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The Cambridge Companion to Percussion
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    Devenish, Louise 2017. Contemporary Percussion Explorations in Twenty-First-Century Australia. Contemporary Music Review, Vol. 36, Issue. 1-2, p. 1.

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Book description

Percussion music is both the oldest and most recent of musical genres and exists in diverse forms throughout the world. This Companion explores percussion and rhythm from the perspectives of performers, composers, conductors, instrument builders, scholars, and cognitive scientists. Topics covered include percussion in symphony orchestras from the nineteenth century to today and the development of percussion instruments in chapters on the marimba revolution, the percussion industry, drum machines, and the effect of acoustics. Chapters also investigate drum set playing and the influences of world music on Western percussion, and outline the roles of percussionists as composers, conductors, soloists, chamber musicians, and theatrical performers. Developments in scientific research are explored in chapters on the perception of sound and the evolution of musical rhythm. This book will be a valuable resource for students, percussionists, and all those who want a deeper understanding of percussion music and rhythm.


'The Cambridge Companion to Percussion is a concise yet action-packed and concept-rich volume that, like its subject matter, strikes forcibly in the range of ideas from its contributors. The book aims broadly, its chapters cover a vast quantity of musical material, the topics are timely, and the references in the footnotes essential.'

Thomas Brett Source: BrettWorks reviews (

'The writing is varied and informative, pleasing and revealing. The publication does a good job in informing the reading public about percussion as seen by performers, educators, composers and conductors. This book deserves a place in library and personal collections worldwide.'

Source: National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Journal

'… the volume comprises fairly focused essays, on a variety of topics, that taken together provide an effective overview of the richly varied world of modern percussion … [and] is particularly valuable and should be required reading for any student hoping to embark on an orchestral career.'

Source: CHOICE

'… this reviewer highly recommends … a thorough read regarding the field of percussion music education which is represented in many colleges and universities. The writing is varied and informative, pleasing and revealing. The publication does a good job in informing the reading public about percussion as seen by performers, educators, composers and conductors. This book deserves a place in library and personal collections worldwide.'

Geary Larrick Source: Nacwpi Journal

'This is another fine addition to the Cambridge Companion series and is essential for all libraries supporting percussion studies and research. It also provides thoughtful and entertaining reading for the player or listener who wants deeper insight into this wide-ranging discipline.'

Russ Girsberger Source: Notes

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Page 1 of 2

Page 1 of 2

This short bibliography contains references to books in the English language that might be useful to readers and is not intended to be comprehensive. References to journal articles and to other percussion-related publications will be found in the notes to each chapter.

Agawu, K., African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 1995).
Agawu, K., Representing African Music: Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions (New York: Routledge, 2003).
Altenberg, J. E., Trumpeter’s and Kettledrummer’s Art, Tarr, E. H. (trans.) (Nashville: Brass Press, 1974).
Arbeau, T., Orchesography, Evans, M. S. (trans.) (New York: Dover Publications, 1967 [1589]).
Arom, S., African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and Methodology (Cambridge University Press, 1991).
Azadehfar, M. R., Rhythmic Structure in Iranian Music, 2nd ed. (Tehran Arts University Press, 2011).
Bakan, M. B., Music of Death and New Creation: Experiences in the World of Balinese Gamelan Beleganjur (University of Chicago Press, 1999).
Baschet, F., Les Sculptures Sonores: The Sound Sculptures of Bernard and Francois Baschet (Chelmsford: Soundworld, 1999).
Bebey, F., African Music: A People’s Art (Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill, 1975).
Beck, J. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Percussion (New York: Garland, 1995).
Becker, B. (ed.), “Contemporary Percussion: Performers’ Perspectives,” Contemporary Music Review, vol. 7, pt. 1 (1992).
Becker, B., Rudimental Arithmetic: A Drummer’s Study of Pattern and Rhythm (Asbury Park, NJ: Keyboard Percussion Publications, 2008).
Berliner, P., The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe (University of California Press, 1978).
Berliner, P., Thinking in Jazz: the Infinite Art of Improvisation (University of Chicago Press, 1994).
Blacking, J., Music, Culture, and Experience: Selected Papers of John Blacking (University of Chicago Press, 1995).
Blades, J., Drum Roll: A Professional Adventure from the Circus to the Concert Hall (London: Faber and Faber, 1977).
Blades, J., Percussion Instruments and their History (New York: Praeger, 1970).
Blades, J. and Montagu, J., Early Percussion Instruments: from the Middle Ages to the Baroque (Oxford University Press, 1976).
Bowles, E. A., The Timpani: A History in Pictures and Documents (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 2002).
Bowles, E. A., The Timpani Supplement: More Pictures and Documents, (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2009).
Brend, M., Strange Sounds: Offbeat Instruments and Sonic Experiments in Pop (San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2005).
Brindle, R. S., Contemporary Percussion (Oxford University Press, 1970).
Burton, G., Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton (Boston: Berklee Press, 2013).
Butler, M. J., Unlocking the Groove: Rhythm, Meter, and Musical Design in Electronic Dance Music (Indiana University Press, 2006).
Cage, J., Silence: Lectures and Writings (Wesleyan University Press, 1961).
Chapin, J., Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer Vol. 1: Coordinated Independence as Applied to Jazz and Bebop (Emeryville, CA: Alfred Music [1948] 2002).
Charry, E., Mande Music (University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Chenoweth, V., The Marimbas of Guatemala (University of Kentucky Press, 1964).
Chernoff, J. M., African Rhythm and African Sensibility (University of Chicago Press, 1979).
Clark, J., Connecticut’s Fife and Drum Tradition (Wesleyan University Press, 2011).
Clayton, M., Time in Indian Music: Rhythm, Metre, and Form in North Indian Rag Performance (Oxford University Press, 2000).
Cowell, H., New Musical Resources (Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Danielsen, A. (ed.), Musical Rhythm in the Age of Digital Reproduction (Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2010).
Dean, M., Drum: A History (Toronto: Scarecrow Press, 2012).
Deveaux, S., The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History (University of California Press, 1997).
Erskine, P., No Beethoven: An Autobiography and Chronicle of Weather Report (Emeryville, CA: Alfred Music, 2013).
Eshun, K., More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (London: Quartet Books, 1999).
Floyd, S. A., The Power of Black Music: Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States (Oxford University Press, 1995).
Gara, L. and “Baby” Dodds, W., The Baby Dodds Story (Louisiana State University Press, 1992).
Jr.Gates, H. L., The Signifying Monkey (Oxford University Press, 1988).
Hart, M. and Lieberman, F. with Sonneborn, D. A., Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm (New York: Harper, 1991).
Hart, M. with Stevens, J. and Lieberman, F., Drumming at the Edge of Magic: a Journey into the Spirit of Percussion (San Francisco: Harper, 1990).
Helmholz, H., On the Sensations of Tone (New York: Dover, 1954).
Hinger, F. D., Technique for the Virtuoso Timpanist (Hackensack, NJ: Jerona Music, 1975).
Hinger, F. D., Time & Motion: The Musical Snare Drum (New Haven: Cornucopia, 1991).
Holland, J., Percussion (London: Macdonald and Jane’s, 1978).
Holland, J., Practical Percussion: A Guide to the Instruments and their Sources (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005).
Hopkin, B., Musical Instrument Design (Tucson, AZ: Sharp Press, 1999).
Howard, J. H., Drums in the Americas: The History and Development of Drums in the New World from the Pre-Columbian Era to Modern Times (New York: Oak Publications, 1967).
Jones, A. M., Studies in African Music, 2 vols. (Oxford University Press, 1959).
Jones, L., Blues People (New York: Harper Perennial, 2002).
Kaptain, L., “The Wood that Sings”: The Marimba in Chiapas, Mexico (Everett, PA: HoneyRock, 1992).
Katz, M., Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music (University of California Press, 2004).
Keil, C. and Feld, S., Music Grooves (University of Chicago Press, 1994).
Kippen, J., Gurudev’s Drumming Legacy: Music, Theory and Nationalism in the Mrdang aur Tabla Vadanpaddhati of Gurudev Patwardhan (Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2006).
Kippen, J., The Tabla of Lucknow: A Cultural Analysis of a Musical Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 1988).
Kite, R., Keiko Abe: A Virtuosic Life (Leesburg, VA: GP Percussion, 2007).
Kivy, P., The Fine Art of Repetition: Essays in the Philosophy of Music (Cambridge University Press, 1993).
Korall, B., Drummin’ Men: The Heartbeat of Jazz, the Swing Years (New York: Schirmer Books, 1990).
Krell, J., Kincaidiana: A Flute Player’s Notebook (Santa Clarita, CA: National Flute Assn., 1997).
Kubik, G., Theory of African Music, 2 vols. (University of Chicago Press, 1994).
Kubik, G., Africa and the Blues (University Press of Mississippi, 1999).
Latour, B., Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory (Oxford University Press, 2007).
LeVan, R. K., “African Musical Influence in Selected Art Music Works for Percussion Ensemble, 1930–1984,” unpublished PhD thesis, University of Pittsburgh (1991).
Locke, D., Drum Gahu: A Systematic Method for an African Percussion Piece (Crown Point, IN: White Cliffs Media, 1987).
Locke, D., Drum Damba: Talking Drum Lessons (Crown Point, IN: White Cliffs Media, 1990).
London, J., Hearing in Time: Psychological Aspects of Musical Meter (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Manual, P., Popular Musics of the Non-western World: An Introductory Survey (Oxford University Press, 1988).
Mattingly, R., The Drummer’s Time: Conversations with the Great Drummers of Jazz (Cedar Grove, NJ: Modern Drummer Publications, 1998).
McGraw, A. C., Radical Traditions: Reimagining Culture in Balinese Contemporary Music (Oxford University Press, 2013).
McNeill, W. H., Keeping Together in Time: Dance and Drill in Human History (Harvard University Press, 1997).
Miller, K., Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Mithen, S., The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body (Harvard University Press, 2006).
Moeller, S. A., The Moeller Book: The Art of Snare Drumming (Chicago: Ludwig Music Publishing Co., 1982).
Moersch, W., New Music Marimba Concerto List (Champaign, IL: New Music Marimba, 2015).
Monson, I., (ed.), The African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective (New York: Routledge, 2003).
Montagu, J., Making Early Percussion Instruments (Oxford University Press, 1976).
Montagu, J., Timpani and Percussion (Yale University Press, 2002).
Moody, R., On Celestial Music and Other Adventures in Listening (New York: Back Bay Books, 2012).
Moore, J. L., “Acoustics of Bar Percussion Instruments,” unpublished PhD thesis, The Ohio State University (1970).
Mowitt, J., Percussion: Drumming, Beating, Striking (Duke University Press, 2002).
Negus, K., Music Genres and Corporate Culture (New York: Routledge, 1999).
Nketia, J. H. K., The Music of Africa (New York: W. W. Norton, 1974).
Partch, H., Genesis of a Music (New York: Da Capo, 1974).
Peinkofer, K. and Tannigel, F., Handbook of Percussion Instruments (London: Schott, 1976).
Peters, G., The Drummer Man (Wilmette, IL: Kemper-Peters, 1975).
Philip, R., Performing Music in the Age of Recording (Yale University Press, 2004).
Pond, S., Head Hunters: The Making of Jazz’s First Platinum Album (University of Michigan Press, 2005).
Potter, K., Four Musical Minimalists (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Rebuschat, P., Rohrmeier, M., Hawkins, J. A., and Cross, I. (eds.), Language and Music as Cognitive Systems (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Redmond, L., When the Drummers Were Women (New York: Three Rivers, 1997).
Reed, T., Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer (Emeryville, CA: Alfred Music [1958] 1997).
Reich, S., Writings on Music, 1965–2000 (Oxford University Press, 2002).
Roberts, J. S., Black Music of Two Worlds (New York: Praeger, 1972).
Rossing, T. D., Science of Percussion Instruments (Singapore: World Scientific, 2005).
Sachs, C., The History of Musical Instruments (New York: W. W. Norton, 1940).
Saffle, M. (ed.), Perspectives on American Music, 1900–1950 (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000).
Sankaran, T., The Rhythmic Principles of South Indian Drumming (Toronto: Lalith Publishing, 1994).
Sankaran, T., The Art of Konnakol (Solkattu) (Toronto: Lalith Publishing, 2010).
Schick, S., The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams (University of Rochester Press, 2006).
Schweizer, S. L., Timpani Tone and the Interpretation of Baroque and Classical Music (Oxford University Press, 2010).
Shapiro, P., Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco (New York: Macmillan, 2006).
Small, C., Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening (Hannover: University Press of New England, 1998).
Smith, G. D., I Drum, Therefore I Am: Being and Becoming a Drummer (Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2013).
Stone, G. L., Stick Control for the Snare Drummer (Boston: G. B. Stone, 1935).
Storch, L., Marcel Tabuteau: How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can’t Peel a Mushroom? (Indiana University Press, 2008).
Sumarsam, , Gamelan: Cultural Interaction and Musical Development in Central Java (University of Chicago Press, 1995).
Swiss, T., Sloop, J., and Herman, A. (eds.), Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Theory (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1998).
Tenzer, M., Balinese Music (Hong Kong: Periplus, 1998).
Tenzer, M., Gamelan Gong Kebyar (University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Toussaint, G. T., The Geometry of Musical Rhythm: What Makes a “Good” Rhythm Good? (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2013).
Wald, E., The Blues: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010).
Wallin, N. L., Merker, B. H., and Brown, S., (eds.), The Origins of Music (MIT Press, 2000).
Weium, F., and Boon, T. (eds.), Material Culture and Electronic Sound (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2013).
Wilcken, L., The Drums of Vodou (Tempe, AZ: White Cliffs Media, 1992).
Williams, B. M., “The Early Percussion Music of John Cage, 1935–1943,” unpublished PhD thesis, Michigan State University (1990).
Williams, B. M., Learning Mbira: A Beginning (Everett, PA: HoneyRock, 2001).
Wyre, J., Touched by Sound: A Drummer’s Journey (Norland, ON: Buka Music, 2002).