Posted By : Jeff Moore
Piece Title : Birdsong
No. of times Viewed (January 2019) :21
Total No. of times Viewed :2049
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Dificulty Rating :
Level : Freshman / Sophomore
Composer / Arranger : Harding, Scott
Composer / Arranger Details:

Scott R. Harding is a lifelong Michigander, born in Bay City and growing up in rural small-towns Auburn and Cass City. Dr. Harding earned the BM in Theory/Composition from Central Michigan University in 1991, studying with award-winning band and percussion composer David R. Gillingham. Dr. Harding also studied percussion with the late Robert Hohner while at CMU, and was a member of the legendary Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble for five years. Following a compositional ?chain-of-command,? Dr. Harding went on to earn the MM and PhD in Composition at Michigan State University, working primarily with Gillingham?s teacher Jere Hutcheson (himself a student of the incomparable H. Owen Reed). Performing remained a strong interest for Harding while at MSU, and he studied traditional percussion with Mark Johnson as well as swing drumset and Afro-Cuban percussion with former Sun Ra and Max Roach percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett.

A 3-year graduate assistantship in aural skills ignited Dr. Harding?s passion for teaching, and he stepped into his current position at CMU while completing his last year of doctoral work in 1998. As a member of the CMU School of Music faculty, Dr. Harding teaches in the core theory/aural skills area, coordinating the ear-training curriculum and working privately with composition majors. He also teaches jazz history, music appreciation and world music as part of the university-wide liberal arts regimen. Dr. Harding?s commitment to teaching was acknowledged with a nomination for the 2004-2005 Excellence in Teaching Award, where he ended as a finalist.

As a composer Dr. Harding works consistently with small chamber ensembles, writing music of intricate playfulness, knotted interwoven lines and excellent craftsmanship. He has accepted commissions from colleagues both at CMU and across the country, resulting in the creation of works like Four Short Dances, Episode I for Clarinet and Electronic Accompaniment, Duo Concertante, Birdsong and the forthcoming Cork Pine Suite. Dr. Harding?s love of percussion is evident in the pounding rhythms of Taiko, Thunder On The Bay and The Summoning Of Katakhanes, as well as in the somber, lyrical strains of his homage to Robert Hohner entitled Eulogy. His music is published by C. Alan Publications of Greensboro NC and Dorn Publications of Medford MA.

Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Instrument / Discipline : Alto Saxophone and Marimba Duet
Instrumentation : Alto Saxophone
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums : NA
Written for / Commissioned by : Josh Thomas
Permission given for Youtube video by Copyright holder
and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
 C Alan Publications
Accompanied :Other
Publisher :C. Alan Publications
Publishers Website
Publisher Details :

C. Alan Publications was founded in 1989 to fill a need for high-quality percussion literature.  Since that time, they have adhered to the highest standards of music integrity in the percussion music they publish.  In 1997, they added a line of concert band music to their catalogue, which continues to flourish.  More recently they added music for orchestra (youth, string and full), brass ensemble, chorus, jazz ensemble and chamber ensembles. 

In addition they are the sole distributor of 'Whole Sum Productions' percussion catalogue (WS).  Their music receives extensive exposure through performances on international concerts, clinics and conventions and is widely available on compact disc.

Year Composed / Copyright Date :2003 /  2004
Duration :12Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :4
Special Needs :NA
Sheet Music Available From      Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :

Birdsong was commissioned by my good friend Josh Thomas, an alto saxophonist in the United States Coast Guard Band. Josh has this crazy poster his mother drew sometime in the early 1970`s: it`s very colorful, and in it, a wild-looking cockatoo is rising, phoenix-like, from the bell of a saxophone played by a jazzy musician. Josh told me that he`s always wanted a piece written "about" that poster, and after I saw it I immediately heard in my mind the screeching sound that would issue forth from the bird`s mouth. The faux-cleverness of each movement`s title was born out of that screeching sound from Mvt. 3: the bird soars on high, crying out in search of food wriggling far below. (I understand that birds don`t "soar" in search of worms, they would, say, rabbits, but never mind.) Working backwards then, is Mvt. 2: the notion of "kill" here is implied in the slow, funeral march in an updated New Orleans style, complete with 12-bar blues as the form. Mvt. 1, "Birds of a Feather," takes its turn from the "togetherness" of the sax and marimba "flocking" in a modified 2-voice fugue.

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Posted By : Jeff Moore    Date Posted: 26 February 2009 05:59:00 AM
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