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Chris Carmean

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 3:10
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Series: The IGNITE Series
Cost: Score and Parts - $42.00   |   Score Only - $0.00



Player 1A: Glockenspiel
Player 1B: Vibraphone (Doubling Glockenspiel)
Player 2A: Xylophone
Player 2B: Marimba (Doubling Xylophone)
Player 3A: Marimba
Player 3B: Xylophone / Vibraphone (Doubling Marimba)
Player 4A: Bongos
Player 4B: Tom Tom (6' + 8")
Player 5A: Congas
Player 5B: Tom Tom (10' + 12")
Player 6A: 2 Wood Blocks
Player 6B: 2 Jam Blocks
Player 7A: Timpani
Player 7B: Tom Tom (14" + 16")

Program Notes

grace•ful was written specifically for the C. Alan Publications Ignite Series, which features entertaining yet flexible pieces for young percussion ensembles. Once you begin to rehearse grace•ful, you'll come to find that the character of the music is anything but! It is quirky, awkward, and odd - a spoof on what it means to be "graceful." Along the way, you'll find many grace notes to help the cause, as well syncopated rhythms, unexpected accents, time signature changes, and hemiola.

The main melodic and harmonic ideas come from the four notes that make up the F Major 7 chord: F A C E (also the notes on the spaces of the treble clef!). Throughout the piece, these notes are decorated and danced around by their chromatic lower neighbors which form the E Major 7 chord: E, G# B D#. These cells of notes get along for the most part, but sometimes they lead to a clumsy accident! Typically, grace notes on mallet instruments would be played with wider spacing than a flam on a drum. In grace•ful you should match your flams on the drums to that wider melodic spacing; this will add to the quirky and awkward character of the music.

grace•ful provides an opportunity for your students to learn about music theory (Major 7 chords, minor 7 chords, arpeggios, chromatic neighbors), musical devices (syncopation, hemiola, call and response), and performance practice (spacing of grace notes and flams, timpani muffling), and extended techniques (playing on bowl of timpani, mallet deadstrokes, optional glisses on timpani, mallets).

  • In measures 65 and 81, students also have the opportunity to learn about "chance" music. On these fermatas, performers are free to play any sounds they desire and in any order, rhythm, and dynamic. Get creative - the funnier the better! Some mallet glisses in bar 35 would be a good idea, and a timpani gliss at the end is definitely in order.




Commercial Discography

Online Recordings

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Dance Suite - Percussion Quartet - Mallet Quartet
Eine Kleine Soca Musik - Percussion Ensemble 9 -13
Grace•ful - Percussion Ensemble(14)
Just in Case - Percussion Ensemble (13)
TBD - Percussion Ensemble 10-11
What Goes Around Comes Around - Percussion Quartet

Additional Resources