Title: Modern School for Snare Drum

Author: Morris Goldenberg

Description: This book is meant to help develop the skills necessary to play in a percussion section of the orchestra. Nearly every orchestral percussion instrument one can think of is discussed in this book. The book has two main sections. The first section of the book progresses through exercizes that develop the skills needed to play snare drum. Exercises quickly go through notation, various rhythms, time signatures, flams, and rolls. The end of this section includes duets and etudes to develop familiarity with the various time signatures and rhythms that had been mentioned in the previous exercises. The second section of the book is called a “Guide Book for the Artist Percussionist.” It deals with specific technical concerns pertaining to each individual percussion instrument, including orchestral examples which best display these technical challenges.

Here is a list of the percussion instruments discussed in this section:

Snare Drum, Field Drum, Tenor Drum, Tabor, Tom-Tom, Tambourine, Bass Drum, Bongos, Timbales, Congas, String Drum, Cymbals, Antique Cymbals, Triangle, Gong, Wood Block, Castanets, Anvil, Auto Horn, Chains, Temple Blocks, Claves, Cowbells, Jawbone, Maracas, Guiro, Ratchet, Sandpaper, Siren, Slapstick/Whip, Sleighbells, Twigs/Switches (Rute), Thundersheet, Wind Machine, Steel/Bell Plate, Horse-hooves, Shaker and Casaba.

Many of these instruments have 4-6 orchestral excerpts which accompany the basic background information given by Goldenberg.

Finally, the end of the book includes percussion scores for multiple percussion pieces and pieces with involved section playing.

Scores provided include:

  • Stravinsky – Soldier’s Tale
  • Walton – Facade Suite #2
  • Haydn – Symphony #101
  • Borodin – Polovetsian Dances
  • Rimsky-Korsakov – Capriccio Espagnol
  • Balakirev-Casella – Islamey
  • Honneger – Pacific 231
  • Prokofiev – Symphony #5
  • Prokofiev – Symphony #6
  • Stravinsky – Rite of Spring
  • Revueltas – Sensemaya
  • Bernstein – Age of Anxiety
  • Bartok – Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
  • Varese – Ionisation

Annotated by: Greg Simonds