“Bell Variations” is a snare drum solo based on the 12/8 bell pattern commonly found in traditional Afro-Cuban music. The work contains three sections in an ABA form. The “A” sections alternate between variations of the bell pattern and interjections that utilize rolls and grace notes. The “B” section introduces interplay between the rim and head of the drum, developing coordination needed to play in the Bembe style of Afro-Cuban music.
● In measures 20 and 21, pay careful attention to the double stops, which need to be played perfectly in unison.
● The spacing of the grace notes in measures 7 and 8 is open to the performer’s interpretation. However, all grace notes should be uniform.
● Strive to play as evenly as possible in measures 11 and 12 at the pianissimo dynamic. Playing evenly at this dynamic can be challenging!
● The sixteenth notes in the work are forte, but should feel light and relaxed.
Paul Millette is a percussionist, composer, and educator based out of San Antonio, Texas. He serves as Assistant Professor of Practice in Percussion at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he teaches applied percussion, percussion pedagogy, and percussion literature. Millette has performed with the San Antonio Philharmonic, Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, and the United States Air Force Band of the West. Millette’s music is published by Tapspace, C. Alan, and Wildlight Publications.