JM57SC: Music of the Pirates

Cover Image Music of the Pirates
Album of Pieces for Solo Accordion
Composer David Johnstone
Instrumentation Solo Accordion
Duration Performance time approx. 35'
Cat. No. JM57SC
Edition / Format 2008 A4 Score
Price £13.50 +p&p
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Sound Samples


Music of the Pirates
1 The Pirates: Introduction - Presentation
2 In Port, on the Quayside
3 The Underwater World
4 Battle in the Storm
5 Captives
6 Night Escape
7 Fight for a Haul
8 Satisfaction
9 Celebrations in the Port

Notes: English


The work “Music of the Pirates” was written in an inspired gentle summer break! The nine pieces in this work form a continuous musical story, and on the next page there are more detailed explanations as to the meaning of each piece or movement. The pieces follow a logical order; however, anyone can programme any one, or various movements, as individual pieces perfectly well. The stimulus for the composition came partly as a response to the suggestion of Nekane Iturrioz, the head accordion professor at the High Music Conservatoire in Pamplona (Spain) who was interested in new pieces which some of her promising students could play; and also to the request of Javier López Jaso, an accordion soloist, for new concert pieces by present day Navarre composers (and the composer, a dual national, has lived for more than ten years in this part of Spain), The result is this work which is neither a Suite nor a Sonata – but nine individual pieces forming a musical set. I hope they provide enjoyment amongst performers and public alike. I would also like to thank the accordionists Angel Luis Goñi, Naiara Idoate, Nestor Gascue Mateo, and to the “Hauspoz” Basque Accordion Association for their positive response and interest in programming these pieces.

‘MUSIC OF THE PIRATES’ consists of nine pieces for accordion solo which form a logical set because they were conceived as telling a musical story. Therefore, their performance as a whole set is to be recommended. From the first piece there are various motives or themes which reappear again in many of the other pieces, and this cyclical element gives further unity when the work is rendered 'whole'. However, as previously stated, the various movements can be performed equally well as individual pieces. The total performance time is around thirty minutes.

In order to help convey the musical story, the composer gives some brief notes as to the background of each piece – these were his guides in the compositional process.


1) THE PIRATES (Introduction-Presentation) Page 4
Welcome to the World of the pirates! Hard-headed, clever, without fear; but at the end of the piece they are also seen to have feelings and emotions as well. Musically speaking, very important are the opening persistent pedal notes, and the 'pirates' themes (bars 16, 45 and 53) – they appear throughout the work.
Duration: approx. 4 mins

2) IN PORT, ON THE QUAYSIDE (Descriptive Piece) Page 8
The pirates are in port before departing foe new adventures. The music represents the gentle ripples whilst the ship is safely anchored and preparations being made by the pirates.
Duration: approx. 3 mins 30 secs

3) THE UNDERWATER WORLD (Miniature Song) Page 12
Now they are on their journey! The sea is calm and the pirates are in a gentle mood. They splash about in the water, meeting exotic fish, and even a mermaid!
Duration: approx. 3 mins

4) BATTLE IN THE STORM (Scherzo) Page 17
Up until now all has been pleasant. Now the pirates are in more hostile territory – and it is time to start to menace, to think about causing havoc. At the same time a storm brews up, so the pirates take advantage of this by launching a full-scale assault on a flotilla of important ships. They finally win comfortably, and take several important and wealthy hostages. Only at the end can one sense their relaxation with all the hard work done.
Duration: approx. 5 mins 30 secs

5) CAPTIVES (Quasi Marcia funebre) Page 27
These prisoners just caught in the storm battle are not chained up – they are made to work – scrubbing the decks, doing repair work and preparing the food. They are thoroughly miserable and tired. In the middle they briefly dream of better times and know that they should escape, but for the moment they do not see any way out.
Duration: approx. 2 mins 30 secs

6) NIGHT ESCAPE (Atmospheric Piece) Page 28
Finally the time has come to escape. It is night-time with the stars shinning overhead, and the captives begin by saying a prayer. Then comes the real moment of escape – at first very tentatively and then, still under the stars, they make off, trying not to disturb the sleeping pirates. At the close, again a brief prayer of thanks.
Duration: approx. 2 mins 30 secs

7) FIGHT FOR A HAUL (Dramatic Piece) Page 30
The pirates are not at all amused by their loss – in fact, they are in a really bad mood. They meet together and decide that the only way to make up for it is by planning a new robbery. However this new one is equally difficult, risky and one can sense the tension mounting and mounting. Finally though, the pirates are able to make off with a very big haul and feel very victorious.
Duration: approx. 3 mins 30 secs

8) SATISFACTION (Interlude) Page 34
How happy are the pirates! They are finally very rich! They unwind from all the tension, still at sea, and in the gentle wave-like music one can sense a tenderness almost unknown in the pirate world.
Duration: approx. 2 mins

Finally the pirates get back to port and it is time to celebrate in a big way. After more than a few pints of beer the pirates do not have a care in the world, and start to dance wildly. The celtic influences make a very happy conclusion to this musical story.
Duration: approx. 3 mins




La obra “Música de los Piratas” fue escrita en un escape veraniego de mucha inspiración! Las nueve piezas de esta obra forman una historia musical continua, y en la página siguiente se explica más detalladamente el significado de cada pieza o movimiento. Las piezas siguen un orden lógico; sin embargo, se puede programar uno a varios movimientos como piezas individuales. El estímulo de esta composición vino parcialmente como respuesta a la sugerencia de Nekane Iturrioz, catedrática de acordeón del Conservatorio Superior de Música de Navarra, quien estaba interesada en nuevas piezas para algunos de sus alumnos más prometedores – y también por la petición de Javier López Jaso, solista de acordeón, el cual buscaba nuevas composiciones escritas por compositores contemporáneos navarros (el compositor, de doble nacionalidad, ha vivido más de diez años en esta parte de España). El resultado es esta obra que, sin ser Suite o Sonata, son nueve piezas que forman una serie o colección musical. Espero que sea del agrado tanto de los intérpretes como del público. También me gustaría dar las gracias a los acordeonistas Angel Luis Goñi, Naiara Idoate, Néstor Gascue Mateo, y a “Hauspoz” (la Asociación Vasca de Acordeón) por su colaboración y su interés en programar estas piezas.

‘MUSICA DE LOS PIRATAS’ consta de nueve piezas para acordeón solo que forma un conjunto coherente porque está concebida para contarnos una historia musical. Por lo tanto se recomienda su interpretación como un todo. Desde la primera pieza hay diferentes motivos o temas que vuelven a aparecer en muchas otras piezas, y este elemento cíclico le da unidad cuando la obra se interpreta completa. Sin embargo, como se ha dicho anteriormente, los diferentes movimientos pueden ser también interpretados perfectamente como piezas individuales. La interpretación total dura alrededor de treinta minutos.

Para ayudar a la comprensión del relato musical el compositor da unas breves notas y el contexto de cada pieza – estas fueron sus guías para el proceso de composición.

Traduccion en español por Mia Wozniak


« MUSIQUE DES PIRATES » La composition.

L'œuvre « Musique des pirates » fut composée dans un moment de détente estivale plein d'inspiration. Chacune des neuf pièces dont elle est composée fait partie d'un tout : une histoire musicale continue. Les pièces se succèdent dans un ordre logique ; elles peuvent cependant être programmées individuellement. Dans la page suivante, nous expliquons en peu plus en détail la signification de chaque pièce ou mouvement.

Cette composition avait été inspirée, entre autres, par une suggestion de Nekane Iturrioz, agrégée d'Accordéon au Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Navarre, qui était intéressée à la création de nouvelles pièces, pour être interprétées par ses élèves les plus doués. De même, la demande du soliste d'accordéon, Javier López Jaso, a été importante : il recherchait de nouvelles compositions écrites par des compositeurs contemporains navarrais – le compositeur, qui a la double nationalité, habite en cette partie de l'Espagne depuis plus de dix ans. Le résultat de ces propositions est cette oeuvre qui, sans être pour autant une suite ou une sonate, est composée de neuf pièces qui configurent une série ou une collection musicale. Nous souhaitons qu'elle plaise aux interprètes de même qu'au public. Nous remercions aussi les accordéonistes Ángel Luis Goñi, Naiara Idoate, Néstor Gascue Mateo et « Hauspoz » (l'Association basque d'accordéon) de sa collaboration et de son intérêt dans la programmation pour le concert de ces pièces.

« Musique des pirates » comporte neuf pièces pour accordéon seul qui, pour être conçues pour transmettre une histoire musicale, représentent un ensemble cohérent.

Ainsi, nous recommandons son interprétation en bloc, comme un tout. Dès la première pièce, de différents motifs ou thèmes sont introduits et ils réapparaissent dans beaucoup d'autres pièces. C'est cet élément cyclique qui, quand elle est interprétée intégralement, lui apporte sa cohésion. Malgré cela, nous avons déjà expliqué que les différents mouvements peuvent être parfaitement interprétés en tant que pièces individuelles. L'œuvre complète a une durée d'environ trente minutes.

Quelques brèves idées et le contexte de chaque pièce sont apportés par le compositeur pour aider à la compréhension du récit musical ; ils ont été ses guides dans le processus de composition

Traduction française : Idoia Santa Coloma Ugart

Front Cover (larger image)

Front cover

Sample pages from score

Sample Page
The Pirates

Music sample
Sample Page
Fight for a Haul
Sample page of the music
Sample Page
Celebration in the Port
Sample page of music

Library Information

Full Title Music of the Pirates - Album of pieces for solo accordion
Composer David Johnstone
Instrumentation: Solo Accordion
Printed Parts: Soloist score
Format: Soft back, Stapled
Size: A4
Total Pages inc covers: 48
Weight: 171g
Our Ref: JM57SC
Publisher: Co production: Johnstone Music / Creighton's Collection
Edition/Year: First Edition January 2008
Origin: UK