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Serpent Sea

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Robert Buckley

Robert Buckley

This work is the fourth movement of Buckley's The Seas of the Moon.

General Info

Year: 2019
Duration: c. 3:50
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00; (digital) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon 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-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chinese Cymbal
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Kalimba
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Triangle
  • Vibraslap
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Since the beginning of humanity we’ve been mesmerized by the moon. When our ancestors saw the dark spots on the moon, they believed they saw a kind of formation similar to the earth -- they believed they saw seas. These seas were originally named by Giambattista Riccioli, a 17th-century Jesuit astronomer -- we still use these names today. Four of these seas were chosen as a basis for this wind symphony, The Seas of the Moon. Because the names of these seas conjured up musical and visual images in my imagination, the music is cinematic in nature and designed to create an abstract impression of otherworldliness.

With Serpent Sea I wanted to create something animated. I started with an image of two huge, winged serpents rising out of the waves and frolicking together in a wild, barbaric dance. This movement ends with a wild flurry as the serpents vanish back into the sea.

- Program Note by composer

The fourth movement of this impressionistic suite is animated, exuberant, and somewhat over the top. It was inspired by the image of two huge winged serpents rising from the waves, frolicking in a wild, barbaric dance. The movement ends in a wild flurry as the serpents quickly vanish back into the sea.

- Program Note from publisher

Commissioned by Michael Burch-Pesses in celebration of his 20th anniversary as conductor of the Oregon Symphonic Band.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) Wind Ensemble (James Popejoy, conductor) - 12 October 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer

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