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School of Music

Percussion Studies

Percussion Courses

Sacramento State Percussion Group
MUSC 144P - Section 1

The Sacramento State Percussion Group, directed by Daniel Kennedy, is dedicated to the performance of a variety of contemporary percussion literature that spans a spectrum of repertoire from minimalist and serial to ethnic and electronic.  The Group has appeared at a variety of venues throughout California, performing concerts at the California Music Educator’s Association Conference in Ontario, California Institute of the Arts, the April in Santa Cruz New Music Festival, University of the Pacific, the Davis Art Center, St. Joseph’s Cultural Center in Grass Valley, and at San Francisco’s Bayfront Theater and Theater Artaud.  Recently, the Group appeared in concert at the prestigious “Other Minds” Festival at San Francisco’s Cowell Theater, and has also performed at the “Day of Percussion” at Southern Oregon University, Ashland.  They have shared the stage with a variety of guest artists, including hand-drum artist Glen Velez, rhythm dancer Keith Terry, New York’s So Percussion and the Talujon Percussion Quartet.  The Sacramento State Percussion Group frequently performs outreach concerts at numerous public schools, community colleges, and universities in the greater Sacramento area, and sponsors “Day of Percussion” events annually at Sacramento State.

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble
MUSC 144P - Section 2

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble is a “hands-on” class, devoted to the art of performing the traditional gamelan music of Bali.  The ensemble, known as Gamelan Dharma Santi (Path of Peace), is comprised of students and faculty from many academic disciplines, with all participants as active performers in the ensemble.  The group meets weekly in a rehearsal format, in preparation for several concert appearances each semester.  Students will learn the techniques of various instruments of the gamelan, the language and structure of the music, traditional Balinese performance practice, and a variety of repertoire, fostering a deeper understanding of gamelan music and its place in Balinese society.

Beginning Hand Drums
MUSC 38D - Section 1

This course explores the fundamental techniques, compositions, dance rhythms, imporvisational styles, and accompanying patterns for a variety of hand-drums, including the riqq (Arabic tambourine), tar (Middle-Eastern frame drum), dumbek (Middle-Eastern ceramic drum), pandiero (Brazilian tambourine), kanjira (South Indian tambourine), and djembe (West African drum).  Through the study of the basic techniques for these instruments, a variety of sounds will be explored, accompanying patterns created, and compositions developed, all utilized in a performance environment.  Within the framework of numerous traditinal rhythmic structures, embellishment and improvisation will also be explored, with a goal of playing sensitevely within an ensemble.  This performance / ensemble class will greatly enhance your appreciation for the evolution of the vast variety of percussion instruments, performance practices, playing styles, and rhythmic systems found throughout the world.

Percussion Repertoire Class
MUSC 172 - Section varies by semester

These weekly meetings allow percussion majors to collectively participate in a variety of activities that delve into many aspects of percussion performance practice, playing techniques, musical interpretation, historical foundations, new music research, and instrumental maintenance.

Beginning Percussion Methods
MUSC 40P - Section 1
(meets in Spring only)

This course explores the fundamentals of percussion performance, and will prepare you with the knowledge and ability to establish a rewarding percussion program in a primary or secondary school.  Explorations into the performance techniques and literature for all instruments of the percussion family will be the focus of the course, including snare drum, timpani, the mallet keyboards (marimba, vibraphone, xylophone), and various percussion “accessory” instruments.  A variety of techniques for each instrument will be discussed, and the musical interpretation of excerpts, etudes, solo, and ensemble literature will be explored.   Course projects will include class demonstrations and performances, research in solo and ensemble literature, and percussion ensemble performance techniques.  In addition to this, you will also be informed about recommended method books, percussion solo and ensemble literature, instrument building and maintenance, instrumental substitutions, organizing the percussion section in band or orchestra, and budget considerations for building a new percussion program, as well as improving and expanding an existing program.   Also, a variety of instructional techniques necessary for grades K through 12 will be thoroughly evaluated and discussed in preparation for elementary and secondary school instruction.