Elegy of others
for chamber wind ensemble

Aaron Gervais
Aaron Gervais
Composition Date: 2009
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Concert Band / Large Wind Ensembles


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 2 x Flute
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 2 x Saxophone
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x Trumpet
  • 2 x Trombone
  • 1 x Tuba
  • 1 x Drum
  • 1 x Guitar
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Double bass
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Band
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Programme Note:
Much of my recent work deals with the issue of reappropriation. Where do we get our ideas? What do we owe, if anything, to our sources of inspiration? Historically, composers have stolen ideas from each other regularly, reworking these into their music and taking all the credit (and the money, if they could). The invention of copyright was the first attempt at giving credit to the originators of ideas, but this has evolved over time into a corporate-controlled system of property that promotes the fiction that new ideas somehow spontaneously appear out of nothingness.
Composers have always taken each others’ ideas, and if they didn’t, there would be no composing. But now the big music companies would want us to believe that this is somehow wrong. It is, certainly, wrong to profit from the work of others without making any contribution oneself, but there are many uses of existing music that do make new, meaningful contributions. For this reason, I’ve taken an interest in quotation, collage, and related techniques. It’s a way to pay homage to the music that has influenced me while at the same time exposing the false idea that creativity comes out of nothingness. So here I am, cards on the table, showing everyone the music I was thinking of when working on this piece—by quoting that music.
Thus the title Elegy of Others. I wanted to write a piece that was reflective and sombre, and I wanted to make it a collage of the work of others. This was a particular challenge, because I have found collage better suited to fast, upbeat music than it is to the slow and sombre; quotations tend to lose their character when the tempo is slow, and phrases made up of long quotes do not cohere very well. For this reason, I had to approach this piece differently than in my previous work, transforming the material in more extreme ways for the sake of musical expression. In Elegy of Others, therefore, the quotations are not always immediately recognizable, though they do come to the surface periodically. Nevertheless, almost every note in Elegy of Others is quoted, with few exceptions.

Premiere Information:
14/02/2010 Podium Gigant Apeldoorn, the Netherlands Live event, Orkest de Ereprijs Conductor: Wim Boerman


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1800 G38el
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Concert Band / Large Wind Ensembles
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • July 12, 2010
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (iv, 35 p.) ; 39 cm.
    39 Pages
    Height: 39 cm
    Width: 28 cm
    Parts page count: 54
    14 parts ([54] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • 2 flutes, Bb clar, alto sax, bari sax, horn, C trumpet, 2 tromb, tuba, electric guitar, electric bass, piano, drum set.

    Commissioned by: Orkest de Ereprijs
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Elegy of Others for Chamber Wind Ensemble: Score and Parts
Score and Parts
(downloadable PDF)
Elegy of Others for Chamber Wind Ensemble: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Elegy of others for chamber wind ensemble by Aaron Gervais (Score)
Printed on demand
Elegy of others for chamber wind ensemble by Aaron Gervais (Score and Parts)
Printed on demand
Elegy of others for chamber wind ensemble
Library Loan
Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Calgary