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Diamond Tide

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Viet Cuong

Viet Cuong

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 7:30
Difficulty: III+ (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Viet Cuong
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $130.00; (digital) - $110.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


1. Moderato – 3:05
2. Allegro – 4:15


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
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 Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • China Cymbals
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Crystal Glass
  • Flexatone
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Tom (2)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A 2010 article published in Nature Physics details an experiment in which scientists were able to successfully melt a diamond and, for the first time, measure the temperature and pressure necessary to do so. When diamonds are heated to very high temperatures, they don’t melt; they simply turn into graphite, which then melts (and the thought of liquid graphite isn’t nearly as appealing or beautiful as liquid diamond.) Therefore, the addition of extremely high pressure -- 40 million times the pressure we feel on earth at sea level -- is crucial to melt a diamond.

The extreme temperature and pressure used in this experiment are found on Neptune and Uranus, and scientists therefore believe that seas of liquid diamond are possible on these two planets. Oceans of diamond may also account for these planets’ peculiar magnetic and geographic poles, which do not line up like they do here on earth. Lastly, as the scientists were melting the diamonds, they saw floating shards of solid diamond forming in the pools -- just like icebergs in our oceans. Imagine: distant planets with oceans of liquid diamond filled with bergs of sparkling solid diamonds drifting in the tide...

These theories are obviously all conjecture, but this alluring imagery provided heaps of inspiration for Diamond Tide, which utilizes the “melting” sounds of metallic water percussion and trombone glissandi throughout.

The work is in two movements, which may be performed separately.

Heartfelt thanks to Cheryl Floyd, Richard Floyd, the TMEA Region 18 bands, and John Mackey for making this piece possible.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Texas: IV. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Symphonic Band (Malcolm Williams, conductor) - 3 December 2020
  • Blythewood (S.C.) High School Wind Symphony (Quintus Wrighten, conductor) - 18 March 2020
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Band (Cliff Croomes, conductor) – 10 March 2020
  • MidAmerica Nazarene University (Olathe, Ks.) Concert Band (Luke D. Johnson, conductor) – 8 March 2020
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Kevin Gray Richardson, conductor) – 23 February 2020
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Concert Band (Patricia Cornet, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • University Of North Carolina, Greensboro, University Band (J. Benjamin Jones, Conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • Eastman (N.Y.) Community Music School Music Educators Wind Ensemble (Bill Tiberio, conductor) – 20 October 2019
  • Kings County (N.Y.) Concert Band (Jasmine Britt, conductor) – 18 May 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Band (Doug Morin, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University University Band (Trey Harris, conductor) – 22 April 2019
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Campus Concert Band (Barry L. Houser, conductor) - 25 April 2019
  • Northern Illinois University (DeKalb) Wind Symphony (Thomas Bough, conductor) – 22 April 2019
  • Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Symphonic Band (Matthew Arau, conductor) – 13 April 2019
  • Bowling Green (Ohio) State University University Band (Bruce Moss, conductor) – 11 March 2019
  • California All-State Junior High School Symphonic Band (James Smart, conductor) - 17 February 2019 (2019 CASMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Symphonic Band (Brett Keating, conductor) – 6 December 2018
  • Bowling Green (Ohio) State University University Band (Bruce Moss, conductor) – 3 December 2018
  • University of South Alabama (Mobile) Symphony Band (Jason Rinehart, conductor) – 19 November 2018

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Syzygy (Flex instrumentation) (2019/2020)

All Wind Works


  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 304.
  • Moss, Emily A. "Diamond Tide." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 340-348. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
  • Viet Cuong website Accessed 14 February 2016