Listening Guide

time lead drum
0:05 theme 1A
0:16 theme 1B
0:24 theme 1C
0:31 theme 1D
0:33 theme 2 call
0:45 theme 2, variation 1
0:59 theme 2 call
1:04 theme 2, variation 2
1:15 theme 2 call
1:21 theme 1A
1:32 theme 1B
1:41 theme 1C
1:52 theme 1D
1:54 theme 2 call
2:04 theme 2, variation 1
2:14 theme 2 call
2:20 theme 2, variation 2
2:30 ending signal

Musical Notation Figures


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Performance Comment

Tending towards self-criticism, I think my very first notes on lead drum feel rushed, i.e., a little ahead of the time, but I soon settle into the proper groove. My goal in Sohu was to make the transition from lead drum theme 2 back to theme 1 so that “kidi” figure in theme 2 of the response drum part would align perfectly in answer to the lead drum’s “ga to den.” To achieve this fit, I focused playing “ga to den” of theme 1 in the silent second measure of theme 2. Happily, it worked out! As in Davu (Item 2a), I simply presented an orderly progression through the themes and variations as discussed in the MTO paper. Thus, the performance is in two equivalent halves (0:00-1:21 and 1:21-end). Pedagogical clarity trumped musical spontaneity in this case!

When playing the high-pitched drum parts, I particularly enjoyed playing the steady torrent of fast strokes on drum 2. I concentrated on making strokes two and four of each four-note set sound at least as full as strokes one and three; technically, this is done by lifting the weak-hand stick away from the drum at least as far as the strong-hand stick and then to bring it directly down to cleanly strike flat across the full surface of the drum head. In the recording session, I was surprised to be thrown off by variation 2 of lead drum theme 2. In retrospect, I guess that I was confused by the relatively long silence in the middle of the phrase all of three eighth notes’ duration and the overlap of the sixteenth note figure with the eighth notes in the response drum. This was one of the few parts that needed several takes before I played it correctly.

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