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Gotham (1940) (Download)

for percussion ensemble
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: 3:00
Personnel: 9 players
State Lists: Florida
Release Date: 2020
Product ID : TSPCE20-028DL
Price: $38.00
Item #: TSPCE20-028DL

Formats Available:


Description

Clif Walker‘s Gotham (1940) is written to depict the mysterious and dangerous city, Gotham, in which the superhero Batman existed. A slow, steady, and sullen piece, the music gradually builds to a climax of triplet, march-like rhythms and dissonant harmonies. Walker also includes a host of auxiliary percussion instruments like brake drums, granite blocks, a flexatone, a bell tree, and a bevy of cymbals, which reflect the hard, crime-ridden, and industrial nature of Gotham City.

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

Instrumentation

Chimes

• Glockenspiel

• Xylophone

• Vibraphone

• 2 marimbas—1 (4-octave), 1 (low A)*

• 4 timpani

Drums (bongos, 2 concert toms, snare drum, concert bass drum)

Cymbals & gongs (sizzle cymbal, 3 suspended cymbals, small & medium China cymbals, tam-tam, hi-hat)

Accessories (brake drum, mark tree, temple blocks, triangle, flexatone, vibraslap, bell tree, metal shaker)

*If two marimbas are not available, both players can share a single 4.3-octave (low A) marimba.

Reviews

As the title suggests, this ensemble piece depicts the fictional city of Gotham from the Batman comic book series. It portrays a mysterious atmosphere and makes great use of adventurous- sounding compositional techniques, such as major 6th and major 7th chords and unusual scales. The ensemble is large, with nine players, but the instrumentation uses things readily available at most band programs: for example, only three timpani, just one marimba with two players, a variety of common accessories, etc. It is also exciting for the performers to expand their abilities by each having a small setup, instead of one person per one instrument the entire time.

The composer has considered the level of the performers. The more difficult moments are broken into parts; for example, the rhythm is challenging but the pitches are repeated, or the pitches are tricky but the rhythm is simple, etc. Pitches and patterns are typically repeated, many times with the left hand staying on one note while the right hand changes notes, then vice versa. This technique is great for developing dexterity.

As one who has worked extensively with middle school and high school students, I can see all of these parts holding the students’ interest well, which can sometimes be a challenge. I recommend “Gotham (1940)” for any developing percussion ensemble that wishes to present a cool-sounding, programmatic piece. “If you listen closely,” the composer writes, “you might even hear the familiar sounds of Batman’s iconic foes.”

—Cassie Bunting
Percussive Notes
Vol. 59, No. 3, June 2021

Description

Clif Walker‘s Gotham (1940) is written to depict the mysterious and dangerous city, Gotham, in which the superhero Batman existed. A slow, steady, and sullen piece, the music gradually builds to a climax of triplet, march-like rhythms and dissonant harmonies. Walker also includes a host of auxiliary percussion instruments like brake drums, granite blocks, a flexatone, a bell tree, and a bevy of cymbals, which reflect the hard, crime-ridden, and industrial nature of Gotham City.

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

Instrumentation

Chimes

• Glockenspiel

• Xylophone

• Vibraphone

• 2 marimbas—1 (4-octave), 1 (low A)*

• 4 timpani

Drums (bongos, 2 concert toms, snare drum, concert bass drum)

Cymbals & gongs (sizzle cymbal, 3 suspended cymbals, small & medium China cymbals, tam-tam, hi-hat)

Accessories (brake drum, mark tree, temple blocks, triangle, flexatone, vibraslap, bell tree, metal shaker)

*If two marimbas are not available, both players can share a single 4.3-octave (low A) marimba.

Reviews

As the title suggests, this ensemble piece depicts the fictional city of Gotham from the Batman comic book series. It portrays a mysterious atmosphere and makes great use of adventurous- sounding compositional techniques, such as major 6th and major 7th chords and unusual scales. The ensemble is large, with nine players, but the instrumentation uses things readily available at most band programs: for example, only three timpani, just one marimba with two players, a variety of common accessories, etc. It is also exciting for the performers to expand their abilities by each having a small setup, instead of one person per one instrument the entire time.

The composer has considered the level of the performers. The more difficult moments are broken into parts; for example, the rhythm is challenging but the pitches are repeated, or the pitches are tricky but the rhythm is simple, etc. Pitches and patterns are typically repeated, many times with the left hand staying on one note while the right hand changes notes, then vice versa. This technique is great for developing dexterity.

As one who has worked extensively with middle school and high school students, I can see all of these parts holding the students’ interest well, which can sometimes be a challenge. I recommend “Gotham (1940)” for any developing percussion ensemble that wishes to present a cool-sounding, programmatic piece. “If you listen closely,” the composer writes, “you might even hear the familiar sounds of Batman’s iconic foes.”

—Cassie Bunting
Percussive Notes
Vol. 59, No. 3, June 2021


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