Symphony IV (Gould)

From Wind Repertory Project
Morton Gould

Morton Gould

The work bears the nickname “West Point.”

General Info

Year: 1952
Duration: 20:10
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schirmer Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $110.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


1. Epitaphs - 11:30
2. Marches - 8:30


Full Score
Flute I-II (Both doubling C Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E=flat E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals
  • Chimes
  • Marching Machine
  • Snare Drums (2)
  • Bells
  • Xylophone


In Parts:

  • Baritone T.C., Movement 1, m.136: Time signature of 4/4 missing.

Program Notes

Gould's fourth symphony was composed for the West Point Sesquicentennial Celebration, marking 150 years of progress at the United States Military Academy. One of the first landmark symphonies composed specifically for wind band, Gould's Symphony No. 4 is a two-movement masterwork. Gould employs both traditional and modern techniques, adeptly changing colors and styles to engage the listener. He even calls for a marching machine in the first movement.

The composer writes,

The first movement, Epitaphs, is both lyrical and dramatic. The quiet and melodic opening statement of the main theme leads directly into a broad and noble exposition of one of the motifs, becoming a passacaglia [a musical form based on continuous variations over a ground bass] based on a martial theme first stated by the tuba. After a series of variations which grow in intensity, the opening lyricism, combined with the passacaglia motif and an allusion to Taps, makes a quiet but dissonant closing to the first movement. “The second and final movement is lusty and gay in character. The texture is a stylization of marching tunes that parades past in an array of embellishments and rhythmic variants. At one point there is a simulation of a fife and drum corps which, incidentally, was the instrumentation of the original West Point Band. After a brief transformed restatement of the themes in the first movement, the work finishes in a virtuoso coda of martial fanfares and flourishes.”

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

The second movement, titled Marches, is a brilliant but subtle paraphrase on marches and marching. The various tunes parade past in an array of embellishments and rhythmic variations. At the beginning of the movement, and in later sections as well, the wind instruments play figures which suggest typical snare drum rhythms. At one point a simulation of a fife and drum corps recalls the instrumentation of the original West Point Band. After numerous transformations of the principal marching motif the work ends in a virtuoso coda of martial fanfares and flourishes.

- Program Note from the North Shore Senior High School Wind Ensemble concert program, 22 December 2017

This symphony was composed for the West Point Sesquicentennial Celebration, marking 150 years of progress at the United States Military Academy. The composer was invited to contribute a composition for this event by the Academy and Major Francis E. Resta, commanding officer of the United States Military Band and director of music at the Academy.

Composed during the months of January and February 1952, this symphony was first performed on April 13th of that year at the Academy, with the composer conducting the United States Military Academy Band.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Alabama: AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • California: VI, Class AA
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI; masterworks
  • Iowa: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Massachusetts: V
  • Michigan: AA
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • New York: VI
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Texas: V
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: SC Band Masterworks
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Atlanta (Ga.) Wind Symphony (David Kehler, conductor) - 15 October 2023
  • River Valley Wind Ensemble (Bourbonnais, Ill.) (David Conrad, conductor) - 12 May 2023
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra (Dallas, Tx.) (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) - 23 April 2023
  • Seacoast Wind Ensemble (Kittery, Me.) (Mark Stickney, conductor) - 12 November 2022
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Wind Ensemble (David Stanley, conductor) - 13 September 2022
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) - 11 September 2022
  • Luther College (Decorah, Ia.) Concert Band (Cory Near, conductor) - 27 February 2022
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (Ryan Kelly, conductor) - 20 October 2021
  • University of Delaware(Newark) Wind Ensemble (Lauren Reynolds, conductor) - 13 October 2021
  • Jackson (Miss.) State University Wind Ensemble (Lowell Hollinger, conductor) – 4 March 2020
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) Wind Symphony (Rebecca Phillips, conductor) – 10 October 2019
  • Concordia University (Irvine, Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jeff Held, conductor) – 29 September 2019
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Matthew O. Smith, conductor) – 16 April 2019
  • East Tennessee (Johnson City) State University Wind Ensemble (Joe Moore, conductor) – 16 April 2019
  • Pacific Lutheran University (Parkland, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Edwin Powell, conductor) – 10 March 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Symphonic Band (Dennis W. Fisher, conductor) – 5 February 2019
  • University of Texas, El Paso, Wind Symphony (Bradley Genevro, conductor) – 15 November 2018
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee, Fla.) Wind Orchestra (Richard Clary, conductor) – 28 September 2018
  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Rochester, N.Y.) (Donald Hunsberger, conductor) – 15 March 1963

Works for Winds by This Composer