Sorcerer's Apprentice, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Paul Dukas

Paul Dukas (trans. Mark Hindsley)

General Info

Year: 1897 / 197-?
Duration: c. 10:46
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hindsley Transcriptions
Cost: Score and Parts - $113.00   |   Score Only - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The basis of this "scherzo" (a term used deprecatingly by Dukas to describe this work) was a ballad by Goethe, based in turn on a tale by the Greek poet Lucian (A.D. 120-180). The ballad concerns a magician's apprentice who experiments with his master's magic formula and transforms a broomstick into a "robot" which begins drawing water from the well and filling all the pitchers in the house. Unfortunately, the broom overdoes it; the room is flooded and the apprentice forgets the stopping formula. In desperation he splits the broom in two, but now both parts begin carrying water and the flooding increases. The apprentice screams for help, the sorcerer returns, speaks the magic word, and the calamity is averted.

Although Dukas was anything but enthusiastic about this work, he played the manuscript for some of his musical friends on a piano in Brussels, and they were so impressed by the pictorial quality and animation of the music that they persuaded the composer to orchestrate it for performance. The Sorcerer's Apprentice was premiered by the Société Nationale in Paris in 1897. Its popularity has continued to increase ever since on concert programs, records and even films; Disney's classic Fantasia and his cartoon with Mickey Mouse in the title role have made his "scherzo" one of the most widely known of all symphonic classics.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Dukas, P.; Hindsley, M. [s.d.] The Sorcerer's Apprentice [score]. Mark H. Hindsley: Urbana, Il.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 182.