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Dots & Dashes

for percussion quartet
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 4:30
Personnel: 4 players
State Lists: Missouri | Texas
Release Date: 2016
Delivery Method: Physical
Product ID : TSPCE16-014
Price: $40.00
Item #: TSPCE16-014

Formats Available:



Description

Dots & Dashes is an intense, drummy, quartet for unpitched percussion in which composer Dustin Schulze aims to bridge the feel of tribal drum and dance music popular in West Africa with the complex, odd-meter construction found in popular western classical music.

This piece is written for Schulze’s former teacher, Brad Arnold, who had previously written a snare solo for him in high school using his initials (DLS) in Morse code (–.. .–.. ...) as the primary ostinato. Shulze includes that theme along with a 2+3+2+2+3 ostinato, both of which serve as the driving force behind the piece.

Instrumentation consists of simply drums and various cymbals, though players rotate frequently between playing on drum heads and rims, and will need to navigate an ongoing array of intricate rhythms and modulating meters. Once rhythmic challenges have been worked through,  advanced high school players will wow audiences with this aggressive show piece.

Dots & Dashes ships as a professionally spiral bound folio with a full color cover.  Individual parts are included as printable PDFs on a CD-ROM.

Instrumentation

  • Drums (4 bass drums, 4 concert toms, snare drum, bongos)
  • Cymbals (4 splash cymbals, hi-hat, spiral cymbal, riveted China cymbal, cymbal stack)

Reviews

“Dots & Dashes” is a groovy percussion quartet that aims to “bridge the tribal drum and dance music feel popular in West Africa with the complex, odd-meter construction found in popular western classical music." Each player has a setup of a bass drum, various smaller drums, and several different cymbals. The changing time signatures—alternating between 5/16 + 7/16 and quarter-note based meters—and syncopation within the parts themselves makes this piece not only rhythmically challenging but an ensemble challenge as well.

The piece is short (under five minutes) and flashy. It includes a few extended techniques, such as stick clicks and playing on the rim of the drum, as well as the occasional visual cue. This piece would be a good project for students with strong marching percussion chops who want to transition to concert playing, or for introducing keyboard players with excellent rhythm fundamentals to drumming. “Dots & Dashes” does require the players to have good stick control, especially with accents.

The piece would be a good addition to a college percussion ensemble concert, and would be especially effective for outreach concerts and recruiting endeavors, as it will most likely appeal to younger audiences. Though the piece is short, it is challenging enough to be a good semester project for a high school ensemble— though some of the more specialized cymbals might not be available in every program’s instrument inventory.

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

Description

Dots & Dashes is an intense, drummy, quartet for unpitched percussion in which composer Dustin Schulze aims to bridge the feel of tribal drum and dance music popular in West Africa with the complex, odd-meter construction found in popular western classical music.

This piece is written for Schulze’s former teacher, Brad Arnold, who had previously written a snare solo for him in high school using his initials (DLS) in Morse code (–.. .–.. ...) as the primary ostinato. Shulze includes that theme along with a 2+3+2+2+3 ostinato, both of which serve as the driving force behind the piece.

Instrumentation consists of simply drums and various cymbals, though players rotate frequently between playing on drum heads and rims, and will need to navigate an ongoing array of intricate rhythms and modulating meters. Once rhythmic challenges have been worked through,  advanced high school players will wow audiences with this aggressive show piece.

Dots & Dashes ships as a professionally spiral bound folio with a full color cover.  Individual parts are included as printable PDFs on a CD-ROM.

Instrumentation

  • Drums (4 bass drums, 4 concert toms, snare drum, bongos)
  • Cymbals (4 splash cymbals, hi-hat, spiral cymbal, riveted China cymbal, cymbal stack)

Reviews

“Dots & Dashes” is a groovy percussion quartet that aims to “bridge the tribal drum and dance music feel popular in West Africa with the complex, odd-meter construction found in popular western classical music." Each player has a setup of a bass drum, various smaller drums, and several different cymbals. The changing time signatures—alternating between 5/16 + 7/16 and quarter-note based meters—and syncopation within the parts themselves makes this piece not only rhythmically challenging but an ensemble challenge as well.

The piece is short (under five minutes) and flashy. It includes a few extended techniques, such as stick clicks and playing on the rim of the drum, as well as the occasional visual cue. This piece would be a good project for students with strong marching percussion chops who want to transition to concert playing, or for introducing keyboard players with excellent rhythm fundamentals to drumming. “Dots & Dashes” does require the players to have good stick control, especially with accents.

The piece would be a good addition to a college percussion ensemble concert, and would be especially effective for outreach concerts and recruiting endeavors, as it will most likely appeal to younger audiences. Though the piece is short, it is challenging enough to be a good semester project for a high school ensemble— though some of the more specialized cymbals might not be available in every program’s instrument inventory.

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


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