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Letters from the Traveling Doll

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Nicole Piunno

Nicole Piunno

Subtitle: For Chamber Wind Ensemble

General Info

Year: 2021
Duration: c. 12:25
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Nicole Piunno Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Available June 2021


1. Love and Loss - 1:20
2. The Mountains Are Calling - 3:25
3. Star Gazing - 2:00
4. Cityscapes - 1:20
5. Love Will Return - 3:50


Full Score
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crotales (optional)
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal (medium)
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The idea for Letters from the Traveling Doll came to mind after I came across a story about the writer Franz Kafka and a heartbroken girl he encountered in the park. The young girl was crying because she lost her beloved doll. When Kafka realized they would not be able to locate her doll he told her that the doll had gone away on a journey and not to worry because her doll gave him a letter. Kafka composed a letter from the doll to explain her disappearance. The next day Kafka gave the girl this letter “written” by the doll that explained her disappearance and desire for an adventure. This was the beginning of many letters that explained these adventures. Kafka and the girl met many times to share these letters as they brought comfort to the child’s grieving heart.

I enjoy thinking about this story because it shows how healing can take place and how we can use our imagination to bring this healing. The story speaks about both grief and compassion. Grief is a response to the loss of something we love. Perhaps part of the healing process involves discovering how love can return in a transformed way. In this story, the letters and time given to the grieving child were gifts of love that helped her heal from the loss of her beloved doll.

This story is so beautiful and charming to me and I wanted to give it a soundtrack. The opening movement and final movement deal with the real-life experience between the author and the young girl. The middle movements relate to the letters from the doll. Since we do not have these letters, I decided to imagine the types of adventures the doll might have experienced.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by a consortium of bands organized by University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Dr. Justin Davis.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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