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Incantation and Dance

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John Barnes Chance

John Barnes Chance

General Info

Year: 1963 / 2011
Duration: c. 7:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - $110.00   |   Score Only - $16.95


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute (2 players; composer asks for divisi a3 at meas. 94)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III (I divisi a3)
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (doubling String Bass)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass (doubling B-flat Contrabass Clarinet)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos (2)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Claves
  • Gourd (guiro)
  • Maracas
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks (5)
  • Timbales (2)
  • Whip


In Parts:

  • Flutes, m.144, beat 1: G should read G sharp.
  • B-flat Clarinet 3, m.92: rehearsal figure 93 should read 92.
  • Alto Saxophone 2, m.218, beat 4: sixteenth notes should read eighth notes.
  • B-flat Trumpets 1, 2, m.149: add "mute out" [?]. / m. 168: add "open" [?]. / m. 212, beat 3: F-flat should read F natural, D should read D-flat. / m. 226: rehearsal figure 266 should read 226.
  • B-flat Trumpets 3, 4, m.149: add "mute out" [?]. / m. 168: add "open" [?]. / m. 187: add rehearsal figure "187."
  • Horns in F 3 & 4, m.27: Tempo I [quarter note = 138] should read [quarter note = 54]. / m. 234, beat 2&: add eighth rest / m. 234,: delete final eighth rest.

Program Notes

The present title of this work suggests a religious orientation, but not towards any of the established religions of a Western or Eastern culture. To the standard deities one offers prayers -- incantations are uttered in rituals of magic, demonic rites, and the conjuring up of spirits, evil and benign. The opening Incantation is full of mystery and expectation, wandering, unstable and without tonality. The Dance also begins quietly, but percussion instruments quickly begin, one by one, to drive a rhythmic pattern of incredible complexity and drive. As other instruments are added, the dance grows wilder and more frenzied. The brasses hammer out ferocious snarls -- the woodwinds fly in swirling scales. Here there is no pretty tune but a paroxysm of rhythm, a convulsion of syncopation that drives on and on, mounting in tension, to a shattering climax of exaltation.

Incantation and Dance was premiered as Nocturne and Dance by Herbert Hazelman and the Greensboro High School Band on November 16, 1960. The original version (saved by Hazelman) has several interesting differences, including 31 additional measures. It was programmed at the NBA convention in New Orleans in June 1995 by Robert Pouliot and the City of Fairfax Band.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

For Herbert Hazelman and the Greensboro Senior High School.

- Program Note from score

Incantation and Dance came into being during Chance’s residency at Greensboro. He wrote it in 1960 and originally called it Nocturne and Dance -- it went on to become his first published piece for band. Its initial “incantation,” presented in the lowest register of the flutes, presents most of the melodic material of the piece. Chance uses elements of bitonality throughout the opening section to create a “sound world mystically removed from itself.” This continues as the dance elements begin to coalesce. Over a sustained bitonal chord (E-flat major over an A pedal), percussion instruments enter one by one, establishing the rhythmic framework of the dance to come. A whip crack sets off furious brass outbursts. When the dance proper finally arrives, its asymmetrical accents explicitly suggest a 9/8 + 7/8 feel, chafing at the structure of 4/4 time.

- Program Note from Wind Band Literature

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Florida: V   ---   (The Florida Bandmasters Association denotes this as "significant literature.")
  • Minnesota - Category I
  • New York: VI
  • Maryland: VI
  • Oklahoma: IV
  • Texas: IV
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) Wind Ensemble (Jason Neiderhiser, conductor) - 7 May 2021
  • Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) Symphonic Band (Shauna Pickens, conductor) - 25 April 2021
  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Symphonic Band (Russell Tipton, conductor) - 21 March 2021
  • East Tennessee State University (Johnson City) Wind Ensemble (Christian Zembower, conductor) - 11 March 2021
  • Dordt University (Sioux Center, Iowa) Campus-Community Band (Onsby Rose, conductor) – 3 March 2020
  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) Symphonic Winds (Ryan Scherber, conductor) – 2 March 2020
  • Stetson University (Deland, Fla.) University Concert Band (Doug Phillips, conductor) – 25 February 2020
  • Tallahassee (Fla.) Winds (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) – 11 February 2020
  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) Symphonic Winds (Ryan Scherber, conductor) – 26 January 2020
  • University of Manitoba (Winnipeg) Concert Band (Jan Michael Bourgeois, conductor) – 6 December 2019
  • California State University, Stanislaus, Wind Ensemble (Stuart Sims, conductor) – 5 December 2019
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 5 November 2019
  • Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) Honor Wind Symphony (Christopher Morehouse, conductor)– 4 December 2019
  • Marist College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) Concert Band (Joshua E. Long, conductor) - 23 November 2019
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Symphony (Jason Silveira, conductor) – 25 October 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Concert Band (Luslaida Barbosa, conductor) – 2 October 2019
  • Illinois Valley Community College (Oglesby, Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Gene Montgomery, conductor) – 5 May 2019
  • Kent State (Ohio) Communiversity Band (Wendy Matthews, conductor) – 30 April 2019
  • Leesville Road High School (Raleigh, N.C.) Symphonic Band (Alyssa Montgomery, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Concert Band (Joseph D. Conti, conductor) – 24 April 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer