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Forty Days

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Gregory Brown

Gregory Brown

Subtitle: Music for remote players

General Info

Year: 2021
Duration: c. 5:55
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Gregory W. Brown
Cost: Score and Parts - $100.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
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
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Metal object (small)
  • Wood object (small)

Players speaking


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Composer Gregory Brown began thinking about this work as the world went into quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. The title of Forty Days derives from the etymology of the word "quarantine," which comes from the Italian term quarantena, which was used to mean a period, originally 40 days, of detention or isolation imposed upon ships, persons, animals, or plants on arrival at a port or place, when suspected of carrying some infectious or contagious disease. Composer Brown wrote a poem that is the basis for the piece and is intended to be displayed during the performance of the work.

The work was designed to be played "virtually," in which players are not physically together, e.g., on Zoom. This virtuality, given 2021 technology, results in enough sound delay to make a clearly synchronized performance nearly impossible. Consequently, Forty Days takes the anticipated delay into account, and certain delays and inexactnesses are accounted for and designed into the music. Players are intended to watch the text on the poem, which appears on the screen, rather than a conductor, and to change what they are playing as the text changes. With this form of virtual performance, players can hear each other and are encouraged to do the best they can to stay together. That struggle to connect, to stay together, is at the heart of the piece.

- Program Note adapted from composer comments

This work was a commission in memory of Scott G. Smedinghoff A'14 for the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble by the Hopkins Center for the Arts. It was funded by Bruce J. Berger, M.D.'66, P'94, and Barbara S. Berger P'94.

Performance Notes

This piece could be performed in person, but the players would have to be spread out over a large distance to evoke that same sense of space and disconnection. Also, the technical issues involving zoom and the video conductor score may benefit from direct composer involvement.


(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

  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.) Wind Ensemble (Brian Messier, conductor) - 25 May 2021 (Virtual) *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer