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Terpsichorean Dances

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This work has been identified for inclusion in the Small Band Repertoire Initiative. You may find discussion of the work's challenges and merits under the Discussion tab above. You may also contribute your own thoughts and recommendations by joining the WRP.

Jodie Blackshaw

Jodie Blackshaw

General Info

Year: 2009
Duration: c. 7:25
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $135.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
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
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Crash Cymbals
  • Djembe
  • Frame Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Lagerphone
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Turkish Finger Cymbals
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), German composer and archivist, was fanatical about recording the details of the many countries he visited, with a focus on the kind of music and musical instruments he encountered. The culmination of this fascination was his three-volume treatise Syntagma Musicum, a compendium of information on German music, musical instruments, and performance practice. But much more well-known today is Praetorius’s 1612 collection of 312 dances from the royal courts of France, known as Terpsichore, named for the Greek muse of dance. These dances were not composed by Praetorius; instead, he recorded and harmonized the melodies into three, four, five, and sometimes even six parts in order to avoid their imminent extinction. In my setting for concert band, three dances from the collection are featured: Springtanz, Leaping Dance; Der Lautenspieler, the Lute Player; and Der Schutzenkönig, the Archer King.

To favor Praetorius’s infatuation with different musical instruments, this setting employs a variety of colors, and features the soloist and sections alike. Performers are invited to play in an animated nature to reinforce the strong sense of pulse required in all dance music. And though we are sure the lagerphone was unknown to Praetorius, we are equally sure he would have delighted in its joyous jangle!

This piece is dedicated to all of the students enrolled in the St. Patrick's College Band Program, Sutherland, New South Wales, Australia, from 1999 to 2002. Their infectious enthusiasm, unwavering support, and raw talent will always be an inspiration to me.

- Program Note by score


  • First Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, second prize


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Symphony Band (Shaun Popp, conductor) - 12 March 2023
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) University Band (Kara Metzer, conductor) - 5 December 2022
  • OMEA Districts 4 & 7 Viking Band (Birch Browning, conductor) – 19 November 2022 (Cleveland State University)
  • Hartwick College (Oneonta, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Pease, conductor) - 16 November 2021
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Band (Marykate Kuhne, conductor) – 27 February 2020
  • University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) Symphonic Band (Wesley J. Broadnax, conductor) – 13 February 2020
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) Symphonic Band (T. André Fagin, conductor) - 12 December 2019
  • Texas Woman's University (Denton) University Band (Carter Biggers, conductor) – 14 November 2019
  • University of Dubuque (Iowa) Wind Ensemble (Nolan Hauta, conductor) - 2 November 2019
  • Rouge River Winds (Toronto, Ont. Can) (Pratik Gandhi, conductor) - 13 April 2019
  • Grand Street (New York) Community Band (Brian Worsdale, conductor) – 23 March 2019
  • University of Louisville Concert Band, (Jason Cumberledge, conductor) - 20 February 2019
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire University Band (Devon Lawrence, conductor) – 27 November 2017
  • Warren Mott Concert Band - 2014

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