Danzon No. 2

From Wind Repertory Project
Arturo Márquez

Arturo Marquez (trans. Oliver Nickel)

General Info

Year: 1998 / 2009
Duration: c. 10:05
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Baton Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €159.00   |   Score Only (print) - €40.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Solo Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II (I doubling B-flat Soprano Saxophone)
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
B-flat Flugelhorn I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Bongos
  • Claves
  • Conga
  • Guiro
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Timbales
  • Tom-tom
  • Vibraphone


In Parts:

  • Clarinet II-II, m.210-219: Bars missing in parts.

In Parts and Score:

  • Solo Clarinet, m.328: Written C# (with the # in the key signature) should be C natural
  • Bass Clarinet, m.283: Written D# should be E#
  • Flugelhorn I-II, m.249: Written C and E# should be E and G# (a third higher)
  • Flugelhorn II, m.183: Written C# and D# should be C and D natural

Program Notes

Originally written for orchestra, Danzón No. 2 has enjoyed significant popularity on performance programs everywhere. The danzón itself was Cuban-born, from a natural synthesis of Spanish, British, and French dance forms, and this work is built on a beautiful, elegant main theme, stated on clarinet, building in intensity before erupting into passionate rhythms later.

- Program Note from publisher

The idea of writing the Danzón No. 2 originated in 1993 during a trip to Malinalco with the painter Andrés Fonseca and the dancer Irene Martínez, both of whom are experts in salon dances with a special passion for the danzón, which they were able to transmit to me from the beginning, and also during later trips to Veracruz and visits to the Colonia Salon in Mexico City. From these experiences onward, I started to learn the danzón’s rhythms, its form, its melodic outline, and to listen to the old recordings by Acerina and his Danzonera Orchestra. I was fascinated and I started to understand that the apparent lightness of the danzón is only like a visiting card for a type of music full of sensuality and qualitative seriousness, a genre which old Mexican people continue to dance with a touch of nostalgia and a jubilant escape towards their own emotional world; we can fortunately still see this in the embrace between music and dance that occurs in the state of Veracruz and in the dance parlors of Mexico City.

The Danzón No. 2 is a tribute to the environment that nourishes the genre. It endeavors to get as close as possible to the dance, to its nostalgic melodies, to its wild rhythms, and although it violates its intimacy, its form and its harmonic language, it is a very personal way of paying my respects and expressing my emotions towards truly popular music. Danzón No. 2 was written on a commission by the Department of Musical Activities at Mexico’s National Autonomous University and is dedicated to my daughter Lily.

- Program Note by composer

About the danzón genre, Lidice Valenzuela writes in Cubanow:

"The history of the danzón goes back to the arrival in Cuba of the European contradance. It came in three different ways: directly from Spain, the colonial metropolis; with the British, who occupied Havana in 1762; and the French colonizers and their slaves who landed in Cuba's eastern shores after fleeing from the Haitian Revolution. From all of that trans-cultural process the danzón was born. This new Cuban dance, naturalized by the "Creoles," had much more expressive freedom: the couple danced in each other's arms, and the dancing time was extended. People began calling it Danzón and it was in Matanzas in the 1870s that figure dancing also began to be called danzón. Thus, Failde, an outstanding musician, named his composition with the generic name of Danzón ."

- Program Note by Lidice Valenzuela

Márquez has written a series of danzónes, works based on an elegant Cuban dance that also has become popular in Veracruz, Mexico. Danzón No. 2 was commissioned by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and was premiered in 1994 by the Orchestra Filar-monica de la UNAM in Mexico City. The work received international acclaim and propelled the composer into the international spotlight.

The composition opens with a suave clarinet solo accompanied by tango-like rhythmic devices. An oboe solo answers the clarinet, prior to the entire ensemble joining in an increasingly intense dance. A soothing middle section, introduced by the piano, features a lush trio for clarinet, English horn and soprano saxophone that evokes the intimacy of the opening before returning to the primal energy of the main dance theme, and the work builds to a dramatic, foot- stomping close.

- Program Note from Temple University Wind Symphony concert program, 27 April 2018


State Ratings

  • Florida: V
  • Indiana: Group I
  • Louisiana: V
  • Texas: V. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Arturo Márquez, Peer Music Classical
  • Márquez, A.; Nickel, O. (2009). Danzón No. 2 [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Perusal score
  • Sotelo, Dario. "Danzón No. 2." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 721-733. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.