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Fascinating Ribbons

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Joan Tower

Joan Tower

General Info

Year: 2001
Duration: c. 5:55
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Associated Music Publishers, Inc.
Cost: Score & Parts - $125   |   Score Only - $20.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Castanets
  • Crotales
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Maracas (small)
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal (small, medium, large)
  • Tambourine (medium)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tenor Drum
  • Timbales
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle (small)
  • Vibraphone
  • Woodblock
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I am happy to be finally entering the band world -- a generous and hard-working world that has generated so many excellent wind, brass, and percussion players. It seems also to be a place of people that actually love living composers! Since this was my first foray into the band world, I decided that a short piece would be the wisest course.

In naming the piece, I noticed that there are many contours of motives that are shaped in curved “ribbon” patterns. I immediately thought of the word “fascinating.” And the ending dotted-rhythm reminded me of Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythms -- hence the title. It is dedicated to Jack Stamp, that intrepid “stalker” of composers who will not give up until he gets a band piece from them. (I should know; it took him five years to get me to write one!)

- Program Note by composer


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 21 February 2023
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Wind Symphony (John Cody Birdwell, conductor) - 24 April 2022
  • Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Kraig Alan Williams, conductor) - 9 October 2021
  • University of Colorado Boulder Wind Symphony (Derek Stoughton, conductor) – 16 September 2021
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Symphony (Stephen D. Davis, conductor) – 13 February 2020
  • Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) Concert Band (Thomas Duffy, conductor) – 17 November 2019
  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Wind Ensemble (Marc Sosnowchik, conductor) – 15 November 2018
  • Clovis (Calif.) North Educational Center Wind Ensemble (David Lesser, conductor) - 21 December 2017 (2017 Midwest Clinic)
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Ensemble (Chad R. Nicholson, conductor) – 7 October 2017
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Wind Symphony (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) – 28 September 2017
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Symphonic Band (Jacqueline Townsend, conductor) – 23 March 2017
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Robert Taylor, conductor) – 10 February 2017
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 10 February 2016
  • University of Southern California Thornton Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) - 1 April 2012
  • Indiana Wind Symphony (Charles Conrad, conductor) - May 2006
  • Keystone Wind Ensemble (Indiana, Penn.) (Jack Stamp, conductor) – 22 February 2001 (CBDNA 2001 National Conference, Denton, Tx.) *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 500.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 799-802.
  • Schirmer Publishing