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Paper Cut

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This work has been identified for inclusion in the Small Band Repertoire Initiative. You may find discussion of the work's challenges and merits under the Discussion tab above. You may also contribute your own thoughts and recommendations by joining the WRP.

Alex Shapiro

Alex Shapiro

General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: American Composers Forum
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Trombone I-II
Electric Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V (5 Players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Drum Set
  • Snare Drum
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

What do teenagers like? Video games, TV, and movies. What do all these media have in common? Music!

I was thrilled to have a chance to add to the educational band music repertoire, thanks to the American Composers Forum's terrific BandQuest series. In my desire to compose something relevant to younger players, I decided to create a piece that sounds somewhat like a movie soundtrack, to which the musicians can imagine their own dramatic scene. I also thought it would be fun to make the kids themselves part of the action, and so Paper Cut has the band doing choreographed maneuvers that look as compelling as they sound. In fact, the band members don't even play their instruments until halfway into the piece.

Music isn’t just melody: it’s rhythm and texture as well. The unusual element of paper and the myriad sounds that can emerge from something so simple offer a fresh view of what music-making can be and opens everyone’s ears to the sonic possibilities found among everyday objects.

- Program note by composer

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Alex Shapiro website
  • Cardany, Brian M. "Paper Cut." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 288-293. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.
  • Creative Repertoire Initiative
  • Shapiro, A. (2010). Paper Cut : For Concert Band [score]. American Composers Forum: Milwaukee.