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Having never listened to a note of percussion : critique and exploration of new and old models for percussion performance practice

  • Author(s): Archinal, Brian Scott
  • et al.

The following discussion is intended as a provocative exploration of percussion pedagogy and its current methodical strata. Included in this exploration are artifacts resembling a critique. However, unlike many critiques, I seek to offer a solution, or at least an alternate path from the static tendencies of percussion education. The discussion first presents the necessary vocabulary, concepts, and experiential nature involved in understanding my arguments. The concepts of resonance, decay, and temporality are discussed with the idea that a student ultimately learns from the sound they make, and as a result, must develop a skill of listening. The resulting discussion focuses on how listening is taught in the traditional percussion education: that of the orchestrally focused curriculum, which is then examined through two important concepts, construction (an assembly of information to create meaning ) and constitution (an arrival at meaning). These two concepts offer immediate awareness into the differences in how a student, or any listener for that matter, is to make meaning from sounds. I argue that orchestral training alone teaches very little about how to apprehend the intentional sounds we make, therefore I recommend a path of development that can enrich this sense of listening on a pragmatic, albeit deeper conceptual stratum which provides expansive opportunity for personal interpretation and creativity

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