A survey of selected percussion ensemble literature: 1930-1985

Thomas Lee Spann, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to identify the beginning of percussion ensemble literature; selected percussion ensemble literature performance practices and rehearsal techniques; and to identify selected percussion ensemble literature from 1930 to 1985. The content of this research was based upon the following: books, dissertations, articles, and World Wide Web sites. An introduction to the research was presented along with a brief history about percussion ensemble literature. A project lecture recital was also presented in conjunction with this study. During the lecture recital selected percussion ensemble literature was taught, discussed, and performed by the researcher. The results of this study indicate that percussion ensemble literature began in 1930. Percussion ensemble literature can require as many as thirteen players or as few as three players. Tedious attention to notes given by the composer, score study, and allotted time for ensemble rehearsal are needed to properly prepare a performance of percussion ensemble literature. Percussion ensemble literature from the early 1930s employed the styles of Latin percussion and the percussion music styles of other cultures.1 The structure of percussion ensemble literature has gone through many phases, from drums and battery percussion, to mallet percussion instruments.2 1James Blades. Percussion Instruments and their History. Bold Strummer Ltd. 2005. 2Tones, Daniel. “Essential Elements of Percussion Education: The Percussion Ensemble.” British Columbia Music Educator. Summer edition, 2007.

Subject Area

Music|Music education

Recommended Citation

Thomas Lee Spann, "A survey of selected percussion ensemble literature: 1930-1985" (2010). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1480005.