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Arrhythmia

quartet for tom-toms
Level: Medium
Duration: 2:10
Personnel: 4 players
State Lists: Missouri | Florida
Release Date: 2023
Product ID : TSPCE23-007
Price: $33.00
Item #: TSPCE23-007

Formats Available:


Description

Arrhythmia by Walker Martz is a fun and energetic percussion quartet for middle school and high school level percussionists playing four pitched toms. The piece features hocket melodies between the performers that was inspired by split marching bass drum parts. A steady eighth-note rim pattern helps students keep their place in the hocket melodies. This is an excellent stepping stone for musicians wanting to play marching bass drum.

Performers are encouraged to get creative with visuals throughout the piece. There are a number of opportunities to insert body motions to crescendos and decrescendos, spins or other exciting visuals during a four-bar drum switching section, or a quirky stick drop after the last note.

Arrhythmia can also be adapted for eight players by doubling each part.

Arrhythmia ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

4 tom-toms (high to low)

Reviews

There will always be a market for chamber percussion works that feature instruments that are easy to find in any band room. “Arrhythmia” simply requires four toms, one for each player, varying in pitch to help facilitate melodic variety and motion. In a style similar to Wes Stephens’ “Tomfoolery,” Walker Martz even incorporates the same opening rhythmic motive frequently in his quartet; this piece uses the traditional playing area to split melodic ideas and the rims as a timekeeping mechanism. Overall, “Arrhythmia” sets itself apart by developing and maintaining a high level of energy with frequent moving sixteenth notes driving the ensemble forward.

Structurally, this piece features connected phrases that build on each other, helping to create an interesting through line from beginning to end. Starting with an add-in introduction, the piece then takes off with driving eighth notes on the tom rims while each player interjects tom passages on the drums. Martz builds and compresses the rhythms, increasing the energy until a climactic unison moment. After an opportunity for the performers to switch drums with optional visuals, the players return to the split melody process. Eventually, the drummers all join together in sixteenth notes, using accents and dynamics to continue the main thematic material, leading to a big and triumphant ending.

“Arrhythmia” is written for a high school or advanced middle school group. Most of the piece employs simple eighth- and sixteenth-note patterns; however, Martz incorporates sixteenth-note splits as transitional material that will challenge the performers — demonstrating the composer’s indicated marching bass drum influence. To help the performers, Martz cleverly uses the rims of the toms to keep the drum rhythms more basic and achievable. And with the option to double each part to give more support to individual players, this piece could be programmed for a variety of ability levels. Running just over two minutes, “Arrhythmia” is a fun and exciting concert piece that students and audiences will both enjoy.

—Matthew Geiger
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 4, August 2023

Description

Arrhythmia by Walker Martz is a fun and energetic percussion quartet for middle school and high school level percussionists playing four pitched toms. The piece features hocket melodies between the performers that was inspired by split marching bass drum parts. A steady eighth-note rim pattern helps students keep their place in the hocket melodies. This is an excellent stepping stone for musicians wanting to play marching bass drum.

Performers are encouraged to get creative with visuals throughout the piece. There are a number of opportunities to insert body motions to crescendos and decrescendos, spins or other exciting visuals during a four-bar drum switching section, or a quirky stick drop after the last note.

Arrhythmia can also be adapted for eight players by doubling each part.

Arrhythmia ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

4 tom-toms (high to low)

Reviews

There will always be a market for chamber percussion works that feature instruments that are easy to find in any band room. “Arrhythmia” simply requires four toms, one for each player, varying in pitch to help facilitate melodic variety and motion. In a style similar to Wes Stephens’ “Tomfoolery,” Walker Martz even incorporates the same opening rhythmic motive frequently in his quartet; this piece uses the traditional playing area to split melodic ideas and the rims as a timekeeping mechanism. Overall, “Arrhythmia” sets itself apart by developing and maintaining a high level of energy with frequent moving sixteenth notes driving the ensemble forward.

Structurally, this piece features connected phrases that build on each other, helping to create an interesting through line from beginning to end. Starting with an add-in introduction, the piece then takes off with driving eighth notes on the tom rims while each player interjects tom passages on the drums. Martz builds and compresses the rhythms, increasing the energy until a climactic unison moment. After an opportunity for the performers to switch drums with optional visuals, the players return to the split melody process. Eventually, the drummers all join together in sixteenth notes, using accents and dynamics to continue the main thematic material, leading to a big and triumphant ending.

“Arrhythmia” is written for a high school or advanced middle school group. Most of the piece employs simple eighth- and sixteenth-note patterns; however, Martz incorporates sixteenth-note splits as transitional material that will challenge the performers — demonstrating the composer’s indicated marching bass drum influence. To help the performers, Martz cleverly uses the rims of the toms to keep the drum rhythms more basic and achievable. And with the option to double each part to give more support to individual players, this piece could be programmed for a variety of ability levels. Running just over two minutes, “Arrhythmia” is a fun and exciting concert piece that students and audiences will both enjoy.

—Matthew Geiger
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 4, August 2023


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