Percussionary Advice Please

I've never been very good with percussion, apart from maybe the heavy dhol/tom/taiko element. I never know when to place cymbals or chimes or a triangle. Is there anywhere in this piece that screams out to you for some high register percussion? Everyone has their own musical tastes, so I'd be interested in and appreciative of all responses.


P.S. I'm not asking for a 'whole piece' review really, just percussion.


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  • Hi James,

    I specialize in percussion ensemble composing so I hope I can help you. First, what kind of percussion were you wanting to incorporate? If you like cymbals and other auxiliary, the most appropriate time to use them is during impact. I think that adding some mallet percussion would compliment your already awesome piece though. 

  • Nice, James!  How much of this was live?  The voices obviously were.  I also am at a loss about what to do with percussion.  What you did sounds fine to me.  This piece could be in a big  epic movie.
  • I was thinking of more percussion, perhaps mallet percussion as you say Allison, in the crescendos and full orchestra sections to add more texture to the sound, to make it fuller. I was particularly thinking of the sudden burst of horns after the first quiet section, and maybe the final build up.


    Thanks for the praise, but the mix isn't quite finalised yet, and I may alter the instrumentation slightly. Although, this is one of my favourite peices I've done so far.


    Emily - The soloists were not actually live, but part of the Soundiron (formerly Tonehammer) excellent and deep sampled epic choir "Requiem", with a bit of tweaking. All of it was virtual instruments.

  • They've come a long way with vocal samples since last I heard.  Nice.
  • Greetings,


    I don't have any suggestions about suspended cymbals or anything. However, I think you could do some cool stuff with timpani at the beginning doubling the high brass ostinato rhythm.  Also, you could think about some big gong splash hits.  Maybe at about 1:47 and at the end.  Hope this is helpful...dug the piece.  Made we want to run out and by a game console and see if there is amped up version of Zelda.  I haven't played video games in a long time, in case you didn't notice.


    God's Peace,


  • Okay, this is what I came up with. Opinions?

    I think I'll alter the cello at the beginning and perhaps add a timp roll at about 1:50, but otherwise leave it as is, unless anyone can help further.

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