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Marcia alla turca

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (arr. Rondeau)

Subtitle: From 'The Ruins of Athens,' Opus 113: for Winds Brass and Percussion

General Info

Year: 1809 / 2011
Duration: c. 1:45
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Gatineau
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Percussion, including:

  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Turkish March (Marcia alla turca) is a well-known classical march theme by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was written in the Turkish style popular in music of the time.

The theme was first used in Beethoven's 6 Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 76, of 1809. In 1811 Beethoven wrote an overture and incidental music to a play by August von Kotzebue called The Ruins of Athens (Op. 113), which premiered in Pest in 1812. The Turkish March appears as item No. 4 of the incidental music. Many music lovers associate the theme with The Ruins of Athens, although that was not its original appearance.

The march is in B flat major, tempo vivace and 2/4 time. Its dynamic scheme is highly suggestive of a procession passing by, starting out pianissimo, poco a poco rising to a fortissimo climax and then receding back to pianissimo by the coda.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

In 1809, Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, was attempting to lure Beethoven to Cassel from Vienna with an offer of 600 gold ducats a year as his music master. Beethoven took advantage of this offer to extract a better one, of 4,000 florins, from Archduke Rudolph as a price for staying in Vienna. In May, the French entered Vienna and took possession of the island of Lobau, near the city. Beethoven’s apartment was on the wall of the city and throughout the summer was constantly in the path of bombardment. The noise was more distressing than the physical danger, because it interfered with his composing. More than once he sought the comparative silence of his brother’s cellar. Small wonder that the familiar march from The Ruins of Athens should be military in character, since the theme was written during that harrowing summer and later developed into the Turkish March.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Maybrook (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Kevin Scott, conductor) - 24 April 2015

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