Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs for percussion ensemble
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2016)
Composed: 2015
Duration: 2′
Difficulty: Medium-Easy
Instrumentation (6 players): agogo bells, temple blocks (2), bongos, congas, djembe, cajon

Ups and Downs is a groove-based work for easy to intermediate percussion ensemble utilizing relative high and low pitches on non-pitched world percussion instruments. Opening with the signature bell part from the 6/8 Afro-Cuban style over which is layered a complementary block part, the drums enter with an aggressive unison statement before the piece explores a variety of layered textures, call and response statements, and rhythmic dialog. This is an excellent work for introducing students to instruments not regularly included in standard band literature and allowing them to experience the metric flexibility of the 6/8 time signature while also providing the flexibility of either a smaller chamber ensemble for six players or a large ensemble with any or all parts doubled or tripled.

… pedagogically sound with multiple layers of teaching points for young players … this work will have percussion students firing on all cylinders as they learn historical world percussion patterns, play in unison and in hocket-fashion, and sculpt various sounds from a single instrument. – Joshua D. Smith
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.