Percy Graingers's "The Warriors--Music to an Imaginary Ballet". Innovations in orchestration. The addition of the melodic percussion section as an equal force in 20th century orchestral writing
AuthorRoscigno, John Anthony
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe objective of this document is to provide information on Percy Grainger's innovations in writing for what Grainger himself described as "tuneful percussion" in his orchestral work The Warriors. To Grainger, "tuneful percussion" refers to mallet keyboard instruments and members of the traditional keyboard family including pianos, celesta, and other finger operated instruments. Three main subject areas are covered in this document. The first section will give a general background of the historical development of keyboard instruments in orchestral writing. The second area is devoted to Percy Grainger's musical background and what led to his interest in orchestral experimentation with melodic percussion instruments. This section concludes with a detailed look at the "tuneful percussion" scoring in The Warriors. The objective will be to prove that Grainger was the first composer to orchestrate for the entire melodic percussion section and to give this segment of the orchestra melodic and harmonic content equal to that of the other sections of the orchestra. The final section will cover other composers who were, and are, interested in writing extensively for the same orchestral family of instruments. In this final section, references will be made to the compositions of Carl Orff, Olivier Messiaen and a number of late 20th century composers.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance