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Original Suite, An

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Gordon Jacob

Gordon Jacob (ed. Christopher Heidenreich)

General Info

Year: 1928 / 1959 / rev. 2007
Duration: 10:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $125.00   |   Score - $25.00


1. March - 3:20
2. Intermezzo - 4:10
3. Finale - 2:00


Full Score (2007 edition)
Condensed Score
Flute and Piccolo
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


  • Bassoons, mvt. 2, m.23, beat 2: A should be G [from Kinsey dissertation].

Extensive errata may be found in Kopetz article for 1928/1959 edition, in Resources, below.

Program Notes

An Original Suite was Jacob's first work for the band medium and was completed in 1928. It is assumed that the word "original" in the title was to distinguish it from transcriptions that made up the bulk of the band repertoire at the time or to alert listeners that the "folk song" themes were original. The suite begins with a march and includes four themes introduced by a snare drum solo. There is a recapitulation of the opening theme played over a distinctively British dotted eighth-sixteenth accompaniment, and the movement ends as it began with an unaccompanied snare drum. The Intermezzo opens with a seventeen bar solo for alto saxophone and ends with a somber A-minor triad. A rubato tempo is prevalent and subtle shading of tone pervades the movement. The Finale is reminiscent of the first movement. It begins with a polymeter -- the clarinets and saxophones play scale passages in 6/8 while the rest of the band is in 2/4. The finale Coda repeats the second theme of the movement and finishes with a flourish of woodwind arpeggios to the final accented chords.

- Program Note from Illinois State University Symphonic Band concert program, 13 November 2015

An Original Suite (1928) was originally entitled Suite for Military Band, and was composed while Jacob was a student at the Royal Academy of Music. The publishing company Boosey & Hawkes gave the suite its title. Jacob did not like the title and unsuccessfully tried to have it changed. The reason for the designation of An Original Suite is explained by Jacob:

At the time very little original music was being written for what was the “military” band, so the title was a way of distinguishing that it was an original work rather than an arrangement -- not that the music was very original in itself ... The slow movement is Irish rather than English “folky.” The reason being that Londonderry Air was extremely popular and much admired by the 1920s.

- Program Note from University of North Texas Concert Band concert program, 23 November 2015

Jacob named his An Original Suite to set it apart from myriad arrangements and re-orchestrations that made up most of the band repertoire at the time. “Originality” is a fitting label for the music as the first movement quickly demonstrates. Though titled March, the movement shirks typical march form and instead explores four varied themes in succession: one stately, the next a spritely staccato, the third mechanistic and martial, and a fourth atemporal and wandering. Movement II begins with a lengthy melody delivered by solo alto sax, which is repeated and elaborated throughout with waves of flowing legato eighth notes. The final movement, marked simply Finale, bounces playfully between two main themes, often toying with a 3-against-2 rhythmic pattern. Jaunty woodwind runs and animated brass hits leave us whistling a number of catchy tunes to conclude the suite.

- Program Note from California State University, Long Beach, Symphonic Band concert program, 5 October 2017


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: IV
  • Georgia: V
  • New York: V
  • Texas: V
  • MusicFest Canada: B500


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Muck, conductor) - 11 April 2023
  • University of Toronto (Ont., Can.) Wind Symphony (Pratik Gandhi, conductor) - 3 December 2022
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Concert Band (Patrick Forrester, conductor) - 17 October 2022
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Jay S. Gephart, conductor) - 2 October 2022
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) - 20 February 2022
  • The Southern Tier (Binghamton, N.Y.) Concert Band (Robin Linaberry, conductor) - 6 December 2021
  • McLennan Community College (Waco, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (John Conrad, conductor) - 22 April 2021
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Cook, conductor) – 15 April 2021
  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) University Band (James Popejoy, conductor) - 13 October 2020
  • Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro) Symphonic Band (Reed Thomas, conductor) – 5 March 2020
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Symphony Band (James Batcheller, conductor) – 27 February 2020
  • Stetson University (Deland, Fla.) University Concert Band (Doug Phillips, conductor) – 25 February 2020
  • Paul R. Wharton High School (Tampa, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Justin O. Swaim, conductor) 20 February 2020
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Concert Winds (Christian Reardon MacLellan, conductor) – 29 January 2020
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Symphony (Timothy Kaiser, conductor) — 10 December 2019
  • The Crossroads Wind Symphony (Lawrence, Kan.) (Paul W. Popiel, conductor) – 14 November 2019
  • Swarthmore (Penn.) College Wind Ensemble (Andrew Hauze, conductor) – 9 November 2019
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Symphony Band (Joseph Scagnoli, conductor) – 25 October 2019
  • Johnson City (Tenn.) Community Concert Band (Christian Zembower, conductor) - 7 October 2019
  • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Belton, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Nils Landsberg, conductor) -1 October 2019
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Summer Band (Anthony Messina, conductor) - 25 July 2019
  • Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Symphonic Band (Matthew Arau, conductor) – 25 May 2019
  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (Robert Calonico, conductor) – 19 May 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer