Identification of the Characteristics of Highly Challenging and Educational Percussion Parts in Selected Intermediate School Band Literature

by Oshaben, Nathaniel John

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of highly challenging and educational percussion parts in selected intermediate school band literature. The term intermediate referred to the level between the second and fourth year of a percussion student's training in grades six through eight. Fifteen intermediate and high school band directors completed a survey that asked them to rank at least five pieces of intermediate school band literature of their choice that they thought contained highly challenging and educational percussion parts and to indicate the title, composer, publisher, and musical grade level of each piece. The directors suggested a total of 89 pieces of literature. Ten of these pieces were suggested by more than one director. The composer suggested most often was David Shaffer, followed by James Swearingen and Robert W. Smith. The publisher suggested most often was C. L. Barnhouse, with 20 (22.47%) of the 89 pieces. The musical grade levels ranged from grade 1 to 4, but nearly half (44.94%) were either grade 2 or 2.5 levels. Each of the 15 band directors suggested a different top choice. I analyzed the percussion parts of these 15 top choice pieces and grouped the challenges within each piece into the following categories: (a) Technical Challenges, (b) Rhythmical Challenges, (c) Ensemble Challenges, and (d) Musical Challenges. Based upon these categorizations, it seems that intermediate band directors should consider the following when selecting music that will challenge their band's percussion section: (a) snare drum parts with rudimental writing and complex rhythmic patterns; (b) mallet parts with scale based playing, arpeggios, accidentals, and double stops in several key signatures; (c) timpani parts that allow the practice of tuning; (d) the inclusion of secondary, non-traditional, and world percussion instruments; and (e) a variety of tempos, musical effects, and exposed playing.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:percussion band literature intermediate challenging


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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