John Barnes Chance, composer
Chance won the American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award for this
work in the year following its composition. He provided the following
information concerning the work in the Journal of Band Research for Autumn
I became acquainted with the folk song Arrirang
(pronounced "AH-dee-dong") while serving in Seoul, Korea in the
Eighth U.S. Army Band in 1958-59. The tune is not as simple as it sounds,
and my fascination with it during the intervening years led to its eventual
use as the theme for this set of variations.
The work is in six sectionsthe opening pentatonic theme stated by the
clarinets followed by five distinct variations. The first variation
features temple blocks and woodwinds. Variation two is quiet and serene
with the original melody, now inverted, played by the oboe. The third
variation is a fast march, the fourth is broad and solemn, and the fifth is
more involved with various sections of the band playing one of the two
phrases heard in the opening theme.