Salt Marsh Rag (5 Winds & Rhythm Section)

Roger M. Aldridge

About this work:

Salt Marsh Rag has an early jazz feeling and a good amount of humor. It is meant to be fun and something that is distinctly different for performers and audiences. While this rag draws upon American roots music and is intended to sound old, there is a playful juxtaposition of old and new. 

This piece is considered to be easy to play and can be performed by a wide range of ensembles. Advanced ensembles may use the score as a point of departure to discover their vision of the music and take it in any creative direction they want to go with it. 

The score was originally conceived for woodwind quintet (with alto flute) and rhythm section. Alternate parts are provided for an assortment of instruments within the range of each line. Students and ensembles can explore creative orchestration with Salt Marsh Rag by playing it with different combinations of instruments. The rhythm section is also flexible. Ideally, a trio (bass, drums, and piano or guitar) is used. However, the rhythm section can have more or fewer instruments even just a piano if a trio is not available. 

As another possibility, two (or more) musicians can be used on each wind instrument part. This option of having doubled parts -- with either same or different instruments on a part -- is an easy way for larger ensembles to perform this music.

My article on mid-size ensemble describes the concepts I used in this piece.

Recording by David Arivett.

This piece can be purchased at Sheet Music Plus. 


Year composed: 2012
Duration: 00:00:00
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice
Instrumentation: 1 Flute, 1 Alto Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 English Horn, 1 Clarinet, 1 Alto Clarinet, 1 Bass Clarinet, 1 Bassoon, 1 Soprano Saxophone, 1 Alto Saxophone, 1 Tenor Saxophone, 1 Baritone Saxophone, 1 Horn in F, 1 Trumpet, 1 Trombone, 1 Bass Trombone, 1 Tuba, 1 Euphonium/Tenor Tuba, 1 Drum Set, 1 Piano, 1 Double bass, 1 Electric Guitar

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