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Instrument Abbreviations

The instrumentation for each work is given in the form of figures and abbreviations in the usual orchestral ordering of woodwind - brass - timpani - percussion - harp - other keyboard/plucked string instruments - strings.

Brackets within the listings indicate alternatives in number or instrument. Brackets with an equals sign indicate that the preceding instrument(s) doubles, eg. fl(=picc) means that the flute also doubles piccolo. Brackets with a Roman numeral and an equals sign specify exactly which player doubles, eg. 2 fl(II=picc) means that the second player only is doubling piccolo.

Numerals listed after strings specify a preferred, but not usually obligatory, string strength (indicated as players, not desks). A numeral in brackets listed after perc indicates the number of percussion players required.

The following information:

3(II+III=picc) .2(II=cbsn).cbsn


3 flutes (2nd & 3rd doubling piccolo).2 oboes.cor anglais.3 clarinets (2nd doubling Eb clarinet, 3rd doubling Eb clarinet and bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (2nd doubling contra bassoon) and a contra bassoon.



picc : piccolo
fl : flute
afl : alto flute
bfl : bass flute
ob : oboe
bob : bass oboe
ca : cor anglais
acl : alto clarinet
Ebcl : clarinet (Eb)
cl : clarinet
bcl : bass clarinet
cbcl : contra bass clarinet
bsn : bassoon
cbsn : contra bassoon
ssax : soprano saxophone
asax : alto saxophone
tsax : tenor saxophone
bsax : baritone saxophone


hn : horn : flugel horn
ptpt : piccolo trumpet (Bb)
tpt : trumpet
trbn : trombone
btrbn : bass trombone
scrt : soprano cornet
crts : cornets
rcrt : repiano cornet
btuba : bass tuba
euph : euphonium
bar : baritone


ant.cym : antique cymbals
BD : bass drum
c.bell : cow bell
cast : castanets : chinese block
chic.cym : chic cymbal
ch.dr : chinese drum : chinese temple block
chimes : wooden chimes : chime bars
crot : crotales
cyms : pair of cymbals
glsp : glockenspiel
mcas : maracas
mar : marimba : metal block
mil.glsp : military glockenspiel
riv.cym : rivet cymbal
SD : side drum
siz.cym : sizzle cymbal
susp.cym : suspended cymbal
t.bells : tubular bells : tambour militaire
tab : tabor
tam-t : tam-tam
tamb : tambourine
TD tenor : drum
tgl : triangle
timb : timbales : temple blocks
vib : vibraphone
wdbl : wood block
xyl : xylophone
xylrim : xylorimba


vln : violin
vla : viola
vlc : cello
db : bass


pno : piano
cel : celesta
synth : synthesizer


gtr : guitar
bgtr : bass guitar

All other instrument names are given in full.


Description for chamber orchestra
Publisher Cadenza Music
Category Orchestral
Date 2014
Duration 00:10:00
1111/111/perc. pf. hp. stgs.
Audio Extract
Before writing Strix I spent a weekend doing some creative work with the young members of the Britten Sinfonia Academy which took art on display in the twentieth century gallery of the the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge as a starting point. One piece I was particularly drawn to was Graham Sutherland's bold and slightly terrifying La Petite Afrique III. The strong imagery in this painting led me to think of birds in mythology and I came across the following which became a starting point for the new piece; In folklore the Strix was considered a bird of ill omen that fed on human flesh and blood.The earliest recorded tale of the Strix is from the lost Ornithologia. This tells the story of Polyphonte and her two sons Agrios and Oreios who were punished for their cannibalism by being transformed into wild animals. Polyphonte became a Strix "that cries by night, without food or drink, with head below and tips of feet above, a harbinger of war and civil strife to men"
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