Melody Shop, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Karl L. King

Karl King

General Info

Year: 1910
Duration: c. 2:15
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts - $70.00   |   Score Only - $6.00


Condensed Score
C Piccolo
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Clarinet
B-flat Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone I-II
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornets Solo-I-II-III
Horn in E-flat I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


In Parts:

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, m.16, beat 2& (last note of the sextuplet): A sharp should read G.
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, m.35 (6 m. before the Trio), beat 1& (first 8th note): B-flat should read A natural.

Program Notes

The Melody Shop is one of Karl King's most popular marches and one of the most popular marches of all time. The march is written in Eb and then switches to Ab at the trio. Excerpts of the march are commonly used in auditions for euphoniums and baritone horns auditioning for a spot in a military band, a university band, brass bands, and city and state ensembles.

King released this march in 1910 during his first year as a circus musician.

- Program note from Wikipedia

This march was dedicated to E.E. Powell and Al Shortridge, owners of the Powell Music Co. Melody Shop in Canton, Ohio, King's hometown at the time. The nineteen-year-old composer was playing euphonium with Robinson's Famous Shows and was on tour much of the time, but he always enjoyed returning to Canton to see his family and friends. March researcher Robert Hoe wrote that "of all the marches ever written, this one is considered the ne plus ultra (summit of achievement) for baritone-euphonium players." Most clarinet players also appreciate the challenge in their part.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

The Melody Shop was one of King's earliest published marches, written when the composer was nineteen years old. Composed in the virtuosic style of the circus march, the baritone part has long been notorious for its dizzying and extremely difficult final strain. One popular legend explaining this challenging part involves a chance meeting in a Canton, Ohio, barbershop between King and a stranger. The stranger was also a baritone player and he struck up a conversation with King, not knowing the composer’s identity. The stranger referred to King as “that guy who writes those dinky, little marches.” The story goes that this was all the urging King needed to make The Melody Shop baritone part one of the most famous in all band literature.

- Program Note from Aledo High School Wind Ensemble concert program, 12 February 2016


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Coast Guards (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Clark) (1942/2009)

All Wind Works