Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion

From Wind Repertory Project
Peter Schickele

Peter Schickele

General Info

Year: 1975
Duration: c. 12:25
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Theodore Presser
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00   |   Score Only - $12.00


1. Grand Entrance - 1:16
2. Simply Grand Minuet - 2:55
3. Romance in the Grand Manner - 2:00
4. Rondo Mucho Grando - 5:50


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Tenor I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium I-II
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Automobile Horn
  • Bass Drum
  • Bird Whistle
  • Chimes
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gun Shot
  • Mouth Siren
  • Police Whistle
  • Pop Gun
  • Slapstick
  • Slide Whistle
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tom-Tom (large, medium and small)
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Thanks to the untiring editor Peter Schickele, who has rendered the work now playable by modern concert band, audiences can now marvel at the misbegotten meanderings of Mr. Bach and shake their collective heads, wondering "What was he thinking?" Trying to realize the composer's intentions is a waste of time, since he probably didn't have any. On the other hand, rehearsing the music well does seem advisable, so that when the inevitable critical backlash develops, the performing organization can justly claim that it wasn't their fault.

- Program Note from publisher

Little is known of P.D.Q. Bach (1807 - 1742?) due to a conspiracy of silence perpetrated by his own parents. The last and least of the great J. S. Bach's twenty-odd children, he was certainly the oddest. His father completely ignored him, setting an example for his family and posterity. He finally attained total obscurity at the time of his death. His musical output would be lost but for the efforts of Professor Peter Schickele, who in 1954, rummaging around in a Bavarian castle in search of musical gems, happened upon the original manuscript of the Sanka Cantata, being employed as a strainer in the castle caretaker's percolator. A cursory examination of the music immediately revealed the reason for the atrocious taste of the coffee. Other works attributed to P.D.Q. Bach are The Abduction of Figaro, Oedipus Tex, Wachet Arf, The Seasonings, The Short-Tempered Clavier, Art of the Ground Round, and The Magic Bassoon.

The Grand Serenade was composed on commission from Prince Fred of Wein-am-Rhein, for some sort of outdoor occasion. P.D.Q. Bach had originally wanted to write a really big work of thirty-five or forty minutes duration, but he agreed to make it only a third as long when Prince Fred offered to triple the fee. Soon after it was played, a member of the Prince's household used the pages of the score to wrap six large sausages, which were sent to Paris to be presented as a gift to Benjamin Franklin, from whom the Prince was anxious to obtain the specifications for building a glass harmonica, which Franklin had recently perfected. Eventually, the manuscript made its way to an attic in Boston, where Peter Schickele found it among the belongings of an eighteenth century Tory, in a box marked “Seditious Material. Some adjustments have been made to the arrangement for the lack of a dill piccolo, which is now obsolete and little is known.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Rouge River Winds (Toronto, Ont., Can.) (Pratik Gandhi, conductor) - 26 August 2023
  • Rochester Community Concert Band (Rochester Hills, Mich.) (Paul F. DeRubeis, conductor) - 28 February 2023
  • Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro) Symphonic Band (Denny Hawkins, conductor) - 27 September 2022
  • Wayne (Neb.) State College wind ensemble (Josh Calkin, conductor) - 12 April 2022
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) Symphonic Band (Kevin Botkin, conductor) - 29 April 2021
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Wind Ensemble (Paul Bambach, conductor) – 30 May 2019
  • Aragon High School (San Mateo, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Troy Davis, conductor) – 20 January 2018
  • Windham (NH) Concert Band (Spencer Aston, conductor) – 1 April 2017
  • Tallahassee (Fla.) Winds (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) - 10 February 2015
  • Cascade Winds Symphonc Band (Bend, Or.) (Dan Judd, conductor) - 6 March 2011.
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 30 January 2005

Works for Winds by This Composer