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Percussion is commonly referred to as the ‘backbone’ or ‘heartbeat’ of a musical ensemble, often working in close collaboration with bass instruments.  In jazz and other popular music ensembles, the pianist, bassist, drummer and sometimes the guitarist are referred to as the ‘rhythm section’.  In almost every style of music played by brass bands, percussion has a pivotal role. The steady beat of the bass drum keeps soldiers in step in a military march, while the snare drum gives a crisp, decisive air to the tune. In popular music, there is hardly a song without some sort of percussive beat, often with insistent, pounding drum and cymbal riffs and breaks.  The ‘swing’ of classic jazz implies the distinctive rhythm of the hi-hats or the ride cymbal.  In arrangements of classical music, hits from musicals and themes from films, at least one pair of timpani is often included for dramatic effect, though they rarely play continuously.  Additional harmony, melody, rhythm and sound effects may call for the percussionists to play tubular bells, glockenspiel, triangle, wood block, tambourine, whistles, rattles and other instruments. 

Our Players:

Bill Desmond (Drum Kit)

Geoff Oxley (Timpani & tuned percussion)