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Of Blood and Stone

"The Pyramids of Giza"

A grade 5 work


Commissioned by

Kappa Kappa Psi, National Band Fraternity, and Tau Beta Sigma

National Band Sorority

The Pyramids of Giza are the only ancient wonder of the world left standing. Despite all of our studies of the Egyptian tombs, pyramids and hieroglyphs, we still have no idea what the pyramids were actually used for. No body, corpse, or mummy has ever been found in a pyramid. They are always located elsewhere. We do know the pyramids were not built by slaves. Recent excavations have shown the pyramid workers were fed extremely well and enjoyed excellent living conditions though their bodies held all the tell-tale signs of a short life of very physical labor. There are many theories for what the pyramids may have actually been used for. Were they centers of worship or healing? Are they a form of ancient power? Were they used to contact those in the afterlife; or perhaps aliens had a hand in their creation and uses.

Of Blood and Stone uses the tonality and scales found on the ancient instruments of Egypt as its core melodic and harmonic language. The piece opens up with life on the River Nile. After the intro, the percussion enters and jump starts us into the pulse of everyday life which eventually leads us spiritually to the Valley of the Dead explored with the help of Wind Wand Bullroarers. After the Valley of the Dead we musically mourn a civilization lost, imagine the loves lived and lost. The piece ends with the actual building of the pyramids, not by slaves, but by a people destined to create something the world had never known. The pyramids are not only still standing after thousands of years, but have never been recreated with any other civilization. The Egyptians, our ancestors, shaped the world with blood and stone.

The Wind Wand Bullroarers are to be played by non-percussion performers as the percussion are busy. Third Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone players are all available. They must get up and go to a designated spot. Within the band setup is not an option unless there is a LOT of room. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Use as many Wind Wand Bullroarers as you want, with no less than five.

Seven percussionists are an absolute must in the form of one timpanist and six percussionists. Of the six percussionists, three must be able to play melodics.

Blood and Stone CVR 3.jpg
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