Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces for percussion ensemble
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2010)
Composed: 2009
Duration: Flexible
Difficulty: Easy
Instrumentation (6+ players): performer selected pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments

Puzzle Pieces is a minimalistic work that allows the performers to be part of the composition. Any number of pitched or non-pitched percussion instruments may be used by any number of players. The piece works best with 6-12 players, but could be easily performed with less or more. Performers playing pitched instruments read the left-facing page of the score. Performers playing non-pitched instruments read the right-facing page of the score. Pitched instrument parts may be played in any octave. On each page, there are five categories of measures: Corner Piece, Edge Piece, Middle Piece, Detail Piece, and Final Piece. As with any puzzle, this work progresses systematically from the corners to the final piece. Once tempo is established by the conductor or a selected performer, each member of the ensemble may begin playing the Corner Piece of their choice. Players should enter on beat one of a measure but need not start at the same time. Each player should repeat that Corner Piece measure as many or as few times as desired before moving to one or more of the Edge Pieces and again repeating as desired. At any time during the piece, students may also rest or not play for one or more measures. This process continues as each player moves to the Middle Pieces and Detail Pieces. Once all performers have reached the Detail Pieces and are repeating those measures, the conductor or selected performer should cue the ensemble to play the Final Piece in unison to conclude the work, in effect “completing the puzzle.”

Finally we have a creative piece of beginning percussion ensemble literature! … endlessly engaging and instructive to young percussionists. – Ron Coulter
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.