By: Brian Aguilar
Time:  5:50
Grade:  6
Price:  $595.00


The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1843. It is relayed by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity while simultaneously describing a murder he committed. The victim was an old man with a filmy “vulture-eye”, as the narrator calls it. The narrator emphasizes the careful calculation of the murder and he hides the body under the floorboards. Ultimately, the narrator’s feelings of guilt, or a mental disturbance, result in him hearing a thumping sound, which he interprets as the dead man’s beating heart.

This story is presented here in 2 movements; the first is the planning and execution of the murder, the second is the subsequent hiding of the dead body before being overtaken by guilt and confessing the crime.  This is orchestrated and best suited for a large ensemble.  There are many challenging metered passages throughout for the battery.

“I’d like to give special thanks and credit to Jake Tuttle of Franklin HS (Elk Grove, CA) who worked to produce the show concept as I composed the music. The selection of the passages from the original short story and making them fit into the music in a manner that relayed the intent was invaluable in making this show such a huge success!” – Brian Aguilar

Here is a link to a video with Brian Aguilar and Jake Tuttle discussing the show.  TTH Video

Tell-Tale Heart mp3       Tell-Tale Heart Score Sample          Tell-Tale Heart Reduced Score Sample

Original Instrumentation:

Voice Cues
Tenors (Sixes)
Tom Line (Duos)
Bass Drums (5)
Cymbal Line
Marimba 1, 2, 3
Vibraphone 1, 2
Electric Guitar
Bass Guitar
Synth 1, 2, 3
Auxiliary Percussion 1, 2, 3
Drum Set

Reduced Version Instrumentation:

Voice Cues
Tenors (Quints)
Bass Drums (4)
Marimba 1, 2
Vibraphone 1, 2
Bass Guitar
Synth 1, 2
Auxiliary Percussion 1, 2

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