Posted By : Innovative Percussion
Piece Title : The Apocryphal Still Life
No. of times Viewed (January 2019) :24
Total No. of times Viewed :1712
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Dificulty Rating :
Level : Senior / Graduate
Composer / Arranger : Deane, Christopher
Composer / Arranger Details:

Christopher Deane is associate professor in percussion at the University of North Texas. Prior to his appointment with UNT, he was the principal timpanist of the Greensboro Symphony for nine years and a regular performer as both percussionist and timpanist with the North Carolina Symphony for ten years. He has performed with numerous orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.

Deane`s chamber music experience includes performances with the Aeolian Chamber Players, the Percussion Group Cincinnati, the Mallarme Chamber Players, and the New Century Saxophone Quartet. He is a founding member of the Philidor Percussion Group. Recording experience includes the North Carolina Symphony, the Cincinnati Philharmonia, the Crofut Consort, Mallarme Chamber Players, and the St. Stevens Chamber Orchestra.

Deane has won both first and second prize in composition from the Percussive Arts Society. A number of his compositions are considered standard percussion repertoire and are played internationally. Deane has appeared as a performer, composer, or clinician at seven Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. Deane is an Artist/Educator clinician for Innovative Percussion Company and Sabian Cymbals.



Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Tuned Percussion
Instrument / Discipline : Vibraphone Solo
Instrumentation : Vibraphone
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums : 3-Octave Vibraphone
Written for / Commissioned by : Commissioned by the Percussive Arts Society
Permission given for Youtube video by Copyright holder
and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
 Jamie Apperson
Accompanied :N/A
Publisher :Published by the Composer
Publishers Website :Please contact the composer directly.
Publisher Details :

This piece of music is published by the composer and you should contact them directly for more information.

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Year Composed / Copyright Date :1996 /  1996
Duration :12Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :4
Special Needs :The vibraphone will need to be prepared. See program notes.
Sheet Music Available From :(Published by the composer)     Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :

The Apocryphal Still Life is a solo for vibraphone dedicated to the virtuoso vibist Jon Metzger. Basically the composition is in an ABA form with the A section being slow (quarter note = 56) and the B section being in double time (8th note = quarter note). The focus of both sections is mainly triplets; however, the triplets of the A section are used as an effect rather than a pulsating rhythm. Many special effects are required to perform this work: one-handed rolls, preparing the D and E (middle range) to sustain freely in spite of the pedaling, one-handed harmonics and dead strokes. All of these effects are clearly explained on a detailed performance notes page. The Apocryphal Still Life is an excellent solo for vibraphone. It was written at the request of the Percussive Arts Society to be performed by contestants for the vibraphone competition held at PASIC 96. Its special effects and idiomatic style would be rewarding for both the performer and the audience at a college-level recital."" - John Beck Percussive Notes, October 1997

  1. Mallets should be chosen for their ability to articulate but should not have a tone quality that is harsh. The left hand roll beginning in bar eight should have a full sustained sound that is as smooth as possible. When choosing mallets this roll should be kept in mind.
  2. It is recommended that the left hand roll be played by having the two mallet heads straddling the upper and lower faces of the low "F" bar (mandolin roll). (see diagram in score).
  3. This work requires that the two pitches "D" and "E" be prepared in the following way:
  • Lift the cord that runs through the nodal points of the two pitches around the "hook" support so that the cord is on top of the hook. These hooks keep the vibraphone bar from moving when the damper bar is in the dampening positon. Lifting the cord allos these two pitches to ring when struck regardless of the damper bar position.
  • Check to make sure that the "C" and "F" bars are damped when the damper bar is in the dampening position. If they are not damped you may need to wrap or place a small amount of common felt or cloth under each of these bars (C and F). Moleskin or gauze may also be used.
  • You may need to bring the cord out from under the hooks on either side of the "D" and "E" notes to allow them to have maxiumum in which case  the added dampening material will almost vertainly be necessary to insure proper dampening for the "C" and "F" bars. The proper effect of the piece relies on these bars ringing fully.

4. This pieces requires the player to produce one handed harmonics. This is produced by placing the inside mallet head directly in the center of the bar and striking the node of the bar with the remaining mallet head. To present the note with the needed volume to project the sound, the mallet striking the nodal point requires a quick and forceful stroke. It should be noted that the mallet head that is placed in the center of the bar does not strike the bar. It is simply rested on the surface of the bar to dampen the fundamental tone of the bar. This will require some practice to silently rest the dampening mallet on the bar just prior to striking the node with the other mallet head. The choice of which mallet to use to dampen the bar may be dictated by what grip is used. (Those players who use a cross grip may find that striking the bar with the inside mallet may produce stronger results when playing the one hand harmonics).

5. Dead Strokes are indicated by a "+" above the note head.

6. Harmonics are indicated by a "o" above the note head.

7. The motor is to be used sparingly in this work. It should be set on a moderately slow speed. Use of the motor in this piece is to creat motion of pitch and not intensity which can be the effect produced by a faster motor speed.

8. It is recommended that the performed keep as strict a tempo as possible so that the rhythmic values are clearly defined.

9. The notation [represented in ms. 11] was not explained in the performance notes that appeared in the origianl printing. the note phrases that have circles below the note heads that change to dash marks ending in an "N" should be played by beginning the grouping with the harmonic being produced. At the pont when the dash marks appear, the player shoud begin moving both mallets in the same direction thus transforming the sound of the note from a pure harmonic to a pure bar tone. The end of the pieces has the performer doing this technique in reverse.

This effect is very important to the musical structure and should be practiced until the effect is consisten. The harmonic sounds two octaves higher than the "normal" bar tone (this is why the "N" appears with this technique) which means that the harmonic either seems to emerge from the normal tone struck just prior to the hamonic as indicated in the example [in ms. 11] or emerges from the tone as occurs at the end of the piece.

The Apocryphal Still Life was written upon request  of the Percussive Arts Society to be performed by contestants for the 1996 Vibraphone Competition to he held at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention `96. This work is dedicated to the virtuoso vibist and good friend Jon Metzger

Note: This composition is distributed by Innovative Percussion.

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