Composing & Performing Contemporary Music for Percussion

16 Apr

Percussion students, absorbed with learning the techniques of their individual instruments, can easily be unaware of the causes of the frustrations they experience when dealing with multi-percussion set-ups in ensemble situations. Composers and composition students who normally study,the traditional orchestral instruments, are often uninformed about percussion, and many conductors, themselves pianists or violinists, have very little knowledge of percussion. This lecture was prepared to help everyone engaged in ensemble performance better understand a percussionists craft.

Percussion instruments are unique in their number, diverse sounds, tuning, physical characteristics and logistical requirements. This lecture/demonstration for percussionists, composers and conductors, is intended to clarify some of the issues that profoundly affect the performance of contemporary music which relies heavily on percussion. Some of these issues are scoring, notation, orchestration, instrumental techniques, logistics, time and space. Special attention will be given to the ambiguous nature – and enormous potential – of non- pitched percussion.

The growth in the importance of percussion during the 20th and 21st centuries will also be explored by examining the contributions of  performers such as the Nexus and Kroumata ensembles and composers such as Milhaud-” La Creation Du Monde”, Varese-” Ionisation”, Cage-”Quartet for Percussion: Instruments unspecified”, “4′33′ “, Reich-”Music for Pieces of Wood”,and Takemitsu-”From me flows what you call Time”, are some of the works that will be reviewed.

duration: 1 1/2 hours

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Posted by on April 16, 2010 in Clinics


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