Simfony No. 13

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Lou Harrison

General Info

Year: 1941
Duration: c.
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: WarnerBros
Cost: Score and Parts - $0.00   |   Score Only - $0.00



Player I: Woodblocks(5), water buffalo bells(6), cowbells(7)
Player II: Dragon's mouths(5), brake drums(10)
Player III: Elephant bell, triangle, suspended cymbal, gong, tam tam
Player IV: Tom-toms(7), bass drum1

Program Notes

Online Review

Credit must be given to Warner Bros. Publications for including "Bomba," a percussion quintet, and "Simfony #13," a percussion quartet, in a "Master Percussion Ensemble Series." No one deserves this honor more than Lou Harrison, one of the significant composers of the 20th century, particularly important for his interest in non-Western source material and his contributions to music for percussion instruments. Both pieces reflect his interest in unconventional instruments. "Bomba" is scored for three flower pots, brake drums, thundersheet, metal rattle, and rasp, in addition to more conventional concert instruments. In "Simfony #13," each player confronts a large setup including five woodblocks, six water buffalo bells, seven cowbells, five temple blocks, ten brake drums, and elephant bell, plus triangle, suspended cymbal, gong, tam tam, seven toms and a "contra bass drum." Much of the music in these two works is written in a contrapuntal style and treats the instruments in a melodic manner, with patterns often phrased over barlines, setting up rhythmic dissonances between parts, not unlike the writing found in pieces such as Cage's "Third Construction." These two works can be considered "classics," along with the contributions of composers such as Cage, Varèse, and Stockhausen. - John R. Raush, December 1998 [1]

Commercial Discography

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

A Tribute to Charon (Passage throught Darkness/Counterdance in Spring) - Percussion Trio
Ariadne - Solo Percussion and Flute acc.
Beverly's Troubadour Piece - Percussion and Harp
Bomba (Harrison) - Percussion Quintet
Canticle No. 1 - Percussion Quintet
Canticle No. 3 - Percussion Quartet; Ocarina; Guitar (6 Players)
Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra - Percussion Octet; Organ, Piano
Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra - Percussion Quintet, Violin
Double Fanfare - Percussion Ensemble 12 - Harrison/Cirone
Double Music - Percussion Quartet - Cage/Harrison
Fifth Simfony - Percussion Quartet
First Concerto - Percussion Duo and Flute
Fugue - Percussion Quartet
In Praise of Johnny Appleseed (for Dance and Percussion) - Percussion Trio; Flute; Dancer
Labyrinth No. 3 - Percussion Ensemble (11)
Orpheus - for the Singer to the Dance - Percussion Ensemble (15); Solo Voice; Chorus
Serenade - Percussion; Guitar
Simfony No. 13 - Percussion Quartet
Suite - Percussion Quintet
Suite No. 1 - Percussion; Guitar
The Drums of Orpheus - from the ballet "Orpheus"
The Song of Queztecoatl - Percussion Quartet

Additional Resources


  1. PAS.ORG Retrieved 06/14/2012