Battell, The

From Wind Repertory Project
William Byrd

William Byrd (tr. Gordon Jacob)

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Subtitle: Originally Composed for Virginal

General Info

Year: c. 1590 / 1964
Duration: c. 18:50
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Virginal
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


1. The Souldier’s Sommons – 1:15
2. The Marche of Footemen – 0:50
3. The Marche of Horsmen – 1:10
4. The Trumpetts – 1:25
5. The Irishe Marche – 1:30
6. The Bagpipe and the Drone – 1:10
7. The Flute and the Droome - 2:50
8. The Marche to the Fighte – 2:10
9. The Retraite – 0:55
10. The Buriing of the Dead – 1:40
11. The Galliarde for the Victorie – 1:45
12. The Morris – 0:55
13. The Souldier’s Dance – 1:15


Full Score
C Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Battell was composed at the end of the renaissance, during a time of religious unrest in England The Roman Catholic Church had been replaced by the Church of England and many English Catholics were being persecuted, made to convert, or forced to worship in secrecy. This was also a time when polyphonic vocal music was at its zenith and keyboard music ws becoming more prevalent.

William Byrd composed The Battell sometime between 1588 and 1591. It was written for virginal, a small, rectangular harpsichord-like instrument, that could be placed on a tabletop. It is part of the collection My Ladye Nevells Booke. The piece contains thirteen short movements that depict the events leading up to a battle, the battle itself, and the aftermath. The Battell stands as one of the earliest examples of programmatic music. Gordon Jacob's transcription for full band was published in 1964.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

My Ladye Nevells Booke (British Library MS Mus. 1591) is a music manuscript containing keyboard pieces by the English composer William Byrd, and, together with the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, one of the most important collections of Renaissance keyboard music.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer