Terra incognita
for orchestra

Adam Sherkin
Adam Sherkin
Composition Date: 2005
Duration: 00:15:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 2 x Flute
  • 1 x Flute
  • 2 x Oboe
  • 2 x Clarinet
  • 2 x Bassoon
  • 4 x Horn
  • 2 x Trumpet
  • 3 x Trombone
  • 1 x Tuba
  • 1 x Timpani
  • 3 x Percussion
  • 1 x Harp
  • 1 x Harpsichord
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Unspecified bowed strings
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Full orchestra
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Programme Note:
Terra Incognita for orchestra is comprised of a set of six variations based upon an
original theme. This theme is presented at the outset of the piece by solo strings and is
then developed by particular instrument choirs. As the theme traverses through various permutations, a wide palette of expression and musical aspect is explored. With the coda’s herald of an expansive final tutti, recollections of the theme are presented once again as an exit to, or arrival at, a new place and time. The work is approximately 12 minutes in duration. The following is taken from the composer’s introductory notes to the piece:

In the exploration of an expanding universe around us the human
race has, since its origins, embarked on an eternal quest for new and
different worlds beyond. Whether this “quest” has existed in the
charging of our planet’s deepest oceans or in the soaring of its greatest
heights, a constant progression and desire to comprehend the world
around us seems to have been born at the very instant that self-awareness
and mindful action also came into existence.

Today, at the threshold of the twenty-first century, new and different
worlds that our species could not have realized even one hundred
years ago have begun to reveal themselves to us. As we venture
further into the cosmos, probing their rich array of wonderment, it
seems as though the human race seeks out these unknown worlds
quite simultaneously, multiplying our questions by the sum of our
discoveries. And therein lies one of the most riveting questions that
shocks and rocks the modern world of science: how many planes,
how many spheres and how many other terras of seemingly distant
proximity does our universe truly possess, and will offer us
passageway to?

(A passageway far more accessible than we might imagine.)

Adam Sherkin
January 2004


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1100 S5515te
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • April 4, 2012
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (63 p.) ;
    63 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 99
    parts available for rent
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:

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Terra incognita for orchestra: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Terra incognita for orchestra by Adam Sherkin (Score)
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