Choral work by Antonio Lotti (c.1667-1740)
Transcribed for band by Brian Harris

The Kyrie is part of the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass. This musical setting of the Kyrie was written for choir by Italian composer Antonio Lotti, who spent his entire career at the famous St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.

The adaptation of choir literature for use by wind players provides an ideal tool for teaching basic musicianship such as intonation, balance, and blend as well as the advanced techniques of phrasing, nuance of line, and accuracy of ensemble articulation. Because the work consists of only 4 "voices," players can more readily hear and address individual, section, and ensemble problems.

The score and each part is notated with the specific voice assignment (S = soprano, A = alto, T = tenor, B = bass). This allows the conductor to rehearse like groups by simply asking for "all players with the alto line" and so forth. Knowing that another instrument is playing the exact same line can encourage them to listen across the band in order to match style/balance with the other players.

Medium Easy; Grade 1.5 

Appropriate for 3rd-year players and older.

Sample pages:

Note: This setting is actually two pieces in one. The first setting (score pages 3-9) uses unison lines for all sections - this is where most of the work will get done. Once that is mastered, the second setting (score pages 10-16) expands the Clarinet and Trumpet lines to two parts. Replace the "unison setting" parts for these instruments with the Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2, Trumpet 1, and Trumpet 2 parts. Also, have the Horns play both lines of the divisi measures at the end (instead of just the bottom notes for the unison setting). 

Sound files:

Special: Listen to the original version sung by choir - (MP3 format, 790KB)

$24 U.S. for PDF of full score, parts, and site-license
  • Spring or Fall concert.
  • Performance Time: under 2 minutes
  • Can be used purely as a warm up and teaching tool or performed on a concert
  • In concert, this piece is ideally paired with a transcription of a contemporary choral work such as "Contre Qui, Rose" since audience and players can easily distinguish between the "old" school of dissonance/resolution and cadence points versus the "contemporary" technique of unresolved dissonance (polytonal chords, etc.)
  • Everyone has a melodic line (polyphonic)
  • Easy to rehearse since each part is notated with the specific voice assignment (soprano, alto, tenor, bass); This allows the conductor to rehearse like groups by simply asking for "all players with the alto line" or "tenor line" and so forth.
  • Unison section parts make it easy for students to listen to section blend, balance, and intonation.
  • Use of only 4 voicings encourage students to listen across the band for other sections playing their line (resulting in balance, blend, and intonation throughout the ensemble.
  • Balance, section blend, intonation, ensemble, legato articulations, active breaths
  • All phrasing is clearly indicated with breath marks; students must learn to support line between breaths and breathe quickly and deeply when the time comes ("active breaths")
  • Trumpets play many low D and C#s, necessitating use of 1st & 3rd valve slides to be in tune
C minor (but written with only 2 flats in key signature; all concert A-flats are written as accidentals in parts). 

All parts are well within easy ranges: Flute to C two lines above staff; Clarinet & Trumpet to fourth-line D in staff; Trombone to D above staff; Tuba to low B natural, 2 lines below staff.

Basic Instrumentation

(view Conductor Sample #1, above, for part assignments

You need at least one of each SATB part:

Soprano = Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Mallets

Alto = Alto Sax, Trumpet

Tenor = Tenor Sax, Horn, Trombone

Bass = Bassoon, Bass Clarinet, Bari Sax, Euphonium, Tuba

NOTE: The "expanded" setting (parts included) divides each Clarinet and Trumpet part into Soprano and Alto lines. This provides a fuller sounding orchestration and is recommended if you should decide to perform the work for a concert.

Part for Mallet Instruments only (due to nature of work)

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