Black Dog

From Wind Repertory Project
Scott McAllister

Scott McAllister

Subtitle: Rhapsody for Clarinet

General Info

Year: 2002
Duration: c. 10:35
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Scott McAllister
Cost: Score and Parts - $350.00


Full Score
Solo B-flat Soprano Clarinet
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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
Euphonium (div.)
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Field Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


In Score:

The field drum is shown on a staff labeled as "Percussion III". In the parts, however, it is included in Percussion II, and there is no actual part for Percussion III. As a result, the two final notes (of the piece) written for the field drum only appear in the score.

Program Notes

Black Dog is a rhapsody for solo clarinet and wind ensemble. The work is inspired by classic hard rock music, particularly Led Zeppelin’s rhapsodic-style song Black Dog. The clarinet solo takes the role of the lead singer in a hard rock band with its extreme range and emotions juxtaposed with the pyrotechnic solos in true “Hendrix” fashion. The rhapsody begins with a long solo cadenza which introduces most of the material in the work. The middle section is a very slow, upward, Stairway to Heaven gesture. The last section of Black Dog concludes with a “head-banging” ostinato pattern that leads to the final fiery cadenza.

- Program Note from publisher

Commissioned by and dedicated to James Croft, Director of Bands, Florida State University, and Frank Kowalsky, Professor of Clarinet, Florida State University.

- Program Note from score

Black Dog is a rock-guitar inspired piece influenced in part by the 1971 Led Zepplin hit single of the same title. McAllister describes the work as an exploration of extremes. From the cadenza-like passages in the beginning to the “Coplandesque” middle section and virtuosic improvisatory final section, Black Dog is a study in musical combination, contrast and complexity. Along with its connection to rock, it also includes references to the hymn tune Grace, Greater than our Sin and Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major.

- Program Note by Dominic Talanca for the Lone Star Wind Orchestra concert program, 25 January 2015


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Wind Ensemble (Damon Talley, conductor; Cecelia Kang, clarinet) - 26 September 2023
  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor; Matthew Marsit, clarinet) – 2 March 2023
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Matthew O. Smith, conductor; Mariam Adam, clarinet) – 4 February 2023
  • California State University Fullerton Alumni Band (Dustin Barr, conductor; Virginia Figueiredo, clarinet) - 15 January 2023
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Symphony Band (Phillip A. Ostrander, conductor; Charles Kuban, clarinet) - 4 May 2022
  • Atlanta (Ga.) Wind Symphony (David Kehler, conductor; Andy Hudson, clarinet) - 16 December 2021 (2021 Midwest Clinic)
  • University of Delaware (Newark) Wind Ensemble (Lauren Reynolds, conductor; Anthony McDonnell, clarinet) - 18 March 2021
  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor; Gunnar Hirthe, clarinet) – 27 February 2020
  • State University of New York Geneseo Wind Ensemble (Leah McGray, conductor; Andrew Brown, clarinet) – 6 December 2019
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Tim Smith, conductor; Robert Mitchell, clarinet) – 10 March 2019
  • University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Westgate, conductor; Romie de Guise-Langois, clarinet) – 5 October 2018
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Ensemble (Chad R. Nicholson, conductor; Jackie Glazier, clarinet) - 26 April 2018
  • Pittsburg (Kan.) State University Wind Ensemble (Andrew Chybowski, conductor; Joanne Britz, clarinet) - 12 April 2018
  • Colorado (Denver) Wind Ensemble (David Kish, conductor; Richard Stoltzman, clarinet) – 7 April 2018
  • Central Washington University (Ellensburg) Wind Ensemble (Lewis Norfleet, conductor; David Stewart, clarinet) – 22 March 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Western/Northwestern Conference, Rohnert Park, Calif.)
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 5 March 2018
  • Penn State University (University Park) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Dennis Glocke, conductor; Andy Hunt, clarinet) – 28 February 2018
  • Moorpark (Calif.) College Wind Ensemble (Brendan McMullin, conductor; Virginia Figueiredo, clarinet) – 10 December 2017
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Matthew Brunner, conductor) – 28 April 2017
  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (Richard Wyman, conductor) – 19 March 2017
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Wind Symphony (Douglas Stotter, conductor) - 9 February 2017 (2017 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor; Hannah Bell, clarinet) – 15 April 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer