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Pop Go the Solos

By F. Leslie Smith

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Brass Quintet - Advanced
Composed by F. Leslie Smith. Contemporary Classical, Children's Music, Recital, Comedy. Score, Set of Parts. 44 pages. Published by Sweetwater Brass Press (S0.242361).

Item Number: S0.242361

The premise of this piece is: What would certain popular brass instrument solos sound like if “Pop Goes the Weasel” had influenced the arrangers and composers? The works under consideration are Arthur Pryor’s “Blue Bells of Scotland,” Jean-Baptiste Arban’s “Carnival of Venice,” Andrea Catozzi’s “Beelzebub,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 3 and Joseph Haydn's Trumpet Concerto—all popular “show-off” concert numbers and state band contest pieces. Could “Pop Goes the Weasel" have influenced them? Most authorities seem to agree that the melody for “PGTW” appeared in England sometime around the middle of the 19th Century, too late for Mozart and Haydn. Pryor, Arban and Catozzi could have heard it; if they did, however, any influence it might have had is not readily evident in these solos. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to speculate. And, that’s what we do in “Pop Goes the Solo.” Here,“Pop Goes the Weasel” was (1) extant as early as the 1700s, and (2) these fivemusicians did hear, admire and pay homage to it in their own music, and they named the solos, respectively, “Blue Weasels of Scotland,” “Carnival of Monkeys,” “Beelzepop,” “So geht das Geld” (roughly translated as “That’s the way the money goes”) and “Haydn: From the Monkey.” Since “Pop Goes the Solo” is based on rather advanced music, it will probably take some rehearsal time to play well.

 Completed in 2017, this arrangement runs about 6 minutes, 13 seconds. Contact the arranger, Les Smith, at If you like this one, don’t miss Les’ arrangements of “Goodbye! So Long! I'm Headin' Home!,” “Out of the Box” and “The Teddy Bears' Picnic.” For more arrangements by Les, enter "Sweetwater Brass Press" (without the quotation marks) in the SheetMusicPlus search box.

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