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Cyrus the Great (arr. Glover)

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Karl King

Karl King (arr. Andrew Glover)

General Info

Year: 1921 / 2017
Duration: c. 2:25
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $68.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute
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 Cornet/Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

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

Karl King’s Cyrus The Great march had been a band favorite for nearly a century, and this Karl L. King Centennial Edition by Andrew Glover gives new life to this classic march. Long a favorite of circus bands, with its ponderous low brass lines and ominous minor key tonalities, this engaging march provides opportunities for all sections to display technical and musical virtuosity. Cyrus The Great is proof that not all marches sound alike.

- Program Note adapted from publisher

N.B. The score contains extensive detail and pictures about the march and Karl King.


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


  • Perusal score
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 344.