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"Round Midnight"

Title Round Midnight
ComposerT. Monk (arr: F.G.J. Absil)
Instrum.Concert Band
DateSeptember 1982 (re-orchestrated in 2011)
Tempo56 BPM


A musical score excerpt
  • Piccolo, Flute 1-2, Oboe, Bassoon, 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;
  • Jazz Guitar, Keyboard, Double Bass, Drums, Percussion (bar chimes, bass drum, suspended cymbal, triangle), Mallets (glockenspiel, vibraphone).


This arrangement of the standard Round Midnight is a ballad for concert band. The main element of the arrangement is the frequent changing between instrumental groups playing the lead theme.

The form of this ballad is AABA. The introduction is on a dominant pedal with bell chords. The first A [A, m. 4] presents the melody in solo trumpet, saxophone section, woodwind and horns. In the second A [B, m. 12] the melody is somewhat embellished and rhythmically more outspoken.

The first half of the bridge B [C, m. 20] has the lead in lower brass (trombones and baritones). The second half leads to a fortissimo climax for the full band. The third A [D, m. 28] brings a fresh harmonization of the main theme, with lead roles for clarinet, saxophones and brass. The coda [E, m. 35] is a brief development of the main theme motive, and concludes with a final bell chord. Play this ballad with lots of expresseion and rubato.

The arrangement is also suitable for smaller size bands (single oboe and bassoon, 3-part brass sections); a non-essential part has been provided for 4th trombone (bass trombone). When a double bass is missing, a tuba must play the full bass line.

Concert performance

This arrangement is in the repertoire of De Koninklijke Muziekkapel van de Marine - The Royal Band of the Navy (Belgian Navy concert band).