top of page

Considered a major contribution to the develop of Czech music, The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana is a comic opera in three acts that premiered, in its final version, in 1870; having not been a great success when the original two-act version premiered at the Provisional Theatre, Prague on 30 May 1866. The opera was part of Smetana’s aim to create a native Czech music after the conductor Johann von Herbeck commented that Czechs were incapable of making music of their own. Whilst he avoided the direct use of folksongs, Smetana did use numerous traditional Bohemian dance forms, such as the furiant and the polka, leading to music that was Czech in spirit.


'Sold Bride', a more accurate translation of the original Czech title (Prodaná nevěsta), tells the story of two lovers (Mařenka and Jenik) who want to marry despite Mařenka’s father’s obligations for his daughter to marry the son of a wealthy landowner, Micha. Scheming, condition proposals and secret identities leads to a happy ending.


The polka was not in the original 1866 version. A revision in October 1866 saw the addition of a gypsy dance near the start of act 2. But by the next performance in January 1869, this had been replaced by a polka. In June 1869, a new polka replaced the January version’s (as well as being moved to the end of act 1) and this is the one that we know and love today.


This arrangement is for British-style brass band, with *alternative parts for horns in F and bass-clef lower brass.



Soprano Cornet Eb

Solo Cornet Bb

Repiano Cornet Bb

2nd Cornet Bb

3rd Cornet Bb

Flugel Horn Bb

Solo Horn Eb*

1st Horn Eb*

2nd Horn Eb*

1st Baritone Bb*

2nd Baritone Bb*

1st Trombone Bb*

2nd Trombone Bb*

Bass Trombone

Euphonium Bb*

Bass Eb*

Bass Bb*


Percussion (Triangle, Cymbal(s) & Bass Drum)



Polka from 'The Bartered Bride' (Brass Band) Smetana arr. Rob Bushnell

    bottom of page