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Topic: Percussion master class?

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  1. #1

    Percussion master class?

    Any volunteers please?

    With the help of this excellent forum, I think I've mastered strings, woodwind and brass - but percussion is still a can of worms! Percussion notation, percussion maps, key switches, humanising rolls, suspended cymbals - aaaagh!!!

    I know some of this has been covered on this forum but as a Finale user, I would find a tutorial with an example .mus / GPO file really invaluable. Does anyone have the time to post a short percussion piece or tutorial that illustrates some of this in action please? It would be much appreciated.

    Graham

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Percussion master class?

    Hmm, interesting. Although I am not familiar with Finale and don't own the program, this does present a rather stimulating challenge. Hmmm....
    Styxx

  3. #3

    Re: Percussion master class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    Hmm, interesting. Although I am not familiar with Finale and don't own the program, this does present a rather stimulating challenge. Hmmm....

    Bother! Fiddle styxx! Drat!

    What can we do to get our friend up to speed with Finale?

  4. #4

    Re: Percussion master class?

    I'd never forgive him. He can use Overture like all the smart people do and you can all jump.

  5. #5

    Re: Percussion master class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Burrell
    I'd never forgive him. He can use Overture like all the smart people do and you can all jump.

    Ok, so maybe the Finale requirement isn't essential (I just happen to use Finale so that would suit me!) For me, it's more about understanding percussion notation and how this triggers the desired response from the GPO arsenal. Should one enter several bars crammed with 64th notes spread over half a dozen pages just to get a 2 second roll or is there a symbol that achieves the same? Does one use an X notehead to repesent a single hit? How to you represent left and right hand hits? This is the sort of stuff I'd like to see covered. And, how does GPO, keyswitching and controllers need to be set up to playback correctly?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Percussion master class?

    Graham, I can see where your coming from now. These are all valid questions with definite answers and solutions. As a percussionist I rarely think of them unless something totally extreme happened and editing is necessary.
    As for the left hand, right hand representation, it is usually left out. Since there are quite a number of sticking techniques a seasoned percussionist may use for various note groupings and rhythms, it is usually left out and understood by the composer. As for the other questions, I will attempt to clarify the proper way of notating in score form AFTER I return home from the NAMM.
    Hope this helps.
    Also, there are at least two other percussionist members of this forum that are most welcome to chime in with their expertise! The more the merrier.
    Styxx

  7. #7

    Re: Percussion master class?

    [QUOTE=Styxx]Graham, I can see where your coming from now. These are all valid questions with definite answers and solutions. As a percussionist I rarely think of them unless something totally extreme happened and editing is necessary.
    QUOTE]

    Thanks Styxx. Have a good time at NAMM. Regards, Graham

    Meanwhile, if anyone can point me at a PDF score / .mus file that contains some good percussion parts please, I can probably gain some insight myself into how it's all put together.

  8. #8

    Re: Percussion master class?

    I did some amazon searches...

    How to Write for PERCUSSION (Paperback)
    by Samuel Z. Solomon - $25.46
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...001035-5936015

    Scoring for Percussion (Mass Market Paperback)
    by H. Owen Reed (Composer), Joel Leach (Composer) - $10.17
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

    Guide to Standardized Drumset Notation (Paperback)
    by Norman Weinberg (Editor), Rick Mattingly (Editor) - $9.95
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

    I don't own any of these. Maybe somebody here can make a recommendation. The last two are cheap enough that they may be worth the gamble. But, according to the reviews, the first book is the one to get.

    -JF

  9. #9

    Re: Percussion master class?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    I did some amazon searches...

    -JF
    Thanks Jon. Understanding the notation convention is a good start. I have some Amazon vouchers so I'll check these out - but I still need to improve my understanding of how this is translated by (say) Finale into messages that GPO understands. Regards, Graham

  10. #10

    Re: Percussion master class?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamKeitch
    Thanks Jon. Understanding the notation convention is a good start. I have some Amazon vouchers so I'll check these out - but I still need to improve my understanding of how this is translated by (say) Finale into messages that GPO understands. Regards, Graham
    Here's how I solve it: First I open Sibelius, then I...

    Typically seqeuncers and such have percussion maps that let you map various notes to different midi note values. Maybe somebody at the Finale forum can help with this part.

    I tend to go strairght to the sequencer for percussion stuff though. GPO is fairly straightforward in it's percussion, as it's not super broad. Specialized percussion libs are trickier, as you might have 27 keys mapped to a single untuned klonker, all with different strikes (hits, flams, rolls, etc). There's no reasonable way to capture that on the staff.

    In Sibelius I can mute the notes on the staff, and assign MIDI note messages, so I could use all 27 klonker keys. I'd rather just play it live in the sequencer and tweak it, and notate later as needed.

    -JF

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