Reviews in Percussive Notes



Fun and Easy Christmas Favorites, Mallet Percussion and Percussion Books

The versatility of these publications should attract those who teach youngsters in mixed instrument classes as well as those who work with percussionists individually or in ensemble settings. These two books contain the mallet and percussion parts for 12 holiday favorites.

The mallet book presents each selection in both solo and duet versions, giving teachers a variety of instructional opportunities. The percussion accompaniments can accommodate up to four players and are scored for snare and bass drums and a generous assortment of percussion, including triangle, cymbal, tambourine, sleighbells, cowbell, maracas, claves and woodblock.

The two books are part of a flexible instrumentation series designed to facilitate their use with other instruments. Books are available for standard school band instruments, and the percussion book can also be used with corresponding books for string instruments. Chords in the conductor's score facilitate piano or guitar accompaniments. —John R. Raush


What a Day! Mallet Percussion Duets

What a Day! is a collection of 19 mallet percussion duets, each titled by a time of day (6:00 AM, 7:00 AM, etc.). The duets are directed to beginners and can be used as sight-reading materials or assigned lessons. The first six short pieces are written with whole notes, half notes and dotted halves. The later duos have quarter and eighth notes. Meters include 4/4, 3/4, and cut time. The collection of duets is followed by a page of warm-ups, which appear in different keys so that they can be performed with different transposing instruments. Those teaching beginning band classes will find these to be very beneficial in teaching reading on keyboard percussion instruments. —George Frock

What a Day! Percussion Duets

What A Day! Percussion Duets are the self-contained percussion parts of a beginner band method that may be used for any combination of percussion and wind instruments. The book contains 19 one-page duets, eight warm-ups, and four written parts that use simple rhythms designed for first and second year students. Written in traditional march style, the exercises may be played by two players doubling on more than one instrument or four players performing on single instruments. Scored for tambourine, cowbell, snare drum, bass drum, maracas, triangle, woodblock and claves, the series would be suitable for a large class or training young players on a series of different instruments. —Terry O'Mahoney

The What a Day! reviews were published in the Volume 41, Number 6 issue of Percussive Notes. Reprinted by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, Inc., 701 NW Ferris, Lawton, OK 73507-5442; E-mail: percarts@pas.org; Web: www.pas.org


What a Year! (2 books) and What a Week!

Designed to be used for mixed-instrument class instruction at the middle-school level, these books are included in the What a Year! and What a Week! series written with flexible instrumental combinations in mind.

The percussion books in both series use a three-staff score in which the top two staves are dedicated to two mallet parts, duplicating the melodic material found in the books for all other instruments that are also notated in duet form. (In the book designated "Percussion: Mallet Challenge," a two-staff format is used, with the top staff featuring a version of the melodic material written in duet form in the "Percussion" book condensed into a single part with the utilization of double-stops, so that it can be played by one advanced mallet percussionist.) The bottom score of the "Percussion" and "Percussion: Mallet Challenge" books are identical, written for indefinite-pitched percussion instruments that should be readily encountered in all middle-school band rooms, with the possible exception of a hi-hat.

The 12 selection in the What a Year! series (each titled for one of the months) and the seven pieces in the slightly more advanced What a Week! series (each named for a day of the week) reflect a variety of rhythms, dynamics, melodic demands and meters, and explore several styles including blues and swing. Eight major keys are utilized, up to two sharps and five flats.

The most desirable feature of these publications derives from their versatility for use in group instruction. The percussion instructor will also appreciate the opportunities they present for introducing very young students to percussion ensemble performance. —John R. Raush

This review was published in the October 2002 issue of Percussive Notes.
Reprinted by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, Inc., 701 NW Ferris, Lawton, OK 73507-5442; E-mail: percarts@pas.org; Web: www.pas.org



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