Compositions and Arrangements for Accordion Orchestra

Latest change, April 18, 2018: added Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. This arrangement was created in 2004 already, but never made it onto this list.

Total number of downloads is currently already over 17.500.
(This excludes downloads by myself and it does not count both score and parts of the same piece, nor repeated requests.)

I arrange music for different accordion orchestras and make sheet music of arrangements freely available for download (as pdf) as a service to the accordion community. Occasionally I also compose something myself, mostly inspired by some "old masters". Many of my arrangements were initially created for Avanti, a small accordion orchestra in Antwerp (Belgium) I have led for about 30 years and that has (unfortunately) stopped its activities in 2014. Some arrangements are for larger orchestra and were made for Accordeana in Helmond or for the Nederlands Symfonisch Accordeon Orkest. Some of the arrangements for quintet have been made for ARTE, an accordion quintet started in 2013 in the Eindhoven region, or for Kwintissimo, an accordion quintet started in 2016 with players from all over the Netherlands. For some pieces there is a recording by the virtual quintet Professor P.

When I publish an arrangement here I have to guess whether this is legally allowed or at least tolerated by copyright holders. When the composer died 70 years ago there should no longer be any copyright in most countries. In other countries that is 50 years. When there may still be a copyright holder somewhere it is often hard to impossible for me to find out who that might be in order to ask for permission. I am publishing my arrangements of these works with educational intent, so that you can learn how to perform this more recent work well on accordion. You should take note that there is more hope that my publication will be being considered fair use (as educational) than that a public performance of these compositions would be. So don't forget to pay performance fees to the rights holders!

I have a list of arrangements which I cannot publish because either the rights-holder complained (did not consider my publication fair use), or because they are based on another commercially available arrangement.

If you are going to study and perform one of my arrangements (or download it for any other purpose) please send me an email (to debra at win.tue.nl). When I have your email I can let you know about possible small errors I find in an arrangement and when you find an error please also let me know so I can notify everyone else who uses the arrangement. (An invitation to a concert would be appreciated even more, especially if it's not too far away.)

Most arrangements assume that the orchestra has at least 5 players (4 accordion + 1 basson accordion) and if there is percussion it is written to be played by 1 person. Some arrangements assume at least 6 players and some can be done with just 4.

The compositions and the arrangements that I made from Public Domain music are not only available here but also on IMSLP, the Petrucci Music Library of (mostly old) music that is in the public domain. My arrangements and compositions have a Creative Commons Attribution license meaning you can use them as long as you mention my name. You can adapt my arrangements for a different orchestra too as long as you keep mentioning my name as your source.

The compositions are ordered alphabetically by composer (and then title for multiple pieces by the same composer).

Recordings of Public Domain music are available directly from this site. Recordings of still copyrighted music are available through YouTube (so YouTube pays the fees to the rights holders). For each recording it is indicated who plays the music.

Il Postino, L. Bacalov

This arrangement has a nice solo part which is best played either on an accordina, harmonica or bandoneon to create a sound that is more distinct from the other parts.
Download: parts, score, recording by ARTE.

Adagio from Prelude, Adagio and Fugue for organ), J.S. Bach, BWV 564

This slow piece was featured in (the last episode of) the Belgian TV series "Professor T" (or just "T" for short). There are two versions here: one for quintet and one for duo. The quintet version also contains a 4+bass part so a quartet of accordions can play this (but the 4+bass requires melody bass). The piece is very slow and to make it easier to read the duo version is also available using double note values.
Note: the quintet version can be played as quartet by leaving out acc. 4 which yields almost exactly the organ version, or as trio by also combining acc. 2 and 3.
Note: the duo version is for one solo instrument (only right hand) and one accordion with melody bass (convertor or MIII).
Download: parts, score, duo version, duo version with double note values, Musescore source, Musescore duo source, recording by Professor P..

Duo-Concerto in D Minor, part 1, J.S. Bach, BWV 1043

This piece is rather difficult, including the basson accordion part. (The live recording was done by Accordeana in a church, with a lot of echo.) There is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Accordeana.

Duo-Concerto in D Minor, part 2, J.S. Bach, BWV 1043

This piece is best played by 6 or 7 players as parts III and IV divided in an upper and lower sub-part. The score has these combined but in the parts file the separate sub-parts are included as well. It is possible to play this with 5 players but it is easier with at least 6. This wonderful composition needs to be played with a lot of passion. There is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti, CD recording by ARTE.

Erbarme Dich, from the Mattheus Passion, J.S. Bach, BWV 244

This is the most famous part of the Mattheus Passion, arranged in 7 parts (2 solo parts, 4 normal parts plus base).
Download: parts, score, live recording by Accordeana.

Orchestral Suite nr. 3, J.S. Bach, BWV 1068

This is the suite containing the famous Air. It is for accordion orchestra. Especially the 4rd voice is a bit hard to play solo, making it hard to do this with quintet (but not impossible). There is a Timpani part as well, like in the original.
Download: parts, score, Musescore source (5 files in zip).

Air from the Suite for Orchestra, J.S. Bach, BWV 1068

While working on an arrangement of the whole suite I made a version of Air for two accordions, using standard bass in the accompaniment. The second part is best played on a button accordion because of large distances (but it can be done on piano accordion with large hands).
Download: score, Musescore source.

Gavotte from the Suite for Orchestra, J.S. Bach, BWV 1068

This is a movement from the suite, arranged in only 4 voices (3 accordions plus base) many years ago already.
Download: parts, score, recording by Professor-P.

Harpsichord Concerto No.5 in F minor, Arioso (Largo), J.S. Bach, BWV 1056

This slow piece is best played by a quintet, one player for each voice. It is very challenging to combine the solo first voice with nice melody with the "plucked" notes in other voices, and the softer but unique continuo voice (fourth voice).
Download: parts, score.

Partita 2 (Sinfonia) BWV 826, J.S. Bach

This piece has an interesting third part which is difficult for all voices. I got the inspiration for this piece after hearing a performance by the Pawel Smirnov orchestra.
Download: parts, score.

Sheep May Safely Graze, BWV 208, J.S. Bach

This is a straightforward arrangement for quintet. I recorded it in 2005 already.
Download: parts, score, recording by Professor P, made for Avanti.

Violin Concerto (BWV 1042 and 1054), first movement, J.S. Bach

BWV 1042 is a violin concerto in E and BWV 1054 is a piano concerto in D. I made one arrangement out of both (which are almost identical anyway). There is no percussion part.
Download version in D: parts, score live recording, played by accordion orchestra Esmeralda, with violin for the solo. Played in a church with a lot of echo. If you really wish to perform this with a violin solo it is better to this version in E (easier for the violinist): parts, score

Violin Concerto (BWV 1042), third movement, J.S. Bach

Years after arranging the first movement I decided to also make an arrangement of the third movement: Allegro assai. This again is for quintet or orchestra. The first voice is solo.
Download: parts, score, Musescore source.

Concerto for Oboe and Violin (BWV 1060R), J.S. Bach

BWV 1060 is a concerto for 2 harpsichords (and strings) and has been reworked into BWV 1060R for Oboe and Violin, which turned out to be much more popular. I made an arrangement of 1060R where I made it richer not just be adding the continuo part but also by inserting bits from 1060 that were removed in 1060R. The three parts (allegro, adagio, allegro) are placed in separate files as I expect most ensembles to select just one of the three movements. (The second movement is not too difficult, the first and third are quite challenging.) Download: 1: Allegro, parts, 1: Allegro, score, 1: Allegro, Musescore, 2: Adagio, parts, 2: Adagio, score, 2: Adagio, Musescore, 3: Allegro, parts, 3: Allegro, score, 3: Allegro, Musescore.

Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren (BWV 167), J.S. Bach

This is the choral from BWV 167, made famous by Yo-Yo Ma (see and hear it on YouTube). The arrangement is fairly straightforward except for a few alterations and a completely made--up continuo part. The first, fourth and basson parts are fairly difficult, the second and third voice are easy. Good for a mixed orchestra.
Download: parts, score, recording by ARTE.

Wir Eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten (BWV 78), J.S. Bach

This is the second part of Jesu, der du meine Seele. It has been arranged for 6 parts. Watch on YouTube
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Adagio for Strings, S. Barber

Adagio for Strings is a challenge because it is so slow. I made the arrangement in 2004 for Avanti, and now converted it to Musescore, and made a small correction too. Note that this is not yet public domain (until 2032 or 2052 depending on your country's legislation).
Download: parts, score, MuseScore source.

Casta Diva from the opera Norma, V. Bellini

Casta Diva is one of the better-known songs from the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini. The arrangement is for quintet, where for a few measures the third voice needs to also use a few easy bass notes/chords.
Download: parts, score, MuseScore source.

Entr'Acte from Carmen, G. Bizet

The Entr'Acte between Act II and Act III has been made popular by famous accordion player Ksenija Sidorova who renamed this to "Sunrise over Seville". The arrangement is for quintet (plus optional timpani) but can easily also be played by quartet (there is a combined 4+B part). There is also a duo version.
This piece is in the key of Es major and requires a high Bes in the first voice. To make it playable by musicians lacking that high Bes (but having A like most piano accordions do) I have also included a transposition to the key of D major.
Download: parts, score, duo version, parts in D, score in D, duo version in D, Musescore soure, Musescore duo soure, Musescore soure in D, Musescore soure duo in D.

Minuet, G.275, L. Boccherini

This famous minuet has been arranged for quintet and for duo. It is not difficult (but the 1st accordion part of the duo version requires a little bit of melody bass).
Download: parts, score, duo version

Prière à Notre Dame (Gothic Suite), L. BoŽllman

This is part 3 of the Gothic Suite. It is easy but delicate.
Download: parts, score, recording Avanti.

Toccata (Gothic Suite), L. BoŽllman

This is the final part of the Gothic Suite. It is quite difficult, especially the end of the first voice. But when played well it is a fantastic showpiece. There is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score, recording by Avanti.

Sugar (De Fabriek), R. Bos

This is the main theme of the TV series "De Fabriek" that was very popular in the eighties in the Netherlands. It is best suited for a large accordion orchestra (first voice requires at least 3 players, second voice at least 2).
Download: parts, score.

Avé Cello, P. De Bra

This is my first "serious" own composition. It is based on Cello Suite nr. 1 by Bach (BWV 1007) and the Avé Maria by Gounod. Gounod wrote the Avé Maria on a different work by Bach. The Cello Suite is normally for unaccompanied cello, and I have once performed it on the basson accordion (after transposing it down a bit). Here it is transformed to a swinging song for 5 players: 3 accordions, one percussion player which can actually also be done on accordion and then the basson.
Download: parts, score, live recording by ARTE (Creative Commons Attribution license).

Karmen Collage, Y. Derbenko

This is originally a solo piece which I arranged for accordion orchestra. It is quite difficult, but really fun to play.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Humoresque nr. 7 (opus 101), A. Dvorak

This is the best known Humoreque from the series of 8. The arrangement has been transposed to G (original is in Ges) and written in 4/4 instead of 2/4 (4/8) to make it more readable. The arrangement is written for 2 accordions and for 5 accordions. By combining parts from both you can also do 3 or 4 accordions. Download: parts, score, Musescore source duo version, Musescore source duo version.

Spleen, R. Galliano

This is an easy piece (except for the solo), for a small accordion group with solo on accordina.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Tango pour Claude, R. Galliano

This tango has been made "interesting" through a somewhat difficult solo part (inspired by different virtuoso performances found online) and a moderately difficult bass part. The solo requires high notes typically only found on button accordions.
There is also a "joke" inside: at some point someone should stand up and play four measures from Libertango and then be reprimanded by the conductor while the orchestra continues playing. (That is part III-solo.)
Download: parts, score.
There is a nice recording on YouTube, by teachers from the music school in Sieradz, Poland.

String Quartet 5(3), Ph. Glass

The third movement of Philip Glass' 5th string quartet is a good opportunity to become acquainted with minimal music and to learn to appreciate this style. I made an arrangement for accordion quintet (a quintet is better suited for this string quartet because of the range of the instruments).
Download: parts, score.

Holberg Suite (1,2,5), E. Grieg

The whole Holberg Suite is a bit long for a typical varied concert. This arrangement contains 3 from the 5 parts. The arrangement can be played with 5 or 6 musicians. It is easier with 6 but it can be done with 5 with some additional difficulty.
Download: parts, score.

The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, G.F. Handel

This famous part from the Oratorium Solomon by Handel is very well suited for an accordion orchestra, but it can be done with a quintet and the score indicates how to do so. The score and parts also contain lots of hints on how to play the piece (like which notes to make shorter and which longer). The second and third voice have been indicated as a bit louder than the other voices, not because they should sound louder but because they use one reed whereas all other voices play on two reeds. (Accordion players tend to forget to compensate for the number of reeds they play.) As with the original there is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score

Concerto Grosso op. 6 nr. 12 (2), G.F. Handel

This is a very nice slow piece. The variation in the second voice and the whole fourth voice (basso continuo) are entirely made up by me. There is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score

Ole Guapa, A. Malando

This famous tango was revived by Danny Malando's orchestra. The arrangement for accordion orchestra is based on Danny Malando's interpretation. This is moderately difficult.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Accordeana.

Oboe Concerto (2), A. Marcello

This adagio from Alessandro Marcello requires a solo first voice and a solo continuo (fifth) voice. It is well suited for a sextet. A combined second+third voice is included to make it suitable for a quintet. There is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Cent Mille Chansons, E. Marnay & M. Magne

Rogier van Otterloo created an orchestral version of this popular song. The accordion orchestra (or quintet) version is an arrangement of that.
Download: parts, score.

Meditation (from Thaïs), J. Massenet

This most well-known part from Thaïs has been arranged for quintet plus optional timpani. It is best if the second voice has a low E, but the arrangement shows how the third voice can compensate for that. There are some basses in the third voice (can only be done on the keyboard of very large button accordions). The first voice corresponds to the violin and second and third are harp parts. Be careful to not overpower the first voice.
Download: parts, score, duo version, Musescore source, Musescore duo source.

Gabriel's Oboe, E. Morricone

This beautiful piece from the soundtrack of the movie The Mission requires almost no technical skill but requires the utmost in musical talent to make it sound perfect. The arrangement is for quintet. There is a drums part but the arrangement can be played without drums as well.
Download: parts, score, recording by ARTE.

Haffner Serenade, W.A. Mozart

This small piece by Mozart is a "minor" version of a popular song in Belgium and the Netherlands, for "Sinterklaas". It is quite easy and has no percussion part.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Symphony nr 25 (kv183), W.A. Mozart

This is a challenging piece with large jumps and a lot of repetitive notes, with and without bellows shake. There is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Turks Fruit (Turkish Delight), Rogier van Otterloo

This is a rare arrangement I made for solo accordion. It is a combination of two songs from the Dutch movie "Turks Fruit", music by the brilliant dutch composer Rogier van Otterloo. This arrangement is an excellent exercise for the left hand (lots of combined chords). It does not require an instrument with very large range, but it does require fairly large bellows.
Download: score, recording by myself.

Kanon, Johann Pachelbel

This is the famous Kanon by Pachelbel, arranged for quintet. For the best sound the first three parts should be played with different types of accordion in order to have some variation in timbre. There is a separate fourth+bass pdf to make it possible for a quartet to play this.
Download: parts, score, fourth plus bass, Musescore source.

Parisian Waltz, Yuri Peshkov

This is a fast waltz, French style despite having a Russian composer. Not a common tune but it sticks in your head almost immediately. Only requires accordions with 41 notes. Standard quintet with 4 accordions plus bass accordion, or a quartet with 4 accordions (by combining the 4th+bass parts).
This is still work in progress: as we rehearse it we will refine dynamics and choice of registers.
Download: score, parts.

Chiquilin de Bachin, Astor Piazzolla

This is a relatively easy piece, but needs to be played freely and dynamically or otherwise it may sound boring.
Download: parts, score.

Milonga del Angel, Astor Piazzolla

The arrangement of this famous tango is best played by a small orchestra that has some button accordion(s) to go low enough and 45 note accordions to go high enough.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Primavera Portena, Astor Piazzolla

The arrangement of this famous tango is best played by a small orchestra that has some button accordion(s) to go low enough, and 45 note accordions to go high enough.
parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

La Danza, Gioachino Rossini / Ottorino Respighi

La Danza is a famous tarantella by Rossini. Respighi made a version for orchestra as part of "La Boutique Fantastique". The arrangement is for large accordion orchestra. (There are 8 accordion parts, two keyboard/electronium parts, base and drums, including tambourine, triangle, castanets, timpani.)
Download: parts, score.

Danse Macabre, C. Saint-Saëns

This very difficult piece is one of the best known by Saint-Saëns. It requires using either standard or melody basses on occasion. Other arrangements for accordion orchestra exist. This arrangement tries to stay as close to the original as possible. There are two versions: one with 4 parts + basson + drums and one with 5 parts + basson + drums.
Download: quintet parts, full quintet score, sextet parts, full sextet score, live (sextet) recording by Avanti.

Le Cygne (The Swan), from Carnaval des Animaux, C. Saint-Saëns

This is a not so difficult well-known piece by Saint-Saëns. To play it well you need some larger accordions (second voice really requires high B but it's better to have the even higher E, and to play the third voice well you need a large button accordion.
I also made a duo version which obviously does not include all the notes that are in the quintet version, but it is playable and should be fine if the bass side does not overpower the treble side.
Download: parts, score, MuseScore source, duo version, MuseScore source duo.

Arietta, A. Skulte

This is an arrangement of the piano solo composition by Adolfs Skulte. Download: parts, score, recording by ARTE.

Waltz (from the Snowstorm Suite), G. Sviridov

This is a fast waltz, moderately difficult. Bits in the parts written between parentheses indicate something played by a different voice and should be skipped.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Accordeana.

Seagate Overture, J. Swearingen

This piece is originally for wind instruments (and percussion). But with clever use of registers an interesting range of sounds can be obtained from accordions as well. This is moderately difficult.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Valse from Serenade for String Orchestra, Peter Tchaikovsky

This part from the Serenade for String Orchestra is a bit unusual as it has melodies in all voices, including the fourth voice which is normally mostly chords.
Download: parts, score.

Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Peter Tchaikovsky, opus 66a

Sleeping Beauty is a ballet (opus 66) from which the music forms a suite (opus 66a) which contains a famous waltz. Although the arrangement can be played with a quintet it is better suited for accordion orchestra (plus timpani).
Note: I know there are parallel quints in the accompaniment, but these are present in the original as well.
Download: parts, score, Musescore source.

Bluesette, J. (Toots) Thielemans

This seemingly easy piece is actually difficult to play right, as a jazz waltz, not a regular waltz. The solo can be played on accordina or harmonica.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.

Old Friend, J. (Toots) Thielemans

This easy piece has a solo for accordina or harmonica.
I have also created a version for solo plus one accordion.
Download: score for duo, parts, score, recording by ARTE. The parts also include a 4+base score so that it can be played by a quartet.

Concerto RV 440(1), A. Vivaldi

This "Concerto per Flauto, Archi e Cembalo" has a very nice and not too difficult first movement. It has been arranged for quintet (or larger orchestra), and is best played using a bass accordion with register switches (although it can be done without registers). Download: parts, score, Musescore source.

Concerto RV 522(1), A. Vivaldi

This piece with some additions made by Bach and some by myself, has been arranged for larger orchestra, with 8 parts (including bass). The parts Ia and Ib are intended to be solo (but that is not mandatory). In all parts the longer rests have been filled in with (small) notes that come from either the Ia or Ib part. The bass also exists without these small notes.
Download: parts, score. There is no percussion part and no percussion should be used.

Largo from Lute Concerto RV 93(2), A. Vivaldi

This easy piece has to be played with a lot of musical feeling.
Download: parts, score

Toccata (Symphony nr. 5, opus 42 nr 1), C. Widor

This famous organ piece is still difficult even when divided over 5 accordions. The basson part is best played on a button basson accordion. The arrangement is based on several organ publications, each containing different errors. So it took some effort to create an arrangement without errors. There is no percussion part.
Download: parts, score, live recording by Avanti.