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Olympic Dances

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John Harbison

John Harbison

General Info

Year: 1997
Duration: c. 17:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer
Cost: Score & Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $25.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III (III doubles Piccolo)
Oboe I-II-III (III doubles English Horn)
Bassoon I-II-III (III doubles Contrabassoon)
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III (II doubles Eb Soprano Clarinet, III doubles Bb Bass Clarinet)
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone (doubles Tenor Saxophone)
Trumpet (in C) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Crotales
  • Cymbal (sizzle and suspended)
  • Marimba
  • Tam-Tam
  • Timpani
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

When the College Band Directors National Association asked me to do a piece for dancers and winds, it immediately suggested something classical, not our musical eighteenth century, but an imaginative vision of ancient worlds. The clear timbres of the winds, playing in small, unconventional chamber groups, constituted my first musical images. Along with these, I thought of an imagined harmony between dance, sport and sound that we can imagine from serene oranges and blacks on Greek vases, the celebration of bodies in motion that we see in the matchless sculpture of ancient times, and perhaps most important to this piece, the celebration of the ideal tableau, the moment frozen in time, that is present still in the friezes that adorn the temples and in the architecture of the temples themselves.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 4 November 2018

Works for Winds by this Composer