Basic Information

Composed by Gustav Holst
Arranged by John Moss
Published by Musicworks/Hal Leonard
Grade 2
Length: 3 minutes 45 seconds

Teaching Concepts

Time Signature: 4/4
Key Signature: Bb, Eb
Tempo: Quarter note = 112
Other Information: This piece is a great tool to use to teach the proper playing of the dotted eighth/sixteenth note rhythm that so many students struggle with. Also, this will require a connection between conductor and the ensemble due to frequent, quick ritardandos and fermats. Finally, this will give your trumpet players a chance to exercise their low chops, as it goes down to a G below the staff for them.

Program Notes

Here's a rare gem from the band literature archives, rescored with a more practical instrumentation and part writing. Originally taken from an orchestral work entitled Two Songs Without Words, “Marching Song” is vintage Holst style, tuneful and engaging. John Moss' new version makes an ideal program number for concert band.

(Program notes from Hal Leonard )

Small School Considerations

This piece is well suited for the small band and should not need any alterations.


Bb Clarinet 1, 2, 3
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1, 2
Tenor Saxohphone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet 1, 2
Percussion 1, 2
Mallet Percussion

Percussion Requirements and Possible Substitutions

Bass Drum
Snare Drum
Crash Cymbals
Suspended Cymbals

To cover every part, you will need five percussionists. The mallet part outlines the upper woodwinds at all times and the timpani plays along with the low brass and woodwinds, with the exception two beats.

Link to Available Recording

A recording can be found at


Score to Marching Song
Marching Song at