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John Harbison

John Harbison (ed. Martin)

Subtitle: After Thelonious Monk's 'Ruby, My Dear'

General Info

Year: 2006 / 2015
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: V
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Associated Music Publishers
Cost: Score and Parts - $115.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat or C Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III:

  • Bass Drum
  • Claves
  • Cymbal (suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Tom-Toms


(Corrected in Second Printing)

  • Bassoon 1, m. 43, beat 4.5: Should be C-natural (not C-sharp)
  • Tenor Saxophone, m. 43, beat 1: Add tie to beat 3
  • Horn 2, m. 43, beat 1: Add tie to beat 3
  • Horn 4, m. 43, beat 1: Add tie to beat 3
  • Tenor Saxophone, m. 45, beat 1: Add tenuto
  • Horn 2, m. 45, beat 1: Add tenuto
  • Horn 4, m. 45, beat 1: Add tenuto
  • m. 56-57: All non-slurred 16th notes in wind section should be staccato
  • Trumpet 1, m. 66: Final note should be concert E-natural (not E-flat)
  • Horn 3, m. 67, beat 1: Should be B-flat (not B-natural)

Program Notes

Composer John Harbison writes: “Rubies is a version of Thelonious Monk's Ruby, My Dear, which he composed while still in his teens. When I was invited by the Seattle Symphony to make a short piece reflecting my first musical passions, my thoughts were of Bach and Monk. Since I had recently made some Bach-like chorale preludes, I chose to make a version of Monk's tune, first in a chamber-musical, contrapuntal manner, then in the grand orchestral style I had always heard lurking there.”

- Peter Stanley Martin, Autograph Editions, Series Editor

One of the world’s most famous jazz musicians, Thelonious Monk, inspired Harbison’s Rubies with his tune Ruby, My Dear. Monk’s compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists and are consistent with his unorthodox approach to the piano, which is reflected in Harbison’s Rubies. Reminiscent of Harbison’s first musical passions, he chose to make two versions of Monk’s tune: first in a contrapuntal chamber setting, then in a large orchestral style as Harbison, “had always heard lurking there.”

- Program Note from State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble concert program, 15 November 2017


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Pennsylvania: V
  • Tennessee: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 29 February 2020
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Frederick Harris, Jr., conductor) - 16 March 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 15 November 2017
  • Kansas State University Wind Ensemble (Frank Tracz, conductor) – 7 December 2017
  • The Ridgewood Concert Band (Christian Wilhjelm, conductor) - 28 October 2016
  • Boston University Wind Ensemble (David J. Martins, conductor) - 6 October 2016
  • Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Wind Ensemble (David J. Martins, conductor) - 17 July 2016
  • MIT Wind Ensemble (Frederick Harris, conductor) - 29 April 2016
  • Grand Street Community Band (Peter Stanley Martin, conductor) - 20 March 2016
  • Rutgers Symphony Band (Peter Stanley Martin, conductor) - 30 April 2015 - World Premiere

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Harbison, J.; Martin, P.; Monk, T. (2015). Rubies : (After Thelonious Monk's Ruby, My Dear) : for symphonic band [score]. Associated Music Publishers: [New York].