Skeleton Key CollectionSkeleton Key Collection
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Skeleton Key Collection

4 inventive pieces for percussion with expandable parts and flexible instrumentation
Level: Med-Easy to Medium
Duration: various
Personnel: 4+
Release Date: 2022
Product ID : TSPB-52
Price: $60.00
Item #: TSPB-52

Formats Available:
Physical Only

Description

Brian Nozny wrote the four pieces of Skeleton Key Collection to address a need in the percussion ensemble repertoire: works that could be handled by a group of players with varying experience levels in a diverse number of situations. Each piece is written with four parts, with an open-ended, flexible instrumentation list featuring broad terms like high metal, low drum, wood instrument, etc.

Not only are the works rich in texture and energy as-is, but the director or ensemble is encouraged to customize the music to fit their unique situation! Some examples of customization include: adjusting repeat structures to lengthen or shorten the piece; expanding or reducing the number of players in various sections to reflect the form of the work; changing instruments within the same family mid-piece; offering improvisation opportunities; and so on. Like a "key" that fits any lock, this book is full of educational and expressive opportunities, perfect for intermediate-level ensembles or their directors!

This product contains the following works:

  • Bakken Overture | Med-Easy | 2'00"
  • Skeleton Key | Med-Easy | 2'50"
  • The Floor Is Lava | Medium | 2'20"
  • Vince | Medium | 2'55"

Skeleton Key Collection ships as a fully-bound book with a sleek cover design, and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

The pieces in this collection are designed to be played with a very flexible and atypical array of instrumentation so that virtually any ensemble can perform them. Directors are encouraged to be creative with instruments, but here are a few suggestions for each piece:

Bakken Overture

  • Tambourine (Auxiliary)
  • Snare drum (High Drum)
  • 2 congas (Medium Drums) + suspended cymbal
  • Horizontal kick drum (Low Drum)

Skeleton Key

  • Brake drum (High Metal)
  • Metal trash can (Low Metal)
  • High tom (High Drum)
  • Surdo (Low Drum)

The Floor is Lava

  • Bell plate (Resonant Metal)
  • Tambourine (Drum-like)
  • Shekere (Shaker-esque)
  • Woodblock (Wooden)

Vince

  • Splash cymbal (High Cymbal)
  • Medium crash cymbal (Medium Cymbal)
  • Ride cymbal (Low Cymbal)
  • Tam-tam (Tam-tam)

Reviews

This new collection by Brian Nozny features four ensemble pieces for younger students. Each piece is written for four players, and while instrumentation is recommended, it is suggested that the students and director use their imaginations to make the pieces work for their ensemble. Each piece includes suggestions for alternate instrumentation, although they are not required. Nozny also suggests that the number of players can be altered by adding or removing instruments to fit the needs of the ensemble for any situation.

The four pieces utilize drums, metals, and auxiliary instruments, with the last using only cymbals and tam tam. “Bakken Overture” is named after the Bakken oil formation in the northern United states, and is heavily based on groove, a style Nozny is known for. “Skeleton Key” was first imagined using only found sounds. This work would be great for groups to stretch their imaginations in the usage of found objects in percussion. “The Floor is Lava” uses sixteenth-note passages running throughout the ensemble to represent the paths one would take over furniture while playing this childhood game. Slight syncopations and some sudden stops are used to represent falling into the lava. “Vince” explores all of the sounds available on cymbals, and makes especially skillful usage of the ability to cut the sound off suddenly.

This collection is an amazing addition for an older high school or younger college group. The ability to change instrumentation, and even form, would lead to some good discussions with students on sound and sound production, along with the intention of music. There is also room for some improvisation, which is always beneficial for everyone. Nozny has given the percussion world a gift in this collection that allows for the artist to take control of the music. Younger students, and most likely older ones as well, are sure to enjoy the process of learning this piece while stretching their musical abilities, all while pleasing audiences.

—Josh Armstrong
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 4, August 2022

Description

Brian Nozny wrote the four pieces of Skeleton Key Collection to address a need in the percussion ensemble repertoire: works that could be handled by a group of players with varying experience levels in a diverse number of situations. Each piece is written with four parts, with an open-ended, flexible instrumentation list featuring broad terms like high metal, low drum, wood instrument, etc.

Not only are the works rich in texture and energy as-is, but the director or ensemble is encouraged to customize the music to fit their unique situation! Some examples of customization include: adjusting repeat structures to lengthen or shorten the piece; expanding or reducing the number of players in various sections to reflect the form of the work; changing instruments within the same family mid-piece; offering improvisation opportunities; and so on. Like a "key" that fits any lock, this book is full of educational and expressive opportunities, perfect for intermediate-level ensembles or their directors!

This product contains the following works:

  • Bakken Overture | Med-Easy | 2'00"
  • Skeleton Key | Med-Easy | 2'50"
  • The Floor Is Lava | Medium | 2'20"
  • Vince | Medium | 2'55"

Skeleton Key Collection ships as a fully-bound book with a sleek cover design, and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

The pieces in this collection are designed to be played with a very flexible and atypical array of instrumentation so that virtually any ensemble can perform them. Directors are encouraged to be creative with instruments, but here are a few suggestions for each piece:

Bakken Overture

  • Tambourine (Auxiliary)
  • Snare drum (High Drum)
  • 2 congas (Medium Drums) + suspended cymbal
  • Horizontal kick drum (Low Drum)

Skeleton Key

  • Brake drum (High Metal)
  • Metal trash can (Low Metal)
  • High tom (High Drum)
  • Surdo (Low Drum)

The Floor is Lava

  • Bell plate (Resonant Metal)
  • Tambourine (Drum-like)
  • Shekere (Shaker-esque)
  • Woodblock (Wooden)

Vince

  • Splash cymbal (High Cymbal)
  • Medium crash cymbal (Medium Cymbal)
  • Ride cymbal (Low Cymbal)
  • Tam-tam (Tam-tam)

Reviews

This new collection by Brian Nozny features four ensemble pieces for younger students. Each piece is written for four players, and while instrumentation is recommended, it is suggested that the students and director use their imaginations to make the pieces work for their ensemble. Each piece includes suggestions for alternate instrumentation, although they are not required. Nozny also suggests that the number of players can be altered by adding or removing instruments to fit the needs of the ensemble for any situation.

The four pieces utilize drums, metals, and auxiliary instruments, with the last using only cymbals and tam tam. “Bakken Overture” is named after the Bakken oil formation in the northern United states, and is heavily based on groove, a style Nozny is known for. “Skeleton Key” was first imagined using only found sounds. This work would be great for groups to stretch their imaginations in the usage of found objects in percussion. “The Floor is Lava” uses sixteenth-note passages running throughout the ensemble to represent the paths one would take over furniture while playing this childhood game. Slight syncopations and some sudden stops are used to represent falling into the lava. “Vince” explores all of the sounds available on cymbals, and makes especially skillful usage of the ability to cut the sound off suddenly.

This collection is an amazing addition for an older high school or younger college group. The ability to change instrumentation, and even form, would lead to some good discussions with students on sound and sound production, along with the intention of music. There is also room for some improvisation, which is always beneficial for everyone. Nozny has given the percussion world a gift in this collection that allows for the artist to take control of the music. Younger students, and most likely older ones as well, are sure to enjoy the process of learning this piece while stretching their musical abilities, all while pleasing audiences.

—Josh Armstrong
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 4, August 2022


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