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Book Bash

for body percussion ensemble
Level: Medium
Duration: 2:20
Personnel: 10 players
Release Date: 2023
Product ID : TSPCE23-023
Price: $36.00
Item #: TSPCE23-023

Formats Available:


Description

Book Bash by Brian Slawson is an entertaining and playful percussion ensemble comprised of ten players playing found and body percussion instruments. The piece takes place in a classroom filled with identical desks where students are quietly studying the contents of their hardcover books. The students begin playing rhythms on their desks and books, which then turns into a spirited musical moment. Finger rolls on desks, hand claps, fist pounds, foot stomps, and book slams build to an impressive climax before class is released.

Book Bash was composed for Music In Our Schools Month® (March), the time of year designated by the National Association for Music Education when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.

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

Instrumentation

School desks

Hard cover textbooks

Optional school bell or buzzer (or electronic sample, included)

Reviews

Looking for a quirky, short, audience-pleaser to fill out your percussion ensemble program? “Book Bash” is an easy, visually engaging little vignette of a school classroom that will be sure to be a hit with audiences. In a similar style to John Cage’s “Living Room Music,” Brian Slawson’s composition calls upon the performers to play various rhythms on everyday items — in this case, on books. Each player is called upon to create nine different sounds (stomps, finger taps, slaps, book slams, opening and closing the books, etc.) in a lively cacophony of rhythms.

“Book Bash” is a great opportunity to work on ensemble skills and stage presence. While the rhythms passed around the ensemble are simple, developing consistency of sound and precise rhythmic placement can be difficult, especially on nontraditional instruments. The performers also have free rein to make the performance as theatrical as they would like. The piece is bookended (pun intended) by the chiming of a school bell, and the two minutes of rhythmic dialogue in between builds inevitably to a peak in both dynamics and tempo. By evoking images of a classroom with the sounds of the bell and the books, Slawson creates the perfect environment for young performers to explore their theatrical side and create an engaging visual performance, in the style of Stomp! or “Living Room Music.”

An excellent addition to any educator’s library, “Book Bash” is a relatively easy, entertaining work that utilizes materials that are readily available and can easily be transported to any venue.

—Hannah Weaver
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 6, December 2023

Description

Book Bash by Brian Slawson is an entertaining and playful percussion ensemble comprised of ten players playing found and body percussion instruments. The piece takes place in a classroom filled with identical desks where students are quietly studying the contents of their hardcover books. The students begin playing rhythms on their desks and books, which then turns into a spirited musical moment. Finger rolls on desks, hand claps, fist pounds, foot stomps, and book slams build to an impressive climax before class is released.

Book Bash was composed for Music In Our Schools Month® (March), the time of year designated by the National Association for Music Education when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.

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

Instrumentation

School desks

Hard cover textbooks

Optional school bell or buzzer (or electronic sample, included)

Reviews

Looking for a quirky, short, audience-pleaser to fill out your percussion ensemble program? “Book Bash” is an easy, visually engaging little vignette of a school classroom that will be sure to be a hit with audiences. In a similar style to John Cage’s “Living Room Music,” Brian Slawson’s composition calls upon the performers to play various rhythms on everyday items — in this case, on books. Each player is called upon to create nine different sounds (stomps, finger taps, slaps, book slams, opening and closing the books, etc.) in a lively cacophony of rhythms.

“Book Bash” is a great opportunity to work on ensemble skills and stage presence. While the rhythms passed around the ensemble are simple, developing consistency of sound and precise rhythmic placement can be difficult, especially on nontraditional instruments. The performers also have free rein to make the performance as theatrical as they would like. The piece is bookended (pun intended) by the chiming of a school bell, and the two minutes of rhythmic dialogue in between builds inevitably to a peak in both dynamics and tempo. By evoking images of a classroom with the sounds of the bell and the books, Slawson creates the perfect environment for young performers to explore their theatrical side and create an engaging visual performance, in the style of Stomp! or “Living Room Music.”

An excellent addition to any educator’s library, “Book Bash” is a relatively easy, entertaining work that utilizes materials that are readily available and can easily be transported to any venue.

—Hannah Weaver
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 6, December 2023



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