Graded Pieces for Tuned Percussion (Book 1)

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Gordon Hughes

General Info

Publisher: Rhythmscape
Difficulty: Elementary to Intermediate
Cost: $50.07



Song List

1. Captain Henderson's Heroic March
2. Jack's Song
3. Stately Air
4. Flatland
5. The Odd Bar March
6. Sergei's Dance
7. Odyssey
8. Canons all Round
9. Polka
10. Arrival at Cabin Creek
11. Brother's Waltz
12. Hymn for Now
13. Industrial Dance
14. Forest Escapade

Program Notes

This collection of pieces was written in response to the need for musically engaging and technically challenging works for tuned percussion instruments. The performance of these works, whilst technically challenging, should also inspire the student to reach for higher musical outcomes than simply ‘playing the notes’. Whilst many of the pieces are not strictly programmatic, students and teachers should explore the imagery generated across the collection.

The works themselves are miniatures – relatively short compositions that are musically complete. Thematically, they explore the fundamental interval of the octave and traverse different harmonic and musical styles. Across the collection, a number of well known classical composers are (humbly) quoted – students and teachers should explore and discuss these musical inspirations.

Each of the tuned percussion parts were written to develop or highlight a particular challenging technique for the performer, with the piano then outlining the work’s musical world. Mallet suggestions have been made, however the final decision is that of the player. Instrument suggestions have also been made with options listed in brackets. These pieces are also aimed at trying to (gently) move students away from the ever-pervasive ‘concert band keys’ (B flat and E flat) – don’t panic, there still familiar key signatures used.

Included is a compact disc containing all piano accompaniments (with rehearsal tempo versions for the last two works). Whilst this is an excellent tool, it is no substitute for a live musician. The piano parts have been kept, on the whole, relatively simple – I challenge the teacher to learn what he or she can and give each student the inspiring experience of making music with their musical mentor.


Percussive Arts Society (USA) ‘Percussive Notes’ review (Julia Gaines)
"This book is a full-service guide to learning the basics of two-mallet keyboard percussion performance...The technical and musical progression of each piece is one of the best features of the book...This collection is a welcome addition to the beginning keyboard percussion repertoire because it offers significantly more information than a typical two-mallet transcription. For teachers of younger students, or college professors needing freshman sight-reading material with accompaniment, this is an excellent purchase."

Works for Percussion by this Composer

Vibraphone Solo

The Cooper Construction

Drum Kit Solo

Associative Grooves
Carter's Dream for Solo Drum Kit and Backing Track
Eight Pieces for Drum Kit and Piano
Three Red for Solo Drum Kit

Percussion Ensemble

Bang (Volume 3) - Percussion Quartet
Bang (Volume 4) - Percussion Quartet
SEVEN - Percussion 12
Elysium (Hughes) - Percussion Sextet
FIRE - Percussion Quartet
First Transformation - Percussion Septet
Four Trios for Untuned Percussion - Percussion Trio
FUSE - Percussion Quartet
Midnight for Percussion Ensemble - Percussion Octet
Nimrod from the Enigma Variations - Percussion Sextet
Skye Dance - Percussion Sextet
Symphony of Palms - Percussion Septet
Reflex - Fanfare Prelude - Mallet Trio
Urban Phase - Percussion Septet