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O Canada
NMPL120
for concert band (also available for brass band)
by Howard Cable

O Canada, Canada’s national anthem, was written by Calixa Lavallée (1842-1891) for the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français (French Canadian National Festival) held in Quebec City during the Saint Jean Baptiste festivities, June 23-25, 1880. The original lyrics, in French, were the contribution of Adolphe-Basile Routhier. Beginning in 1901 English lyrics, written by various lyricists, were heard across the country. One hundred years after its first performance, O Canada was officially proclaimed national anthem of Canada, with French lyrics by Routhier and English lyrics by Robert Stanley Weir. Modifications to the English lyrics were made in 1968. The French lyrics remain unchanged.

Approximate Duration 1'15"
Grade 4
Score and parts $39.00
Score only $8.00
Replacement parts $3.00

Composer’s Notes
Instrumentation

Composer’s Notes on O Canada
My first published arrangement of O Canada was written for Expo ’67 and, as the official anthem, was played throughout that Montreal summer. Musicians enjoyed the startling tonality change (F to A flat) but sing-along audiences hated the arrangement; the key was too high and the key change made them very irritable. Ironically, the publisher was an American conglomerate who, in the 1970s, jettisoned the entire catalogue and ceased operation, thus making a collector’s item out of “Modular Lavallée.”

This arrangement is of a more agreeable nature—a singable key, fully scored with no key changes. In addition, it contains a small tribute to one of the most significant creators of our time.

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Instrumentation for O Canada
Concert Band Version

The quantity of parts provided in complete set is shown in the right-hand column. Extra scores for competition purposes and additional individual instrument parts may be ordered separately.

Part
Qty.
full score
1
Flute 1 & C Piccolo
4
Flute 2
4
Oboe
1
E flat Clarinet
1
B flat Clarinet 1
3
B flat Clarinet 2
3
B flat Clarinet 3
3
B flat Bass Clarinet
1
Bassoon
2
E flat Alto Saxophone
4
B flat Tenor Saxophone
2
E flat Baritone Saxophone
1
B flat Trumpet 1
3
B flat Trumpet 2
3
B flat Trumpet 3
3
B flat Trumpet 4
3
F French Horn 1 & 3
2
F French Horn 2 & 4
2
Tenor Trombone 1
2
Tenor Trombone 2
2
Bass Trombone
2
Euphonium Treble Clef
2
Euphonium Bass Clef
2
Basses
4
Timpani
1
Percussion 1 (Glockenspiel, Chimes)
2
Percussion 2 (Suspended Cymbal - soft sticks, Crash Cymbals)
2

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