Welcome to The Percussion Room Blog.

This is the official blog of The Percussion Room, for various notes, lists and ramblings. Please leave comments below posts or contact me here.

Thanks for stopping by.

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The Percussion Room Is Now Using Https

in case you didn’t notice, The Percussion Room’s connections are now encrypted. Continue reading

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A Little Conga Maintenance

i recently got the opportunity to play a show that calls for a lot of conga playing. i bought my “congas” (quinto, conga and tumbadora) a long time ago, second-hand. i haven’t had a lot of professional use for them but they have come in handy now and then, and i actually love playing them.

the tumba head never “sat” well, it was always lopsided and sounded a bit funky. i thought i’d finally fix it. i had a feeling it might not be a great idea because the head was very old and it was probably happy where it was. but i had some time and if something went wrong i could fix it. the head broke.

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Upvoting Percussion Options

in April 2013, i added the ability to ‘Upvote’ percussion options. in the ‘Assignments’ area, after you have found and clicked on a composition (or movement), one or more percussion options are provided that tell you how many players are needed for that option, an assessment of the option is provided, and some other optional information may also be given.

Upvoting Image

Click the ‘Upvote’ arrow to vote for an option and let others know that an option works.

‘Upvoting’ is simple: if you feel one of the options (a set of assignments) works, simply click the ‘Upvote’ arrow.

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Subs and Extras

i used to talk about this occasionally with a former colleague but it hasn’t come up for quite a while. i recently heard someone use the term ‘sub’ and i also saw the term on an audition list – ‘percussion sub list’ – and they brought the idea back to mind.

Resumein every field of endeavor, i think, there are terms that are used interchangeably; we use whichever’s comfortable, whatever’s currently hip, whatever we like, as long as the idea gets across. most of the time that’s fine, even preferable. sub and extra are two such terms.

there’s a difference between a sub and an extra that’s often overlooked and sometimes the distinction should be made. perhaps…

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New Page – Auditions

i added a new page to the site a few days ago – Auditions. this could cover several aspects of auditions, but to start with i’m collecting audition lists and will make them downloadable. please send in any lists you have from any orchestra and any audition past or present.

upload your list(s) here: www.thepercussionroom.com/auditions.aspx

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Percussion Dictionary Terms – A Few Exceptions

i’ve gotten a few term-submissions that won’t make it into the dictionary. one is a short-form ‘term’, another is, i’m quite sure, not a term at all. i’m going to make a(nother) list here. it’s a very short list now but it might add up.

  • tdb – short-form for tambour de basque, which is French for tambourine. a common short-form for tambourine is ‘tamb’, but using the ‘tdb’ short-form instead helps to eliminate confusion (well, once you know what ‘tdb’ is) between all the ‘tambours’ – tambour, tambourine, tambour roullante, tambour militaire, etc., etc. (Update: i might change this to t’ine. any thoughts, suggestions?)
  • stell sticks – i couldn’t find any definitions for this. i’m betting that this is a typographical error (typo) that should read, ‘steel sticks’ (like triangle sticks/beaters).
  • bumbo – this should probably be ‘bombo’, which is in the dictionary.
  • verge – please see verghe.
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Unusual Timpani Tunings

it’s nice to come across something unique every once in a while; not mind-blowing necessarily, but unusual in some way.

Meyerbeer – Coronation March

1st and 5th degrees? obvious. how often do you see 1st, 5th and 7th degrees?

Meyerbeer – Coronation March – Timpani Excerpt 1

Meyerbeer – Coronation March – Timpani Excerpt 2

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Bells As Imagery In Orchestral Music

among my (too) many lists is one i started to track the use of bells where they are used to evoke some extra-musical image. the most common uses are imitating clocks and pealing bells in the distance.

Clifton Campville Church Bells

here are a few to get started. if you know of one please add it in the comments and i’ll add it to the list(s).

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i’m trying to figure out if it’s the nature of this blog or percussionists or musicians or something else entirely that leads to the lack of comments and feedback from the visitors to this blog and its mother-site, The Percussion Room.

i suppose it’s a combination of things, but it’s kind of odd to have access to a resource and not want to say something about it or have some input or even make a comment. (i suppose if i charged admission people would have more to say.)

why i think it’s odd has to do, in part, with my experience of other sites i regularly visit. most of them are technical, dealing in internet/information technology, building/maintaining websites, coding and the like. one of the sites was already hugely popular when i found it and had a membership of over 7 million. it now has 9.3 million members and it keeps growing. [update: 9.6 million (2013-02-04)][update: 10,108,794 million (2013-09-26)]. there are several other, equally popular sites all devoted to desktop and website development. so many sites, so much interest.

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several updates as of 2012-09-03:

    • i added a new e-mail box on the assignments page so you can e-mail me without leaving the page. let me know what you’re looking for if you can’t find it.
    • on the home page I added a convenient way to get updates about ensembles, concerts, events and news from around the music world.
    • there are a couple new social buttons: twitter (follow @percroom) and +1 (Google’s social thingy). please support TPR by clicking a button or three. tnx.
    • several design tweaks and other things you probably won’t notice or care about. <|:^D
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