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"Roof Garden"

Title Roof Garden
ComposerA. Jarreau (arr: F.G.J. Absil)
Instrum.Concert Band
DateFebruary 1985 (re-orchestrated in 2011)
StyleRock (16th note triplet feel)
Tempo100 BPM


A musical score excerpt
  • Piccolo, Flute 1-2, Oboe 1-2, Bassoon 1-2, Eb Clarinet, Clarinet in Bb 1-2-3, Bass Clarinet;
  • Alto Saxophone 1-2, Tenor Saxophone 1-2, Baritone Saxophone;
  • Horns in F 1-2-3, Trumpet 1-2-3, Trombone 1-2-3-4, Baritone 1-2, Tuba;
  • Rhythm Guitar, Keyboard, Bass Guitar, Drums, Percussion (congas, cowbell, shaker, tambourine), Mallets (marimba, vibraphone, xylophone).


This arrangement of Roof Garden is in rock style with 16th note triplet feel for Concert Band.

After an opening riff with harmony in fourths, the first verse [A, m. 12] opens with lead trumpet and alto saxophone. The first chorus [B, m. 20] for brass (trumpets, trombones) and high clarinets leads into the second verse [C, m. 24] for saxophone section with trombone accents. The second chorus [D, m. 32] is intertwined with melodic unisono scalar patterns for woodwinds and saxophones. The bridge [E, m. 36] features the drums, providing fill patterns between brass and saxophone accents. Other elements are pedal notes in low brass, trumpets and clarinets. The second half of the bridge [F, m. 44] gets busier and leads to a gradual tutti climax [G, m. 52] on the chorus material. The transition [H, m. 60] is based on a melodic riff, derived from the main theme, over a chromatically ascending harmonic background. The third chorus [I, m. 68] is played fortissimo by the full band, leading to the coda [J, m. 75] that sums up the main elements in this arrangement.

The arrangement is also suitable for smaller size bands; non-essential parts have been provided for oboe 2, bassoon 2, and 4th trombone (bass trombone). The bass line is written out for bass guitar; if this instrument is missing, a tuba must play the full bass line. A strong rhythmic groove and close coordination between drums and bass are highly important for this piece.