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After the Cakewalk

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Robert Nathaniel Dett

Robert Nathaniel Dett (arr. Lee Oreon Smith; ed. Dana Paul Perna)

Subtitle: Characteristic March Two-Step

General Info

Year: 1899 / 1901 / 2014
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $65.00   |   Score only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet (or B-flat Contrabass Clarinet)
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
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
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Although Nathaniel Dett was to achieve notoriety for his compositions in more extended forms during his adulthood, earning the admiration of John Philip Sousa, Percy Grainger, and Sir Eugene Goossens (among countless others), his earliest known compositions were redolent of the popular music he would have been exposed to during his youth -- namely marches, polkas, waltzes, cakewalks, and the current rage of that period, ragtime. Among Dett's earliest titles was After the Cake Walk (Characteristic March Two-Step). Perhaps written as early as 1899, when Dett was just a teenager, the Southern Music Company's current edition is wholly based upon an original 1901 band publication arranged by Lee Orean Smith. Smith was also responsible for preparing Dett's piano solo version for publication, as well as its forms for "theatre" orchestra and "mandolin club." Owing to the fact that Smith's highly idiomatic scoring was prepared for the band of 1901, rather than today's concert band, I adapted, edited, and extended Smith's instrumentation in order to make it possible for Dett's music to become available to a new generation of musicians and listeners alike.

Dett's music came to the attention of a wider public on an international scale due to his association and personal friendship with Percy Grainger. With regard to After the Cake Walk specifically, I became better acquainted with it while working on a recording by the late pianist Denver Oldham on which it is included. Coupled with an earlier version I had prepared for brass band in dedication to Ringebu Musikkforening, I felt that its preparation for a band's instrumentation became absolutely necessary. Upon discovering that Smith had already prepared one when this opus was new, everything made sense. It has been an honor to return this lesser-known title to the band literature where it rightfully belongs.

- Program note by Dana Paul Perna

N.B. Notes on the original instrumentation and performance are found in the Discussion tab, above.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer