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Masquerade for Band (Persichetti)

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Vincent Persichetti

Vincent Persichetti

The work bears the designation Op. 102.

General Info

Year: 1965
Duration: c. 11:45
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Theodore Presser
Cost: Score and Parts - $145.00   |   Score Only - $28.00


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
Bb Clarinet I-II-III [all parts are divisi a3]
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Tuba [divisi]
Percussion, including:

  • Anvil
  • Alto Drum
  • Bass Drum
  • Gong
  • Hand Cymbals
  • Ratchet
  • Sandpaper Blocks
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tenor Drum
  • Tom Tom
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


1st B-flat Cornet. meas. 5, beat 1: delete fermata

Program Notes

Masquerade for Band is a unique combination of wind repertoire that illustrates depth and sophistication in the context of a simple theme and variation structure. The composer sought to integrate several examples from his theory textbook Twentieth Century Harmony into a complete composition. The resulting piece reflects Persichetti’s mannerisms, including copious rhythmic play, modal melodic structures, abrupt shifts in color, and idiomatic wind band scoring. Although it includes 20th-century techniques, audiences are able to connect with the work quite easily. Conductors may consider providing background information in the program notes or examples from Persichetti’s harmony textbook.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

Masquerade (1965) was commissioned by the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. It represents Persichetti’s only use of variation form in his works. The piece is comprised of ten variations, not of one central theme, but of several themes that are related to each other. Masquerade is the only composition inspired by musical examples in Persichetti’s textbook, Twentieth-Century Harmony. He said this about his textbook:

I composed phrases of music to illustrate specific points, and years later these fragments began haunting me. I realized that certain examples had a thematic kernel in common. Like the hymns and responses, which demanded expansion and elaboration and became the Liturgical Symphony (Symphony No. 7), these examples from the harmony book evolved into a set of variations for fifty wind and percussion instruments. The work is a masquerade of my book: I called it Masquerade for Band.

It was first performed in Berea, Ohio, January 23, 1966, where no one guessed who I was, dressed in my harmonic pirate costume. No one remembered that Variations for an Album (1947) had been premiered there many years ago by John Kirkpatrick. 

- Program Note from University of North Texas Wind Ensemble concert program, 27 September 2016

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • California: VI Class AA
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Massachusetts: V
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas Woman’s University (Denton) Wind Symphony (Carter Biggers, conductor) – 19 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southwestern Division Conference, Norman, Okla.)
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Symphony (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) – 7 November 2019
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Wind Ensemble (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 23 October 2019
  • Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Mast, conductor) – 13 April 2019
  • Texas All-State Symphonic Band (Jason Fettig, conductor) - 17 February 2018 (2018 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor) – 17 February 2018
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) – 6 November 2017
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Symphonic Band (Mike Robinson, conductor) – 4 November 2016
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Nicholas E. Williams, conductor) - 27 September 2016
  • Los Angeles Symphonic Winds (Stephen Piazza, conductor) – 29 May 2016
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Symphonic Band (Eric M. Smedley, conductor) – 21 April 2016
  • North Texas Wind Symphony (Eugene Corporon, conductor) - December 2010

Works for Winds by This Composer