A tarantella is a fast and furious traditional dance that supposedly will help drain the venom after someone is bitten by a tarantula. While this emergency therapy is not very effective, the dance is a whirlwind of energy. While earthly tarantellas are usually in duple or quadruple time, this interstellar dance is in compound triple time (9/8), so each measure has three beats and each beat is divided into three.
This dance consists of two themes. The first is full of rhythmic vitality and is based on the characteristic rhythm of the tarantella – a bouncy and repetitive long short long short idea. After this aggressive theme is passed around the ensemble, a second, more lyrical theme is stated at measure 29. Finally, the dance culminates when these two ideas are combined in measure 49, bringing the tarantella to a raucous close.
Interstellar Tarantella was commissioned by Samuel Fritz and the Center Grove Middle School Central Instrumental Music Program, and Ashley Carney and the
Zionsville Middle School Orchestras. It is part of a set of pieces by the members of the Blue Dot Collective in 2019. All six of these short pieces for young band or orchestra utilize compound meter. To purchase this and the rest of the Blue Dot Collection, please visit Murphy Music Press.
Concert Band Instrumentation:
- Flute; Oboe or Flute 2 (optional); Bassoon (optional)
- Clarinet 1, 2; Bass clarinet (optional)
- Alto Saxophones 1, 2; Tenor Saxophone (optional); Baritone Saxophone (optional)
- Trumpet in Bb 1, 2; Horn in F (optional); Trombone; Euphonium/Baritone; Tuba
- Timpani (optional), Percussion (4 players minimum)
- Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Snare Drum, Tenor Drum, Bass Drum, Crash Cymbals