The Beartooth

For Concert Band

From the lone asphalt ribbon crossing the Hellroaring Plateau, a landmass on the northeast extremity of the Absaroka mountain range straddling the Montana-Wyoming border, one may note a distant narrow peak rising to the sky like a bear’s lower canine. Appropriately known as The Bear’s Tooth, this 300 foot pyramidal spire rises from the flank of Beartooth Mountain to a height of           11, 920 feet. It’s set amid stunning vistas stretching over a hundred miles lying underneath indigo skies with clouds seemingly within one’s grasp. Thus, the Bear’s Tooth earns its place as the inspiration and namesake for this movement of the Absaroka Suite, The Beartooth. The music is less programmatic than the other movements of the suite. To put it in other words the music doesn’t tell a story. Rather, developing themes introduced in Eastern Ascent, it reflects emotions sparked by the alpine landscape: wonder and awe at the massive landforms, a sense of life, freedom, and spaciousness amid the big skies and clear air polished with serenity in nature’s reflection of its Creator’s glory. The landscape’s heights and verticality are represented with persistently rising and contrastingly plunging motives. Bold punctuations evoke the awe of such a vast expanse. The cantering main theme expresses sensations of freedom, danger, and smallness, so unfamiliar to we technologically immersed, which must have been the staple diet of early explorers and natives in this land, lying much as it has for millennia. The theme’s upward leaps portray the peak’s sudden rising. The closing, fittingly marked “Serene,” imparts the utter peace one feels having come to know such an extraordinary place, to agree with the writer of Genesis 1:31: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”


Duration: ~5’00”




The Beartooth is a delightful musical romp across the alpine tundra of the Absaroka Plateau sure to please audiences and musicians alike. It’s the third movement of my Absaroka Suite and focuses on the geological formation known as The Bear’s Tooth. The music fits in a grade 4 difficulty level and would make a fine contest or concert feature.

– Piccolo
– Flute 1 (alto flute), 2
– Oboe 1, 2
– English Horn
– Bassoon 1, 2
– Eb Clarinet
– Bb Clarinet 1, 2, 3
– Bb Bass Clarinet 1, 2
Eb Contrabass Clarinet OR
– Bb Contrabass Clarinet
– Eb Alto Saxophone 1, 2
– Bb Tenor Saxophone
– Eb Baritone Saxophone
– Bb Trumpet 1, 2, 3 OR
C Trumpet 1, 2, 3
– Horn in F 1, 2, 3, 4
– Trombone 1, 2
– Bass Trombone
– Euphonium 1, 2 OR
Baritone T.C. 1, 2
– Tuba 1, 2
– Timpani (4)
– Percussion 1: Toms, Temple Blocks, Crash Cymbal, Glock., Hand Cymbals, Chimes (Bb)
– Percussion 2: Bass Drum, Tambourine, Mark Tree
– Percussion 3: Sus. Cymbal, Crash Cymbal, Snare Drum, Xylophone, Vibes
– Percussion 4: Crotales, Gourd Rattle/Shekere, Vibraslap, Claves, Vibes, Tambourine, Sus. Cymbal, Triangle, Xylophone, Marimba
– Percussion 5: Large Gong, Tam Tam, Triangle, Hi Hat, Small Gong, Hand Cymbals, Tambourine, Shaker, Crotales

Robert Myers


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Beartooth”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You are previewing: The Beartooth