||This is a wonderful percussion instruction book (154 pages)by Ryszard Pusz, internationally famous performer, composer and teacher who hails from Australia.
Time & Again by R. Pusz.
The development of Percussion in this century has been along a number
of seemingly disparate paths. The traditional or classical Snare Drum
system, based on rudiments is strongly juxtaposed with an often untutored approach based on the Drum Kit. To this have been added a more pianistic approach to Keyboard Percussion, major developments in Multiple Percussion and an ever increasing interest in Folk Percussion instruments from a variety of cultures.
The problem for percussionists is that these areas quite frequently
overlap; and one is expected to be equally adept in all of them. Consequently, we are faced with the problem of synthesising all these
approaches into one all-encompassing method, which will enable us to
gain skill in each area, especially as composers continually make
more complex demands on percussionists.
What then should be our aim as players? First and foremost we are
attempting to use percussion as a medium for expressing our musical
thoughts (and the musical thoughts of others). It is pointless learning a variety of technical skills without considering the musical environment which is the rationale for their existence.
Learning technical skills is a starting point, akin to learning how
to use woodworking tools; the end product needs to be the ability to
play music to non-musicians, just as the woodworker would aim to produce saleable goods to non-woodworkers.
If we accept that playing music (as opposed to playing a "drum") is
the end result, then we must also accept that any sound on that
"drum" (short of damaging the instrument or player) is a legitimate
expression of musical ideas. It is important to remember that, as
musicians we are in the business of producing sounds, and so the
sound we produce must be the most important objective of our playing.
Composers are usually more interested in organising and combining
sounds rather than techniques, which they see as the provenance of
the performer; audiences too listen to the sounds rather than the
techniques of sound production. So we need to learn techniques to enable us to play these sounds (as opposed to learning them as an end in themselves); and we also need to learn to discriminate when to use them.
Moreover, percussion playing also means playing on a large number of
instruments of varying shape, size, material and function. Thus it is
desirable in the early stages of percussion learning, to develop a
technique which is as close to being universally applicable to this collection of instruments as possible, or to develop a few techniques which can be interchangeably used on them.
Percussion playing is also very much a physical activity. So it is necessary to develop a method of playing that allows us to play for long periods of time without tiring or feeling pain. For this, we
need fine muscular control and an awareness of what various muscles
are doing. In essence, we need to develop relaxed posture and movement, an effective grip and an efficient technique which allows for greatest control without inhibiting the range of dynamic and expressive variety.
These then are the two guiding principles we should inculcate - an
awareness of the sound we are producing and the manner in which we
are producing it, with a relaxed control. In this book I have
concerned myself with compiling a series of essential practice
techniques and rudiments for untuned percussion only, as this is the
area of percussion which is the least understood in terms of
structuring practice sessions.