Illyrian Dances

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Illyrian Dances

  1. Rondeau
  2. Aubade
  3. Gigue

This suite of three dances was commissioned by the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles with funds provided by West Midlands Arts. The first performance took place on 26th September 1986 at Warwick University during the fifth annual BASBWE Conference. As with Gallimaufry, some of the thematic material is adapted from music originally written for productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The precise location of Illyria was not important to Shakespeare; what excited him was the resonance of the word itself and the romance of all far away, make believe places. Illyria is Never Never Land and the idea of inventing dances for such a place intrigued me.

The opening Rondeau has a seven bar refrain with a rhythmic twist to it, which alternates with variants highlighting most sections of the orchestra. The Aubade is a gentle dance in ternary form featuring the flutes, with a hint of the dawn chorus at the close. The final Gigue is a rondo in six-eight time, with the recurring theme also appearing in counterpoint to the many subsidiary themes.

Illyrian Dances is dedicated to my old and good friend Timothy Reynish.


Illyrian Dances


Guy Woolfenden

First peformance

Warwick University during the fifth annual BASBWE Conference on 26th September 1986


10 minutes


USA Band Grade 4.5

Year composed


Date of publication



British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (BASBWE)
with funds provided by West Midlands Arts


Doyen CD DOY 042 Gallimaufry, featuring the wind music of Guy Woolfenden
With the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra conducted by Guy Woolfenden

Mark MCBS Ithaca College Wind Ensemble
conducted by Rodney Winther

ELFCD Basically British
Philharmonia à Vent conducted by John Boyd

  • 979-0-57009-234-5 [Complete set]
  • 979-0-57009-235-2 [Full score]
No. of Pages



Wind Orchestra

Full instrumentation
Full score (1) TIMPANI
Piccolo (1) 3 Pedal Drums
Flute 1 (3)
Flute 2 (3) PERCUSSION 1
Oboe 1 (1) Side Drum
Oboe 2 (1) 3 Tom Toms
Eb Clarinet (1) Large Temple Block or Wood Block
Bb Clarinet 1 (3)
Bb Clarinet 2 (3) PERCUSSION 2
Bb Clarinet 3 (3) Tambourine
Eb Alto Clarinet (2) Triangle
Bb Bass Clarinet (2) Suspended Cymbal
Bassoon 1 (1) Bass Drum
Bassoon 2 (1)
Contrabassoon (1) PERCUSSION 3
Eb Alto Saxophone 1 (1) Xylophone
Eb Alto Saxophone 2 (1) Glockenspiel
Bb Tenor Saxophone (1) Vibraphone
Eb Baritone Saxophone (1) Suspended Cymbal
Bb Trumpet 1 (2) Bass Drum
Bb Trumpet 2 (2)
Bb Trumpet 3 (2) Alternative transpositions supplied:
F Horn 1 (1) Eb Horn 1 (1)
F Horn 2 (1) Eb Horn 2 (1)
F Horn 3 (1) Eb Horn 3 (1)
F Horn 4 (1) Eb Horn 4 (1)
Trombone 1 (1) Bb Trombone 1 TC (1)
Trombone 2 (1) Bb Trombone 2 TC (1)
Trombone 3 (1) Bb Trombone 3 TC (1)
Euphonium BC (1) Bb Bass TC (1)
Bb Euphonium TC (1) Bb Trombone 1 BC (1)
Tuba (4) Bb Trombone 2 BC (1)
String Bass (1) Bb Trombone 3 BC (1)
Timpani (1) Eb Bass TC (1)
Percussion 1 (1) Eb Bass BC (1)
Percussion 2 (1) Bb Bass BC (1)
Percussion 3 (1) Bb Baritone BC (1)

Press & Public Reviews

…once again demonstrating the composer’s ear for sonorities and feel for attractive tunes and catchy rhythmic devices. This like Gallimaufry, is light music of the highest order, English without being plagiaristic, challenging for players and good to listen to.

Winds Magazine

Guy Woolfenden’s Illyrian Dances show this composer to be a real master of the medium, exploiting with colourful

writing all the timbres of wind instruments, sometimes in unexpected parts of their compass. It is enjoyable music to play and to listen to.

Winds Magazine

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Illyrian Dances

I. Rondeau
II. Aubade
III. Gigue