Flexible Ensemble, TheFlexible Ensemble, The
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Flexible Ensemble, The

10 simple percussion ensembles with adaptable instrumentation and flexible personnel
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: varies (18:00 total)
Personnel: 2-12+
Release Date: 2022
Product ID : TSPB-53
Price: $79.00
Item #: TSPB-53

Formats Available:
Physical Only

Description

The Flexible Ensemble is a truly unique collection of 10 entry-level percussion ensembles written by David Ratliff and Eric Sokolowski. These ensembles are written for flexible instrumentation and personnel, where 3-5 main “voices” are scored for common instruments found in most band rooms. As long as at least one player covers each voice, the piece is able to be performed. Additional players may cover other suggested instruments within those voices, or they can fill in any of the optional melodic or rhythmic parts provided for added color!

Each piece is geared towards middle school or early high school players in difficulty, and would also be appropriate for college methods courses. The flexible, commonly-available instrumentation allows for a high degree of customization, and the director is trusted to make whichever choices fit their ensemble best. This collection is an invaluable resource for band or percussion directors working with any number of beginner-intermediate students, and is a must-have for any music library!

  • No Accident | 4-18+ players | 1'45"
  • Gymnopédie no. 1 (Satie) | 2-15+ players | 2'10"
  • Parvulum | 4-17+ players | 1'40"
  • Water Plant Road | 4-16+ players | 1'50"
  • Rainbow Bridge | 5-16+ players | 2'20"
  • 6th Street Stomp | 4-14+ players | 1'30"
  • Attack of the Beebots | 4-8+ players | 1'35"
  • Old Town | 3-9+ players | 1'20"
  • Flats | 3+ players | 1'35"
  • Paper or Plastic? | 4+ players | 2'10"

The Flexible Ensemble ships as a fully-bound book with a sleek cover design, with reference recordings for different ensemble sizes available for download.

Reviews

The Flexible Ensemble is a highly customizable collection of medium-easy percussion ensemble works. Each piece calls for common instruments, 3–5 primary “voices,” and optional parts. The guide to using the book states, “As long as all primary voices are represented by at least one player, a piece can be performed.” As a foreword to each piece, the composer includes how many players are needed, duration, a program note, performance notes, a setup diagram, notation legend (if needed), a list of instrument options for each voice, and a list of optional parts.

That may sound like a lot, and it is! There are even notes from the composer encouraging the simplification of parts, if necessary. This book is incredibly well thought out in its presentation and execution. You don’t have crotales? No problem! Either leave that part out or substitute another instrument.

The pieces are all accessible for players and audience. The longest piece, based on approximate playing time listed in the book, is two minutes and 20 seconds. As a result, a single piece could be used as an introduction to percussion ensemble playing, or a more experienced ensemble could play a group of pieces on a concert without taking up too much time on the program. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for musical expression and the building of chamber skills, which are sometimes missing from young percussion ensemble pieces.

I could not give a more emphatic recommendation for this book! It is perfect for middle school, high school, or a starting-out college percussion ensemble. It will even work well for a university methods class. The level of customization and flexibility eliminates many barriers that keep certain programs from programming many works for percussion ensemble. Bravo David and Eric!

—Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 4, August 2022

Description

The Flexible Ensemble is a truly unique collection of 10 entry-level percussion ensembles written by David Ratliff and Eric Sokolowski. These ensembles are written for flexible instrumentation and personnel, where 3-5 main “voices” are scored for common instruments found in most band rooms. As long as at least one player covers each voice, the piece is able to be performed. Additional players may cover other suggested instruments within those voices, or they can fill in any of the optional melodic or rhythmic parts provided for added color!

Each piece is geared towards middle school or early high school players in difficulty, and would also be appropriate for college methods courses. The flexible, commonly-available instrumentation allows for a high degree of customization, and the director is trusted to make whichever choices fit their ensemble best. This collection is an invaluable resource for band or percussion directors working with any number of beginner-intermediate students, and is a must-have for any music library!

  • No Accident | 4-18+ players | 1'45"
  • Gymnopédie no. 1 (Satie) | 2-15+ players | 2'10"
  • Parvulum | 4-17+ players | 1'40"
  • Water Plant Road | 4-16+ players | 1'50"
  • Rainbow Bridge | 5-16+ players | 2'20"
  • 6th Street Stomp | 4-14+ players | 1'30"
  • Attack of the Beebots | 4-8+ players | 1'35"
  • Old Town | 3-9+ players | 1'20"
  • Flats | 3+ players | 1'35"
  • Paper or Plastic? | 4+ players | 2'10"

The Flexible Ensemble ships as a fully-bound book with a sleek cover design, with reference recordings for different ensemble sizes available for download.

Reviews

The Flexible Ensemble is a highly customizable collection of medium-easy percussion ensemble works. Each piece calls for common instruments, 3–5 primary “voices,” and optional parts. The guide to using the book states, “As long as all primary voices are represented by at least one player, a piece can be performed.” As a foreword to each piece, the composer includes how many players are needed, duration, a program note, performance notes, a setup diagram, notation legend (if needed), a list of instrument options for each voice, and a list of optional parts.

That may sound like a lot, and it is! There are even notes from the composer encouraging the simplification of parts, if necessary. This book is incredibly well thought out in its presentation and execution. You don’t have crotales? No problem! Either leave that part out or substitute another instrument.

The pieces are all accessible for players and audience. The longest piece, based on approximate playing time listed in the book, is two minutes and 20 seconds. As a result, a single piece could be used as an introduction to percussion ensemble playing, or a more experienced ensemble could play a group of pieces on a concert without taking up too much time on the program. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for musical expression and the building of chamber skills, which are sometimes missing from young percussion ensemble pieces.

I could not give a more emphatic recommendation for this book! It is perfect for middle school, high school, or a starting-out college percussion ensemble. It will even work well for a university methods class. The level of customization and flexibility eliminates many barriers that keep certain programs from programming many works for percussion ensemble. Bravo David and Eric!

—Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 4, August 2022


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