From Wind Repertory Project
David Biedenbender

David Biedenbender

General Info

Year: 2010 / 2015
Duration: c. 5:20
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Chamber orchestra
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts - $175.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Drum Set
  • Marimba
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Schism is about divisions. I wrote Schism in 2010 in the midst of the turbulent national mid-term elections, a time that, in the context of more recent political turmoil, actually seems quite tame. I was overwhelmingly frustrated by the sophomoric mud-slinging and ridiculous lies being told by many politicians and the variously allied media, but I was also somewhat amused by what was nothing short of a nationwide "goat rodeo" [slang term for a chaotic situation, often one that involves several people, each with a different agenda/vision/perception of what’s going on; a situation that is very difficult, despite energy and efforts, in which to instill any sense or order].

Much of the musical material is transcribed almost note for note from an improvisation I played on the piano and recorded in the early stages of sketching the piece. I remember being interested in combining the pointillism of Anton Webern’s music with a bluesy rock groove, so much of the piece is based on a single, simple, eighth-note-based, divided melodic line that jumps around the piano in very large leaps. I think of the musical affect as similar to the compound melodies in J.S. Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites, where a single melodic line is perceptually transformed through large leaps into multiple voices, though in the end I used the ensemble to actually hold out the notes the piano could not to add color, character, and attitude to the independent voices. I also wanted to play with the notion of groove by dividing it in unusual and unexpected ways, almost like running a few of the licks and grooves through a meat grinder.

Schism was originally written for the chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound. This version for winds and percussion was commissioned by a consortium of ensembles led by Robert Carnochan and the University of Texas at Austin Wind Symphony as well as Michael Haithcock, University of Michigan; Chris Knighten, University of Arkansas; and Steven D. Davis, University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor) - 25 September 2023
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (JoAnn Wieszczyk, conductor) - 12 March 2021
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (Dan Harbaugh, conductor) – 25 February 2019
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Symphony Band (Hunter Kopczynski, conductor) – 22 April 2018
  • Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Isaiah Odajima, conductor) – 21 March 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Southwestern Conference, Houston, Texas)
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst Wind Ensemble (Matthew Westgate, conductor) – 10 March 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Eastern Conference, New Haven, Conn.)
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Symphonic Band (Isaiah Odajima, conductor) – 2 February 2018
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 4 October 2017
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Wind Ensemble (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 21 October 2016
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 9 March 2016
  • University of Texas Wind Symphony (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 7 April 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • David Biedenbender website
  • Silvey, Brian A. "Schism for Winds and Percussion." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 625-632. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.