Uma Passacalha Brasileira

From Wind Repertory Project
Keane Southard

Keane Southard

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 7:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Spindrift Pages
Cost: Score and Parts (PDF) - $125.00   |   Score Only (PDF) - $17.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Sax I-II
Bb Tenor Sax
Eb Baritone Sax
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Trombone III (Bass)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-(VI-VII-VIII-IX-X optional), including:

  • Apito (or Samba Whistle or Referee's Whistle
  • Claves
  • Sandblocks (2 pair)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Large Bass Drum
  • Repinique (or Marching Tenor Drums)
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block
  • Caxixi (or Cylinder Shaker or Egg Shaker)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Reco-reco (or Guiro)
  • Tam-tam
  • Xylophone
  • Hi-hat
  • Temple Blocks
  • Surdo (or Marching Bass Drum)
  • Marimba
  • Agogô Bells (or 2 Cowbells)
  • Caixa (or Marching Snare Drum) (optional)
  • Timbau (or Djembe) (optional)
  • Crash Cymbals (optional)
  • Chocalho (or Jingle Sticks or Tambourine) (optional)
  • Ratchet (optional)
  • Tambourim (or Small Orff Frame Drum) (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Uma Passacalha Brasileira for Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the Arrowhead Union High School Wind Ensemble, conducted by Jacob T. Polancich, in Hartland, WI. I began the piece in the late fall of 2014 and did the vast majority of the composing in early 2015, completing the work in mid-February.

This work is inspired by my recent experiences living in Brazil and, to a lesser extent, in England. In 2013, I spent the year in Brazil working with music education projects inspired by Venezuela's “El Sistema” and exploring lots of Brazilian music. My favorite thing about most Brazilian classical music, and Latin American classical music in general, is the influence of the popular dance rhythms that inject huge amounts of energy into the music. I watched many performances of youth orchestras in Brazil and they have so much fun playing these works, dancing and twirling their instruments, and just having an enjoyable time. I was fortunate to get to play piano in a performance of Arturo Marquez's famous “Danzon No. 2” with one of the youth orchestras, and the energy was just incredible. This is a memory I will never forget, and I wanted to capture some of that same energy and fun in my own piece.

I spent the summer of 2014 living in a tiny town in Somerset, England. While I was there, I discovered the incredible five-volume set of “Folk Songs from Somerset” collected in the early 20th century by Cecil Sharp. Worried that these songs may soon be lost forever, Sharp traveled around Somerset county and transcribed as many folk songs as he could from the people, some of which are now very well known, such as “O Waly, Waly (The Water is Wide),” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “Bingo.” I have always been fascinated by folk songs, and I thought it incredible that I was living right in the same place where Sharp captured this rich collection, including some from singers right in the little town I was living in! I also was deeply exploring Percy Grainger's music at the time and fell in love with his beautiful settings of many English folk songs, some of which he found in Sharp's collection.

I was so entranced with one such setting, Grainger's passacaglia for orchestra on the song “Green Bushes,” that I decided to make my own passacaglia loosely based on this work but with musical material inspired by Brazil. The passacaglia theme is a blend of three Brazilian folk-like melodies typical of the Northeast region of the country, and the piece is also infused with rhythms and instruments of samba, baião, and other Brazilian musical styles.

-Program Note by Keane Southard

Commercial Discography

  • Northeastern State University Wind Ensemble (Norman Wika, conductor)


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


  • Northeastern State University (Oklahoma) Wind Ensemble (Norman Wika, conductor) - 19 November 2015
  • Arrowhead Union High School (Wisconsin) Wind Ensemble (Jacob Polancich, conductor) - 21 May 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer