From Wind Repertory Project
David Maslanka

David Maslanka

General Info

Year: 1994
Duration: 13:25
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score & Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $25.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
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 (optional)
Piano (optional)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gongs (4) (small to medium)
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangle (small)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


  • Percussion II (Vibraphone), m.48, beat 3: Quarter note should be rolled.
  • Percussion II (Vibraphone), m.49, beat 1–2: Half note should be rolled.

Program Notes

The title Tears comes from my reading of the novel Monnew by the African writer Ahmadou Kourouma. His story tells of the dissolution of a traditional African culture as Europeans overran it. The native people were made to endure the "monnew" -- the insults, outrages, trials, contempts, and humiliations –- of colonialism. A chapter heading in Kourouma's book reads, "Our tears will not be abundant enough to make a river, nor our cries of pain sharp enough to extinguish fires." This is the external motivation for the piece, but I don't know anyone in Africa directly. I have come to understand that fascination with something in the external world means that a thing deep inside has been touched. So the piece is about something in me. Over the years my music has acted as predictor for me. It gives me advance nonverbal messages about things I don't understand yet –- movements of my unconscious that are working their way toward the light.

Tears finally is about inner transformation, and about groping toward the voice of praise. As St. Francis and St. Ignatius have it, the proper function of the human race is to sing praise. Tears is about inner breaking, and coming to terms with the pain that hinders the voice of praise; Tears is about the movement toward the heart of love.

My dear friend Richard Beale has captured these thoughts in a brief and powerful poem:

Unless tears come to wash my eyes
I will not see again.
Unless I lift my arms in gratitude for pain
They will lack the strength to harvest daffodils.

from Silence and the Gift by Richard Beale, St. Andrew's Press, Big Island, Virginia.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • David Maslanka website
  • Maslanka, D. (1994). Tears: For Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble [score]. Carl Fischer: New York, N.Y.