Bee Waltz Top Score >

Bee Waltz is a short piece for a flexible ensemble of beginner instrumentalists. It was composed by Jeremy Clay for BCMG's Imagine Compose project. The various sections of the piece have suggestions as to how they can be performed, but ensembles can decide to make adjustments according to their individual requirements. The score comes with accompanying activities as a way into learning the music. There are two parts (high & low) plus optional 'solo' parts. All the parts are available to download in various transpositions using the links below.

Activity Panel


Bee Waltz is a short piece for a flexible ensemble of beginner instrumentalists. It was composed by Jeremy Clay for BCMG's Imagine Compose project. Each section of the piece has suggestions as to how it can be performed, but ensembles can decide to make adjustments according to their own requirements.  The score comes with accompanying activities as a way into learning the music. There are two parts (high & low) plus optional 'solo' parts.


Bee logo

Programme Note

Bee Waltz uses dancing bees as inspiration! In nature, bees have an unusual way of communicating to their fellow workers. When they find a rich source of pollen, they do an intricate 'dance' to indicate the exact location. Above is a video of the bees 'Waggle Dance'. For this piece, the idea of a bee dance has been taken more literally and turned into a slightly mad waltz in 3/4 time.

The full score and all the parts in various transpositions are available to download using the links below.

Preparatory Activities

Activity One: Buzzing

Ask everyone to come up with a buzzing sound on their instrument. For example, using the mouthpieces of brass instruments, a tremolo on strings or trills on woodwind. Ask the ensemble to select the best ideas by voting and then ask the group to join in copying the original as closely as possible.

Activity Three: Follow the Gesture

Ask one of the children to draw shapes in the air with their hand and ask the ensemble to follow the shape, paying attention to high and low sounds i.e. when the hand is high they play at a high pitch and when it is low, play at a low pitch etc..


Activity Two: Buzzing Conversations

Using the buzzing sounds from the previous activity, ask the children, in pairs, to have a conversation using their buzzing sounds.

Activity Four: Getting Faster

Counting in 1, 2, 3, create an oom-pa-pa with the ensemble i.e. low, high, high - specific pitches don't matter. Making sure everyone is following the conductor, practice increasing and decreasing the tempo. Over the top of this, invite the children to invent bee solos using their buzzing sound.

oom pa pa

Performance notes

Beginning up to Section C: Played using buzzing or humming sounds, for example mouthpieces of brass instruments, tremolo on strings or trills on woodwind. Suggestions from children performing the piece are also welcome.

The start to AA to BB to C: Each 5 to 20 seconds long

Section C: Notes to be chosen by the performers.

Section D to Section F: 1st time: Whole ensemble plays the High and Low accompaniment without any ‘bee solos’.High part performers choose from the selection of pitches indicated.

D to F: 2nd time: Small group quietly perform the accompaniment. For example, strings only, all strings pizzicato, or a small group of mixed instruments.Conductor B leads the ‘bee solos’ in one of two ways: Conductor points to a soloist who then stops when the conductor points to the next soloist. Or,Conductor brings performers in and out of solos so they overlap.

Section G: Conductor ’draws the line’ with their finger and the whole ensemble follow.

Sections H and I: Gradual accelerando and crescendo.

Sections J and K: Repeated ad lib until the whole ensemble is going as fast as they can independent of any beat, forming chaos until the conductor clearly gestures an abrupt stop.

Section L: Ensemble size reduces each bar to enhance the diminuendo. This also gives performers time to prepare for their buzzing sounds.

Section M: Tutti

Bee Waltz Page 1

Bee Waltz score page 2

Bee Waltz score page 3

Bee Waltz score page 4