Taking the Fifth

Adaptable Instrumental Ensemble

Program Note

Taking the Fifth is a work for adaptable ensemble of 4 or more players and drum set. Using the interval of a 5th as the primary material, Taking the Fifth was written during the Covid-19 as part of the Creative Repertoire Initiative in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on music education.

Upbeat, occasionally dark, sometimes shocking, Taking the Fifth was the piece that got my creative juices flowing again, having initially found myself pretty lost for inspiration during the pandemic.


SATB parts for:   

Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax

Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium (bass clef and Bb), Tuba

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass


Drum Set (this is also broken down in to 3 separate percussion parts)
Mallets (Marimba/Vibes) – optional

Piano – optional

Performance Notes

  • The drum set part is can be substituted with the 3 percussion parts provided
  • The drum set part can be free – the notation is provided as a guidance

Adaptable Ensemble Notes

As part of the Creative Repertoire Initative I have written/re-worked several pieces that are for an adaptable/flexible ensembles (for band and string instruments) a response to the challenges to music performance and education that have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea behind these pieces is that, no matter the issues we face moving in to the 2020/21 academic year, there will be repertoire for players of all levels to learn and play together, be it in person, a hybrid-model, etc..

Each piece has been arranged in to 4 voices (S,A,T,B) and scored so that each instrument in your ensemble can play any part (i.e. flute 1 – 4, French Horn 1 – 4, Tuba 1 – 4 etc.). There are optional percussion parts in every piece and several of the pieces also have optional piano parts. There are also works with electronics too! Also included in the set will be a score for each instrument (e.g. a 4-part score for trombone, a 4-part score for clarinet, etc..), as well as a score in C complete with all of the percussion parts.

Experimentation with, and exploring of, instrumentation, colours, and textures is encouraged, and octave changes, where appropriate are possible.

Each set will be delivered digitally as a PDF and you are free to distribute those PDF files to anyone within your program.

More information can be found at the Meechan Music Adaptable Chart FAQ page here: http://meechanmusic.com/meechan-music-adaptable-chart-faq/