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"Ningao Valley"

Title Ningao Valley
ComposerF.G.J. Absil
Instrum.Studio Orchestra
DateMarch 2006
StyleLatin - Nañigo
KeyG (modal)
Tempo112 BPM


A musical score excerpt
  • Piccolo, Flute 1-2, Oboe 1-2, Bassoon 1-2;
  • Alto Saxophone 1 (doubling on Eb and Bb Clarinet), Alto Saxophone 2 (doubling on Bb Clarinet), Tenor Saxophone 1 (doubling on Bb Clarinet), Tenor Saxophone 2 (doubling on Bb Clarinet), Baritone Saxophone (doubling on Bb Bass Clarinet);
  • French Horn 1-2, Trumpet 1-2-3-4, Trombone 1-2-3, Tuba;
  • Guitar, Piano, Bass Guitar, Drums;
  • Timpani, Harp, Percussion (2-3 players: bar chimes, bongos, congas, guiro, shaker, vibraslap), Mallets (glockenspiel, marimba, vibraphone, xylophone);
  • Strings (Vi1, Vi2, Vla, Vc, DB).


This piece is a re-arrangement for studio orchestra of an earlier composition (2000).

This not-so-cool latin composition is a Nañigo (does that ring a cowbell?) in three part form with introduction and coda. Typical for this Afro-Cuban style is the rhythmical subdivision into groups of 3 and 2 eight notes. Part 1 reveals an AABA-structure with a Mixo-Lydian main theme. The middle part, from m. 75, features the percussion group, followed by a build-up to an orchestral climax. In the third part, from m. 117 the the main theme returns, now stated in the G Phrygian modal inversion. It is accompanied by a side theme that leads to the coda. Harmonically, we see the interchange of chords in thirds and fourths. An important aspect is the coordination of the rhythmical breaks at the end of each phrase.

The recommended minimum number of string players is 10-8-6-4-2.