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Three Ostinatos
for wind ensemble

Full Orchestra
String Orchestra
Wind Ensemble
Solo Instrumental

   I. Clockwork
   II. Song
   III. Celebration

Each movement of Three Ostinatos is based on a different repeated rhythmic pattern that spans the entire movement. The first movement moves like clockwork at a walking pace. Long melodies arc high above a mechanical ostinato that gradually transforms as the music proceeds. The euphonium and tuba are showcased with solos as the music eventually comes full-circle, returning to the opening at the close. The middle movement is haunting and lush, cast in a slow and cantabile 7/8 meter. The main melody is first played by a solo clarinet, who is joined by piccolo and vibraphone before the whole ensemble joins in. After an expansive climax, a solo horn gives a nostalgic return to the main theme. Closing the work is a quick polymetric celebration, overlaying melodies and rhythms in 5/8, 7/8, 3/4, and 3/2 and bringing the work to an energetic close.

The flexible instrumentation version was arranged as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and allows this piece to be performed by as few as six musicians.

Duration: ca 11'

To purchase, please use the PayPal buttons at the bottom of this page to buy electronic copies or head to Murphy Music Press for print copies.

    Full Wind Ensemble Instrumentation:
  • 1 Piccolo, 3 Flutes, 1 Oboes, 3 Bb Clarinets, 1 Bass Clarinet, 1 Bassoon
  • 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
  • 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, 1 Euphonium, 1 Tuba
  • Timpani, 4 Percussion
  • Double Bass

  • Flexible Ensemble Instrumentation (now including strings!):
  • 1: Piccolo/Flute/Violin/Clarinet
  • 2: Flute/Oboe/Violin/Clarinet/Alto Saxophone
  • 3: Violin/Viola/Clarinet/Trumpet/Alto Saxophone/French Horn
  • 4: Violin/Viola/Clarinet/Trumpet/Alto Saxophone/French Horn
  • 5: Tenor Saxophone/French Horn/Trombone/Euphonium/Bassoon/Cello
  • 6: Bass Clarinet/Baritone Saxophone/Trombone/Euphonium/Bassoon/Cello/Bass/Tuba
  • Percussion: Timpani, 4 Percussion (2 mallets, 2 unpitched)

Listen to recordings by the Illinois State University Symphonic Winds and then University of Arkansas Symphonic Band while following a non-transposed reduction of the flexible instrumentation version of this piece:

Click on the audio players below to listen to a recording by the Oyster Bay High School Wind Ensemble, directed by Matthew Sisia.


You may download a pdf of the perusal score in case the embedded score below is difficult to see or does not display.

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Three Ostinatos is currently published by Roger Zare Music and distributed by Murphy Music Press. Visit Murphy Music Press to purchase printed copies of either version. If you need a quote for a purchase order or would prefer to purchase pdfs, please contact me.

Copyright © by Roger Zare Music, ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.