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Libby Larsen

Libby Larsen

General Info

Year: 2001
Duration: c. 3:50
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Band Quest
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00   |   Score - $5.00


Full Score
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F
Trombone I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Cowbell
  • Glockenspiel
  • Maracas
  • Samba Whistle
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Toms (2)
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Woodblock
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Hambone, by Libby Larsen, is a rhythmically driven piece that uses hambone rhythms, early rock n' roll patterns and cakewalk melodies as inspiration. The composer drew on three important African-American cultural traditions while composing Hambone. The term "hambone" comes from bones that enslaved Africans used to make music when they were denied use of traditional instruments. Later, the term was used to describe the hand clapping game played by African-American children as they clapped, patted thighs and slapped various parts of the body to accompany singing. Another tradition, the cakewalk, refers to an 18th century plantation dance. In a cakewalk, the dancers hold their upper bodies stiff while improvising fancy dance steps with their lower bodies that allowed individual dancers to display their best moves. The dance was performed to syncopated melodies.

The third tradition -- rock and roll -- developed out of rhythm and blues. Bo Diddley was an important innovator in the development of this American popular style of music; the syncopated accompaniment used in Hambone was one of his trademarks.

Hambone was commissioned by the American Composers Forum as part of the Band Quest project.

- Program Note from score

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Northern Illinois University (DeKalb) Wind Ensemble (Ronnie Wooten, conductor) – 15 November 2019
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Gold Campus Band (Cory Near, conductor) – 26 October 2017
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Donald A. Lentz Concert Band (Alexander Burgess, conductor) – 27 April 2017
  • Austin Peay State University Symphonic Band (John Schnettler, conductor) - 7 April 2014

Works for Winds by this Composer