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Under the Veil

saxophone quartet edition

Genre: World/Ethnic
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Under the Veil


Composer's note:

This was one of my first compositions, written for my sax quartet, "Saxtet", whilst busking through Germany in the early 90's. It was originally scored for soprano, baritone and percussion with ample opportunity for improvisation. It has been through several manifestations since then, including an arrangement for clarinet and orchestra performed by BBC 2 Young Musician of the Year, Sally Harrop, and the BBC Concert orchestra.

This was followed by an arrangement for soprano sax and sax choir, premiered by John Harle and Saxophonia in 1995; in a slightly amended form, this arrangement appears regularly in the concert programmes of the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain. I arranged another version for soprano sax and orchestra in 1997, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 with soloist Gerard McChrystal and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

'Veil' has a universal appeal as it has been well received by audiences in diverse settings - from the concert hall of New Zealand's International Arts Festival to the longhouses of the Bidayuh tribesman in the jungle of Borneo, but perhaps the performance closest to its Eastern origins was with the Symphony Orchestra in Azerbaijan.

Despite the work's various metamorphoses, the imagery behind all the arrangements (and that veil!) has remained constant - the charm and mystery of a sultry woman from Eastern climes.

Edition Notes

This most recent sax quartet arrangement was written for the first CD in Saxtet Publication's repertoire series, 'Bach & Beyond' and was recorded by the Paragon Saxophone Quartet.


s a t b (perc 1) (perc 2)


5 min

Performance Notes

Percussion 1: Guiro (long, lazy strokes)

Percussion 2: Finger cymbals or triangle, and tam-tam or suspended crash cymbal with soft mallet. (L.V. = let ring).

If no percussionists are available, the alto and tenor players may cover the percussion parts where possible.

The section between fig. A and fig. B can be repeated as desired.

The soprano begins at fig. B.

Bar 134 can be repeated as desired.

The baritone and percussion parts should be played in a very rhythmic manner, although between fig. H-I, the markings should be used as a guide and should be interpreted very freely. This also applies to the to S,A,T, from fig. O

Other Editions

Under the Veil is also available in the following editions:

Recommended Items

If you like Under the Veil, you might also like:

Under the Veil (saxophone ensemble edition)
Under the Veil (saxophone & piano edition)
Under the Veil (flute & piano edition)
Under the Veil (clarinet & piano edition)
Under the Veil (clarinet choir edition)
Under the Veil (clarinet quartet edition)
Under the Veil (solo Bb clarinet and orchestra edition)
Under the Veil (solo soprano saxophone & orchestra edition)
Montage (CD recording)
Montage - CD
~Sax in the City (CD recording)
Sax in the City - CD
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