More than eighty years have passed since Edgard Varèse’s catalytic work for percussion ensemble, Ionisation, was heard in its New York premiere. A flurry of pieces for this new medium dawned soon after, challenging the established truths and preferences of the European musical tradition while setting the stage for percussion to become one of the most significant musical advances of the twentieth century. This revolution, as John Cage termed it, was a quintessentially modernist movement - an exploration of previously undiscovered sounds, forms, textures, and styles. However, as percussion music has progressed and become woven into the fabric of Western musical culture, several divergent paths, comprised of various traditions and a multiplicity of aesthetic sensibilities, have since emerged for the percussionist to pursue.
This edited collection highlights the progressive developments that continue to investigate uncharted musical grounds. Using historical studies, philosophical insights, analyses of performance practice, and anecdotal reflections authored by some of todays most engaged performers, composers, and scholars, this book aims to illuminate the unique destinations found in the artistic journey of the modern percussionist.