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Kitsune: The Fox Spirits

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Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 4:45
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $55.00; (digital) - $55.00   |   Score Only (print) - $9.00


Full Score
Flute I/Alto Recorder/Soprano Recorder
Flute II/ Soprano Recorder
Oboe/Soprano Recorder
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Trombone I-II
Guitar (Koto)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tenor Drum
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Inspired by Japanese folklore, this incredibly colorful work is based on two authentic folksongs that are both related to the mythical kitsune, or “fox spirits.” The use of alto and soprano recorders and unique keyboard/percussion effects helps create timbres and textures not often found in works at this level. A mysterious opening portrays an owl guarding a forest against wolves and kitsune. This moves into a vivid and wild depiction of the malicious yako (the mischievous trickster). The music then relaxes to depict the zenko, the benevolent kitsune. Eventually, the two compete against each other as the music comes to a riveting conclusion and percussionists transform into a massive taiko drum ensemble.

- Program Note from publisher

Commissioned by the Gravelly Hill Middle School Bands, Efland, North Carolina, Arris A. Golden, Director.

- Program Note from score

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

  • North Carolina: III


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