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Topic: odd drum notation (Read 11933 times) previous topic - next topic

odd drum notation

Ravel - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, first movement, rehearsal number 2, snare drum part.
Drum has been playing with stems up prior to this measure.  Suddenly the notes are stem up and stem down, with no indication as to what this means (no additional instrument either - each instrument is on its own line).  This continues until rehearsal number 3, where it reverts to stems up only.
Any thoughts?

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #1
Perhaps add a second snare drum?

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #2
Maybe snares on and off?

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #3
Both sticks in unison?
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

 

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #5
Just returned from youtube.  Only video which the snare drummer is visible (camera's always on the soloist for some reason...) has him playing in the normal fashion (but then again, he seems to miss an entrance or two in other places...).
Here's the video [it's about 1:06 into it]:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_deXX8bvD8

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #6
Neither of those would be likely, snares on/off is normally marked with snares on or snares off, and playing with both sticks at the same time just doesn't happen...

It may depend on context in the score, do you think you could attach a picture?

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #7
...and playing with both sticks at the same time just doesn't happen...

It's called a flam - usually one stick just before the other, but a flat flam is both at once...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.


Re: odd drum notation

Reply #9
Exactly-flams are one stick before the other, NEVER at the same time (at least according to standard drum instruction) and are notated with grace-notes.
The PAS International Drum Rudiments (2 pages) are what I've found most commonly used.

I'll have to get around to notating those in NWC sometime.

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #10
G'day Kahman,
I was asking my son about this (the notation in question) - Drum teacher and drummer extroadinaire - and while he did not recognise the notation (double stemmed note) I asked him about flams - his statement: notated as a grace note tied to a normal note to indicate volume difference, played one stick slightly before the other in order to make the sound "fatter". 

However, according to him, there is also a "flat flam" that is both sticks exactly in unison, I forget what he said the notation for that was, perhaps he didn't say.  He did mention they weren't common, but definitely exist.  He didn't consider them very useful, particularly with modern snares where they make little or no difference to the effect and volume.

Sorry to disagree mate, David (my son) has been playing for a very long time (since he was 11 or 12 as I recall) and has qualified at a professional level as a teacher - he DOES know his stuff.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #11
I'll believe you, it's just that I've never seen one, and I would definitely expect it to be in the PAS Rudiments if it existed...  Ask your son about how it's notated...

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #12
If you throw "flat flam" into Google you will get a bunch of hits (pun unintended), with some differences as to whether it applies to two drums hit together as well as a single drum.  One citation give "French flam" as an alternate name.

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #13
G'day kahman,
when I asked him, he said that he'd never actually seen one notated except across different surfaces (I.E. as a chord.)  E.G. High and Low tom etc..

His comment was that when playing a kit you generally only use them on a single surface as a practice routine to improve coordination.  Not as a performance effect.

Given that a 2 stemmed note is kinda a chord perhaps this is how a flat flam was notated by Ravel...  Just guessing...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #14
I wouldn't really call that a flam, since I did once ask a drum teacher about whether you would ever hit the same drum with both sticks at once, and the answer was no...

Back on topic, it may be possible that it varies between editions.  Also, it would be awkward to have to play flat flams exclusively between two rehearsal numbers.

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #15
It may depend on context in the score, do you think you could attach a picture?
Sorry, can't scan - scanner not re-installed yet since the dreaded HD crashes...
I think I'll just play the flat flams.

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #16
Given that a 2 stemmed note is kinda a chord ...
In the same sense that zero is kinda a number?  :)

I know little of drums, but in looking at drum notation, it appears that upstems are played with the hands and downstems with the feet. Could it be that simple? The same drum, played with both?
Registered user since 1996

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #17
I asked my sister, who is a long-time drummer. She said that since it is on one line, it is only one drum playing one beat. She rules out the possibility of a second drum because they would be on two lines. HOWEVER, I did ask her if it was possible that it was a flat flam- she said that she had never heard of it and even consulted her book of rudiments and found no instance where one should ever use two sticks at the same time, since it has no effect on volume or sound in any way. She basically told me that from her experience the notes in question are in error. But she also said that one line equals one drum, so perhaps it does mean two sticks, if such a rudiment existed.
-DAVID COOPER

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #18
Three thoughts:

1) Have you checked other editions of the Ravel concerto? Maybe this was a printer's error?

2) Ravel was a master orchestator. He would not necessarily have stuck to standard technique. Are there notes anywhere about what he said about this passage?

3) What are the dynamics? That might give a clue as to whether he wanted both sticks simultaneously....or it might not. The timbre would be subtly different, and that might have been what he was after, instead of extra volume.

Any percussion players out there who have actually played this work? Just checkin'....

Bill

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #19
Quote
1) Have you checked other editions of the Ravel concerto? Maybe this was a printer's error?
The score that our conductor purchased and the score that came with the parts (two different scores) have the same notation.
Quote
2) ... Are there notes anywhere about what he said about this passage?
Nope.
Quote
3) What are the dynamics? That might give a clue as to whether he wanted both sticks simultaneously....or it might not. The timbre would be subtly different, and that might have been what he was after, instead of extra volume.
Full orchestra at f or ff , depending on the instrument.  And I had thought about the timbre angle as well.
Quote
Any percussion players out there who have actually played this work?
That would be helpful.  I am a trombonist, but there is only one trombone part and we're lettin' the new guy play it, so I'm helping out in the short-handed (literally...) percussion section.

Re: odd drum notation

Reply #20
Just to muddy the water a bit.  I did some Googling, and turned up an on-line copy of the 1932 Durand score for Bolero, at:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/249977/Ravel-Bolero-Full-Score-Durand-1932

In this, the notation under discussion does not seem to be used.  I don't know the history of the score, so I can't comment on where this sits on the time-line, but is seems to be only four years after the first performance.

I'll keep looking, but don't know if I'll find anything else.