Root Beer Rag

From Wind Repertory Project
Billy Joel

Billy Joel (arr. Michael Sweeney)

General Info

Year: 1974 / 1981
Duration: c. 3:45
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano song
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.50


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass 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
Timpani (also plays Siren Whistle)
Percussion I-II-III, including

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Drumset
  • Snare Drum
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Billy Joel's rollicking rag makes a super sax section feature with this fine arrangement by Michael Sweeney. Your saxes will get a kick out of the clever licks and tricks and your audience will be grinning from the intro to the coda!

- Program Note from publisher

Root Beer Rag is a song from Billy Joel's 1974 album Streetlife Serenade. An instrumental track in a very fast ragtime style, it was later released as the B-side of several singles from Joel's 52nd Street album. The song is in C major and is one of three studio instrumentals that Joel has released. Joel has played the song in concert frequently over the years, stating that he uses it as "a kind of instrumental palate cleanser." He further stated that it requires his "full attention as the notes spill out."

Author Ken Bielen describes Root Beer Rag as a fast ragtime piano work. Joel biographer Hank Bordowitz describes the song as "homebrewed ragtime". Music critic Mark Bego describes it as Joel "doing his best Scott Joplin impersonation" and "his one recorded ragtime number."

- Program Note from Wikipedia


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer