034 - Patton Theme

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About the song

Written by Jerry Goldsmith.
Arranged by John Tatgenhorst.

Instrumentation requirements

Good, steady percussion. Sharp snares on the snare drums - you don't want a ton of ring.

Some strength in the flute section can make a nice addition here.

Trumpets who know how and when not to blast.

Roadmap

Standard march tempo and beat.

Conduct/play/think the 6/8 in a brisk 2 and you'll be able to maintain a constant tempo. It'll just feel faster at the 2/4 because there's only 2 eighth notes per beat instead of 3. Don't get tricked into speeding up - it's still a march and armies don't run while on parade.

Leave plenty in reserve when hitting the mf at A. While the theme changes by way of voices, that easily gets lost in a place like the Fieldhouse. Use dynamics to your advantage to keep it interesting.

When approaching C, the preceeding two measures are poorly arranged. For most parts: Take the 3 notes in measure C-2 and make them an even triplet. Take the first 3 notes of C-1 and do the same. Ignore the 4th note of C-1. This is much closer to the intended rhythm of the piece.

The repeat is long and leads all the way back to A, through to the end of the piece, but given the variety of C, it's usually rather nice. If you do opt for the whole piece, make sure not to kill your volume too soon. You'll need to make D a slight touch louder the second time around.

The option for an abridged ending would be to take the repeat and end at the downbeat of C, but playing the first beat of A as a short quarter note. It sounds tricky, but it's really not. Maintain the triplets in the two measures leading up to C for this ending.

History

This is the theme from the 1970 movie Patton