March Slav (tr Daehn)

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Peter I Tchaikovsky

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (trans. Larry Daehn)

General Info

Year: 1876 / 1994
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Daehn Publications through C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute 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 Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-tam


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Marche Slav dates from 1876, a time when large numbers of Slavic troops were fighting on the side of Serbia against Turkey, and Russian was making plans to officially enter the war the following year. During this time of great Pan-Slavonic enthusiasm, Nicolai Rubenstein, the director of the Moscow Conservatory (where Tchaikovsky taught harmony), organized a concert for the benefit of the wounded soldiers. He asked Tchaikovsky, who was in full sympathy with the feeling of the hour, to write this march for that occasion. A musical express of the emotions then dominant in Russia, it was immensely successful.

-Program Note from Program Notes for Band

In 1876, Tchaikovsky was commissioned by the Russian Musical Society to compose a piece for a concert to benefit the Red Cross Society, in support of Serbian veterans wounded during the ongoing Serbo-Turkish war. Tchaikovsky composed the programmatic march in just 5 days. The piece begins with 2 Serbian folk songs, to describe the oppression of the Serbs by the Turkish. A simple dance melody in a major key follows, representing the Russian effort to rally support for the Serbs. The Russian national anthem ("God save the Tsar") is heard, followed by a frenetic section depicting the Russian army coming to assist the Serbs. An eyewitness to the premier of the Marche wrote: "The rumpus and roar that broke out in the hall [is almost beyond] description. The whole audience rose to its feet ... It was one of the most stirring moments of 1876. Many in the hall were weeping." If this work sounds familiar, perhaps it's because Tchaikovsky used the Tsarist Anthem again in his 1812 Overture. Marche Slave became one of Tchaikovsky's most popular works and he often used it as a dramatic finale to his concerts while on tour.

-Program Note by Patricia Matos Puente for the Stony Brook Wind Ensemble


State Ratings

  • Georgia: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Virginia: VI


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  • March Slave. Wikipedia. Accessed 8 August 2023
  • Perusal Score
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 583.
  • Tchaikovsky, P.; Daehn, L. (1994). March Slav: Op. 31 [score]. Daehn Publications: New Glarus, Wisc.