Sheet Music: In the Hall of the Mountain King

TitleIn the Hall of the Mountain King
from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
Opus numberOp. 46
ComposerEdvard Grieg (1843–1907)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyB minor
Time signature4/4
Tempo138 BPM
Performance time0:45
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (62 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (352 kB)
Date added2009-06-22
Last updated2009-12-06
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Monday 22 June 2009

Tune of the Day: In the Hall of the Mountain King

from Edvard Grieg's “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1”

This piece of orchestral music was composed by Edvard Grieg for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, which premiered in Oslo in 1876, and was later extracted as the final piece of the “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1”, Op. 46.

A fantasy play written in verse, Peer Gynt tells of the adventures of the eponymous Peer. The sequence illustrated by the music of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” is when Peer sneaks into the Mountain King's castle. The piece then describes Peer's attempts to escape from the King and his trolls.

The simple theme begins slowly and quietly in the lowest registers of the orchestra. It is played first by the cellos and bassoons, signifying Peer Gynt's slow, careful footsteps. After being recited, the main theme is then very slightly modified with a few different ascending notes, but transposed up a perfect fifth (to the key of F-sharp major, the dominant key, but with flattened sixth) and played on different instruments: these are the King's trolls.

In order to respect the original key of the piece, we had to make use of low B, which can only be produced on a B foot flute. If your flute has a C foot, or if you find it difficult to play that low, simply transpose up an octave the two phrases that start on a low B. (Remember to revert to the written octaves after the half notes, or you'll run into the fourth register!)

Other Movements from the same Work

1.Morning Mood Flute & Piano
2.Aase's Death Flute solo
3.Anitra's Dance Flute & Piano
4.In the Hall of the Mountain King Flute solo