Drunken Sailor




Instrumentation: standard Wind Band

This arrangement of What shall we do with a drunken sailor? features all members of the band at different points and sets some challenges at various points.

Having established the two main rhythmic elements of the tune during the introduction, the tune is presented, its phrases passed around the band. As the piece proceeds, there are passages of “stop-time”, a move to the minor and a brief foray into 6/8. Dynamics vary from very loud to very quiet and the intention was that both the players and the audience would find this a varied and enjoyable arrangement.

The range of abilities needed to perform this should be found in all competent School and amateur Wind Bands.