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Sound the Bells!

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John Williams

John Williams (trans. Paul Lavender)

General Info

Year: 1995 / 2003
Duration: c. 2:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $125.00   |   Score Only - $25.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba (4.5 octaves)
  • Mark Tree
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Tuned Drums (4)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Sound the Bells! was a fanfare written for a series of concerts in a 1993 tour of Japan with the Boston Pops Orchestra. John Williams felt it was a good opportunity to celebrate the joy of the wedding of Crown Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada, which occurred close to the time of the tour. Williams commented that he had always been fascinated by the huge Japanese temple bells, and they "were a kind of inspiration for the prominent use of percussion" in this work.

- Program note by Robert Strong and David Fullmer

With resplendent sound, this invigorating and jubilant work for advanced concert bands will take your breath away! This fabulous transcription for band instrumentation is enhanced with parts for harp, piano and trumpets in C. This is simply stunning fanfare, filled with an exuberance that will elevate the energy level in your concert hall.

The premiere performance of Sound the Bells! for concert band was conducted by John Williams as part of the 205th anniversary concert of the United States Marine Band, July 12, 2003, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

- Program note by publisher

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Wind Symphony (Don L. Peterson, conductor) – 12 December 2019
  • Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band (Ichijirusha Takahiro Higuchi, conductor) – 15 May 2019
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Knighten, conductor) – 1 March 2019
  • San Dieguito Union High School District (San Diego, Calif.) High School Honor Band (Jeffery Malecki, conductor) – 13 January 2019
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Tim Smith, conductor) – 9 December 2018
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 24 September 2018
  • Texas Youth Wind Symphony (Austin) (Bradley Kent, conductor) – 4 March 2018
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra (Dallas, Tx.) (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) – 8 February 2018
  • West Chester University (Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Yozviak, conductor) – 30 April 2017
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David T. Kehler, conductor) – 19 April 2017
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, All-College Band ( Esther Barnum, conductor) – 3 March 2017
  • Aledo (Texas) High School Wind Ensemble (Joey Paul, conductor) - 12 February 2016 (2016 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) - 7 December 2014
  • California State University Fresno Symphonic Band (David Fullmer, conductor) - 4 October 2012
  • Valparaiso University and Valparaiso High School Combined Concert Bands - February 2012
  • San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra (Williams V. Johnson, conductor) - 11 December 2011

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.