Percussion performance : challenges of the medium, technique and repertoire /

Publication Type:



University of Adelaide,, Australia, p.xv, 417 pages : music ; 30 cm + 2 discs (12 cm.) (2016)



History and criticism., Percussion instruments, Percussion music, Performance.


"April 2016".Includes 1 DVD and 1 CD in back pocket " Appendix B: Videos", "Appendix C: Recordings of performances".Thesis (M.Phil.)--University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium of Music, 2016.Bibliography: pages 337-373.Ch. 1. Re-conceiving the percussion medium -- Ch. 2. Evolving percussion techniques -- Ch. 3. Solo : "Concerto pour batterie et petit orchestre" by Darius Milhaud -- Ch. 4. Chamber music : "Sonata for viola and percussion" by Peter Sculthorpe -- Ch. 5. Percussion ensemble in Australia -- Conclusion.This dissertation for the degree of Master of Philosophy at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide, examines the challenges to percussion performance presented by the medium, techniques and repertoire in a changing environment. The importation, development and adaptation of percussion instruments, the development of techniques in traditional and new contexts and composers' searches for new sounds to express a variety of musical and theatrical ideas coalesced over the course of the twentieth century to provide the basis for these changes and challenges. This study analyses the inter-relationships between each of these elements and consequent changes as they affect performance. Percussion performance over the course of the twentieth century in the Art Music world was elevated from a subsidiary, back-of-stage provider of rhythm and volume to a centre-stage presentation of performances in its own right. This change was both quantitative and qualitative, which in the process, created a new genre. By examining the issues related to this change the study aims to provide an understanding of the elements of the instruments, the techniques and repertoire to be a resource for future analyses, compositions and performances. The study, by investigating a selection of representative instruments and major techniques, examines significant developments in the medium and playing techniques and the relationships that exist between them and the repertoire and investigates the challenges these elements present for performance. The study draws mainly on four significant works, the Milhaud Concerto pour batterie et petit orchestre, Sculthorpe Sonata for Viola and Percussion, Bryce Suite for Percussion Quintet and Morgan Loss for Percussion Quartet, three of which I performed in close collaboration with the composers and analyses them in the context of musical intent and the challenges they present to performance. Furthermore the study draws conclusions on the challenges these elements present for a cohesive performance.