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1. Title Screen
Video Game was originally composed for a chamber ensemble consisting of Clarinet, Trumpet, Euphonium, Bass Guitar, and Drum Set. With this particular arrangement, my goal was to create the most versatile instrumental setting possible. It may be performed by a concert band (omitting the string parts), a string orchestra (omitting all of the wind parts), or a full orchestra (omitting any wind parts for which players are not available in the ensemble). It has been arranged very thickly, with lots of doubling. Thus, it can be played by a small ensemble with limited instrumentation, or a less skilled group seeking to avoid exposed writing. In order to simulate the limited polyphony of an old video game system, I kept the string parts essentially identical to the original chamber piece. I did fill out some harmonies in the winds (especially the trumpets). The percussion part (consisting mostly of drum set) can be played by a single person, but doesn't have to be. Concert percussion can be used in addition, doubling the drum set, or even two drum sets if the ensemble is big enough (and loud enough) to support it. Also, feel free to improvise parts on bongos, congas, and other instruments, depending on the needs of your ensemble. Make it fun! The use of percussion and electric bass guitar is strongly encouraged for all ensembles, even string orchestra, to achieve that pulsing video game sound.
Most of the piece is fairly self explanatory, but I do want to mention some things about the 4th movement, Final Battle. The given tempo is rather fast, but feel free to slow it down as much as necessary for your particular ensemble. The metronome markings are just guidelines, not set in stone. Also, in the second phrase, starting at measure 9, the bass line is the melody, so don't let it get buried by everything else that's happening. Throughout most of the piece, parts marked 1st time only or 2nd time only are only indicated for changes in volume, texture, or timbre, and may be altered as necessary for your group. In measure 41 of Final Battle however, the counter-melody in the tenor voices must only be played the second time in order to create the necessary sense of building drama and excitement.
Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet 1,2,3, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Bari Sax, Trumpet 1,2,3, F Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Percussion, Violin 1&2, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Bass Guitar.
Copyright 2012 Peter Hopkins