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Colour Symphony, A

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Philip Sparke

Philip Sparke

Subtitle: Symphony No. 3

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 26:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Anglo Music, through Music Shop Europe
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $580.00   |   Score Only (print) - $112.00


1. White
2. Yellow
3. Blue
4. Red
5. Green


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-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 Contra-Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (or Contrabassoon)
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
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
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-tom (medium)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block (small)
  • Xylophone



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A Colour Symphony was commissioned by Sinfonischen Blasorchester Wehdel, Thomas Ratzek, conductor. In common with the composer Philip Sparke, Maestro Ratzek sees the large symphonic wind ensemble as the artistic zenith of the genre and, in commissioning this symphony, was specific in his request that it should exploit as full and varied an instrumentation as possible, requesting the inclusion of low woodwinds, harp, piano and celli.

To fully exploit this, Sparke had the idea of writing a symphony of 'colours', to take advantage of the rich palette of instrumental sounds available to him. There is a medical condition called chromesthesia, which is a neurological phenomenon whereby certain musical sounds and pitches can lead the listener to see certain colours. This is not how Sparke perceives pitches. Rather, he sees -- as do many people -- equivalencies between instrumental 'colour' (and certain harmonies) and colours of the spectrum. It is these colours that he has utilised in his Third Symphony.

- Program Note from publisher


  • NBA/William Revelli Composition Contest, 2016, winner


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer