Final Boss, TheFinal Boss, The
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Final Boss, The

for percussion ensemble
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: 2:45
Personnel: 7-8 players
Release Date: 2021
Product ID : TSPCE21-014
Price: $36.00
Item #: TSPCE21-014

Formats Available:


Description

In The Final Boss, composer Andrew Smit takes dramatic inspiration from the final levels of older video games, in which the player faces off against their strongest opponent. This piece provides an engaging opportunity for developing players to explore an aggressive, urgent feel. It also serves to strengthen the players’ comfortability with syncopated rhythms and the Phrygian mode. Perfect for younger groups or college methods courses!

Smit dedicates this piece to his junior high school band director, Kim Coughlin, with gratitude.

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

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • 2 marimbas—(1) 4-octave, (1) low A
  • 3 timpani
  • Drums (snare drum, 4 concert toms, concert bass drum*)
  • Cymbals & gongs (hi-hat, 2 suspended cymbals, tam-tam)
  • Accessories (triangle, cabasa*)

*Optional

Reviews

Inspired by the music of arcade-style video games, “The Final Boss” is a quality piece for less experienced ensembles that is “meant to evoke the aggressive and anxious music that would be playing in the background of the last level of a game as you face off against the final boss.” With driving rhythms and Phrygian-mode melodies throughout, Andrew Smit successfully creates this type of tension and atmosphere.

Consisting of a through-composed form, the melodic material stays in a B-Phrygian mode throughout. This consistency works well for the experience level the piece is written for. Keyboard parts require only two mallets, and while there are some solo moments, most of the mallet parts double each other at the octave, allowing for younger students to reinforce each other in performance. Even areas where mallet parts consist of a single player, that part is always accompanied by a percussion part that helps to strengthen the mallet part.

While the focus for most of the piece is on the melodic elements, one section contains features for the snare drum and timpani. These solos are both idiomatically written, stylistically appropriate for the piece, and help to add some variety to the work.

While mallet players only have to deal with eighth notes as their smallest subdivision, the percussion players need to deal with sixteenth-note rhythms and triplets. All players need to have a good command of dynamic contrast, as well as be comfortable switching between instruments, as almost all parts utilize at least two instruments, except for the snare drum and one of the marimba parts.

“The Final Boss” is a high-quality work for younger percussion ensembles that exposes the ensemble to a variety of musical concepts while keeping the piece accessible for audiences and fun for the ensemble members. At just under three minutes, it would be a great addition to any middle or high school program’s library.

—Brian Nozny
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 1, February 2022

Description

In The Final Boss, composer Andrew Smit takes dramatic inspiration from the final levels of older video games, in which the player faces off against their strongest opponent. This piece provides an engaging opportunity for developing players to explore an aggressive, urgent feel. It also serves to strengthen the players’ comfortability with syncopated rhythms and the Phrygian mode. Perfect for younger groups or college methods courses!

Smit dedicates this piece to his junior high school band director, Kim Coughlin, with gratitude.

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

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • 2 marimbas—(1) 4-octave, (1) low A
  • 3 timpani
  • Drums (snare drum, 4 concert toms, concert bass drum*)
  • Cymbals & gongs (hi-hat, 2 suspended cymbals, tam-tam)
  • Accessories (triangle, cabasa*)

*Optional

Reviews

Inspired by the music of arcade-style video games, “The Final Boss” is a quality piece for less experienced ensembles that is “meant to evoke the aggressive and anxious music that would be playing in the background of the last level of a game as you face off against the final boss.” With driving rhythms and Phrygian-mode melodies throughout, Andrew Smit successfully creates this type of tension and atmosphere.

Consisting of a through-composed form, the melodic material stays in a B-Phrygian mode throughout. This consistency works well for the experience level the piece is written for. Keyboard parts require only two mallets, and while there are some solo moments, most of the mallet parts double each other at the octave, allowing for younger students to reinforce each other in performance. Even areas where mallet parts consist of a single player, that part is always accompanied by a percussion part that helps to strengthen the mallet part.

While the focus for most of the piece is on the melodic elements, one section contains features for the snare drum and timpani. These solos are both idiomatically written, stylistically appropriate for the piece, and help to add some variety to the work.

While mallet players only have to deal with eighth notes as their smallest subdivision, the percussion players need to deal with sixteenth-note rhythms and triplets. All players need to have a good command of dynamic contrast, as well as be comfortable switching between instruments, as almost all parts utilize at least two instruments, except for the snare drum and one of the marimba parts.

“The Final Boss” is a high-quality work for younger percussion ensembles that exposes the ensemble to a variety of musical concepts while keeping the piece accessible for audiences and fun for the ensemble members. At just under three minutes, it would be a great addition to any middle or high school program’s library.

—Brian Nozny
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 1, February 2022


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