Danika’s Guidelines for Wind Band Composition

These guidelines were given to me by the awesome conductor Danika Allars, when I asked for some guidelines for writing a piece of music for the Inner West Community Band.


1. Playable by IWCB
Flute 1,2
Oboe 1
Basson (? unlikely we will have one could double bass cl?)
Clarinet 1,2,3
Bass Clarinet 1
Alto Sax 1,2
Tenor Sax
Baritone Sax
French Horn 1 (optional 2?)
Trumpet 1,2,3
Trombone 1,2
Euphonium in Bb TC
Key/time sig/range:
This site gives a good idea for range: http://clarkross.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/writing-for-wind-band.html In general I would keep the trumpet 1 not higher than high Gs, but the occasional High A/B/C is okay!
Keep the key in concert Bb, or F, or Eb or C if possible though of course key changes are fine!
I’ve realised recently the band hardly plays in time signatures that aren’t 4/4 – definitely feel free to experiment with time signatures but if you do in these sections keeps the actual technical level down!
2. Duration
3 mins – 7 mins
3. Themes
Something related to the colour blue/sea/ocean/water could definitely fit with either our term 2 or term 4 concert. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for me to confirm themes!
4. Specific Story/emotion/style
A programmatic piece would definitely be cool. Totally up to you but one suggestion might be having a few different sections – with a different style/tempo/emotion for each. So if we go with the sea/ocean theme, your piece could portray something of your choosing that fits the theme. e.g. the different stages of a fishing trip, or snorkelling, scuba diving, boat trip, pirates?
5. Solo Sections
Solos on any or all of the following instruments would be great: Clarinet, Alto and/or Tenor Sax, Trombone, Tuba, flute? You could of course do others too but the trumpets do get a lot generally anyway!