Island of Bones

(2 customer reviews)

Late elementary students will love this dissonant, staccato piece dedicated to Cayo Hueso (Bone Island), the original name of Key West!

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Ponce de Leon first discovered Key West in 1521 during his expedition to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth. Legend says he named the island Cayo Hueso, which means “Bone Island” in Spanish, for the bleached limestone rock, driftwood that appeared to be bones, and actual skeletons found on the island. It was only later that it became known as “Key West,” which sounded like Cayo Hueso to the English-speaking settlers that later took over the Spanish territory.

This rather energetic piece imagines the bones of Bone Island strutting around, making sure the presence of its spirits is known. The ending leaves the audience hanging in suspense, waiting for a resolution that never arrives.

Key: A minor, C minor

Mood: determined, spooky

Pedagogy: ensemble playing, repeats, hand position changes, staccato, extended rests

2 reviews for Island of Bones

  1. Natale Farrell

    Fun piece! I love the “dry” sounds!

  2. anna oberst

    This piece first of all attracted my finicky middle school student who asked for a “Halloween” song, when she saw the picture of this cover with the title “Island of Bones.” I wasn’t sure if it’d be a fit for her as she only likes pop songs. Well, we went through the first page and she said, “yes! this is the one I want to play.” I feel it has a nice amount of ‘eerie/odd’ to it without overpowering the piece. Easy to sight read yet complex to the player’s ears.

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