The Elephant by Saint-Saëns arranged by Zoë Booth for four or more flutes/flute choir


From 'Carnival of the Animals!'

The French composer Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was a childhood prodigy as a pianist and composer, entering the Paris Conservatoire at only the age of ten. His talent for music was said to have been dazzling; Liszt, famed for his own considerable talent, is thought to have considered Saint-Säens the world’s greatest organist.

‘The Elephant’ is a humorous piece by Saint-Saëns’ from ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ suite, originally written for double bass accompanied by piano. This piece can be played with four players alone, although a larger ensemble will enjoy the opportunity to showcase the alto and bass. This tune should not be played too gracefully – to depict the elephant both the main line and the accompanying crotchets should be definite and heavy, with any levity being contributed by the slurred triplets shared across the flute choir in the second half.

2-3 mins approx

Elementary to intermediate



One score and the following separate parts:

Flute 1

Flute 2

Flute 3

Flute 4

Alto Flute (optional)

Bass Flute (optional)

Bb Clarinet (optional)


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