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Machu Picchu - City in the Sky

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Satoshi Yagisawa

Satoshi Yagisawa

Subtitle: Mystery of the Hidden Sun Temple

General Info

Year: 2005
Duration: c. 10:30
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bravo Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $145.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
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
Euphonium I-II
String Bass
Piano (and Celesta)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Bird Call
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Ratchet
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle
  • Vibra-slap
  • Whip
  • Wind Chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Explaining the significance of Machu Picchu begins with remembering the Incan empire at its zenith, and its tragic encounter with the Spanish conquistadors. The great 16th century empire that unified most of Andean South America had as its capital the golden city of Cuzco. Francisco Pizarro, while stripping the city of massive quantities of gold, in 1533 also destroyed Cuzco’s Sun Temple, shrine of the founding deity of the Incan civilization.

While that act symbolized the end of the empire, 378 years later an archaeologist from Yale University, Hiram Bingham, rediscovered “Machu Picchu,” a glorious mountaintop Incan city that had escaped the attention of the invaders. At the central high point of the city stands its most important shrine, the Intihuatana, or “hitching post of the sun,” a column of stone rising from a block of granite the size of a grand piano, where a priest would "tie the sun to the stone" at winter solstice to ensure its seasonal return. Finding the last remaining Sun Temple of a great city inspired the belief that perhaps the royal lineage stole away to his holy place during Pizarro’s conquest.

After considering these remarkable ideas, I wished to musically describe that magnificent citadel and trace some of the mysteries sealed in Machu Picchu’s past. Three principal ideas dominate the piece: 1) the shimmering golden city of Cuzco set in the dramatic scenery of the Andes, 2) the destructiveness of violent invasion, and 3) the re-emergence of Incan glory as the City in the Sky again reached for the sun.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by the Ensemble Liberte Wind Orchestra, Kawaguchi City, 2004

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Satoshi Yagisawa website
  • Williams, Nicholas Enrico. "Machu Picchu." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 509-514. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
  • Yagisawa, S. (2005). Machu Picchu - City in the Sky: Mystery of the Hidden Sun Temple [score]. Bravo Music: [s.l.]