PERFORMING LIVE WITH ELECTRONICS: A PERCUSSIONIST’S GUIDE TO THE PERFORMANCE PRACTICE OF ELECTROACOUSTIC PERCUSSION MUSIC
Dr. Matthew Jordan
Florida State University
DMA Dissertation, December 2018
This treatise seeks to examine performance practice of electroacoustic percussion music through the exploration of selected works for percussion and electronics, as well as provide a primer for students interested in becoming fluent in the language of music technology. The evolution of solo percussion music in the 20th and 21st centuries closely mirrors that of electronic instruments and audio technology, and several seminal works were composed due to the initially experimental nature of both mediums and the relative ease of their integration. At present, percussion works with electronic elements have all but replaced the piano accompanist for many student percussion recitals; therefore, the need for a performer’s guide to the intricacies and performance practice of electroacoustic percussion music for all difficulty levels is paramount as the classical percussion repertoire and curriculum continues to evolve.
Chapter One comprises a brief summary of the history of electroacoustic percussion music, including compositional integration of electronic and acoustic elements and how technology affected the composers of these works. Chapter Two offers an overview of current music technology hardware and software required to realize these works. Chapters Three through Six analyze the four different categories of works for percussion and electronics: fixed media, electronic effects, live processing, and MIDI instruments. Suggested technical diagrams/setups and related works accompany each chapter, creating a guide for percussionists performing electroacoustic music.