On the Big Loop (Grade 0.5)


Ensemble: Concert Band (flexible instrumentation)
Grade: 0.5
Duration: 1.25 minutes

Print set available via Murphy Music Press

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Part of the Murphy Music Press Beginning Band Adaptable Series, Robert J. Ambrose and Mary Cogswell, editors.

Fully flexible instrumentation in 3 parts:
C Treble Instruments (Flute/Oboe)
Bb Treble Instruments (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone*, Trumpet)
Eb Treble Instruments (Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone)
F Treble Instruments (Horn – minor alterations for reduced range)
C Bass Instruments (Bassoon, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba)

*Also includes alternate Tenor Saxophone part with slightly reduced range
***Treble Clef Euphonium/Baritone players may read from Bb treble parts

Percussion (min. 3 players):

Percussion 1: Snare Drum and Bass Drum
Percussion 2: Crash Cymbals

Educational Resources

For some cross-curricular educational resources about the International Space Station, we recommend this page from NASA.
This piece can also be used as an opportunity to incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) and explore how the interpersonal and inter-musical parts of band go hand in hand.

Program Notes

The “Big Loop” is a set of audio communication loops that can be used at certain points during flights to and from the International Space Station. It links the spacecraft, ground control center(s) on Earth, and the ISS, so that everyone can hear what’s going on and play their part in getting the astronauts safely to the ISS or back home to Earth. Some astronauts say a key to success is not only to be the best version of yourself, but also to act in a way that helps everyone around you be the best versions of themselves too. I find these good words to live by in general, but also particularly relevant to playing in a musical ensemble.