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Turning the Corner

Sheet Music: Score

Turning the Corner : percussion ensemble / composed and arranged by Michael Pignéguy ; A Section bass line by Nabil Amarshi.

by Nabil Amarshi and Michael Pignéguy (2011)

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  • Instrumentation: Percussion (6 players: 1. Xylophone & 2 Shakers ; 2. Vibraphone & Low Woodblock ; 3. Marimba & High Woodblock ; 4. Marimba 2 (bass) & Two Temple Blocks  ;5. Percussion 1 – Muffled floor tom (bass drum like), Medium & High toms plus Splash/small Crash Cymbal ; 6. Percussion 2 – 2 Bongos plus Guiro.
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Turning the Corner brings together soul-jazz influences with serious syncopation in 7/4. Opening with multiple layers of unpitched percussion instruments over the core rhythms of toms and guiro, the introduction culminates with an exciting crescendo into section A. It is here that the piece showcases it's undeniably funky side which stays at the forefront for the most of the work.

After the introduction Percussion 1 & 2 continue to lay down the core rhythmic groove while the bass line, played by marimba 2, consolidates the rolling feeling of 7. Above this the highly syncopated melodic part is outlined by the vibes and xylophone. This polyphonic approach is completely contrasted at B where the whole ensemble emphasizes a hypnotic rhythmic pattern that ebbs and flows with changes in dynamics.

Section E features an exciting and challenging vibraphone solo which builds to section G where different members of the ensemble seems to throw musical ideas back and forth. The performers receive a few bars of R & R at section H before the funk and jazz returns in full force at I followed by an exciting duel between percussion 1 & 2. The initial introduction is then referenced with a restatement of the signature melodies prior to the ending which includes a twist!

Suffice it to say this piece packs a powerful musical punch for performers and audience members alike.

Central to pulling the various strands of this piece together is the importance of internalising the vibe and feeling of the bassline at A. Once this secure, and sitting along side percussion 1 & 2, the remaining elements of the piece can be successfully added. Soon the performers should be feeling as comfortable in 7 as they normally would in 4/4.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (20p. -- B4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Rhythmically challenging, written in 7/4. AMEB Grade 7

Duration: 5 min.

Dedication note: Arranged for the American School of Doha, High School Percussion Ensemble March 2015

First performance Jun 15. American School of Doha High School, Qatar

Includes performance notes.

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Soul Jazz, Tuned and Untuned Percussion

The bass marimba and marimba parts can be played on 1 shared (non bass marimba), however low Fs in each part will need to be raised 1 octave respectively.

Marimba 2 & Percussion 1 can be doubled if instruments are available. If doubled, players on Percussion 1 may decide to use multi-rods instead of drumsticks.

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 7 May 16.

ISMN: 979-0-720208-58-9

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