Masonic Funeral Music KV 477

by W. A. Mozart (1756–1791)

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Instrument(s): Orchestra: Basset Horn, Clarinet, Oboes, Horns, Violins, Viola, 'Cello Style: Classical
  Arranger(s): n/a
Opus: KV 477 Date of composition: 1785
Source: Werner Icking Archive Copyright: Public Domain    CC: No rights reserved
Last updated: 2004/Oct/31. View change history Music ID Number: Mutopia-2004/10/31-448
Typeset using: LilyPond, version 2.4.2  

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Before submitting this score to Mutopia, I asked two fans of Mozart, Andrea Hubrich and Dennis Pajot, to provide some information about this piece. Dennis wrote a survey of the actual knowledge we have about KV 477, while Andrea provided a set of quotations taken from music textbooks which are somehow related to the Masonic Funeral Music. You can read these articles at the following links:

I thank both Andrea and Dennis a lot!

As Dennis explains thoroughly in his article, it is likely there existed three versions of this score, of which only the last survives. The first version ("A") was scored for two male choirs and orchestra, the second one ("B") for a single orchestra with two oboi, one clarinet, one basset horn, two horns and strings. The last version ("C") added two basset horns and one double bassoon to "B".

This edition of the score is based on the score Dr. Cornelius C. Noack submitted to the Werner Icking Archive ( in remembrance of Daniel Taupin (1936-2003), the creator of MusiXTeX. This score is identical to version "C" except that the additional parts are removed (i.e. the two basset horns and the double bassoon). In this way this edition tries to mimic the score of version "B".

The question whether this attempt does really produce a faithful version of score "B" or not must be carefully examined. We have no proof that Mozart turned score "B" into "C" by simply adding the three parts and leaving the rest unchanged. If we take other examples where Mozart re-scored his own composition for a larger orchestra, we can find cases where he simply added new parts and others where he changed the existing parts as well. Here are two notable examples:

  1. To the first case belongs Piano Concert KV 459 (11th December, 1784), for whom Mozart added two trumpets and kettledrums "ad libitum" six years later. These additional parts are lost, but, for what I know, no changes seems to have been made on the other parts.
  2. The famous Symphony KV 550 in G minor (25th July, 1788) was originally scored for 1 Flute, 2 Oboi, 2 Bassoons, 2 Horns and strings. When Mozart re-scored it some time later adding 2 Clarinets, he changed the oboi parts as well. For instance, in the Menuetto he shifted the passage in bars 36-39 from the oboi to the clarinets.

Maurizio Tomasi, May 2004.

Maintainer: Maurizio Tomasi zio_tom78 (at)

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