Basic Information

Composed by Robert W. Smith
Published by Belwin-Mills
Grade 1
Length: 2 minutes 15 seconds

Teaching Concepts

Time Signature: 4/4
Key Signature: Bb
Tempo: Quarter note = 136 - 144
Other Information: The Tempest provides a great deal of learning opportunities for a young band. The first teachable concept that stands out is differentiating articulation markings (staccato, accents and slurs). This piece will also offer you the opportunity to teach students about playing four bar phrases as well as ostinato lines. The low brass line gives directors a chance to reinforce correct counting of rests, and the whole band will be introduced to sudden dynamic changes. Finally, this will offer the band the chance to work on playing two different styles (staccato and legato) at the same time.

Program Notes

The Tempest was conceived and written as a concert/festival work for the developing band. It also serves as a musical vehicle to teach the concepts of phrasing, articulation, key modifications (accidentals), and musical texture.

The introductory statement in the clarinets and low woodwinds should be conveyed with a sense of mystery and impending energy. The entire woodwind choir begins the second phrase culminating the brass entrance as the storm is unleashed.

Measure 9 should be interpreted as aggressively as possible. The accents in the low brass and saxophones should be carefully rehearsed for consistency. The flute/clarinet/percussion ostinato at measure 18 should be carefully balanced to ensure the rhythmic intensity among parts. In contrast, the melodic statement in the horns and saxophones should be as legato as possible.

The conductor should take whatever liberties are necessary at measure 45 to ensure the proper balance between musical lines. the instrumentation of your ensemble should dictate the exact dynamic marking for each part. In the same fashion, please pay particular attention to the dynamic indications beginning in measure 69. Depending upon instrumentation, adjust teh dynamic level of each entrance to ensure an even crescendo. The dissonant crescendo in the horns, saxophones, and clarinets in measure 73 should be exaggerated. You may wish to divisi the clarinets as well if you have students who are comfortable over the break.

Small School Considerations

It is clear from the notes included with the score that Robert W. Smith kept smaller beginning bands in mind as he was composing The Tempest, going so far as to suggest to directors that they should adjust the dynamics to achieve the desired balance. The piece is well suited for small bands and should not need much in the way of changes. Bands without bass clarinets or bassoons will want to add a low voice to the first 8 measures.


Bb Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Mallet Percussion 1, 2
Percussion 1, 2

Percussion Requirements and Possible Substitutions

Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Wind Chimes
Suspended Cymbal

To cover every percussion part in The Tempest will take 6 players. If you cannot cover all of the parts, consider having a wind player cover the percussion 2 part since the rhythms are pretty simplistic. If you have to cover only one of the two mallet parts, consider covering the bells instead of the xylophone since it has the moving line.

Link to Available Recording and Score

A recording of the piece is available at
A sample of the score is available at


The Tempest at
The Tempest at
Score for The Tempest