Frederick Neil Innes
The Sea-Shells Waltz (1880):

Arranged by Chris Buckholtz

Trombone and piano

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2019

Score and solo part


Borne from some friendly competition with the great cornetist, Jules Levy, Frederick Neil Innes wrote The Sea-Shells Waltz to prove that the trombone could play anything that could be played on the cornet. It prominently featured a nearly minute and a half long cadenza. Originally written for trombone and concert band, Chris Buckholz arranged this version for trombone with piano accompaniment.

The Innes Sea-Shells Waltz will likely remind many of the music of Arthur Pryor. It features a long introduction that begins with the accompaniment and ends with a short trombone cadenza. The main theme is a simple, diatonic, waltz melody in F major that is repeated after piano interludes. Compared to many Pryor solos such as the Blue Bells of Scotland or Thoughts of Love, The Sea-Shells Waltz will likely seem more tame overall. While it spans a range from E to c², most of it rarely exceeds g¹. Even the main cadenza today seems fairly typical of what one might expect to find in one of these solos.

Frederick Neil Innes’s Sea-Shells Waltz might best serve the student looking to explore this genre of trombone solos who may still be developing the technical capacity necessary to perform them. While we should certainly appreciate it for its historical significance and influence, it is also a lovely piece that will likely be appreciated by a wide variety of audiences.

Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published June 5, 2020