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Animals

suite for percussion quartet
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: 5:00
Personnel: 4 players
Release Date: 2016
Product ID : TSPCE16-020
Price: $34.00
Item #: TSPCE16-020



Description

Animals is a loosely programmatic suite for percussion quartet in three movements by Brian Slawson. In Small, Medium, and Large, each player is assigned a specific animal name to help define their part’s character.

The Small animals for the first movement are frog, mouse, finch, and squirrel. These are characterized on smaller instruments such as claves, triangle, xylophone, and woodblocks. The content here is more abstract and intended to be performed in a sporadic, spontaneous fashion

By contrast, Medium (Mvt. 2) maintains a brisk forward-moving attitude with its accompanying characters of hyena, cheetah, monkey, and kangaroo. These animals are represented by the snare drum, bongos, congas, and tom-toms.

Finally, the animals of the final movement, Large, are lion, tiger, hippo, and elephant. The addition of bass drum and timpani make this movement more heavy and cumbersome in nature.

Aside from the educational elements of characterizations, the musical ideas are just plain  fun. Whether performed as a full suite or just selecting individual movements, this will bring out the animals in students–in the best way possible.

Animals ships in a professionally printed folio which includes all individual parts on CD-ROM.

Instrumentation

  • Xylophone
  • 3 timpani
  • Drums (snare drum, bongos, congas, concert bass drum, 2 toms)
  • Accessories (triangle, guiro, claves, 2 woodblocks, vibraslap)

Reviews

“Animals” is a short, beginning percussion quartet in three movements. Each movement increases in length as well as size of instruments used. In the first movement, “Small,” each player plays one or two small, high-pitched instruments (triangle, guiro, xylophone, claves, woodblocks) that represent the sound of their respective animals: frog, mouse, finch, and squirrel. In the second movement, “Medium,” the players each play one or two medium-sized instruments (snare drum, bongos, congas, Vibraslap, toms) that mimic a hyena, cheetah, monkey, and kangaroo. In the third and longest movement, “Large,” each player plays a large instrument (snare drum, xylophone, bass drum, timpani) that characterizes larger animals: lion, tiger, hippo, and elephant.

This piece is just different and programmatic enough to be interesting to a young high school ensemble, but straightforward enough to be within the reach of a middle-school ensemble that has a basic grasp of technique and sixteenth-note rhythms. All of the players have the opportunity to play more than one instrument over the course of the three movements, but they only have to tackle one or two at a time, making this piece an excellent way to introduce new instruments to young players in a structured ensemble setting. Additionally, the playing time for the entire piece is five minutes, making it doable in a single semester for any beginning ensemble, even those with limited rehearsal time.

The score comes with an instrument list, recommended setup map, and a CD-ROM with the individual parts and an mp3 recording of the piece. The notation is clear and concise, and the called-for technique straightforward enough to be teachable by a director without a percussion background. The parts are suffciently syncopated to build ensemble playing skills, and the dynamics and articulation interesting enough to develop musicality. Overall, “Animals” would be a great addition to a middle school or early high school percussion ensemble program.

–Marilyn K. Clark Silva
Percussive Notes
Vol. 55, No. 3, July 2017

Description

Animals is a loosely programmatic suite for percussion quartet in three movements by Brian Slawson. In Small, Medium, and Large, each player is assigned a specific animal name to help define their part’s character.

The Small animals for the first movement are frog, mouse, finch, and squirrel. These are characterized on smaller instruments such as claves, triangle, xylophone, and woodblocks. The content here is more abstract and intended to be performed in a sporadic, spontaneous fashion

By contrast, Medium (Mvt. 2) maintains a brisk forward-moving attitude with its accompanying characters of hyena, cheetah, monkey, and kangaroo. These animals are represented by the snare drum, bongos, congas, and tom-toms.

Finally, the animals of the final movement, Large, are lion, tiger, hippo, and elephant. The addition of bass drum and timpani make this movement more heavy and cumbersome in nature.

Aside from the educational elements of characterizations, the musical ideas are just plain  fun. Whether performed as a full suite or just selecting individual movements, this will bring out the animals in students–in the best way possible.

Animals ships in a professionally printed folio which includes all individual parts on CD-ROM.

Instrumentation

  • Xylophone
  • 3 timpani
  • Drums (snare drum, bongos, congas, concert bass drum, 2 toms)
  • Accessories (triangle, guiro, claves, 2 woodblocks, vibraslap)

Reviews

“Animals” is a short, beginning percussion quartet in three movements. Each movement increases in length as well as size of instruments used. In the first movement, “Small,” each player plays one or two small, high-pitched instruments (triangle, guiro, xylophone, claves, woodblocks) that represent the sound of their respective animals: frog, mouse, finch, and squirrel. In the second movement, “Medium,” the players each play one or two medium-sized instruments (snare drum, bongos, congas, Vibraslap, toms) that mimic a hyena, cheetah, monkey, and kangaroo. In the third and longest movement, “Large,” each player plays a large instrument (snare drum, xylophone, bass drum, timpani) that characterizes larger animals: lion, tiger, hippo, and elephant.

This piece is just different and programmatic enough to be interesting to a young high school ensemble, but straightforward enough to be within the reach of a middle-school ensemble that has a basic grasp of technique and sixteenth-note rhythms. All of the players have the opportunity to play more than one instrument over the course of the three movements, but they only have to tackle one or two at a time, making this piece an excellent way to introduce new instruments to young players in a structured ensemble setting. Additionally, the playing time for the entire piece is five minutes, making it doable in a single semester for any beginning ensemble, even those with limited rehearsal time.

The score comes with an instrument list, recommended setup map, and a CD-ROM with the individual parts and an mp3 recording of the piece. The notation is clear and concise, and the called-for technique straightforward enough to be teachable by a director without a percussion background. The parts are suffciently syncopated to build ensemble playing skills, and the dynamics and articulation interesting enough to develop musicality. Overall, “Animals” would be a great addition to a middle school or early high school percussion ensemble program.

–Marilyn K. Clark Silva
Percussive Notes
Vol. 55, No. 3, July 2017


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