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Barely Breathing

percussion quartet
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Composer: Brett Dietz
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: 2 sets of tom-toms (one low, one high), woodblock, hi-hat, glockenspiel, congas, bongos, tambourine mounted on cymbal stand, splash cymbal, xylophone, bass drum, timbales, cowbell, crash cymbal, vibraphone, ribbon crasher, china cymbal, marimba (4 1/3)

"This advanced percussion quartet composition includes keyboard percussion and membranophones. The instrumentation is fairly standard and includes six tom-toms, woodblock, tambourine, congas, bongos, cowbell, timbales, bass drum, glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone and a 4.3-octave (low A) marimba. The tempo of 60 bpm is deceiving because the overall groove is felt at 120, but the marking of 60 is required for the many meter changes. The rhythms primarily consist of sixteenth and thirty-second notes with several meter changes and hemiola patterns throughout the work. The final bars include time signatures such as 27/64 and 33/64, which gives an indication as to the difficulty of the work. The two sections can be divided by instrumentation and set up in two different box formations with the membranes separate from the keyboards. The drums are never utilized with the keyboard instruments, and ample time is allowed in the piece to travel from formation to formation. This non-conducted work is constant and fast-paced. The keyboard sections are very atonal, only require two mallets on each instrument, and will demand significant practice on the part of each performer. This would be a good piece for an advanced quartet looking for a work with intense keyboard and drum parts." - Julia Gaines, Percussive Notes December 2008

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