The Modern Percussion Revolution: Journeys of the Progressive Artist (Routledge Research in Music)

The Modern Percussion Revolution: Journeys of the Progressive Artist (Routledge Research in Music)

Language: English

Pages: 320


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

More than eighty years have passed since Edgard Varèse’s catalytic work for percussion ensemble, Ionisation, was heard in its New York premiere. A flurry of pieces for this new medium dawned soon after, challenging the established truths and preferences of the European musical tradition while setting the stage for percussion to become one of the most significant musical advances of the twentieth century. This 'revolution', as John Cage termed it, was a quintessentially modernist movement - an exploration of previously undiscovered sounds, forms, textures, and styles. However, as percussion music has progressed and become woven into the fabric of Western musical culture, several divergent paths, comprised of various traditions and a multiplicity of aesthetic sensibilities, have since emerged for the percussionist to pursue.

This edited collection highlights the progressive developments that continue to investigate uncharted musical grounds. Using historical studies, philosophical insights, analyses of performance practice, and anecdotal reflections authored by some of today's most engaged performers, composers, and scholars, this book aims to illuminate the unique destinations found in the artistic journey of the modern percussionist.


















Cincinnati,” 395. 46. John Luther Adams, Winter Music: Composing the North (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2004), xxii. 47. Ibid., 161. 3 At Loose Ends with Anticommunication 1 Allen Otte There’s a little piece dedicated to Herbert Brün for his 70th birthday: I called it What the Snare Drum Tells Me. It has a quotation from Mahler’s Third Symphony, so the title is having some fun with all those titles Mahler gave to the movements of that symphony in the original draft: what the

completely ecumenical feel to it, nothing like that “other book,” a series of lectures from around the same time, Der Weg zur Neuen Musik by Anton Webern.4 Webern’s exclusivity could be part of Cowell’s musical world—not seeking to divide but instead gathering things together—but not the other way around. Neue Musik and New Music may not have been the same thing, but at least for Cowell, it was all part of what was “new.” And the only stipulation for Cowell, similar to that found in other arts of

myself to Janet Abel, wife of renowned percussionist Alan Abel, when I joined their church in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 2006. She protested immediately, “You can never be an ex-percussionist. Once a drummer, always a drummer.” When my nephew graduated from high school and was auditioning for universities, Temple was on his list, and Alan Abel invited both of us to attend his graduate student masterclass. Listening to one of his students play the snare drum excerpt that opens the second movement of

full of music: music of a new genre and in a new language, so foreign to these beginning students, yet paradoxically accessible to them as well. This hybrid sonic art: an individual human voice ranging from utterance to traditional narrative punctuated with all of the touch of the percussive sound world, or the inverse: a kind of timbre and touch and resonance music extended by a single human voice, is powerful and accessible because it is an amplification and transformation of the familiar

how media embeds itself into the message being employed. A student writing an email from her phone to explain their absence from my class is not just a situation of poor writing style. The message in its derivative is clear: the student will be absent. However, the media used to write the message, text/email/phone, applies layers to the derivative. With each layer, the message gets fuzzier. McLuhan states this axiom in his book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, which hypothesizes that

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