Three Celtic Dances

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 7:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts - $95.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


1. Reel – 1:27
2. Air – 2:50
3. Jig – 3:00


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 (I div. a2)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Based on three different Scottish dance forms, this work explores a wide variety of Celtic styles using both authentic dance tunes and original material. The first movement, Reel, is in cut time as is typical of all reels. It is based on the tune The Last Pint of Ale, a lively, spirited tune. In this case, the melody itself never changes -- the movement is constantly developed with surrounding material. The second movement, Air, is based on the tune Well May I Behold My Faithful Brown-Hair’d Maid, a slow lyrical tune in 4/4. It presents the melody in two contrasting settings -- the first in a chamber music setting with solo saxophone before a brief transition to a full ensemble presentation in an emotional and powerful setting. The movement closes with a brief return to solo saxophone in a delicate texture.

The final movement, Jig, is a lively dance in 6/8 and is one of the most recognized Celtic dance forms. Loosely based on the tune Highlander’s Jig, the movement weaves in and out of the source material as it also explores original ideas

- Program Note from University of Iowa Concert Band concert program, 6 April 2022


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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  • Balmages, B. (2008). Three Celtic Dances [score]. FJH Music: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Brian Balmages website Accessed 15 September 2020