Posted By : Jeff Moore
Piece Title : A Minute of News (Vol:4 The Noble Snare Book)
No. of times Viewed (September 2019) :113
Total No. of times Viewed :18600
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Dificulty Rating :
Level : College
Composer / Arranger : Novotney, Eugene (1960-)
Composer / Arranger Details:

As a percussionist and composer, Eugene Novotney has performed and presented lectures and master classes in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is recognized internationally as a composer of contemporary percussion music, and his compositions are widely performed as standards of the literature. His snare drum composition, A Minute of News (The Noble Snare), has been used as the test piece for numerous snare drum competitions, including the Concours International de Caisse Claire - Conservatoire National de Region de Paris (2004 & 2007; Paris, France), the VIII Jornadas Internacionales de Percussion de Ribarroja del Turia (2006; Valencia, Spain), the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Modern Snare Drum Competition (2008; Atlanta, Georgia), the Concorso Internazionale per Strumenti a Percussione e Batteria (2009; Fermo, Italy), and others. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Eugene Novotney received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and his Master of Music Degree & Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Illinois, with emphasis in Percussion, Composition, and Ethnomusicology. In addition to his formal western music studies, he has studied Ewe drumming and Dagara xylophone music at the “Dagara Music Center” in Medie, Ghana, and Brazilian percussion at the “Instituto de Investigacio Musico” in Salvador, Brazil. He has also conducted research trips to Xian, Shanghai & Beijing, China, Ubud & Blabatuh, Bali, Accra & Kokrobite, Ghana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, resulting in numerous transcriptions, arrangements, and analytical studies. He has performed on several occasions in Trinidad’s National Panorama Competition, and he has regularly served as an adjudicator for Pan Trinbago, the national governing body for the advancement of steelband music in Trinidad & Tobago. He was a member of the adjudication panel of Trinidad’s World Steelband Festivals in 1998, 2000, and 2008 held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and also was an adjudicator for Trinidad’s World Steelband Festival 2005 held in Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. In addition, he was a member of the adjudication panel of the 2000 European Steelband Festival held in Paris, France, and the adjudication panel for the 2005 Trinidad National Schools Music Festival held in Port-of-Spain. He is Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at California State University-Humboldt, and is the founder and coordinator of the ‘Percussion in World Music’ program for the California State University Summer Arts Program. In 2006, Dr. Novotney was awarded the Wang Family Excellence Award by the California State University Board of Trustees, a prestigious award that recognizes and celebrates California State faculty who, through extraordinary commitment and dedication, have distinguished themselves through exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines. Eugene Novotney currently serves as a member of the Board of Director’s of the Percussive Arts Society, and also, as the Chairman of the Percussive Arts Society New Music/Research Committee. His recordings have been released on the Bembe, Delos, SANCH, Pogo, Rituals and Earthbeat (Rhino) labels, and his compositions are available through Smith Publications of Baltimore, Maryland.

Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Snare Drum
Instrument / Discipline : Snare Drum Solo
Instrumentation : Snare Drum
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums : N/A
Written for / Commissioned by : Minoo Saeed-Vafa
Permission given for Youtube video by Copyright holder
and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
 Dave Gerhart
Accompanied :N/A
Publisher :Smith Publications
Publishers Website :http://www.smith-publications.com/
Publisher Details :

Smith Publications has been publishing scores and recordings of serious, progressive American Music since 1974. Defining and describing such music is a challenge: terms like  Avante Garde, Experimental, Deterministic, New Music, etc, have all been used -and sometimes correctly. However, a single catchall description cannot fit the music composed by Milton Babbit, Ben Johnston, Stuart Saunders Smith, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros and so many others. These groundbreaking composers not only have invented new music, but also have created new instruments, new techniques for playing, and unique notation for performers. It is our challenge - and our deeply rewarding mission - to make this music available in printed and recorded form for performers and listeners.

We hope you enjoy our new website. We have added material and features to make our products easier to find and purchase. Among the many improvements we’ve made is the addition of a downloadable version of our catalog in PDF format. Using the latest free Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable here), you can now have a searchable version of our catalog on your desktop. The advantages of this format are many: The PDF format can be sized with a mouse click to accommodate your needs. The advanced search function means that you can search for a specific word or phrase, i.e, Robert Erickson; percussion; sonata, etc... You’re no longer limited to an index of composers, titles, or instruments - although those will certainly be the most popular search terms.

Year Composed / Copyright Date :1990 /  1990
Duration :3Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :2
Special Needs :N/A
Sheet Music Available From :www.smith-publications.com/html/printed_music.html      Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :

A Minute of News (1990) - Program Notes version #2 (the story)

A Minute of News (1990) for Snare Drum by Eugene Novotney (b. 1960)

In 1989, I was travelling in Baja, Mexico. Near the end of my trip, I found myself in the city of Ensenada for the evening looking for some live music. I heard several good string bands, and even a horn band (almost a municipal-type band), but not much percussion at all. Then, I came across this group that was just walking down the road looking for a spot to set up. I followed them, out of curiosity, because they had with them a drummer that caught my attention. He was carrying an old, beat-up snare drum over his shoulder that just looked awful, and I had to see what he was going to do with it.

The band stopped and set-up, and I observed that the snare drum was actually permanently taped-on to the snare stand, and that the snare mechanism, which engaged and disengaged the snares, was badly broken. In addition, the drummer did not have a matched pair of sticks or mallets in his possession, but instead, seamed to have "one" of everything instead.

I was expecting the worst, but to my surprise, that drummer used everything about the situation to his advantage. He turned that broken drum and those mismatched sticks into an entire trap-set with his skill & creativity. He used different beaters in different hands to create lead and accompaniment patterns, he used the broken strainer as a sound-effect, and he grooved throughout in a clave-based ostinato that just amazed me.

It was that moment delivered by that drummer that inspired my composition, “A Minute of News.” In essence, he read me the news that very day! That drummer, whom I had discounted before hearing because of his poor equipment, taught me a great lesson about the connection between poverty and creativity, a great connection that I`ve seen repeated many times since then. I will never forget that unknown drummer who put on such a show for me that one day in Ensenada, and it is because of him that I composed "A Minute of News".

Eugene Dominic Novotney

A Minute of News (1990) – Errata Sheet

In the Notational “KEY” of the piece (p. 3 of Noble Snare, Vol. 4), number “1.” should read, “Turn Snare Off – perform as a percussive gesture,” and number “7.” should read, “Turn Snare On - perform as a percussive gesture.” In essence, with the exception of the 4-bar strainer interlude section where the snares are turned On and Off, the entire piece should be played with the snares Off.


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Member Reviews / Comments
Posted By : jodi    Date Posted: 07 September 2013 11:42:57 PM
Fun to perform and fun to listen to! Novotney uses a mixture of sticks, mallets, and hands to create a huge variety of sounds. This groove-based piece will challenge intermediate players.
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