multiple percussion solos
Composer: edited by Andrew M. Bliss
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: Bongos, Concert Snare Drum, Concert Tom, "Multi" Bass Drum. Accessories depending on each solo include: Splash Cymbal, Hi-hat Cymbals, Kick Drum, Crash Cymbal, Wood Block, 2 China Cymbals, Jam Block, Baking Timer
As the pedagogy of percussion has developed, it has become increasingly important to address the area of multiple percussion. Multi-percussion encompasses many typical performance genres from wind ensemble to drumset, or from a musical pit orchestra to some of the best repertoire available for solo percussionists. Regardless of career focus, almost any percussionist will be required to perform using more than one instrument in their daily routine.
Despite the importance of multi-percussion, there is a substantial gap in the pedagogical repertoire, leaving only a small selection of works for intermediate students to study. At the intermediate stage in a student’s development, it is important to work on bite-size pieces, where the focus can be on sound concepts and technical development. The solos in this collection are designed to bridge the gap for percussionists who are proficient on the core instruments (snare drum, timpani, and keyboards) yet not quite ready to tackle some of the advanced solo multipercussion repertoire that already exists.
When delving into multiple percussion solos, many schools face challenges with space as well as equipment. The solos in this collection ease this challenge. Multitudes contains nine solo pieces by different composers which all use the same nucleus of instruments. This provides a number of benefits to the performer and the institution:
The composers of the Multitudes incorporate a wide variety of inspirational concepts due to their varied backgrounds as innovators in the fields of multiple percussion performance and pedagogy. Composers are James Campbell, Andrew Bliss, Julie Hill, Robert Parks, Anders Åstrand, Dan Moore, Brian Nozny, Ben Wahlund, and Eric Willie.
- Students can all practice on the same general setup, while all working on different, individualized pieces.
- Sharing this equipment allows the setup to remain intact, reducing setup and tear-down time while also being economical with studio or band room space.
- This shared approach also reduces stress on the amount of equipment available; many schools do not have enough gear to facilitate a variety of solos that all use similar equipment to be setup in different places at the same time.
- Performance situations such as studio class, solo & ensemble, or juries are made easier due to the ability to have multiple students perform on the same general set of equipment.
"Multitudes is a collection of brief multiple percussion solos, written by many different composers, designed to bridge a technical gap for performers who have command of standard percussion instruments (snare, mallets, and timpani) but are not ready to delve into advanced solo multiple percussion repertoire. Unlike previous collections of intermediate materials, such as The Contemporary Percussionist by Michael Udow, all of the etudes contained in Multitudes use the same nucleus of instruments (one pair of bongos, one concert snare drum, concert tom, and small bass drum). In addition, there were two options given to the composers: one option is a small “set” of sounds to be placed on a trap table; the other option is an instrument that fits on a cymbal stand (e.g., small mountable cowbell, tambourine). The small setup size reduces the stress on school programs struggling to find space or available equipment. Editor Andrew Bliss notes, “Students can all practice on the same general setup, while all working on different individualized pieces.” A detailed setup diagram and comprehensive notes are included. Contributing composers include percussionists from a wide variety of backgrounds: Andrew M. Bliss, Anders Åstrand, James Campbell, Julie Hill, Dan Moore, Brian Nozny, Robert Parks, Ben Wahlund, and Eric Willie. There are nine etudes ranging from groove- or pulseoriented works to more experimental compositions utilizing spoken text (Wahlund’s “Spoken Word”). This book is a welcome addition to any high school or collegiate percussion library and will hopefully facilitate more interest in multiple percussion at the intermediate level." - John Lane Percussive Notes, March 2011