Witch Doctor (Bagdasarian)Witch Doctor (Bagdasarian)
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Witch Doctor (Bagdasarian)

as heard in Alvin and the Chipmunks
arranged for percussion ensemble by Alan Keown
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: 2:20
Personnel: 9-11 players
Release Date: 2018
Product ID : TSPCE18-021
Price: $40.00
Item #: TSPCE18-021

Formats Available:
Physical Only

Description

Alan Keown’s humorous arrangement of Witch Doctor, as heard on the classic cartoon Alvin and the Chipmunks, gives beginning percussion students a great opportunity to let their hair down and have a blast! The piece incorporates an array of nontraditional percussion instruments like a duck call, a siren whistle, a slide whistle, and a police whistle. These instruments are engaging for the students as well as the audience and can provide a welcomed relief from studying the more traditional instruments. Keown suggests that the most extroverted performer be given the duck call and make the most of it; let them be the star of the show!

Witch Doctor comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts available for printing.

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

Vibraphone

Marimba—low A

4 timpani

Drums 4 concert toms, snare drum, bass drum)

Cymbals & gongs (ride cymbal, hi-hat, opera gong)

Accessories (cowbell, siren whistle, bulb horn, police whistle, slide whistle, duck call, vibraphone slap)

Reviews

Alan Keown’s arrangement of Ross Bagdasarian’s “Witch Doctor,” as heard on Alvin and the Chipmunks, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The arrangement is full of energy, variety, and creativity. At the beginning of the score, Keown includes program notes as well as very helpful performance considerations about such things as mallet choice and how parts can be doubled (hence 9–11 players). A very clean and detailed suggested setup diagram is included with the score. 

The music is the tune as we know it with a percussion break in the middle. The snare drum and bass drum players often emulate a drumset “boom-chick” part, marimba is the bass line, and the glockenspiel and xylophone players carry the melody. What is particularly fun about this arrangement is the arranger’s use of sound effect interjections (whistles, blocks, etc.) and his decision to pass solos around the ensemble. 

Where the arrangement really comes alive is the percussion break in the middle. It is essentially a trap solo passed around six players. Cowbell, whistles, and sirens are featured as well as a snare and tom solo. However, as Keown mentions in the performance notes, the duck call player shines here. 

I would recommend this arrangement with the highest enthusiasm for a middle school or high school percussion ensemble that is looking for something challenging, yet fun and exciting. This one is guaranteed to get laughter and robust applause from the audience.

–Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes
Vol. 57, No. 2, November 2017

Description

Alan Keown’s humorous arrangement of Witch Doctor, as heard on the classic cartoon Alvin and the Chipmunks, gives beginning percussion students a great opportunity to let their hair down and have a blast! The piece incorporates an array of nontraditional percussion instruments like a duck call, a siren whistle, a slide whistle, and a police whistle. These instruments are engaging for the students as well as the audience and can provide a welcomed relief from studying the more traditional instruments. Keown suggests that the most extroverted performer be given the duck call and make the most of it; let them be the star of the show!

Witch Doctor comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts available for printing.

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

Vibraphone

Marimba—low A

4 timpani

Drums 4 concert toms, snare drum, bass drum)

Cymbals & gongs (ride cymbal, hi-hat, opera gong)

Accessories (cowbell, siren whistle, bulb horn, police whistle, slide whistle, duck call, vibraphone slap)

Reviews

Alan Keown’s arrangement of Ross Bagdasarian’s “Witch Doctor,” as heard on Alvin and the Chipmunks, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The arrangement is full of energy, variety, and creativity. At the beginning of the score, Keown includes program notes as well as very helpful performance considerations about such things as mallet choice and how parts can be doubled (hence 9–11 players). A very clean and detailed suggested setup diagram is included with the score. 

The music is the tune as we know it with a percussion break in the middle. The snare drum and bass drum players often emulate a drumset “boom-chick” part, marimba is the bass line, and the glockenspiel and xylophone players carry the melody. What is particularly fun about this arrangement is the arranger’s use of sound effect interjections (whistles, blocks, etc.) and his decision to pass solos around the ensemble. 

Where the arrangement really comes alive is the percussion break in the middle. It is essentially a trap solo passed around six players. Cowbell, whistles, and sirens are featured as well as a snare and tom solo. However, as Keown mentions in the performance notes, the duck call player shines here. 

I would recommend this arrangement with the highest enthusiasm for a middle school or high school percussion ensemble that is looking for something challenging, yet fun and exciting. This one is guaranteed to get laughter and robust applause from the audience.

–Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes
Vol. 57, No. 2, November 2017



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