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March of the Fat Women
March of the Fat Women was originally composed for a chamber ensemble consisting of trumpet, euphonium, organ, bass guitar, and percussion. This arrangement was an experiment in writing a single score playable by both concert band and orchestra. If the piece is played by a concert band, the string parts should be omitted, and string cues in the wind parts should be played. Conversely, an orchestra should omit the saxophones (3rd clarinet, bass clarinet, and euphonium may also be omitted from the orchestra version if those instruments are not available). The contrabassoon, while not strictly necessary, is strongly recommended in both versions. A combined ensemble of both concert band and orchestra (in which all parts are covered and/or doubled) is also perfectly acceptable. There are several places where the marking “orchestra—1 only” appears. This simply means that in the orchestral setting only one of the specified instrument should play the part, whereas in the band setting the whole section should play.
Because of the unique nature of this arrangement, special attention must be paid to the playing of cues. Usually, cues should only be played when the primary instrument is absent. This piece, however, was intended to be rather flexible, so the playing of specific cues is at the conductor's discretion.
Harmon mutes are called for in both the trumpet and trombone parts. If Harmon mutes are not available, cup mutes may be used instead. The entrance of the horns in measure 10 must be clearly audible. At measure 33, the primary sound should be the double reeds, and the contrabassoon should really stick out. Throughout the piece, the contrast between staccato and legato should be emphasized. The phrases in the legato sections must have shape and some dynamic contour. While only two tempo markings are actually given, it may be effective to gradually speed up over the entire length of the piece—don't rush it though.
Piccolo, Flute 1&2, Oboe 1&2, Bassoon 1&2, Contrabassoon, Clarinet 1-3, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Bari Sax, Trumpet 1-3, F Horn 1-4, Trombone 1-3, Euphonium, Tuba, Timpani, Mallets, Percussion, Harp, Violin 1&2, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
Copyright 2012 Peter Hopkins