Antique Violences : Concerto for Trumpet

Brass, Concertos, Wind Ensemble/20'/Difficulty - Really hard/2017

note that this work is shipped with movement 2 in concert Eb, but alternate parts in concert F (the original key) are available upon request
Please note: Scores are purchased, fulfilled in hard copy, and yours to keep. Parts are licensed (“rented”) per performance, and delivered in PDF form. The parts PDF does not include a score.

Full Score (11x17 paper)




First Performance (parts)




Performance Date*:

Additional Performance




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Listen to Antique Violences

Chris Martin, trumpet
The Dallas Winds, conducted by Jerry Junkin

View the full score

The University of Texas Wind Ensemble
Chris Martin, trumpet
Jerry Junkin, conductor

i. The blooded lines
ii. Secrets’ teeth
iii. Sorrow is a blade
iv. The curtain calls

The title comes from a line in Rickey Laurentiis’ “Writing an Elegy,” and reminds us that where there are humans, there is violence. So it is, so it has ever been. The concerto notes that, curiously, the trumpet and its cousins always call the bloody tune—so each movement considers a kind of violence through the lens of a historical style of music closely associated with the trumpet.

The structure of our social world is born, and reborn, in the mass violence of war; borders are made of blood. The first movement thus recalls wars ancient and modern, noble and notorious. The fife and drum music of the American Revolution is pitted against a vaguely Middle Eastern melody, evoking the purported existential clash of civilizations that has been the stepping stone to power for kings and charlatans from the Crusades to the present day.

The spark of war also burns in the hearth of the drawing room. So the second movement captures the intimate violence we do on a smaller scale, with words as weapons and armored smiles. The music begins in a decadent French Baroque style, then unravels its shimmering threads to reveal the barbarism beneath. Sophistication is only ever a mask.

Because the aftermath of violence wounds in another way, the third movement pauses in the sharp, dark chasm of mourning. The music returns to touchstones of Americana—now in the style of the middle of the twentieth century—as the setting moves to a military funeral, where glory’s price is paid by those who will never see its light.

But grief turns to anger, and the cycle continues. So the fourth movement is a remix, revisiting the materials of the other three, but at a distance, inviting us to reflect on violence’s status as our perpetual favorite entertainment, the uses and misuses of nostalgia, and just why it might be that trumpets mean trouble.
Program note by A.E. Jaques. Please credit A.E. Jaques when reproducing this program note.


March 16, 2017

Michigan State University Wind Symphony
Conducted by Kevin Sedatole
Justin Emerich, Trumpet
CBDNA National Conference

Commissioned by

Michigan State University and the American Bandmasters Association

Additional Performances

Dallas Winds with Chris Martin, trumpet

April 11, 2017

Additional Information

Note that this piece exists with two versions of movement 2 - one in concert Eb, one in concert F. The work ships with Eb parts, but F parts are available by request.