Cyrus the Great

From Wind Repertory Project
Karl King

Karl King

Subtitle: Persian March

General Info

Year: 1921
Duration: c. 2:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $4.00

For further availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Condensed Score
D-flat Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
E-flat Soprano Cornet
Cornets Solo-I-II
E-flat or Alt Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Drums, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

To my friend, "Cy" Tremain.

-Program Note from score

Karl King dedicated this march to a personal friend, "Cy" Tremain, but he also had the original Cyrus in mind as indicated by the subtitle "Persian March" and by his choice of rhythms and tonality.

Cyrus the Great (600?-529 B.C.) founded the Persian Empire (now Iran) by conquering the Medes in 550 B.C. Lydia in 546 B.C. and Babylon in 539 B.C. His warriors were excellent horsemen who carried light hide-covered shields and were highly skilled with bow and arrow. They conquered heavily armored troops by their speed and their surprise attacks. When Cyrus acquired Palestine he allowed the Jews to return there and to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. He was killed in battle in 529 B.C. and buried at Pasargadae where the tomb ruins still remain.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

King composed the march Cyrus the Great (subtitled Persian March) as a tribute to his friend “Cy” Tremain. However, he likely drew musical inspiration from the titular emperor, who founded the Persian Empire around 550 BC.

The march begins with an introductory brass fanfare leading into a descending low brass theme that recurs throughout the first strain. King made the somewhat less common choice to use the low brass section as the lead melodic voice for a muscular second strain. The trio moves to a celebratory major tonality, with each of its three iterations separated by a traditionally low brass-heavy breakup strain.

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 19 August 2021


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Coast Guards (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Clark) (1942/2009)

All Wind Works


  • King, K. (1921). Cyrus the Great [score]. C.L. Barnhouse: Oskaloosa, Iowa.
  • Perusal score
  • Smith, Norman E. March Music Notes. GIA Publications, 1986, pp. 239–240. 
  • Smith, Norman E. Program Notes for Band. GIA Publications, 2002, p. 344.