A Few Seconds

Powers, Anthony

About the work

‘A Few Seconds’ was commisioned by Phil Cashian and COMA for their Open Score project. This excellent ongoing project makes a composer think about the essentials of music in an entirely new way. The challenge to write for an unspecified (and thus unknown and potentially ever-changing) group of players of any size was a fascinating one, rather like making a drawing that can then be coloured in many different ways. Four groupings of players are involved, consisting of any available instruments with suitable ranges.

The title can be understood in a number of ways: the music is made mainly from the interval of a major second, the material (some of it in conventional notation, some relatively free and variable) re-works music from various moments in other pieces of mine, and the episodes that make up piece are all short – though admittedly lasting rather more than a few seconds.

The first performance of ‘A Few Seconds’ was given by COMA London, conducted by Gregory Rose, at the Spitalfields Festival, London, on 12 June 2008.

Technical notes

In the free sections there should be continuous sound, though each individual player makes the 2 – 5 second pause as indicated. The piano part is obligatory.


Open Score 2007 Commissioned by Phil Cashian, artistic director of Open Score 2007


This work is available as a digital download. Upon purchase, you will receive a link to download PDF files and a licence that will entitle you to legally print copies of the sheet music. Nothing will be posted to you. For more information see our terms and conditions page.


score & parts


Sample score



4m 30s




Flexible Ensemble with Keyboard


4 groups consisting of any available melody instruments with suitable ranges. Ideally each group will contain similar numbers and a mix of woodwind, brass and strings. Piano 2 solo parts (any instrument)
Skip to content