symphonic march. Though the Imperial March is one of the most memorable themes from the Star Wars film scores, it is often overlooked that it is not present in the first Star Wars movie. Instead, the Imperial March made its debut in The Empire Strikes Back, the second film released. It immediately became synonymous not only with Darth Vader, but with the feelings of fear, evil, and impending doom.

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 2 June 2022

One of the most recognized themes from the silver screen first appeared in the film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. This powerful arrangement for mature bands presents this dark and sinister march in its full splendor and will delight audiences everywhere.

- Program Note from publisher


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond) Wind Symphony (Robert Schwartz, conductor) - 4 May 2023
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Darren Lin, conductor) - 2 June 2022
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Symphonic Band (Tom Davoren, conductor) - 10 March 2021
  • Carroll Community Wind Ensemble (Carrollton, Ga.) (Terry Lowery, conductor) - 22 October 2020
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C. (John Williams, conductor) - 23 October 2019
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Campus Band (Betsy McCann, conductor) – 8 March 2019
  • United States Military Academy Band (West Point, N.Y.) (Richard Winkels, conductor) – 21 July 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.