Marching Percussion Ensembles Vol. 1
Composer: Daniel Berg
Instrument: Marching Ensemble
Duration: 15 min.
What’s the best thing about marching drumming? Leader of the Gothenburg Drum Corps in Sweden, Per Björkqvist, asked me this question some years ago. I gave it some thought and answered, “everybody can join!”. And yes, if you have fun pieces to play, you can arrange them for all levels so everybody can join.
In this booklet, Per Björkqvist has written drum parts for three of my pieces from Easy Duets (previously published by Edition Svitzer). These parts have their roots in “warm up exercises” often used in the world of drum corps. Per and I hope that these pieces can get everyone to play together and further strengthen their interest in playing percussion ensemble music.
As a percussion teacher, you need to inspire your students to play different instruments, musical styles and concepts. We need to work on lots of layers to get the students to groove and learn new things, often inspired by their friends in a social community. There are three important roles for having a successful climate to grooving: 1. you need to play together with others; 2. you need to understand what it’s about and; 3. you have to learn new things every time.
Often, there is too little time to rehearse everything that you want to work on in a rehearsal; warm ups, time keeping, period playing, rudimental drumming, new tunes and so on. In these three tunes, we tried to combine a lot of these ideas. Our first goal is to let the students play a lot and have fun, (it’s much more fun to play then to count rests). You can add one or more of the percussion parts to the great pieces that Daniel has written, depending on the setting of your ensemble and level of your students. Good luck and have fun!
About the composer +
Daniel Berg is a Swedish composer, musician and professor in classical percussion. He combines the role of writing music with being a versatile musician and teaches solo percussion and chamber music at the University College of Music in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Örebro in Sweden.
In his passion to promote the marimba as a solo- and chamber music instrument, Daniel has worked intimately with a number of composers who have written original music for the instrument. This includes more than 250 world premieres for solo and chamber works. Daniel Berg is an artist of Bergerault Marimbas and Elite Mallets.
As a composer Daniel has written a lot for percussion published by Edition Svitzer like his Kroumata for percussion sextet, Images for Percussion Duo and Yán Jiāng (Magma) for solo marimba - a commission from the Taiwan World Percussion Competition 2020.
Percussive Notes, November 2016
Per Björkqvist has taken three pieces from Daniel Berg’s Easy Duets (also published by Edition Svitzer) and arranged them for beginning marching percussion ensemble. As Berg states in the performance notes, “Per and I hope that these pieces can get everyone to play together and further strengthen their interest in playing percussion ensemble music.” As marching percussion continues to grow at the secondary level, the demand to get more performers involved at the primary and intermediate level grows, and these pieces achieve exactly that.
Each ensemble stays true to its intent and offers the possibility to involve a lot of performers at varying levels. Scored for snare drum, tenor drum (single, not multi tenors), marching cymbals, drumset, xylophone, marimba, and bass guitar, basic technique is the primary emphasis with standard exercises making up the bulk of the snare drum and tenor drum parts (double beat, accent tap, chicken and a roll, etc.). The marimba part consists of only double vertical strokes and would be best suited for a four-mallet beginner. The bass guitar part generally mirrors the marimba part. The xylophone part provides some melodic and technical content, and the cymbal part is scored perfectly for a beginner or non-percussionist. With clear four- and eight-measure phrases, the steps to memorization (if desired) are minimized. With the inclusion of a drumset part, students with strong technical facility will have plenty to work on, as groove and feel could be considered one of the secondary pedagogical goals.
Overall, Björkqvist and Berg have provided the perfect avenue for a program that is looking to get more people involved at the primary and intermediate level. Each piece is adaptable for programs facing varying equipment and personnel issues. These works are also extremely well suited to demonstrate basic marching percussion for a percussion methods course at the collegiate level.
Front Cover layout: Gaia Gomes
Photo: Per Buhre
Engraving: Johan Svitzer
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER