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Keith Michael Davis

Keith Michael Davis

General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: 4:00 – 6:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Komodo Music, through Sheetmusicplus
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00


Any instruments available.


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Composed for the Nebraska Wind Symphony's 2020-2021 season, HIVE was written in response to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic of that time period. The goal was to have a piece available that could be successfully performed via online conferencing software, such as Zoom, since many of the band's members were understandably inclined to stay home, and away from the usual public rehearsal and performance venues. The piece circumvents the inevitable time lag that such technology entails by eliminating any rhythmically synchronized elements and limiting the number of pitches at any given time, focusing mainly on the timbral palette and dynamic arc to define and advance the musical form.

As the title suggests, HIVE is written in imitation of the sound of a hive of honeybees. In researching what that might sound like, I found that the central pitch of a buzzing hive is approximately middle C, which is where the piece begins. The middle of the piece becomes more intense as the hive defends itself from an intruder. Finally, the bees return to a calmer mood and the piece ends as the hive divides and the bees leave one by one to establish a new colony. An interesting fact I discovered while composing is that when a new queen bee emerges from her cell, she emits a piping sound (a B-flat!) to alert the hive that she has arrived. I used this piping as inspiration for the trumpet signal calls at the end of each section.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by the Nebraska Wind Symphony, Joshua Kearney, director, for their 2020-2021 concert season.

- Program Note from score

The work has several named sections, played without pause: The Hive, The Intruder, Attack!, Return to Calm, and The Hive Divides.

Performance Notes

Extended performance notes are found in the score.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • HIVE (Flex instrumentation) (2020)

All Wind Works