Practical Percussion

A Guide to the Instruments and Their Sources

By (author) James Holland

Hardback - £58.00

Publication date:

16 September 2005

Length of book:

210 pages


Scarecrow Press

ISBN-13: 9780810856585

The second half of the twentieth century saw vast changes in all aspects of percussion - the instruments themselves, playing techniques, and percussion writing - plus the huge influence of pop music, jazz, and film scores. Additionally, the revolution in travel and communications has meant that composers have become much more aware of a seemingly endless variety of ethnic instruments from around the world. Holland aims to show the world of percussion as it is today, and to answer some common questions about it.

Today's professional players frequently find themselves performing in many countries where the availability of percussion instruments can vary widely. Practical Percussion contains a section on manufacturers and suppliers all over the world. In addition to this list of manufacturers, the percussion requirements - both instruments and players - for some 1500 works are also listed. The foreword by Pierre Boulez further assists the reader in appreciating and understanding the richness, variety, and function of percussion instruments the world over.
This encyclopedia inventories approximately 250 percussion instruments and effects, addressing new developments, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century, and consisting of instruments from all parts of the world. Entries are sometimes brief and sometimes more than a page and contain illustrations and range, if applicable. Other chapters are on the percussion in the orchestra, as soloist and in ensembles, composing and publishing percussion music, use in education, an alphabetical directory of manufacturers and suppliers, and information on the Percussive Arts Society. Half the book is a catalog of works and their instrumentation, listed alphabetically by composer. It includes a brief foreword by conductor and composer Pierre Boulez. There is no bibliography. Holland is an experienced percussionist who performs with the BBC Symphony.