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Sancho and the Windmills

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Robert W. Smith

Robert W Smith

This work is the third movement of the composer's Symphony No. 3, Don Quixote.

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 4:40
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $80.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
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 Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanets
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Mark Tree
  • Metallic Objects
  • Ratchet
  • Sandpaper Blocks
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Taiko Drums (4; optional Tom-toms)
  • Tambourine (listed as Triangle in the music)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


In Score and Parts:

  • Percussion II, Triangle, m.42-57: This passage should be played on Tambourine

- Potential errata noted by Matthew LeFebvre

Program Notes

In the third of four movements in Robert W. Smith's epic work Don Quixote, the listener is treated to the comic relief that permeates the entire literary story line. Beginning with the opening bassoon solo characterizing Sancho Panza on his donkey, the composer uses unique percussion effects to convey the hapless hero and his never-ending battle to stay up on his horse Rocinante. The listener can hear the rusty suit of armor as Don Quixote continually falls from his horse in one adventure after another.

Perhaps the most memorable imagery in the entire literary epic is Don Quixote's battle with the windmills. Using harmonic effects combined with unique percussion scoring, the composer has brought this tale to life through the unfocused eyes of the knight. Funny, yet with a sense of sadness, Sancho and the Windmills will be a favorite moment in the performance of Symphony No. 3 "Don Quixote".

- Program Note from publisher

Premiered by and dedicated to Aguapació Artistica Musical de Dénia of Spain, Frank De Vuyst, conductor.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Whitman College (Walla Walla, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Gary Gemberling, conductor) – 21 April 2019
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor) - 20 April 2017
  • Austin (Texas) Civic Wind Ensemble (Robert Laguna, conductor) – 6 May 2016
  • Queensland Wind and Brass – 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Perusal score
  • Robert W. Smith website Accessed 6 September 2021
  • Smith, R.; Cervantes, M. (2008). Sancho and the Windmills : From Symphony no. 3, Don Quixote [score]. C.L. Barnhouse: Oskaloosa, Iowa.