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Canticle of the Creatures

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James Curnow

James Curnow

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General Info

Year: 1984
Duration: c. 13:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $70.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


1. Prologue
2. Brother Sun
3. Sister Moon And Stars
4. Brother Fire
5. Mother Earth
6. Epilogue


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I
Oboe I
Oboe II/English Horn
Bassoon I-II
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 Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This work was inspired by the writings of Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) who founded the Franciscan religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. His simple life of poverty inspired many men during the Middle Ages. Today, people admire Francis because of his love of peace and his respect for all creatures. He expressed his religious ideas in poems as well as through his ministry. These poems and lauds were not written to be read in prayer books, but to be sung either by their friars as part of their preaching exercises or as a part of their own devotions.

Canticle of the Creatures sings praise to many of God's creations, with each movement depicting the stanza of the poem after which it is entitled.

- Program Note from the University of North Dakota Wind Ensemble concert program, 13 October 2020

This distinctive six-movement suite is one of Jim Curnow's most requested works. Inspired by the writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, it graphically expresses his love of peace and his respect for all creatures. Each movement is like a short tone poem, using the modern concert band as the canvas on which to paint spectacular images.

- Program Note from publisher

Commissioned by the North Hills High School Band, Pittsburgh, Penn., Warren Mercer, director.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class A
  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: IV
  • Kansas: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Minnesota: II
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem) Wind Ensemble (Mark A. Norman, conductor) - 5 November 2021
  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) Wind Ensemble (James Popejoy, conductor) - 13 October 2020
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Winds (Timothy Smith, conductor) – 15 March 2020
  • Taylor University Wind Ensemble (Upland, Ind.) (Joel Walters, conductor) – 15 March 2018
  • Taylor University (Upland, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Al Harrison, conductor) – 1 November 2017
  • Banda Municipal de Villena (Spain) (Pedro Ángel López Sánchez, conductor) – 2012

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Curnow, J. (1984). Canticle of the Creatures [score]. Jenson Publications: United States.