Drum Dances (drum set and percussion ensemble)


for Percussion Ensemble (arr. Carmenates)


Decoding the composition
Back to Music Search

Arranged here for percussion ensemble by Omar Carmenates, Drum Dances, originally ommissioned by Dame Evelyn Glennie, has become a standard for drum kit and piano repertoire. This piece was written during the launch and rise of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, a band that also revealed the genius of Dave Weckl (along with John Patitucci, Eric Marienthal, and Frank Gambale) to the world. I was mesmerized by the interaction between drums and keyboard in the Elektric Band, and the influence of that music is evident in Drum Dances. This work is heavily influenced by jazz and rock music, particularly from the late 1980s to early 1990s. I am greatly inspired by the drumming of Dave Weckl, the very different pianistic styles of Keith Jarret and Chick Corea, and the enormous energy in the music of guitarists like Steve Vai. Each of the four dances was stimulated by a certain rhythmic interaction possible between two performers. From the chaotic first movement (which is like a game where both players attempt to force each other's cadences), to the ending of the prestissimo fourth movement (where both parts are synchronised) the two performers gradually begin working together instead of battling for priority. The second movement includes a glockenspiel part for the percussionist, and is a loosely written, stately dance. The third movement involves very tight rhythmic interaction and is driven by syncopation simultaneously occurring on several levels (i.e. from the semiquaver to the crotchet).

I would like to add that it is a great privilege to write for Evelyn Glennie and that her interest in my music has had a major positive impact on my experiences as a composer.

This work is dedicated to my wife, Carla.


See below for available products
No items found.

Watch and Listen

A curation of Performances, interviews and reviews of my work

In Focus:

Drum Dances (drum set and percussion ensemble)

Performance Notes, Articles, Reviews, John's Messages

Project Details

Drum Dances (drum set and percussion ensemble)

for Percussion Ensemble (arr. Carmenates)

Arranger: Omar Carmenates

Instrumentation: Drum Set, Vibraphone, Marimba, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Gongs, Crotales

Difficulty Level:
Instrument Tags:
Drum Set
Mixed Percussion
Mallet Percussion