Casbah of Tetouan, A Tone Poem for Brass Quintet

by Kerry Turner

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The Casbah of Tetouan

The Casbah of Tetouan is a tone poem for Brass Quintet composed by Kerry Turner in an arrangement for 5 horns for the American Horn Quartet. It is 12 minutes of spectacular virtuostic brass writing that leaves every audience in awe. Mr Turner is a master at bringing out the best of the brass quintet’s myriad capabilities, utilising all the different timbres of these versatile instruments.

The Casbah of Tetouan was conceived during a visit to Morocco in the summer of 1988. The composer offers the following anecdote:

A Visit to the Casbah of Tetouan

“As we crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and first laid eyes on the North African coast, I knew we were in store for an adventure! The city of Tetouan was our destination. We soon stood before its main gates. The many exotic new sights overran our senses as we entered the city, complementing the wild sounds and smells of the bustling ancient city. After proceeding only a few feet past hobbled live chickens, we soon became completely immersed in the endless, tiny alleys of the Casbah.


The Casbah was a labyrinth of tunnels and passageways, lined with vendors and shops the size of walk-in closets. Anything was for sale, including copperware, sacks of spices and grains, and silk. Street butchers displayed slaughtered lambs, goats and pigs, and a snake charmer with his cobra unnerved the unwary passerby. Things began to swim before my eyes somewhere around the urine-treated leather goods .

Feeling Ill

After I informed the guide that I was ill, a young boy escorted me to a quiet place. The boy knew every secret passage and shortcut in the Casbah. He led me through even tinier streets and tunnels, across nomad camps, and even through a kitchen! We sailed through the back door of a mosque, and out the other side. Finally we entered a large, dark and cool house, which seemed to be some sort of palace. The boy led me to a back room and laid me down upon a bed of large pillows. I passed out.


I awoke thoroughly disoriented. The first things I saw were six elaborately cloaked elderly men, wildly discussing in Arabic what possibly was wrong with me, I heard exotic music and aromatic food assailed my senses. After closer observation I discovered I was in a fancy restaurant, being entertained by a belly dancer. Somehow my wife and brother found me and we resumed our inspection of Tetouan. I still felt lightheaded and rather doped by the “therapeutic” tea; my impressions of the city were somewhat hallucinogenic.”

– Kerry Turner

Additional information

Weight 205 g
Dimensions 626546306 × 21 × ,5 cm



Phoenix Music Publications


Kerry Turner




A4, Parts A3


Brass Quintet


Brass Quintet

Pages in Score






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