Bombasticism: Concerto For Four Percussionists and Large Orchestra
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe original composition Bombasticism: Concerto for Four Percussion and Large Orchestra seeks to expand percussion ensemble literature, to the extent that the percussion quartet unites with the symphony orchestra in atypical fashion. This percussion quartet explores both expanded instrumentation as well as creates a homogenous new sound that suggests the importance of the percussion instrumentation collectively with wind and string instruments. Bombasticism diverges from traditional concerto by offering differing levels of soloist within the percussion quartet. The different levels of solo performance include; individual soloists in contrast to the percussion quartet, individual soloists layered within the percussion quartet in contrast to the orchestra, and the percussion quartet acting as a collective soloist in contrast to the full symphony orchestra. The percussion voice in Bombasticism shows wide variety not only as a rhythmic machine, but also plays an important melodic and harmonic role through the composition. Throughout the work, the percussion family contributes a complete array of sound to the composition in every aspect of musical language. Bombasticism is written in three movements. Each movement differs from the next in instrumentation, tempo, rhythmic intent, and pitch centers. The first movement, Skins, spotlight percussion instruments with drum heads. The timpani and roto-tom soloists will perform on pitched instruments, and the snare drum and bass drum soloists will perform on non-pitched instruments during the movement. Along with this instrumentation awareness, the primary compositional focus is rhythm. The second movement, Metal & Wood, utilizes percussion instruments that are made of metal or wood only. Pitched instruments include marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, vibraphone, and chimes. Nonpitched instruments involved are woodblock, anvil, cymbals, and hi-hat. The primary focus of this movement is the exploration of various approaches to tonality. The third movement, Tutti Causatum, incorporates all the percussion instruments used in the first two movements. This movement is the most rhythmically active, as most of the movement is based on the groupings of two, three, and four sixteenth notes. Tutti Causatum is the final telling of how Bombasticism mingles all the timbres of the percussion family to create a balance and unity within the orchestra.
Degree ProgramGraduate College