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"P'Teeth Suite"

Title P'Teeth Suite
ComposerF.G.J. Absil
Instrum.Concert Band
DateJanuary 2005
DurationTotal: 20'10 (5 movements: 5'25 + 2'30 + 4'15 + 3'00 + 4'00)
StyleVarious: allegretto, allegro, ballad, jig, rock & roll
KeyF modal, Bb modal, Dm, Bb, C Mixo-Lydian
Meter6/8, 2/4, 3/4, 12/8, 4/4
Tempo86 BPM, 86 BPM, 66 BPM, 120 BPM, 124 BPM


A musical score excerpt
  • Piccolo, Flute 1-2, Oboe 1-2, Bassoon 1-2, Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet 1-2-3, Bass Clarinet;
  • Alto Saxophone 1-2, Tenor Saxophone 1-2, Baritone Saxophone;
  • French Horn 1-2-3-4, Trumpet 1-2-3-4, Trombone 1-2-3-4,Baritone 1-2, Tuba;
  • Jazz (1,2,3,4)/Rock (5) Guitar, Keyboard [piano (2,5), e-piano (4), celesta (1,2,4), harp (3), strings (1,4,5), bag pipe (4)], DoubleBass (2,3,4)/Bass Guitar (1,5), Drums;
  • Timpani (1,2,3,4), Percussion (2-3 players): bass drum (1,4), bar chimes (3), congas (1,5), cowbell, cymbal, guiro, hand drum (4), horse hooves/castanets (2), pair of cymbals (1), shaker (1), sleigh bells (2), snare drum (4), tambourine (1,2,4,5), tam-tam (1), temple blocks (2), triangle (1,2,3,4), whip (2), woodblocks (1), Mallets: glockenspiel (1,2,4), marimba (5), vibraphone (1,2), xylophone (1,2,5).


P'Teeth Suite is a medium grade appetizer for concert band containing five petites amuses-gueules.

  1. Fish Finger Frenzy, allegretto energico 82 BPM, F-Modal, 6/8 meter, 158 mm., duration: 5'25. This spicy starter is in three parts: a forceful, rhythmical main theme (with modal character) is juxtaposed with a somewhat more lyrical Andante middle section (mm. 83-140). Do not lose track of the longer phrases in the irregular meter. Changing moods in the central section culminate in a climax (m. 124). Timpani and percussion will respond to the wind and brass calls. Never trust the old sailor who tells you this is light stuff.

    Wind Music Contest Repertoire 2010:

    This composition is listed in the Netherlands Lichte Muziek Repertorium 2010, in the category Popular Music for symphonic wind band.

  2. Slay Right, moderato satirico 86 BPM, Bb-Modal, 2/4 meter, 106 mm., duration: 2'30. The motto is: "Who rides his sleigh through night and snow? With wodka whips his dogs yo-ho!". Picture a deerhunter, loaded with wodka, riding a sleigh on the freezing tundra; gun accidents will happen. Slightly exaggerate the humorous elements in this short piece. Take sufficient breath at each closing melodic phrase (rallentando) and stress the light vs. bombastic orchestration.
  3. Sad Ballad or Bad Salad?, ballad, largo 66 BPM, D minor, 3/4 meter, 91 mm., duration: 4'15. Now it's time for fresh vegetables and vitamines. In this ballad the table is laid with a velvet brass sound (frequent use of mutes). Variety in instrumentation (lyrical melodic lines for solo wind players) and a number of climaxes (e.g., the rock ballad section in mm. 49-55) provide for a fresh salad taste.
  4. Tea, Biscuits and Muffin Dance, jig, allegro 120 BPM, Bb, 12/8 meter, 93 mm., duration: 3'00. In this high tea we will enjoy a not-so-genuine sword dance. Accompanied by two snare drums an orchestral bagpipe imitation starts (watch the dynamic balance of the drone) and we hear a fine-malted folk melody. At rehearsal marks C, D and G muted brass and wind players provide a spicy punch, while in letter F muffins are being served. Keep this 'Highlands Liverdance' light and joyful; in doing so you will prevent a hangover!
  5. Dutch Roll, a.k.a. Blue Mini-can, moderate rock, 124 BPM, C, 4/4 meter, 119 mm., duration: 4'00. Finally, let's go cruisin' with his typical 1960s style rock piece. Apply sufficient grease, a steady beat (here a reliable bass guitar and drum player will be essential) and a solid groove (you may divide the rhythm lines over multiple, alternating players). We hear a few ingredients from a certain Hollywood composer. Written-out solo choruses for trumpet and baritone sax have been provided, but other players may take ad lib choruses (optional repeats). It's the perfect desert to a healthy meal. A warning to aerospace engineers: it's not what you think.

Flemish Wind Music Repertoire:

The P'Teeth Suite is listed in the Belgian Flemish Vlaamse Amateurmuziekorganisatie (VLAMO) Repertorium as a contest piece in the ere-afdeling (top division). The movements Fish Finger Frenzy (1), Sad Ballad or Bad Salad? (3) and Dutch Roll (5) are listed as concert works in the ere-afdeling, Slay Right (2) en Tea, Biscuits & Muffin Dance (4) are concert works in the division uitmuntendheid.

This suite in popular style is of medium grade complexity and can be played even by an incomplete band. Movements 2, 4 and 5 are existing compositions for the theatre and have here been re-arranged for concert band, movements 1 and 3 are original compositions. There are non-essential parts for bassoons, bass trombone and oboe 2. Also the lack of 4th trumpet and 4th horn will not really be detrimental to the overall sound. The rhythm section must contain a bass player (best, if both on string bass and electric bass guitar) and will certainly benefit from a keyboard player. The jazz guitar part is optional but strongly recommended in the last movement (rock and roll). Essential percussion parts have been provided for two players. However, feel free to add extra percussion parts ad lib, particularly in the rock movement.