Dot Dash for percussion ensemble
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2022)
Instrumentation (5-9 players): bells, xylophone, vibraphone, 3.0-octave marimba, timpani (2), ride cymbal, hi-hat, snare drum, bongos, concert toms (4)
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Rhythmically drawn from morse code for the words “dot” and “dash,” this medium-easy percussion ensemble for flexible instrumentation can be performed with only pitched percussion (keyboards and timpani), only non-pitched percussion (plus timpani), a mixed combination of five or more players, or all nine parts, potentially doubled for an even larger ensemble. Initially stated in the bells and/or snare drum, the “dot dash” rhythmic iteration is then creatively orchestrated and strategically shifted throughout each pair of new voices that enter, turning a simple rhythmic motive into a groovy ensemble realization. Doubling the speed of the rhythm and creating call and response effects between ensemble members further exploits this motive before a sparse orchestration of the original rhythmic value is passed between the ensemble and then layered into a final unison statement.