Pulse (Marshall)

From Wind Repertory Project
Christopher Marshall

Christopher Marshall

General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 9:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $140.00   |   Score Only (print) - $35.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
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
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-VI, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Rainstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Toms (5)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Pulse is my response to the June 12, 2016, massacre at the Pulse nightclub in my hometown, Orlando.

While by no means programmatic, the music does express a range of emotions – from grief to anger to consolation. It is an attempt to come to terms with this incident and the many similar incidents where the innocent are targeted where they should feel safe – in places of entertainment, of work and of worship.

The word 'pulse' itself is rich in associations:

The pulse of blood through the veins
Of energy through the body's core
Of Music
Of strobe lights
Of a hundred feet on the dance floor
The dull pulse of pain and loss
Of the years before and the days since
Or of love from a million hearts

Beating as one.

Pulse is built on a 12-note melody, so slow moving that it is heard just three times. Each note and its supporting chord overlaps the preceding one. This forms a kind of chaconne that in turn underpins a series of dance-like rhythms with a pulse that remains constant from beginning to end. Against this backdrop, fragmented and very fast statements of the 12-note theme occasionally burst to the surface. Two slow-moving motifs gradually evolve throughout the first six minutes of the music. Only in the final third of the piece does it become clear that they derive from the expressive duet between trumpet and tenor saxophone.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer