Posted in Project 1: Percussion solos

Example 1: Fandango for Snare Drum

Note: First, please reference my research on snare drum’s dance-like character through history and the fandango dance, both relevant for my first example, where I also wrote about flamenco and Ravel’s bolero.

The first project is about composing four contrasting solo short pieces, between 8 and 16 bars, to show different character of different indefinite-pitched percussion instruments. For my first example, despite the usual military association of the snare drum, I decided to explore its dance-like feeling. The form I chose is fandango in the courtly style, which was used in classical music, as noted in my research.


Below is the audio of the piece:

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Posted in Project 1: Percussion solos

Example 2: Le petit jeu d’eau for Temple Blocks

Note: Before you take a look at this example, please read my two-part research. In the first part, I write about temple blocks and the forms of jeux d’eau, which Liszt and Ravel used. More importantly, read about the inspiration for my structure in part two, which describes the Chinese composition Three Variations of Yang Guan Pass and moto-perpetuo in Corelli’s allegro movements of his violin sonatas.   



You can listen to it below:

As I’ve mentioned in the research, I structured this example in two parts. I am not going to analyze it as AB form, since the first Andante section is, more of an introduction for the main Allegro moderato section.

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Posted in Project 1: Percussion solos

Example 3: Short Kathak Scene in Jhaptaal for Finger Cymbals

Note: Before you take a look at the 3rd solo percussion example I have composed, please refer first to the research I have done which includes the finger cymbals and Middle Eastern rhythms, Northern Indian taal system, also the laykari in tabla solo recital, and a description of kathak performance. I am going to use a lot of the terminology, which I explained in these blog posts. Without understanding them, my presentation might end up being confusing.

A typical Kathak dance performance, as I have described, has a lot of sections. Of course, it’s a difficult and a bit unnecessary task for now, to write a piece for a single indefinite-pitched percussion instrument that would imitate the whole event. However, the research is useful, since I plan to write a full composition in future, by which I will try to evoke the complete occasion. So, this example is really just a short scene, a little taste and a small experiment of the form. Here is my example:

Short Kathak Scene.png

You can listen to it below:

Continue reading “Example 3: Short Kathak Scene in Jhaptaal for Finger Cymbals”

Posted in Project 1: Percussion solos

Example 4: Short Ote’a Scene for Bass Drum

Note: Before you look at my final project example, you can read my two-part research. The first part is about the Tahitian dance forms, ote’a and the percussion ensembles, and the second about bass drum.

For the final example of Project 1, initially I wanted to do a theme and variations piece. However, I came across the Tahitian drum dance – Ote’a, accompanied by the percussion band, which to me had a similar quality to my initial idea. The band consists of several drums – large pahu that plays the basic beats, fa’atete that plays the subdivisions of the beat, and the to’ere that plays pehe. Pehe are the basic rhythmic patterns of music, repeated or combined to create larger forms. Contrary to fandango, this time I wanted to use the dance to show military characteristics of the bass drum. Although there is very little information about the origins of the dance, some websites, like tahititourisme, do mention that ote’a may have been “originally a somewhat military dance.

Here is the score:


You can listen to it below:

Continue reading “Example 4: Short Ote’a Scene for Bass Drum”