A Journey to Mars

For Symphony Orchestra

Uploaded on Jun 28, 2016

Some of you may know that I'm approaching 800 followers, for which I am incredibly grateful.

To demonstrate my gratitude, I am going to purchase a one-month pro subscription for one of my followers.

To be eligible for this gift, you must:
follow me before I reach 800 (any followers after 800 will be ineligible),
currently be a non-pro user,
have at least three original compositions on your profile,
have less than 300 followers,
and you MUST comment on my 800 follower special when I release it.
Failure to comply with any of these terms will disqualify you from the sweepstakes.

The gift will be purchased at my discretion within four weeks of posting the celebratory special.

Every time I get a new 100 followers, I will repeat this process, and when I reach 1000, I will give away an entire YEAR of pro! So even if you can't follow me before I reach 800, you will have more opportunities in the future! =)


Special thanks to Devon Bollin for the Audio (that he made last year, and just recently rediscovered). This composition depicts a journey to our next-door neighbor, Mars. To listen to a better version, go to https://youtu.be/LxKAIxmViPY OR Select the audio sources and listen to the custom track. =)

The piece starts with a French Horn solo, presenting the main theme in a slow, quiet way, representing the quiet anticipation of the rocket's crew as they prepare for takeoff. The melody is then handed to the strings who play an augmented rhythm of the main theme. The music then takes a lighter feel as the Clarinet and the Flute play the conclusion to the theme. From there, the tempo increases as the astronauts arrive at the launch site. As the astronauts ride the elevator to their module at the top of the rocket, the piece takes a driving feeling as the Viola plays a steady, repeating low C, representing the steady progression of the countdown to liftoff. As the main theme appears again, the rocket begins its launch. When the orchestra comes in together, the famous words, "We have liftoff" are proclaimed to all present. The rocket continues its push into space. The piece reaches its climax when the rocket finally makes it into space and ejects the parts no longer needed for the trip. Now in space, The low strings play a pattern that is mirrored by the Clarinet as the crew looks down on the home that they are leaving behind.

The music takes a mysterious turn as the crew experiences the wonder of space. The Violins play harmonics, giving the texture an ethereal, mysterious sound. A solo Flute plays a pattern that melts into the background as the Horn and Oboe pass off a fragmentation of the main theme.

The mood shifts from slightly melancholy to humorous as the Winds take over the show. The chord progression mirrors the chord progression of the main theme, just with a much less driving feel. This represents the crew's responsibilities lightening, giving them more time to goof off. As the crew nears Mars, the music turns serious again, as the Horn and Clarinet play a pattern that was played earlier in the piece.

The Trumpet belts out a solo that mirrors the Horn solo in the beginning, as "the Red Planet" comes into view. However, the crew must prepare for their landing, so the music regains the driving feel. As the crew initiates their final approach, one of the astronauts cracks a joke, leading to a variation of the earlier lighthearted section, played by the Oboe and Piccolo. The moment of joviality doesn't last long, as the module begins its descent to the planet. The music reaches its highest point as the crew steps out onto the planet's surface and make history.

"If you get a good recording (of this piece) it would definitely get you work - there's no doubt" - Keith Lay, Director of Musical Industry Studies at Full Sail University.

This piece was selected as one of fifteen finalists in the National Young Composers Competition. It was also selected as the first place winner for the Epic Composers Competition.

A Journey to Mars Elliot Butler NYCC National Young Composers Challenge Finalist Orchestra Nasa Heroic Chuck Norris is the man on the mars

Pages 28
Duration 04:37
Measures 121
Key signature natural
Parts 18
Part names Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Trumpet, Tuba, Trombone, Timpani, Percussion(3), Strings(5)
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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Your comment


Stunning! I feel like that could be a movie soundtrack!
Excellent as always. Your scores always impress.
I just can't listen to this enough. Thanks so much for writing it! Keep up the good work! God Bless, C.E.J.
Hello~ I just want to say that this sounds beautiful, and I absolutely love it. I really do want to play it with my high school band (concert band); would that be alright with you? And, if that is alright, the only instruments we don't have are the stringed instruments, what would you suggest we do, in that case?
There is a really solid concert band arrangement of it, which you can find here: https://musescore.com/bmmusic/a-journey-to-mars- If you do play it, please make sure I get all credits as the composer, and please make sure the arrangers get credit as well. In addition, I would recommend asking the arranger permission as well, just make sure he knows you have my permission as composer when you do so. finally, I would love to hear a performance audio of it, if that's manageable on your end! I'm sure Bart would also enjoy hearing a recording himself. Thanks for asking! Best of luck!
Would you be okay if I converted this into 8-bit and posted it to youtube? I'll give you full credit.
Yes, that would be fine. Please leave a link either on the video or in the description to my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZiU_2Jn8HlxtsZGuNngePQ?
I uploaded it if you would like to check it out: https://youtu.be/wY08GKcLcQs
Wow I think I found my match for composition. Dude this is AMAZING! How long did it take you and where did you get your inspiration?
Thank you so much! I frankly do not remember how long it took me to write this, but I got my inspiration from imagining what it would be like to go to Mars, hence the title. =D
Excuse me while I get in my ship ok there we go!! It is rare that you find a piece of music like this thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much! Sorry for the late reply! :O
Wow, this is completely awesome! It's also an education for me - I had no idea you could do so much with a relatively simple program such as Musescore, especially the amazing dynamics. Definitely inspiring for me! Let me know when this winds up in a movie soundtrack somewhere!
Thank you! The sound you hear is actually a rendering from Sibelius, not from MuseScore, though MuseScore can certainly do some amazing things! =) I don't think this one will end up in a movie, but I am getting my Drama for Orchestra No. 6 performed by the University of Missouri St. Louis Orchestra, which is almost as good! ;) Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!
its sure does sound like a journey to mars!
This is all gravy baby :) it means good job btw
Pretty sure I've listened to this piece of yours before, but I was too lazy to scroll through the comments to see if I've already commented. So if I have, apologies for commenting twice, but this is such a good piece that it totally merits it! :) And if I haven't commented before, then I'm telling you now - this piece (and all of your other pieces, really) is freaking spectacular, and you are freaking spectacular, so never stop composing and being awesome!! :3
Thank you lol! I don't think you have! =) I really appreciate your kind words! thank you so much! =)
This is incredible! If only I could write music like this :/ I like the stories you write for your pieces :P
Thank you! ...although I should say that even though your music is of a different kind than mine, it is arguably better! You have far too few followers. Did you read the description of this piece?
Good Grief (Charlie Brown)! I love it! I really enjoy your works!
This is truly amazing, and I would to know if in can make an orchestrion of this.
Outstanding work, I really enjoyed your music. Luciano
Haha, well you compose better so wish granted! =D
Great stuff, Elliot. I'm sure my orchestra would love to play this sometime. It would make a great opener for a concert. If we do, I'll let you know beforehand and check you are happy, and of course you will get the composer credit, send you a copy of the programme, or even a recording if we can manage it.
Thank you so much! And yes, I would gladly let you perform it if you can manage to record it. In fact, any of my orchestral pieces would be available for you to perform if you were able to record it. Thanks! =D
Thanks Elliot. I'll see what I can do
Let me know if you need me to create the full score with parts for you. I'd be happy to do that! =)
Reminds me of the music from "Independence Day". Very superb piece. At other times it had a "Lord of the Rings" feel.
Really beautiful. I love how you transitioned from each moment.
Amazing bro, i'll give this to my audio director, at least there is someone who doesn't use synthesizes...….LOL that's cool, I like the middle and ending part. my audio director will probably publish this piece of music. P.S he does not like modern music
Thank you! When you say 'publish' what does that mean?
WOW! Very good! love it!!!! btw... can i arrange this to a concert band? :-)
hi could i possibly arrange for brass band please
Sure! Please make sure I get credit as composer for the piece, if you upload it, I ask that you provide credit and a link to the original score in your description, and finally, if you perform it, just give credit to me as composer. That's all! I'm flattered you want to arrange it! =)
here you gohttps://musescore.com/user/164168/scores/5124024#comment-4942430
This is absolutely wonderful. I especially love the spots with the French Horn solos :)
What was the soundfont you used? I can never find a Orchestral soundfont that is perfect, but it seems like you have!