It Don't Mean a Thing (arr. Mashima)

From Wind Repertory Project
Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington (arr. Toshio Mashima)

General Info

Year: 1932 / 2012
Duration: c. 4:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Big Band
Publisher: De Haske, through Music Shop Europe
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €126.16   |   Score Only (print) - €27.09


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

  • Bass Tom
  • Hi-Hat
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) is a 1931 composition by Duke Ellington, with lyrics by Irving Mills, now accepted as a jazz standard, characterized by jazz historian Gunther Schuller as "now legendary", "a prophetic piece and a prophetic title."

The music was written and arranged by Ellington in August 1931 during intermissions at Chicago's Lincoln Tavern and was first recorded by Ellington and his orchestra for Brunswick Records on February 2, 1932. The song became famous, Ellington wrote, "as the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time." Ellington credited the saying as a "credo" of his former trumpeter, Bubber Miley. Probably the first song to use the phrase "swing" in the title, it introduced the term into everyday language and presaged the swing era by three years. The Ellington band played the song continually over the years and recorded it numerous times, most often with trumpeter Ray Nance as vocalist. Ellington's 1932 recording of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • United States Army Band (Ft. Myer, Va.) (Bruce R. Pulver, conductor) - 16 June 2023

Works for Winds by This Composer