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Bydlo (Pictures at an Exhibition) | Gary Kettel


Bydlo means ox-cart, and the original Mussorgsky cart was lumbering with huge wheels.

Players: 6
Duration: 2′ 50″
Difficulty: Challenging
Audio Sample: Not yet available
Sample Score: Score


An innovative new arrangement of a classic piece for Percussion ensemble.
Mussorgsky was good friends with the painter Vladimir Hartmann. Who tragically died at the peak of his career, aged just thirty-nine. The loss of not just a close friend but an artistic inspiration had a deep effect on Mussorgsky. By way of a tribute to Hartmann, he composed a set of piano pieces: Pictures at an Exhibition, inspired by an exhibition of the artist’s work, which Mussorgsky had visited after his friend’s death.
The suite consists of musical depictions of 10 of Hartmann’s paintings, interspersed with a recurring ‘Promenade’ theme, or intermezzo that represents a visitor—in this case, the composer himself—strolling through the exhibition. Mussorgsky acknowledged in one of his letters, that the powerful nature of the intermezzi reflect his own large physique!
Bydlo mean ‘ox-cart’ and the original Mussorgsky cart was large and lumbering with huge wheels. This piece of music seems to summon the spirit of peasant workers as it depicts the cart’s journey.


Percussion 1: Tubular Bells, 4 Tom-toms
Percussion 2: Marimba
Percussion 3: Vibraphone, 4 Tom-toms
Percussion 4: Marimba
Percussion 5: Bass Drum

ISMN: 979-0-708127-31-4

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