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Canon # 1 for two voices


Canon # 1 for two voices by John Parker

Composition and performance notes:

Written post undergraduate study of percussion and jazz drums at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane Australia. Canon # 1 was inspired by the marvellous set of works by Polish percussionist and composer Adam Polachowski “Seven Episodes for snare drum and pedal bass drum”.

The goal was to compose something that used a similar concept of snare and pedal bass drum combination with the aim of increasing dexterity and nuance of both instruments in tandem. The idea of composing canons was very appealing as the composition of the initial theme material would continuously inspire a conversation with the next four bars of material.

Canon # 1 was originally written for a single “weak” hand on the snare drum and the use of a pedal bass drum, however the performer could easily choose to orchestrate this composition with any two voices. For instance, students in the past have performed the work with the addition of a third voice on the ride cymbal creating an interesting 16th note based “comping” work.

The piece employs independent dynamics at various times. Dynamics above the stave relate to the snare drum line (stems up) material and vice versa with the bass drum (stems down) material.

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