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Old Sore-Head, The

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Julius Fučik

Julius Fučík (arr. R Mark Rogers)

Subtitle: Polka Comique, Op. 210

This work may also appear under its title in German, Der Alte Brummbar.

General Info

Year: 1910 / 2000
Duration: c. 4:25
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.95


Full Score
Solo Bassoon
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto or B-flat Contrabass 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
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Fučik was himself a bassoon player and composed this charming “polka comique” for solo bassoon and orchestra around 1910 under the title Der alto Brummbar or the Old Grumbling Bear. The title suggests the possibility that this piece might in some way be a musical portrait, either of Fučik himself or of some cranky older bassoonist that Fučik met in his long performance career.

- Program Note from Indian Springs Middle School Band concert program, 12 February 2016

The Old Sore-Head is a poetic translation of the original title Der alte Brummbär or “The Old Grumbling Bear.” The arranger believes this title was meant to portray either Fučík or another bassoonist he met during his career. The composer described the music as a polka comique and wrote comedy through the interplay between the band and the soloist. The band insists on a fast tempo and the “grumbling” bassoonist prefers to perform at a slower tempo, which lasts until the end of the piece, when the soloist proves their technical prowess.

- Program Note by Cole Hairston for the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University Band concert program, 18 November 2021


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Strafford Wind Symphony (Wolfeboro, N.H.) (Jeffrey Smith, conductor) - 18 March 2023
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University Band (Cole Hairston, conductor; Christopher Allpress, bassoon) - 18 November 2021
  • State College (Penn.) Area Municipal Band (Ned Deihl, conductor; Richard Manning, bassoon) - 15 April 2018
  • McMurry University (Abilene, Tex.) Wind Ensemble (David Robinson, conductor;Janelle Ott, bassoon) – 7 November 2017
  • United States Air Force Band (Washington, D.C.) (Joseph Hansen, conductor; Eddie Sanders III, Bassoon) – 19 July 2016
  • Indian Springs Middle School (Keller, Texas) Band (David Puckett, conductor) - 12 February 2016 (2016 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Lake Highlands High School (Richardson, Tx.) Wind Symphony (Marion West, conductor) – 21 December 2001 (2001 Midwest Clinic)

Works for Winds by This Composer