Desk Drumming is perfect material for teaching musical elements in any environment: a standard music room, a regular classroom, or even on the floor. These duets can be successfully performed by just 2 players, several people on each part or an entire class split up in half. There are 3 duets in this volume: Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Pixie Sticks and Desk Duel.
Using some Latin percussion influence, A Little Spice is meant to be a fun percussion piece for any level of players. Not only do most of the parts get an opportunity to play short solos throughout the piece, all instruments combine to create a catchy, upbeat groove.
This percussion ensemble (requiring 5 players) is an upbeat piece with the feeling reflecting a dance groove from medieval music. Although written in 6/8 time, parts of the composition use a polyrhythmic feel, crossing 6/8 with 3/4.
Inspired by the Japanese style of drumming, Jo-Ha-Kyn is a piece your percussionists will enjoy playing. It is based on the ternary structure where Jo is a slow introduction, Ha is a build up of the tempo, and Kyn is the great, climactic rush before slowing down at the end. Although traditional Japanese instruments are to be used, common percussion instruments can be used as substitutes.
Based on the elements of traditional African music, Nyasa of Tanzania is a fun, polyrhythmic piece that is easy enough for an Orff ensemble to perform. The rhythms sound more complicated than they actually are and are easily teachable through rote. There is also opportunity for students to improvise in a call-response section. Although it is composed to use some traditional African instruments, it is possible to substitute standard percussion instruments where needed (conga or bongo for djembe, tom tom for barrel drum, bass drum for long drum, and maraca for shekere).
Techno Boom is meant to be a fun and simple pop tune to be played by boom whackers. The piece is made up of only two alternating sections, much like popular dance tunes. This piece requires 5 players - 4 on boom whackers and 1 on drum set.
This programmatic percussion piece is a musical depiction of an encounter between a woodpecker (woodblock) and a lumberjack (guiro). The piece opens by setting the peaceful ambiance of rain falling in a forest before introducing some simple call/response figures between the woodblock and guiro. As the piece moves on, these rhythms become more complex and involved with each other.
Boomer Blues is exactly what the title states, a 12-bar blues composed for boom whackers. It is a fun upbeat tune where each player requires only two boom whackers. After a short introduction, the pieces moves into a catchy riff before finally bringing in the main melody. After going through some variations of the tune and some call and response sections, the piece brings back the riff before closing. The tune is accompanied by a swing beat kept by only maracas and a tambourine playable by one performer. This piece requires 5 players.