Composers Forum________Music

Program Notes:Andante for Percussion



by Tess Zangrilli


I composed a percussion piece using Ostentation for Percussion by John Tatgenhorst as a model. My main goal was to compose a piece that started softly, crescendo to a forte and then decrescendo back to a piano dynamic level. I achieved this in a short, fourteen-measure piece.

This composition contains a glockenspiel, high, medium, and low temble glocks, snare and bass drums and high, medium, low tom-toms. There are three rhythmic motifs expressed throughout the piece. The three motifs are:

They are manipulated by diminution, augmentation, permutation and imitation.

This piece is an exmple of 20th century chamber music. It is considered to be 20th century because it is affected by sociocultural influences of the 20th century. It can be compressed, performed and manipulated by technology developed post-World War II. It is considered to be chamber music because the instruments are all percussion instruments. These characteristics are what makes this piece 20th century chamber music.

I am happy with the fact that the sound level started low, got louder and ended softly. I think that this piece was weak in the sense of its structure. The motifs and their changes are not very clear. If I were to write this piece again, I would keep it about the same length and keep the dynamic levels. I would be a little more careful in the development of my motifs. I would also end on C to give the piece a feeling of completion. I like this piece. It is a combination of new ideas with parts of an old piece that I attempted to compose last term.