Mars (arr. Owens)

From Wind Repertory Project
Gustav Holst

Gustav Holst (arr. William Owens)

Subtitle: From The Planets

General Info

Year: 1916 / 2009
Duration: c. 5:05
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: FJH Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00; (digital) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $9.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
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
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This exceptional arrangement captures all the raw power and intensity of the first movement of The Planets by Gustav Holst. Shortened to be more accessible to younger groups, this version uses clever orchestrating techniques to retain all the fire of the original. At times, you will think you are listening to the original version.

- Program Note from publisher

The Planets, composed for orchestra between 1914 and 1917, is a suite of seven tone poems, each describing symbolically a different planet. The work has insistent odd meters of five and seven beats, thick streams of parallel triads, and an opulent instrumentation. Mars, the Bringer of War is in a relentless 5/4 ostinato for most of its duration. The movement opens quietly, building to a loud and dissonant climax. Mars is often thought to portray the horrors of mechanized warfare. Noted band composer and arranger William Owens prepared the transcription of this movement.

- Program Note from University of North Dakota University Band concert program, 12 October 2021


State Ratings

  • Maryland: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Music


  • Gibbs, Alan. "How did Holst conduct 'The Planets.'" Tempo, vol. 66, no. 261, July 2012, pp. 51-58.
  • Holst, G.; Owens, W. (2009). Mars: From The Planets [score]. FJH Music Co.: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Perusal score
  • The Planets. Wikipedia. Accessed 6 August 2023
  • William Owens website Accessed 13 October 2021