Humoresque (Koh)

From Wind Repertory Project
Chang-Su Koh

Chang Su Koh

General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 8:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bravo Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) – Rental ($300.00)


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Guiro
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Tom (4)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block (3)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

About the work, the composer states:

When I talk about this work [I must also mention my] last work, Vanitas for Wind Orchestra. Vanitas is a kind of still life [painting, like those] painted by [artists] in Northern Europe (Flanders and the Netherlands) in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These paintings [represent] the dark transience of life. My work Vanitas also has a dark and morbid mood.

Humoresque is now perhaps a backlash. After dark reflection, the music was surprisingly composed of an attitude of humor and irony. Upon completion, I gave the work the title of Humoresque, because you should live in world with humor, when this world of "Vanitas" surrounds you.

The work is composed in four parts: slow-fast-slow-fast (quickly). The second half of the work is a variation of the first half. Koh uses borrowed melodic, rhythmic and motivic material from his own works as well as from other composers and culture. For example, there are characteristic paraphrases in the oboe solo at the beginning of the work similar to the flute melody of his Sonatine. He also used rhythmic patterns of traditional Korean music in this piece. Moreover, Koh borrows the motivic idea from the closing passage of Bartok's String Quartet No. 2 (a work he previously transcribed for brass band).

- Program Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band

Humoresque was commissioned to commemorate the eightieth anniversary of Kakogawa Higashi High School (Hyogo prefecture) band. It serves as a companion piece to Koh’s work Vanitas, which was composed just prior to this commission. The concept of vanitas is that of “impermanence” as the closest word in Japanese, meaning that the world is ever-changing, and that the only thing one can do in such an impermanent environment is to live a life with “humor,” which then inspired the title of the work.

- Program Note from United States Marine Band concert program, 19 May 2019


  • Japan Band Directors Association Shitaya Encourage Prize, 2012, winner


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • George, Matthew. "Humoresque." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 979-985. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 376.