Three Movements from "Water Music"

From Wind Repertory Project
George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel (arr. Douglas E Wagner)

General Info

Year: 1715 / 2014
Duration: c. 2:15
Difficulty: I (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Belwin-Mills
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00; (digital) - $50.00   |   Score Only (print) - $9.00


1. Fanfare
2. Hornpipe
3. Finale


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F
Timpani (optional)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal (optional)
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Three Movements from Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often published as three suites. This new arrangement for beginning band highlights three complementary movements from the original work. The opening Fanfare movement is marked “Regally,” while the second movement, Hornpipe is marked “a bit faster.” The lively Finale movement closes the work. The entire suite is placed in B major, and as noted, each movement is quicker than the preceding one.

- Program Note from The Instrumentalist

The Water Music is undoubtedly one of the most famous and popular of all Handel's insrrumental works, consisting of three separate suites. The following is a quote from a report written by an envoy to the British court of George I in 1717.

Some weeks ago, the king expressed a wish to have a concert on the river (Thames). By the side of the royal barge were musicians to the number of 50 who played all kinds of instruments: trumpets, hunting horns, oboes, bassoons, German flutes, French flutes, violins and basses. This concert was composed expressly for the occasion by the famous Handel, native of Halle, the first composer of the king's music. It was so strongly approved by His Majesty that he commanded it to be repeated, once before and one after suppers, although it took an hour for each performance.

This suite for concert band consists of six of the most popular movements.

- Program Note from score

Shortly after the ascension of George I to the English throne, Handel was requested to compose some music for the occasion of an aquatic festival given by the king. This festival was held August 22, 1715, on the River Thames. For the occasion Handel wrote a suite of 20-odd pieces which were performed by a band of musicians under his direction. It is interesting to note that he composed the music for a group of wind instruments. Thus, we may regard the suite as an original band work. The musicians were seated upon a barge immediately following that of the king, and played continuously during the voyage from Limehouse to Whitehall.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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  • "New Music Reviews." The Instrumentalist 70.1 (2015): 57. Print
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 268