OT - Help me make a few musical decisions...

So my kids I teach know me as ";Captain Indecision"; when it comes to picking music to play.  I've assembled a list of songs I really think would sound cool done as percussion ensembles - either as a whole or as a medley - and would like to hear some input from you guys and what you might know/have heard.

Yes - Heart of the Sunrise
Yes - Close to the Edge
Emerson Lake and Palmer - Tarkus
Dream Theater - Hell's Kitchen (with a possible sax soloist)
LTE - Acid Rain
DT - Home
DT - The Glass Prison
ELP/Flecktone styled Hoedown

I thought about doing a Tarkus/Heart of the Sunrise/Acid Raid/Tarkus Reprise piece.

Mind you none of this is set in stone.  This is just me brainstorming and throwing ideas off of all of you.  Feel free to suggest other charts/songs that might fit into a ";Progressive Rock"; themed ensemble. 

This would be performed by a Perc. Ensemble - mallets/perc/drumset - most likely no battery involved. 
i've always been a big ELP, DT, Yes fan. It'd be cool if there were a way you could somehow mix some of these compatible progressive rock things together. Regardless of which way you go, looks like you're considering some great material. Consider that, plus how you think it will translate to the given arena and i'm sure your gut will steer you right. Keep us posted on how it goes!
I'm exploring it and really liking what I see and hear.  I really enjoy Leyenda (sp?), though I don't have the numbers to perform it.  I wish I could find a decent/working arrangement of Jupiter (after listening to Mercury).  Not sure how well that would translate though.
[quote author=J Mattson link=topic=1995.msg10102#msg10102 date=1190133037]
I generally think mallet arrangements of rock music comes off sounding like ";muzak"; elevator music.  When the original music has distorted guitars and lively vocals, a mallet rendition by nature sounds weaker.  I try to resist the common drumline guy train of thought: ";I like this song... I'm going to make a show out of it.";  There are plenty of aspiring writers, existing percussion literature, and hundreds of years worth of public domain music.

That's my $.02
[/quote]

And a worthwhile two cents it is.  It's even worth a quarter.  Seriously, it's a great point.  However, the district I work with will play Reineke, Schaffer, Smith, Swearingen types of pieces in concerts.  You're more apt to hear ";Pilatus: Mountain of Dragons"; than anything by anyone prior to the 1950s.  It's just the nature of the school and cow-country Northwest NJ!  I would love to explore the classical literature, but am unsure where to go (And actually, if you guys could point me in some good directions, please do, if nothing than for myself).

The students will bring me music all the time and say ";We should try this"; and I give it a listen.  I do try to avoid the ";I like it, let's do it"; thing and spent many a moon listening for stuff that was rich enough that I would enjoy how it sounds arranged for an ensemble.  In fact, one thing I will do is take some guitar riffs or whatnot and try them on a Marimba or Xylo - if it sounds reasonble, then I'll consider it, and if not... no shot.

That said, the whole point of finding this music is for entertainment of the audience.  The percussion ensemble is an extracurricular thing and actually for getting my new mallet players for the next year in the door and to have the audience experience something new.  They've been begging me for 5 years to play ";Tell It To the Gov'nor";, which we finally are and some sort of novelty/trash can piece as well - it's just the spot in the middle I can't decide.

Again, if you have resources for classical literature, by all means point me that way.
[quote author=J Mattson link=topic=1995.msg10102#msg10102 date=1190133037]I try to resist the common drumline guy train of thought: ";I like this song... I'm going to make a show out of it.";[/quote]

That's such a good observation. 
[quote author=J Mattson link=topic=1995.msg10102#msg10102 date=1190133037]
I generally think mallet arrangements of rock music comes off sounding like ";muzak"; elevator music. 
[/quote]

I definitely agree with that. I went to an indoor drumline show over ten years ago and found out one of the groups was playing Rush's ";La Villa Strangiato."; I'm a HUGE Rush fan, so I stayed to watch this group when I could have gotten a hot dog. It was easily one of the most boring things I've ever seen. And having known that song so well, it was really hard to watch and borderline embarrassing for the high school kids.

Now, having said that, I went to a percussion ensemble clinic last year with Texas Tech Univ at Texas MEA. They closed with Karn Evil 9 by ELP. Instead of it being the ";muzak"; arrangement you would expect, it was VERY faithful to the original: namely, they used a singer, a bass player, of course drumset and a malletKat player who was playing all of the lead synth stuff with the actual sound from the record. Then throw in ten other guys on marimbas, vibes and auxiliary percussion and it filled out the ensemble nicely.

But, you're right, that was definitely the exception to the rule. It's amazing what even adding a bass player can do to the sound.

I wonder if that ";La Villa Strangiato"; group had copyright permission...?
I generally think mallet arrangements of rock music comes off sounding like ";muzak"; elevator music.  When the original music has distorted guitars and lively vocals, a mallet rendition by nature sounds weaker.  I try to resist the common drumline guy train of thought: ";I like this song... I'm going to make a show out of it.";  There are plenty of aspiring writers, existing percussion literature, and hundreds of years worth of public domain music.

That's my $.02
Actually, in regards to Stomping Grounds, Rowloff has an arrangement of it that's done pretty well I thought.  The first year I ran the percussion ensemble, we did Rowloff's arrangements of Sunset Road and Stomping Grounds.  The students LOVE Bela fleck and lot of the ";out there music"; (aka prog rock stuff) that I bring and say ";Maybe we'll play this...";

You can take a listen to the Rowloff version on their site.

Added:
It's great that you have a red flag go up.  Many of these guys out here, especially younger ones not attached/experienced with a Winter Circuit or Band Circuit, have no idea of how rough the copyright issues can be.  I don't know what your experiences were, but the fact that the companies came after us 4 years later is a bit scary.  In fact, I don't know much beyond the basics, so you'll see me posting asking some of you more advanced and knowledgeable guys for help.


To update you all on the music...
I've considered the following options..

1) Tarkus/Heart of the Sunrise/Acid Rain/Hell's Kitchen Medley (Doable, arrangeable but PTA-able?)
2) Dance of Eternity (and the explosion of my kid's brains when they see the time signatures)
3) Hoedown (this option lends itself to more comedy, as we like to entertain the crowd more than anything)
4) Roundabout (in it's entirety)
Chris,

I find myself playing Devil's Advocate with permission to arrange a lot more these days after having run into some potentially scary lawsuit-type times. That was before we got wise with all of the publishing and copyright regulations. I am affectionately referred to on our team as ";copyright boy.";

That being said, I could have guessed that you would be up on all of that. The red flag just goes up every time someone mentions arranging something that surely has a copyright attached!

So, being the Flecktone fan that I am, I say go for Hoedown. Or better yet, do what I've always wanted to hear and arrange ";Stomping Grounds."; Of course, if you arrange ";SG,"; please send me a copy so I can play it with my guys!

ER
Eric,

That's not being a ";Debbie Downer"; at all.  I know that I would need to get paperwork in order.  One of the groups I work with did a Les Mis show, and the paperwork was not in order (as we found out).  4 years later  we were contacted and had to pay some money and attach a certain chunk of text to the bottom of the score and all parts and provide them with copies to prove it was done.


My reason for posting was to bounce some ideas, see what everyone might think or have done with their groups and then see if I can get the PTA.

I do appreciate the concern, though, as many out there don't realize that the PTA is something necessary and if not gotten, can cause large problems.
Thanks again!
Okay, I'll be Debbie Downer: make sure you get ";permission to arrange"; on whatever you do. Who knows if you'd run the risk of being sued, but you might sleep better at night if all your paperwork was in order.
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