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Symphonic Essay

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James Barnes

James Barnes

This work bears the designation Opus 133.

General Info

Year: 2012
Duration: c. 7:45
Difficulty: IV 1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $80.00; (digital) - $80.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00; (digital) - $10.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-tam
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-toms (2; medium and low)
  • Triangle (7")
  • Vibraphone
  • Woodblock
  • Xylophone

Program Notes

Symphonic Essay is a dramatic work featuring brass fanfares, tonal pyramids, and startling polyharmonies. The mysterious undertones of the piece are interwoven with moments of lyricism, counterpoint, and a multiplicity of timbres and creative settings which culminate in a spectacular coda.

- Program note from publisher

Symphonic Essay was commissioned by the Troy (Mich.) High School Band The work was premiered at that school on February 2, 2010, with Brian Nutting conducting.

- Program note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Symphony (Debra Traficante, conductor) - 4 October 2021
  • Troy High School (Mich.) Band (Brian Nutting, conductor) – 2 February 2010 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Barnes, J. (2012). Symphonic Essay: [op. 133] [score]. Alfred Music Pub.: [Van Nuys, Calif.].
  • Perusal Score