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King Ubu

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Michael Schelle

Michael Schelle

General Info

Year: 1980
Duration: c. 18:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: MMB Music
Cost: Score and Parts - On Request   |   Score Only - $39.95


1. Pines of Ubu
2. Ubu in Love
3. Ubu in Chains


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ubu is a grotesque figure from the disturbed imagination of French playwright Alfred Jarry. A personification of all that is illogical, base, and stupid in mankind, the Ubu plays (trilogy), written in 1888 by Jarry at age 15, create an outrageous satire on life, existence and freedom.

The composition King Ubu was inspired by the general aesthetic and philosophical characteristics of the play(s) rather than depicting a programmatic tale. Concepts find a symbolic place in the score. For example, the terms freedom, satire, bizarre, illogical, base and stupid are musically treated as well as juxtaposed with the more formal aspects of Ubu's dual nature, his strange relationship with Ma Ubu (his wife, "portrayed" by a secret solo violin seated within the band) and the play's many irreverent religious references. These religious references provide the basis for the composition's overall formal organization (trinity/trilogy) -- a three movement structure with a bloated, disfigured and distorted manic version of the chorale Come Thou Almighty King as an illogical yet fitting (because of its absurdity) aggressive finale.

- Program Note by Michael Schelle

This work was commissioned by Alpha Beta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and Epsilon chapter of Tau Beta Sigma for Butler University Concert Band, Robert Grechesky director.

- Program Note from score


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Butler University Band (Robert Grechesky, conductor) - 9 April 2000

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Schelle, M. (1980). King Ubu [score]. Norruth Music, Inc.: St. Louis, Mo.