Cheating, Lying, Stealing

From Wind Repertory Project
David Lang

David Lang

General Info

Year: 1993 / 2011
Duration: c. 11:25
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Bass clarinet, violoncello, piano, and percussion
Publisher: David Lang
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II-III
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
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
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum (4: high(2), middle, low)
  • Kick Drum
  • Loud Nasty Metal
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Tom-tom (2)
  • Triangle (2)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Written to be premiered at the New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University on October 15, 2011, this is the first band work by the Lang, a major Pulitzer Prize-winning composer whose works are known to stretch the bounds. This work challenges both the player and the listener in new directions, a hallmark of Lang’s innovative compositional skills. The complexity of rhythmic and the necessity for accurate subdivision provide both challenge and fun for the performer, and the layering of textures is unique and engaging.

- Program Note by Bruce Moss

A couple of years ago, I started thinking about how so often when classical composers write a piece of music, they are trying to tell you something that they are proud of and like about themselves. Here's this big gushing melody, see how emotional I am. Or, here's this abstract hard-to-figure-out piece, see how complicated I am, see my really big brain. I am more noble, more sensitive, I am so happy. The composer really believes he or she is exemplary in this or that area. It's interesting, but it's not very humble.

So I thought, What would it be like if composers based pieces on what they thought was wrong with them? Like, here's a piece that shows you how miserable I am. Or, here's a piece that shows you what a liar I am, what a cheater I am. I wanted to make a piece that was about something disreputable. It's a hard line to cross. You have to work against all your training. You are not taught to find the dirty seams in music. You are not taught to be low-down, clumsy, sly and underhanded. In Cheating, Lying, Stealing,' although phrased in a comic way, I am trying to look at something dark. There is a swagger, but it is not trustworthy. In fact, the instruction in the score for how to play it says: Ominous funk.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Caldwell, conductor) - 29 September 2022
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) New Music Ensemble (Benjamin Lorenzo, conductor) – 30 April 2019
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 16 November 2017
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 20 October 2017
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Wind Symphony (Russell C. Mikkelson, conductor) – 21 April 2017
  • California State University, Fullerton, Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornet, conductor) – 9 October 2016
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Concert Winds (Robert Taylor, conductor) – 20 November 2015
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Wind Ensemble (Donald McKinney, conductor) – 23 March 2013 (CBDNA 2013 National Conference, Greensboro, N.C.)
  • Grand Valley State University (Allentown, Mich.) New Music Ensemble – Fall 2012

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • David Lang website.
  • Lang, D. (2012). Cheating, Lying, Stealing : Version for Wind Band, 2012 [score]. Red Poppy: New York, N.Y.