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The Water Music

saxophone quartet edition

Composed by: GF Handel
Arranged by: Jan Steele
Genres: Baroque, Classical
Ordering Options
PDF bundles
Bundle 1 - Complete - Score & Parts
(67 pages)

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PDF bundles
Bundle 2 - Complete - Score & Parts
(41 pages)

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PDF bundles
Bundle 3 - Complete - Score & Parts
(28 pages)

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PDF bundles
Bundle 4 - Complete - Score & Parts
(53 pages)

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The Water Music


The original Water Music was a combination of three suites. A note from the arranger explains further: "Many of the movements in the Water Music are in a pseudo concerto gross style so to reflect this in a saxophone quartet arrangement I decide to use two soprano saxophones. I have continued this combination throughout the rest of the suite but alternative parts for alto sax instead of soprano sax 2 are available.

The original Water Music consists of 3 suites. 1. Horn Suite in F, 2. Trumpet Suite in D, 3. Flute Suite in G.

The Flute Suite is not well known. The Horn and Trumpet suites have two movements in common, but the common movements are still not identical. Historically the Horn Suite probably came first, and then the Trumpet Suite was probably written later because Handel realized that with trumpets the music would carry better on the water. At that time English trumpet players played exclusively in D, hence the Trumpet Suite in D. Nevertheless the Trumpet Suite was still tacked on to the end of the Horn Suite - it is assumed that the trumpet versions of the movements in common were played instead of the horn versions.

The movements in common between the two suites are 10 & 11. Although they are based on common material they are not identical.

Movement 10 from the suite in F has some very idiomatic writing for violin which is impossible to arrange for saxophone. So I have made two arrangements of Movement 10, both of them from the suite in D but in the keys of F and D. The arrangement in F has some very high writing so most performers would probably prefer to play the version in D.

Movement 11 I have prepared in both F and D following their original scores. Movements 12, 13 & 14 are all from the suite in D and are left in that key.

So performers have a number of options.

They can perform the suite in F - but using the suite in D version of Movement 10 transposed to F.

They can perform the two suites sequentially using whichever version of Movements 10 and 11 they prefer.

They can perform the suite in D.

They can select from all movements."

Edition Notes

The E-Edition of the Water Music is divided into four bundles for both the Score, the Standard Parts (SSTB) and the Alternative Parts (two Altos in place of Soprano 2 and Tenor).
Bundle 1: Movements 1 - 5 (in F)
Bundle 2: Movements 6 - 10 (in F)
Bundle 3: Movements 10-11 (in F)
Bundle 4: Movements 10-14 (in D)


s s/a t/a b


45 min

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