Handel's Water Music consists of 22 pieces divided into 3 suites which Handel wrote for King George I for a Royal Concert on the River Thames, and the Water Music has been played at many other Royal occasions since then. This particular piece is one of the most famous, and is one of two Hornpipes in the Water Music. It is the 12th movement overall and included in the 2nd Suite in D major. The Hornpipe is joyous in nature with some sections sounding like fanfares, so it is well suited for happy celebratory occasions such as sporting events, shows, weddings and other church services. This Hornpipe is also a good example of the use of syncopation by a Baroque composer.
Unusually the violins are split into 3 sections. As was the custom in the Baroque period, Handel wrote a single bass part called the Basso Continuo which would be played by Cellos and Basses (if available) and also accompanied by a Harpsichordist expanding the figured bass notation. For simplicity we have excluded both the figured bass and any Harpsichord from the audio files, which would be hard to hear in any case. The parts we have included are: Oboe 1, Oboe 2, Bassoon, Horn 1, Horn 2, Trumpet 1, Trumpet 2, Violins 1, Violins 2, Violins 3, Violas and Cellos/Basses. Here is the Conductor's Full Score and also MIDI and MP3 versions for download. We have not included the optional repeats in the audio versions. Pianists may be interested in our Piano Arrangement of this piece, and other instrumentalists should check our arrangement for Solo Instrument and Piano.