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Fife & Drum (Download)

a groovy take on Pat-a-pan for percussion ensemble
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: 3:25
Personnel: 8 players
State Lists: Florida
Release Date: 2022
Product ID : TSPCE22-015DL
Price: $35.00
Item #: TSPCE22-015DL

Formats Available:


Description

Tunes that are centuries-old often make for entertaining bedfellows in present-day settings. Here, a French Christmas carol written in the 1720s (Pat-a-pan), is playfully quoted and developed in the context of a contemporary rhythm setting. The result is Brian Slawson’s Fife & Drum. 

Written in common pop music form, it opens with a simple drum groove complimented by a catchy bass pattern played by the timpani and bass marimba. A modified quote from the traditional French carol serves as a verse, punctually heading toward a blunt stop-time chorus.

Young players will be highlighted by way of attainable, syncopated lines that sound spontaneous as if soloing, while also given enough repetition to allow the piece to come together quickly. While the piece is based on the French carol, it will be a fun, accessible piece any time of year!

Use of this product is governed by the license terms outlined here.

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

Chimes

Vibraphone

Marimba — low A, shared

4 Timpani

Drumset

Reviews

This work is based on a French Christmas carol from the 1700s (“Pat-a-pan”) and set for a young percussion ensemble. With a classic instrumentation and performance time of 3½ minutes, it can be easily accessible to many high school or middle school programs.

The form is set up like a pop tune that begins with an introduction by the drum set and timpani, with the timpani acting as the bass player. The “Pat-a-pan” quote serves as the verse, which is then modified and traded between keyboard players throughout the work. The melody trades between players until the final larger section of the piece where all players are in.

If your percussion ensemble has a wide range of talent and ability, this piece could work in your favor. The keyboard parts all use two mallets with very simple rhythms and melodies. Since melodic material is traded between players, there’s really not that much that the individuals need to learn. It could even be a great memorization exercise. If you have students that are new to timpani and drum set, those two parts play the exact same thing throughout most of the piece, which could be good practice and give them moments to shine.

Although the suggested setup has all of the performers in one line with drum set and timpani in the middle, I suggest having keyboard voices in the front with drum set and timpani behind them. Since this piece is geared towards younger players, this may better aid with timekeeping.

—Ben Cantrell
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 1, February 2023

Description

Tunes that are centuries-old often make for entertaining bedfellows in present-day settings. Here, a French Christmas carol written in the 1720s (Pat-a-pan), is playfully quoted and developed in the context of a contemporary rhythm setting. The result is Brian Slawson’s Fife & Drum. 

Written in common pop music form, it opens with a simple drum groove complimented by a catchy bass pattern played by the timpani and bass marimba. A modified quote from the traditional French carol serves as a verse, punctually heading toward a blunt stop-time chorus.

Young players will be highlighted by way of attainable, syncopated lines that sound spontaneous as if soloing, while also given enough repetition to allow the piece to come together quickly. While the piece is based on the French carol, it will be a fun, accessible piece any time of year!

Use of this product is governed by the license terms outlined here.

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

Chimes

Vibraphone

Marimba — low A, shared

4 Timpani

Drumset

Reviews

This work is based on a French Christmas carol from the 1700s (“Pat-a-pan”) and set for a young percussion ensemble. With a classic instrumentation and performance time of 3½ minutes, it can be easily accessible to many high school or middle school programs.

The form is set up like a pop tune that begins with an introduction by the drum set and timpani, with the timpani acting as the bass player. The “Pat-a-pan” quote serves as the verse, which is then modified and traded between keyboard players throughout the work. The melody trades between players until the final larger section of the piece where all players are in.

If your percussion ensemble has a wide range of talent and ability, this piece could work in your favor. The keyboard parts all use two mallets with very simple rhythms and melodies. Since melodic material is traded between players, there’s really not that much that the individuals need to learn. It could even be a great memorization exercise. If you have students that are new to timpani and drum set, those two parts play the exact same thing throughout most of the piece, which could be good practice and give them moments to shine.

Although the suggested setup has all of the performers in one line with drum set and timpani in the middle, I suggest having keyboard voices in the front with drum set and timpani behind them. Since this piece is geared towards younger players, this may better aid with timekeeping.

—Ben Cantrell
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 1, February 2023


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