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If We Must Die

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Jussi Lampela

Jussi Lampela

Subtitle: For flexible wind band instrumentation in 6 parts + a solo voice or instrument

General Info

Year: 2019
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Jussi Lampela
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - €35.01

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Group 1

  • Piccolo (optional)
  • Flute I
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I

Group 2

  • Flute II
  • Oboe I
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I

Group 3

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet III
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone II
  • B-flat Trumpet I
  • Horn in F I

Group 4

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet IV
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone III
  • B-flat Trumpet II
  • Horn in F II

Group 5

  • Bassoon I
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Horn in F III
  • Trombone I
  • Euphonium I

Group 6

  • Bassoon II
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Trombone II
  • Euphonium II
  • Tuba

Piano (optional)

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Wood Blocks (3)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This composition got its inspiration from the powerful poem by the Jamaican-born Claude McKay, first published in 1919. The composition follows the defiant character of the text, which is set to a Shakespearean sonnet form, containing 14 lines of text. The text is often used as a symbol of political resistance, calling for oppressed people to resist their oppressors.

I want to thank everybody involved in the Creative Repertoire Initiative, and specifically James M David for providing the six-part template (after the Bocook model).

- Program Note from publisher

Performance Notes

The main lead melody can be played or sung. Parts are provided for the following instruments/transpositions:

  • Voice (also for non-transposing instruments in treble clef)
  • Treble clef (in B-flat and E-flat)
  • Bass clef

If using a singer for the melody, consider a slightly operatic approach and try to convey the bitter, grim sarcasm of the text.

The instruments are divided into six groups plus percussion, and the piece works if even one player is represented from each group. Piccolo and piano are optional instruments. Piccolo can be used to bring an extra color, and piano can be used to fill out possibly missing voices. Piano part is slightly simplified, and contains mainly the backing and the bass line. When more players are added into each group, all the balance concerns can be handled by the conductor.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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