Category Archives: Clinics

Percussion Ensemble Workshop and Concert or Master class

The art of ensemble playing consists of interpretation, style, orchestration, and techniques of playing and listening. Examining these subjects in rehearsal develops skills that greatly improve the quality and experience of music for the players and their audiences. Ensemble playing is one of the greatest tools of the percussive arts.

This workshop and concert or master class is intended for high school, university – college student ensembles and presents ideas developed during more than thirty years of conducting and performing ensemble music at university and professional levels.

Scores and parts will be provided in advance according to skill level and may include, but not be limited to:

Repertoire will be chosen in advance by consultations with the ensemble director. It is desirable that compositions by student composers be given priority and/or repertoire presently being rehearsed by the students. Also music by: John Cage: Trio, Quartet for Percussion, instruments unspecified, Credo in US, Forever and Sunsmell and First Construction in Metal, Henry Cowell’s Pulse, Lou Harrison Double Music and Suite for Percusion, Edgard Varese Ionization, Takemitsu Rain Tree, Bob Becker Mudra, Bruce Mather Clos d’Audinac and Robin Engelman’s Remembrance and arrangements of Takemitsu songs, etc.


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Posted by on November 3, 2008 in Clinics


The Early Percussion Music of John Cage A Lecture/workshop

After 1943, Cage wrote few works for percussion alone, but in 1986 he said, “I remain a percussion composer whether I write for percusion or not. That is, my work is never based, structurally on frequency, but rather on duration considerations.”

Perhaps more than any other composer, John Cage can be considered the father of the western percussion ensemble. His early percussion works form an essential core repertoire for percussionists and remain fresh and compelling today. The events and ideas that inspired his involvement in percussion in 1935 became central to Cage’s entire philosophy of life and music.

The instruments he chose, the forms and structures he devised, the people he wrote for and the concepts he arrived at, continue to influence composers and performers.

This lecture/workshop is based on personal conversations with the composer and thirty years experience performing and conducting his works, occasionally under his supervision.

If teachers and students wish to perform, they may prepare works from the following: Quartet for Percussion – instruments unspecified – any movement, Trio for Percussion, First Construction in Metal, Second Construction in Metal, Double Music, Credo in US for percussion Quartet, Forever and Sunsmell for Voice and Percussion Duo, Imaginary Landscape Nos. 2 and 3, and Amores.

1:1/2 hrs. Robin Engelman

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Posted by on November 3, 2008 in Clinics, General Music, Lectures