Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music (BMu)



First Advisor

William Mann


Teddy Mack

Honors Thesis Project

December 14, 2015

Uranus from Holst’s The Planets arranged for Brass Ensemble

For my Honors Thesis Project, I arranged the sixth movement of the orchestral suite The Planets: Uranus, the Magician, for brass ensemble. This work by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) is regarded as his most famous composition. The Planets tell the story of life through astrological planets. Uranus depicts the time after mortality is accepted. This peace with oncoming death combines with the experiences gained in life to create mastery. This mastery is at such a high level that it appears to be mystical, inspiring the subtitle the Magician. I gained the skills to complete this arrangement from the class Instrumentation and Orchestration. The textbook outlined several techniques for arranging that I used as the basis for my process. The material for the music was obtained from the Petrucci Music Library, called IMSLP. The work is in the public domain and was accessed off of the IMSLP website. I downloaded the score, which gave me all of the notes, rhythms, and extra markings that the composer put for the original orchestral version. Using the skills I learned and the techniques outlined in the textbook, I created the arrangement. I also rehearsed and conducted with piece with the Georgia State Blue Brass Ensemble. I utilized rehearsal techniques that I have witnessed since first joining band in sixth grade. I learned conducting from two classes: Basic Conducting and Advanced Instrumental Conducting. The piece was premiered at the Kopleff Recital Hall on Georgia State’s campus on November 18th.


Blatter, Alfred. Instrumentation and Orchestration. 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 1997.

Head, Raymond. "Holst – Astrology and Modernism in ‘The Planets’." Tempo: 15. Accessed December 14, 2015.

"The Planets, Op.32 (Holst, Gustav)." - IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music. Accessed December 15, 2015.,_Op.32_(Holst,_Gustav).


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