Marching Band Music

Chronometry (Reduced Instrumentation)

Style: Modern | Difficulty: Medium | Grade: 3

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You have no doubt heard the sayings: “Time is of the essence.” “Time flies.” “Time is money.” We are a society obsessed with time, yet we are unable to slow it, stop it, or make it rewind…unless we explore Einstein’s theories…but that is another show!

Our fascination with time has led to the development of varying methods of keeping track of its passage. We have gone from monumental clocks on watchtowers to small watches on our wrists. We have created clocks to wake us in the morning, program our microwave ovens and record television programs while we are away.

Chronometry is a musical journey about three of the most visual methods of time keeping.


By: Key Poulan, Percussion by Jason Hall
(Originally commissioned by Friendswood H.S., Friendswood, Texas - Greg Dick, Director)


Mvt. 1: "Grandfather Clock" playfully manipulates the famous Westminster Chimes motif into an inspiring opening production. The statement of this most famous clock theme is sure to generate instant recognition from the fans in the stands. Its Norman Rockwell-like aura gives this piece a comforting sense of being at Grandma's and Grandpa's house, swaying in the rocking chair while petting the cat - listening to the clock chime away in the hallway.
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Mvt. 2: "Hourglass" combines both quick moving segments with those of a lush ballad. At first, one is not aware of the time running out, but as the piece progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that the sands of time are quickly running through the narrow waist of the hourglass to empty the top chamber. Whether the hourglass is used for a three-minute egg or a game of Scrabble, one is reminded of the value of time. Possible visual motifs include forcing the guard through a narrow opening to explode outwards in the front of the field.
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Mvt. 3: "Stopwatch" is a frantic, non-stop, powerful production. Talk about "frenetic!" You will feel the energy and focus of a runner racing against the stopwatch and the forward motion propelling the competitor towards the finish line. There is no chance to sit back and relax's "go, go, go" from start to finish. With the stopwatch running, the ensemble is thrust towards the end playing fast runs, melodic and rhythmic motifs that generate the sense of unstoppable momentum. At the finish, those in the stands will feel as exhausted as those on the field.
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