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Percussion Instruments and their History


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Table of Contents

Foreword to the first edition by Benjamin Britten, Author's Preface, Foreword to this enlarged edition by Evelyn Glennie, 1. Origins of Percussion, 2. The Drum, 3. The Primitive Xylophone, 4. Percussion Instruments of China and the Far East, 5. Japan, 6. India and Tibet, 7. Mesopotamia and Egypt, 8. Greece and Rome, 9. Arabia and Persia, 10. Mediaeval and Renaissance Europe, 11. Nakers and Kettledrums, 12. The Classical Orchestra, 13. The Romantic Orchestra - 1, 14. The Romantic Orchestra - 2, 15. Techniques of Contemporary Percussion, 16. Composers' Use of Modern Percussion, 17. The Modern Solo Percussionist by Dame Evelyn Glennie, 18. The Modern Orchestral Percussionist by Neil Percy, Appendices: 1. The Americas, 2. The Latin American Orchestra, 3. Changing Styles in Light Music, 4. Use of Percussion in Education, 5. Inventions and Patents, Recommended Technical and Recital Literature, Discography, Glossary of Principal Terms, Indices

About the Author

James Blades, renowned percussionist and scholar, and for many years Professor of Percussion at the Royal Academy of Music, received wide acclaim for his book Percussion Instruments and Their History. Always in demand as one of England's foremost percussionists, he played under some of the most distinguished conductors in the world. For years he collaborated with Benjamin Britten as percussion advisor, acting as his personal percussionist and developing many of the composer's more unusual percussion effects. He was awarded the Hon.RAM (Royal Academy of Music), the Order of the British Empire, and Hon.M.Mus (University of Surrey). Dame Evelyn Glennie is the world's premier solo percussionist, performing worldwide with the greatest orchestras, conductors and artists. Her solo recordings exceed 40 CDs and are as diverse as her career on-stage. A double GRAMMY award winner and BAFTA nominee, Evelyn is also a composer for film, theatre and television. Evelyn was awarded an OBE in 1993 and has over 100 international awards to date, including the Polar Music Prize and the Companion of Honour. Neil Percy is Head of Timpani and Percussion at the Royal Academy of Music. A member of the London Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 year, Neil has worked closely with many major artists and conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Francois Xavier-Roth, Sir Karl Jenkins, Ravi Shankar, Kent Nagano and Elgar Howarth.


"This extraordinary scholarly publication has been the "get to" source for many of us over the years and, for me personally, still remains as a vital tool for my exploration of percussion." Dame Evelyn Glennie; "Mr Blades has managed to work in a truly encyclopedic number of allusions to this or that effect, this and that composer, work and trick....; Mr Blades, the scholar, yields partial place to Mr Blades the performer for an enormous and exemplary chapter on the percussionist's art....; The book's lavish photographs and drawings are an endless source of pleasure....; The historian and musicologists as well as the performer (including conductors) will find Mr Blades's book indispensable"; The Times Literary Supplement

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