Flute chamber music, quintets and larger groups, by Howard J. Buss

Compositions and Arrangements
Grading Scale:
I-II: Easy
III-IV: Intermediate
V-VI: Advanced
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Flute in chamber music - quintets and sextets
Works are in alpabetical order, durations are in parenthesis:

ECLIPSE for flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, and three percussion by Howard J. Buss was written in 1974. There is a feeling of suspense throughout during this musical representation of a solar eclipse.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3  - Video on YouTube               

Order from  Subito Music.


FIVE STARS (2004) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon) by Howard J. Buss. Each of the 5 movements features a different instrument: Into the Maelstrom features the flute, A Distant Glow (horn), Orbits (oboe), The Message from the Cosmic Sea (bassoon), and Dance of the Stars (clarinet). This music is sophisticated, yet audience-friendly, and is well suited for school outreach concerts. (17’10") Grade V.
Sound Excerpts: Mov.#1.mp3; Mov.#2.mp3; Mov.#3.mp3; Mov.#4.mp3; Mov.#5.mp3

Videos on YouTube: I. Into the Maelstrom, II. A Distant Glow, III. Orbits,

IV.The Message from the Cosmic Sea, V. Dance of the Stars  

Music available from Cimarron Music Press 



MODERN TIMES (1995) for narrator, flute, and 4 percussion (words and music by Howard J. Buss) is a depiction of life in our time. Provocative, at times mystical, and occasionally humorous, this work addresses an eclectic range of subjects such as taxes, neglected children, team mascots, and the information glut. "The tenor of Buss' social commentary is somewhere between the witty jeering of Mark Twain and the pithy insights of Sinclair Lewis. In his free verse one finds provocation without violence and intense anger without profanity." - The Tampa Tribune.
Modern Times transports the poetry into the dramatic and colorful sound world of the flute and percussion ensemble. The result is a unique and fresh view of the culture(s) in which
The writing is mature and fresh, yet is within reach of a solid college ensemble. - George Frock, Percussive Notes Magazine. This work is well-paced, colorful and accessible to audiences not familiar with complex percussion literature. This is truly one of the finest works in our idiom.- Robert McCormick, Florida Percussive News The 8 movements may be performed individually or in smaller groupings. Recorded on the CD Howard J. Buss: Modern Times, available from the composer.

I. Info Glut Sample.mp3; II. Night Tide Sample.mp3;

III. The Hunt Sound Sample.
mp3; IV. Five Question Interlude Sample.mp3;

V. The Asphalt Blanket Sample
.mp3; VI. To a Neglected Child Sample.mp3

VII. Giggles!?! Sample.
mp3; VIII. Modern Times Sample#1.mp3; Sample#2.mp3

Video on YouTube

Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Xylophone, lion roar, tam-tam, vibraslap, suspended cymbals, Chinese bell tree & bongos; Perc. 2: Marimba, snare drum, bass drum, anvils (metal pipes may be substituted), glass jug or jars (to be broken for the sonic effect), conga drum, wind chimes & triangle; Perc. 3: Vibes, roto toms, tambourine, tam-tam, police whistle, shaker, duck call; Perc. 4: Orchestra bells, timpani, agogo bells, suspended cymbals, hi-hat, wind chimes, wood block, frog croak (may be imitated vocally), boing box effect (a flexitone may be substituted), triangle & guiro.
(30’) Grade V.

Music available from Cimarron Music Press 



MYSTERIOUS EXIT (1993) for flute and 4 percussion by Howard J. Buss. The title refers to the inexplicable disappearance of the 14th Century Sinagua Indians who inhabited an area in what is now the State of Arizona. This composition was inspired by the composer's visit to the Sinagua pueblo ruins and is a musical representation of how the Sinaguan culture graced the austere and forbidding landscape of the region. The central section of the piece exhibits some of the intriguing rhythmic asymmetry found in Hopi dance songs.
Recorded on "Premiers Vol.1" (CD available from the composer)
(11'30") Grade IV-V.
Sound Sample#1.mp3; Sound Sample#2.mp3 - Percussion: Perc. 1: Orchestra bells, temple blocks, suspended cymbals, rattle, and wind chimes; Perc. 2: Marimba, and suspended cymbal; Perc. 3: Xylophone, and suspended cymbal; Perc. 4: Vibes, tom tom, sleigh bells, rattle, suspended cymbals, and a bell tree. View on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press 



Ocean MoodsOCEAN MOODS “Three Sonic Portraits” (2014) for flute clarinet, violin, viola, and cello by Howard J. Buss ranges from lyric tenderness to powerful and sometimes dazzling technical displays. The 3 movements, Vistas, From the Depths, and Blustery, explore a wide range of sonic atmospheres and moods. (13’30”)
Grade V-VI. Score samples: Movement 1.pdf; Movement 2.pdf; Movement 3.pdf

Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3: Movement 3.mp3 - Video

Music available from Cimarron Music Press 



Skylines for woodwind sextet coverSKYLINES, version for woodwind sextet by Howard J. Buss, was originally composed for trumpet and piano in 2002. This version for woodwind sextet, commissioned in 2019 by Victoria Ward Ltd. in memory of clarinetist David Marshall, is scored for flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet and bassoon (an additional bassoon part is provided as a substitutute for the bass clarinet, part 5.) This is a musical urban portrait in 2 movements: No specific city is depicted; rather, the composer captures, in a broad manner, the essence of the big city spectacle.  The lyrical and majestic first movement, Panorama, suggests the expansive grandeur of cityscape. The second, Amid the Spires, is influenced by jazz and captures the dynamic energy of life on the busy streets.
Score and parts are included. (10’30”) Grade V.
Sound samples: 1.mp3, 2.mp3; 3.mp3; 4.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



WHERE NOW RUSTS THE IRON? (1994) by Howard J. Buss for high voice (soprano or tenor), flute, cello & six percussion is a dramatic tribute to the composer’s grandfather who, like many ironworkers in his day, worked under brutal conditions with the dream of making life better for future generations. “A moving work touching our communal soul.” (8’) Grade IV-V. 
Score sample: Excerpt.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Timpani (4), orchestra bells, tubular bells (shared with perc. 2) and finger cymbals; Perc. 2: anvils (metal pipes may be substituted), and tubular bells (shared with perc. 1) Perc. 3: Xylophone, and suspended cymbal; Perc. 4: Vibes and suspended cymbal; Perc. 5: marimba; Perc. 6: suspended cymbals, tam-tam, wind chimes and bell tree.
Percussion Set-up Chart
Text: “Where Now Rusts the Iron?”

Homes now stand where once the foundry coughed.
Countless tons of iron -
wheels and pans,
boilers and pipes,
latches and plates.
Countless train loads of hardware
shrieked from the pounding, grimy world within.

Iron converted from life itself,
energy given form.
Precious moments, days, and years
poured into molds and sealed
amid the ashes and dust,
always ashes and dust,
suspended in life-stealing air.

The graves of the workers overlook this place,
their fam’lies spread afar.
Season come and go, yet frozen in mem’ry
are the days of youth spent in toil, hope, and purpose.
Where now rusts the iron once cast by pounding hearts,
releasing the dreams, the souls,
invested in tough, cold metal?

The foundry still stands among the houses,
coughing on smoke-laden air.
Invisible as the iron once made,
its souls as mist remains.
- Howard J. Buss
Copyright © 1994 by Brixton Publications

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Howard J. Buss, Composer       

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Index of Flute Publications:
(Click on an instrumentation link, works are in alphabetical order within each category.)

Solo flute - unaccompanied

Flute with one other instrument, or voice, or electronic recording (includes flute and piano)

Flute ensembles (flute trios, quartets,and choirs)

Flute in chamber music - trios

Flute in chamber music - quartets (includes standard woodwind quartets)

Flute in chamber music - quintets and sextets (includes wind quintets)

Flute solo and wind ensemble


Flute Music, Online Graded Catalog of Sheet Music  

Product description: Flute, Piccolo, and Alto Flute: Solos, Duos, Choirs, Chamber Music and Recordings