Percussion: Techniques, notation, improvisation

Course Information
TitleΚρουστά Όργανα: Τεχνικές, σημειογραφία, αυτοσχεδιασμός / Percussion: Techniques, notation, improvisation
FacultyFine Arts
SchoolMusic Studies
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodSpring
CoordinatorVladimiros Symeonidis
Course ID600018810

Programme of Study: PPS Tmīmatos Mousikṓn Spoudṓn (2017-sīmera)

Registered students: 18
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
Musicology / Music EducationElective Courses634
Music CompositionElective Courses634

Class Information
Academic Year2019 – 2020
Class PeriodSpring
Instructors from Other Categories
  • Dimitris Tasoudis
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Type 2021
Skills Development
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Digital Course Content
Learning Outcomes
1.the students will acquire the basic knowledge around the ordinary techniques of performance on percussion instruments, both of the classical orchestra and of other idioms (drums, log drum, riqq, …), as well as extended techniques which are utilized in more modern repertoire and/or by improvisers. 2.For the aforementioned techniques there will be mapping on notation examples, where this is possible and the discourse on the increasingly demand of new and enriched notation which can illustrate the dexterity of today’s musicians will be encouraged. 3.They will practice on the available instruments of the department as: performers (playing existing compositions or new, personal ones) and improvisers (interpreting graphic scores, modal improvisation and/or free). The traditional jazz approach is also encouraged, where applicable. 4.They will have discussed on several theories regarding improvisation and, finally 5.they will acquire a small but substantial experience as improvisers since they will perform in each lesson. Electronic equipment will also be used (hardware, software) expanding, thus, even more their timbral palette.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The lesson is divided in three axes (techniques, notation, improvisation) but in every lesson there will be cross-reference in all three subjects with the students’ practice on the available instruments of the department. Ordinary and extended performance techniques are being understood through audio and video excerpts and the students’ experimentation on the actual instruments. The evolving notation is approached via the study of the standard repertoire of classical percussion. Both the performance techniques and the (need for) notation are reached with the help of organized and/or free impro. The latter will be the outcome, in each lesson, of the discourse on articles and recordings of improvisations, compositions encompassing improvisation or compositions that sound as improvisations (as Brian Ferneyhough’s Bone Alphabet). Technology, both software (Soundtoys) and hardware (EHX Memory Man with Hazarai) which permutate the instruments’ sound, and field recorders will help even more the lesson’s progress.
Percussion, notation, improvisation
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Video lectures
  • Audio
  • Multimedia
  • Interactive excersises
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Laboratory Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Laboratory Work130.4
Reading Assigment130.4
Artistic Workshop130.4
Field trips and participation in conferences / seminars / activities60.2
Artistic creation130.4
Student Assessment
The students are called to: i. write a test on issues that have been discussed during the lessons such as techniques (e.g. dead stroke, scraping, plucking, production of harmonics), notation (of standard compositions for percussion), names of exceptional musicians (e.e. Casey Cangelosi, Gary Burton, Richard Spaven) and theories on improvisation. ii. perform a short improvisation which they will comment on later on. Both their impro and their comments will be recorded and the sum of the recordings will be archived in the department and it will be sent to them.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Formative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Formative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative)
  • Artistic Performance (Formative)
  • Recording
Additional bibliography for study
Adler, S., Hesteraan, P. (2002). The study of orchestration. New York : W.W. Norton, 2002 Bailey, D. (1980). Improvisation : its nature and practice in music, New York : Da Capo Press, 1993. ©1992. Solomon, S. Z (2016). How to write for percussion : a comprehensive guide to percussion composition. New York : Oxford University Press, 2016, [2019]. Διαδικτυακές πηγές (ενδεικτικά, ημερομηνία ανάσυρσης, 12/1/2020): ARGO Casey Cangelosi Meinl Cymbals - Gerwin Eisenhauer “Marla’s Mind“ Panayiotis Kokoras / Paranormal for 3 Snare Drums The Percussion Family
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