Descent of the Eagle Claw into the Lion’s Den

Descent of the Eagle Claw into the Lion’s Den

for concert band
duration: 3’30”
Grade 3

Descent of the Eagle Claw Into The Lion’s Den perusal score – Full Score


Descent of the Eagle Claw Into the Lion’s Den: Score and Parts

This is to purchase a score and set of parts for “Descent of the Eagle Claw Into the Lion's Den”


This was a student-driven project where the class of students gave the composer input into what they wanted in a piece of music written for them. The students wanted fast sections, slow sections, and jazz. This work that was composed on their behalf contains all of that.

The song starts very quietly with low brass and woodwinds. They split into rising and
descending 7th chords (see below), signaling the entrance of muted trumpets. The
trumpets introduce the main theme of the piece, which returns slightly
modified by the flutes at measure 37 and by upper woodwinds at measure 69. It is
answered by the upper woodwinds playing the B section of the blues section.

The tempo picks up suddenly with the sounding of 16th notes on timpani. After a brief
introduction, we hear the theme of the eagle claw by the clarinets, oboe, and later, flutes. The tonality grows dark with a tam-tam crash and a thick G minor answer from
the brass section. The whole band swells into a climax, signaling a change of pace and
the return to the Lion’s Den theme.

Instead of the trumpets resounding the main theme, the flutes do. In doing so, the main
theme intervals are inverted from the original (see excerpt below). The low brass theme
returns, echoed by low woodwinds and vibraphone.

The B section is repeated, with piccolo doubling the vibraphone and rhythmic
differences to the clarinet and flute theme at measure 53. The horn takes the line the
oboes had the first time at measure 19, adding a color change. The brass and
percussion respond at measure 61 as they did before.

The music stays at tempo for the final call of the main theme, played by upper
woodwinds. It is accompanied by a walking bass line in the low woodwinds and tuba,
drum set, as well as staccato eighth notes from trombones and saxophones. The
texture of the music is thick here, gaining inspiration from John Adam’s “City Noir” for
orchestra. The trumpets, in unison and with plungers, answer the upper woodwinds
while accompanied by low woodwinds and low brass. The music begins the final
climax of the piece at measure 83, where most of the band is playing, gathering
intensity and speed through measure 94. The band halts suddenly with the addition of
a grand pause at the end of measure 94, then crescendos to a loud big band style
ending, ending in unison with low brass.