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Count to Ten

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Alex Shapiro

Alex Shapiro

General Info

Year: 2021
Duration: c. 1:15
Difficulty: 1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Activist Music, through Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1
Part 1 in C

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Violin

*Part 1 in B-flat

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet

*Part 1 in E-flat

  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • Violin

Part 2
*Part 2 in C

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Violin

*Part 2 in B-flat

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet

*Part 2 in E-flat

  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • Violin

*Part 2 in F

  • Horn in F
  • Cello

Part 3
*Part 3 in B-flat

  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone

*Part 3 in C

  • Bassoon
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Cello

*Part 3 in C lower

  • Tuba
  • String Bass

Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal

Audio track (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

By the time a person is four years old -- long before their first fun wind band class -- they can count to ten. So I've never understood why beginning music students are only given pieces in rigid, often plodding, 4/4, 3/4 or 2/4 meters. Music, like life, is neither rigid nor plodding (well, at least not interesting music!). Thus, Count to Ten is my contribution to the repertoire for beginning musicians who have a lifetime of wonderful, compelling pieces ahead of them that will be filled with chromaticism, syncopations, and mixed meters.

The premise is simple: count up, then down again from a grand peak of 9/4. This is not a time signature I would normally choose even for professionals, because it's easier to read subdivisions. But there's an important and purely psychological reason I opted for it here: if beginning musicians can achieve playing in 9/4, it may forever dispel any fear they'll have of large meters, and playing in 5, and maybe even in 7, will seem like a relative breeze. In other words, in addition to being a primer for contemporary repertoire, Count to Ten is a middle school psyche-out: if you can count to ten, you certainly can count to nine!

- Program Note by composer

For Robert Ambrose and Sean Murphy.

- Program Note from score

Performance Notes

With its built-in drone and percussion parts, the piece is designed to sound good acoustically, but it will sound many times better when the students are paired with any of the cinematic-style accompaniment tracks -- especially the "full" version that combines all three elements of the percussion (strong downbeats and steady quarter beats), the B-flat drone (for tuning and atmosphere), and the groove ostinati weaving through the music and adding a modern syncopation.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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