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There's a art to percussion writing, and sometimes a good percussion book can make or break a show. As someone who's looking to get involved in more percussion arranging, what are some hallmark shows to look to to learn? What shows have come to define how a book is written? What makes it great? Why does it stand out from the rest? Any random tips, facts, or tidbits of information? Discuss.

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There's a art to percussion writing, and sometimes a good percussion book can make or break a show. As someone who's looking to get involved in more percussion arranging, what are some hallmark shows to look to to learn? What shows have come to define how a book is written? What makes it great? Why does it stand out from the rest? Any random tips, facts, or tidbits of information? Discuss.

IMO:

* SCV 2004, 1997-1999 - Jim Casella's writing is PHENOMENAL when it comes to musicality, complimenting the brass and keyboard parts while showcasing tasty notes in the battery, etc.

* Phantom & SCV writing by Paul & Sandi Rennick - again, pretty much the perfect balance of musicality, artistic phrasing, cool chops.

Really, any High Percussion winners are the top of their game

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The most important thing is to coordinate with the visual staff to incorporate as many pliés as possible.

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IMO:

* SCV 2004, 1997-1999 - Jim Casella's writing is PHENOMENAL when it comes to musicality, complimenting the brass and keyboard parts while showcasing tasty notes in the battery, etc.

* Phantom & SCV writing by Paul & Sandi Rennick - again, pretty much the perfect balance of musicality, artistic phrasing, cool chops.

Really, any High Percussion winners are the top of their game

Was gonna say anything Casella. The front ensembles in those shows are just............woof. Amazing. I'd throw in Vanguard 04 as well.

Also agree on the Rennicks. 2010. Oh my gosh gorgeous.

Cavaliers stuff is great pretty much anywhere, their front ensemble always brings a ton to the table. 06 - 2011 and 2014 are all fantastic. If you want to see it integrated into the visual package, there you go.

Blue Devils always incredibly complex and exciting.

Blue Stars front ensemble has been on of the best the past few years since 2013 regardless of where the rest of the corps stands. They are OUTSTANDING. The writing is imcredibly distinctive and exciting. I absolutely love what Mapes and Grom brought there. Lots of elements from WGI type writing, which makes sense considering who they write for in that realm. Drum set and percussive writing is great.

Listen to lots of WGI too, the front ensembles in that arena are just ridiculous. MCM.

Speaking of Jim Casella and front ensemble:

http://www.tapspace.com/books/up-front/

He helped write this book which is an outstanding resource on everything you could want to know about front ensemble. One of the best things I have, my first front ensemble teaching experience went so well thanks to that book. It's a must buy if you're getting involved with front ensemble IMO.

Edited by DrumManTx

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Mike McIntosh, especially back in his Bluecoats days.

Many have said the top groups, etc, etc, etc, but also look/listen for what you like, and what type of identity do you want the group you write for to have. Decide that identity, and then make sure it lines up with the other aspects of the show.

Regardless, like many have said, make sure it aligns with the wind book, and visual package. Too many times as I judge in the marching band world, I see groups whose kids can really play, but may miss out on the cooperation of the percussion book to the overall show concept.

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Bluecoats too for integration of electronics, no one is doing it better right now IMO. The way their keyboard stuff is written is really nice too, it's not as in your face exciting as some like Bd maybe, but the way it is layered and woven into the drumline and wind book for that matter is just sublime.

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Speaking of Jim Casella and front ensemble:

http://www.tapspace.com/books/up-front/

He helped write this book which is an outstanding resource on everything you could want to know about front ensemble. One of the best things I have, my first front ensemble teaching experience went so well thanks to that book. It's a must buy if you're getting involved with front ensemble IMO.

That is probably THE best percussion resource book for educators, arrangers, etc. I've ever seen. Even as a percussionist/educator myself, that book is a continual resource for me. If I was teaching in college I would say this book should be the Percussion Methods textbook, and every high school band director needs to own this!

This is also an incredible book: http://www.tapspace.com/books/fresh-perspectives-for-the-modern-drumline/

Co-written by Casella, this is sort of the battery version of Up-Front (written first, IIRC). The first 30 or so pages is about technique for the battery voices, and the last 50 pages or so are about battery arranging technique. This is another must-own for anyone serious about learning the art of battery arranging

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Bluecoats too for integration of electronics, no one is doing it better right now IMO. The way their keyboard stuff is written is really nice too, it's not as in your face exciting as some like Bd maybe, but the way it is layered and woven into the drumline and wind book for that matter is just sublime.

FOR SURE!! Tom Rarick is an incredible arranger of both battery and front ensemble: his total integration is consistently among the best in the business, IMO

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Mark Thurston's 1990-92 Crossmen lines, especially 1991.

Especially if you want to write with a constant "groove" throughout the show.

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