Outstanding concert music for student
and professional musicians:
Solo Percussion - unaccompanied
RITE OF PASSAGE (1995) for solo marimba by Howard J. Buss. This tour de force features technically impressive passages of driving intensity with a haunting, mystical central section. A challenging solo that is worth consideration for the advanced recital program. - Percussive Notes. (545) Grade V-V. Recorded on the CD Spanish Memoirs by Yu-Jung Chung (available from Brixton).
Rite of Passage sound excerpts: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
One Percussion with one other instrument
ATMOSPHERES (2005) for trumpet/flügelhorn
& one percussion by Howard
J. Buss is a colorful, captivating duo in 3 movements: The
Wakening; One Sunday, Long Ago; and On-the-Edge. It was commissioned by the Double Take Duo. The first movement begins with a mysterious and turbulent section featuring dramatic contrasts of dynamics and mood. Eventually this gives way to passages with a hint of playfulness. It culminates in an intriguing dance-like section with a distinctively Latin flare. One Sunday, Long Ago is divided into 2 main parts: the first uses lyrical, soaring melodies played on the Flügelhorn over a delicate ostinato on the maracas. Notable about the percussion part in this section is that the percussionist also plays the bongos and tambourine (setting on a table) with the bodies of the maracas, and the suspended cymbals with the butts of the maraca handles. The movement ends with an intriguing interplay between the marimba and the Flügelhorn,creating a beautiful, and almost meditative, atmosphere. The final movement is energetic, highly dramatic, and is obviously influenced by jazz. The percussion
instruments used include marimba (to low A),
two suspended cymbals, bongos, temple blocks, tambourine, maracas, wood
block, tam-tam, cow bell, and triangle. The marimba part calls predominately for 2-mallet technique.When 4 mallets are employed (in the third movement) sparingly, they are used in repeated chordal patterns. ATMOSPHERES is a sophisticated work with audience appeal! (1030) Grade V-VI. B398 $26.50
BEHIND THE INVISIBLE MASK (2006) for bassoon & one percussion by Howard Buss is a beautiful and compelling duo that mixes Buss unique style of soaring lyricism and exciting contrasts with intriguing rhythms. The title refers to the complex of emotions a person may experience while reconciling conflicts between his/her internal world and public role (invisible mask).The percussion set-up includes: marimba, temple blocks, bongos, tam-tam, bass drum, maracas, tambourine, suspended cymbals and agogo bells. This is a memorable and captivating feature number for advanced players. (1145) Grade VI.
BOOM TIME for trombone & one percussion, words and music by Howard Buss, is an evocative, entertaining work in which both performers recite the text during performance. Cast in four movements: Boomers!, Thoughts of Grey, Trombone Magic, and Wild Nights, it addresses humankinds relationship to technology in the modern world. The instrumentation includes tomtoms, cymbals, wood block, wind chimes, tam-tam, bell tree, triangle, bass drum, tambourine, hi-hat, whip, vibraslap, bells and vibraphone. Commissioned by and premiered at the 1998 International Trombone Festival. (12) Grade VI.
Score sample: Mvt. 1 Boomers! Score sample: Mvt. 2 Thoughts of Grey!
Score sample: Mvt. 3 Trombone Magic Score sample: Mvt. 4 Wild Nights
Sample page: Percussion Set-up Sample page: Performance Notes
Boom Time Sound Samples: Excerpt, Movement 1A.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt, Movement 1B.mp3 (1004KB);
Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (944KB); Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt, Movement 4.mp3 (1.2MB)
DE LA MADERA (2006) for oboe & marimba by Howard Buss. The Spanish title means From the Wood and refers not only to the material producing the tones, but also the alluring enchantment of the forest. This beautiful and compelling duo mixes Buss unique style of soaring lyricism and exciting contrasts with spicy, zesty Latin rhythms. The result is sure to please both the audience and performers! (1015) Grade V-VI.
De La Madera score samples: Score sample 1.pdf (2 pages); Score sample 2.pdf (3 pages)
De La Madera sound samples: Excerpt_1.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt_2.mp3 (999KB); Excerpt_3.mp3 (541KB)
IMPROMPTU (1994) for clarinet (or soprano sax) and marimba by Howard J. Buss is characterized by driving rhythms and ornate melodic lines. The opening motives in both parts undergo almost continuous development throughout the work, often giving the music a spontaneous, improvisatory feel. At times the music has a playful, almost frolicking quality. At other times mysterious and introspective passages contrast with aggressive, intense sections to create an atmosphere of moodiness. The lyrical melodies and interesting timbral contrasts between the instruments, combine with the tonal scheme of the music to make a sophisticated, yet audience-friendly, concert work. Two-mallet technique is prominent in the marimba part during the more intricate solo passages and there is some use of 3 and 4 mallets in those sections where chordal writing occurs. It is frequently performed on recitals by college students and faculty. A very accessible and enjoyable work. - Percussive Notes. (6) Grade V.
Impromptu Sound Samples (played on soprano sax): Excerpt 1.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1MB)
INCANTATION (1994) for Bb trumpet & one percussion by Howard J. Buss evokes the mystery and enchantment of the sorcerer's ritual. Tightly structured sections contrast with free-form passages in a manner analogous to the interaction of order and mysticism in an incantation. Printed in the preface to the score is the poem "Incantation" (see below) by the composer which may be narrated before the performance and/or used as written program notes. The instrumentation includes vibraphone, 2 suspended cymbals, tam-tam, bell tree, wind chimes, cowbell, hi-hat & tambourine. The audience was mesmerized as the two wizards cast their unforgettable musical spell. - The Chicago Tribune. (8) Grade V.
Recorded on the CD Double Take by Sheryl Linch & Don. N. Parker, percussion. The Double Take CD is available from Brixton Publications. It has also been recorded on the Equilibrium CD EQ58 "Old News" by Stephen Dunn, trumpet & John Pennington, percussion; and on Spanish Memoirs by Diego Arias and Yu-Jung Chung (available from Brixton).
Incantation Sound Samples: Sound Sample#1.mp3 (1MB) Sound Sample#2.mp3 (1MB)
Text of "Incantation" (free verse by Howard J. Buss) that may be used as program notes):
The sorcerer's ritual -
based upon science, cast in hope,
ceremony of portent in a universe of laws,
Unseen enchantment empowered to move the unheard.
Mystical phrases, coldly calculated, yet obscured by sonic spells,
altered perceptions of immutable reality.
Are not the senses willingly shaken for effect
no less violated by the magician's design?
Perhaps all can be forgiven -
for the allure and beauty of incantation
transcends the cares of scheme and reason.
KALEIDOSCOPE (1988) for flute & one percussion by Howard J. Buss. This colorful theme and variations was written for the McCormick Duo. The theme is actually a distinctive rhythmic pattern which is varied in a manner similar to the transformation of images as seen through a kaleidoscope. Both performers have an equally important role in presenting themusical material - this is a true chamber work.The instrumentation includes marimba, bells, 2 suspended cymbals, temple blocks, bell tree, and tambourine. (8) Grade IV-V.
Kaleidoscope Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB);
Excerpt 3.mp3 (929KB)
NIGHT TIDE (1995) for trombone & marimba by Howard J. Buss. An evocative interplay between aggressive and serene sections, this enchanting duo is an impression of the New England coastline at night. The evenings highlight, Night Tide was a stunning aural portrait of the seas ebb and flow. - The Maine Sunday Telegram. (830) Grade IV. Recorded on the CD Spanish Memoirs by Manuel Quesada Benitez and Yu-Jung Chung (available from Brixton).
Sound Sample#1.mp3 (1.1MB) Sound Sample#2.mp3 (1.1MB)
NIGHT TIDE (1995, 2012) for horn & marimba by Howard J. Buss was inspired by the New England coastline at night and features an evocative interplay between turbulent and serene sections. ‘The Evening’s highlight, Night Tide was a stunning portrait of the sea’s ebb and flow.” - The Maine Sunday Telegram (8’30”) Grade V.
SCENES FROM THE HOLY LAND (2002) for flute and one percussion by Howard J. Buss was inspired by the composers two trips to the Middle East. Cast in 5 colorful and picturesque movements:
I. Masada (3:05) Sound sample, movement 1.mp3
II. Storm on Mount Sinai (3:10) Sound sample, movement 2.mp3
III. The Flock by the Sea of Galilee (2:25) Sound sample, movement 3.mp3
IV. Jordan Valley Enchantment (2:30) Sound sample, movement 4.mp3
V. The Road to Jerusalem (4:20) Sound sample, movement 5.mp3
This significant work was commissioned for the McCormick Duo and the 30th Anniversary of the National Flute Association. Percussion instruments: Marimba, suspended cymbal, tambourine, bongos, wood block, wind chimes, and agogo bells. (15'30") Grade V.
The opening section, Masada presents angular solos against percussion accents, with ascending legato passages for the flute. The music turns more florid and Middle-Eastern in style before a peaceful coda. Storm on Mount Sinai offers sharply rhythmic music accented with tambourine and a more febrile bazaar-like flute writing. The Flock by the Sea of Galilee contains an oddly memorable five-note percussion motif under a lovely bucolic flute theme. The Road to Jerusalem makes a haunting finale with elaborate passages against pulsating percussion. Scenes from the Holy Land is an effective and colorful work with deftly varied music and tackled by the musicians with skill and understated virtuosity Buss intimate style requires. It makes its effects with point and economy and would be a boon to flute and percussion duos searching for program material. - The Gramophone, April 2005. Recorded on the Capstone Records CD HOWARD J. BUSS:MODERN TIMES available from Brixton.
SKY BLOSSOMS (1998) for flute & one percussion by Howard J. Buss is a dramatic tour de force during which both performers are responsible for reciting the text during performance. Mystical and lyrical sections contrast with intense and explosive passages. The instrumentation includes vibes, bells, roto toms, bass drum, tambourine, cowbell, cymbals, wind chimes, bell tree, tam-tam, temple blocks, maracas and a lion roar. Commissioned for and premiered by Connie and Brandie Lane. (730) Grade V-VI.
score sample.pdf file performance notes.pdf file
VOYAGES (1996) for trumpet & one percussion by Roger C. Vogel. This colorful work in three movements was commissioned by trumpeter Edward Sandor and is recorded on ACA Compact Disc Number CM 20042. The CD is available from Albany Music Distributors, Inc. (Phone: 1-800-752-1951). The approximate duration of the movements of Voyages are as follows: I. 5'45", II. 5'45", and III. 5'20". It is scored for C trumpet, B-flat piccolo trumpet, B-flat flügelhorn, vibraphone, snare drum, suspended cymbal & steel drum. The composer writes in the performance notes in the preface to the score that "If a treble steel drum is not available, then the part may be played entirely on the vibraphone (without rolls.) The flügelhorn part may be played on a Bb trumpet with a bucket mute or felt hat." (17) Grade V-VI.
Voyages Sound Samples: Sample Movement 1.mp3 (1.1MB)
Sample Movement 2.mp3 (1MB) Sample Movement 3.mp3 (1020K)
WAVE TRAIN (1990) for flute & marimba by Howard J. Buss. The interaction of the lyrical melodies in this beautiful and frequently performed work is reminiscent of the patterns created by intermingling waves on the surface of water. Recorded on the CD "Premiers Plus One" by the McCormick Duo, available from HonetRock.This is an attractive feature number which also works well as a contest piece. Sound Sample#1.mp3 (1.1MB) Sound Sample#2.mp3 (1.1MB) (615) Grade IV-V.
AMERICAN PHOENIX (2001) for solo
bass trombone (or tuba) and 4 percussion by Howard
J. Buss was written for Stefan Sanders, bass trombonist with the Buffalo
Philharmonic and the 30th Anniversary of the International Trombone Association.
Cast in three movements, this colorful work was composed immediately following
the important world events of September 11, 2001. It was premiered by
Mr. Sanders and members of the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble
at the 2002 International Trombone Festival in Denton, Texas. This colorful
work is in 3 movements: In Remembrance 9/11/01, Repercussions,
and Renewal. Percussion Distribution - Perc. 1: Xylophone, tubular bells (chimes), suspended cymbal,
snare drum, police whistle & Chinese bell tree; Perc. 2:
Vibraphone, 2 suspended cymbals, 4 tom toms, bongos & wood block; Perc.
3: Marimba, tam-tam, lion roar, ratchet, slapstick, wind chimes &
suspended cymbal; Perc. 4: Marimba (to low A), timpani (4),
tambourine, 2 cowbells & suspended cymbal. "Buss
melodies vary. They are mystic, poignant, heroic, often modal, and at
times reminiscent of folk songs. He writes for the percussion ensemble
with mastery and features a wide range of instruments. The sound landscape
is rich with many moods and timbres. American Phoenix is
an attractive addition to a solo program or as a feature piece for a percussion
recital. It is rewarding for both performer and audience. - The
ITA Journal, January 2005 (15) Grade V.
sample: Mvt. 1 In Remembrance 9/11/01
THE BIG BANG (1992) for 6 percussion & piano by Howard J. Buss. This significant work in 2 movements is a musical representation of the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe which contends that our ever-expanding universe began as a colossal explosion at a single point in space. During the first movement, The Creation, all musical development grows out of an initial blast of sound. Waves of sound mass gradually crystallize into definite pitches leading to the formation of the natural harmonic series. 12-tone fragments intertwine and gradually coalesce into perceptible melodies. This musical development is analogous to the formation of compounds, amino acids, etc. Midway through The Creation the spark of life" is introduced in an abrupt shift of musical activity which undergoes continuous development to the end of the movement. The animated second movement, Dance of Life, is a joyous celebration of life. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: 2 suspended cymbals, 3 brake drums, 2 cowbells, temple blocks, tam-tam & sand blocks; Perc. 2: Orchestra bells, 5 roto toms & triangle; Perc.3: Flexitone, timpani (4), wind chimes, bongos & a thunder sheet (or a large tam-tam); Perc. 4: Xylophone, suspended cymbal, bass drum & chimes (tubular bells); Perc. 5: Marimba, 2 anvils metal pipes may be substituted), tambourine, finger cymbals & triangle; Perc. 6: Vibraphone, chimes (tubular bells) which are shared with player 4, snare drum, 2 suspended cymbals & tam-tam.The piano is treated as an integral part of the percussion battery. This engaging work is appropriate for a college-level percussion ensemble. (18) Grade V-VI.
The Big Bang Sound Samples from the First Movement:
Sample 1A.mp3 (1MB) Sample 1B.mp3 (1MB) Sample 1C.mp3 (742K)
Sound Samples from the Second Movement:
Sample 2A.mp3 (1.1MB) Sample 2B.mp3 (879K) Sample 2C.mp3 (839K)
CROSSROADS (2011) for 4-part trombone choir and 8 percussion by Howard J. Buss was written during the summer of 2011 and is dedicated to Tom Brantley and Robert McCormick. The University of South Florida Trombone Choir and Percussion Ensemble premiered it in Tampa, Florida on January 21, 2012 under the direction of Robert McCormick. The character of this music is strongly influenced by jazz and Latin music. The intriguing rhythms and soaring melodies combined with the implied theatre suggested by the staging, make this a sophisticated, yet accessible composition that is rewarding to perform and listen to. The four trombone parts may be performed with a quartet; however, it is desirable to have multiple players used on each part except in those areas where the score specifically specifies one player on a part for a particular passage. The unique instrumentation of this ensemble, combined with the prevalence of numerous colleges and universities that have trombone choirs and percussion ensembles, make this a concert work that is destined to become standard literature. (15’40”) Grade V. "Somewhat contemporary sounding, with jazz and Latin influences, one's interest is held for the entirety. The two instrument families are well integrated throughout. Some sections are extremely lyrical in the percussion ensemble and rhythmic in the trombones, vice versa in others. This compositional technique allows for great clarity throughout the work. An enjoyable work for the performers and audience." -Susan Martin Tariq, Percussive Notes Magazine.
Score only (for study or as an extra) B429S $22.00
Parts only B429P $46.50
Additional Information: Percussion setup page.pdf General notes and instructions.pdf
Crossroads Sound Samples: Excerpt_1.mp3 (1.6MB), Excerpt_2.mp3 (1.1MB), Excerpt_3.mp3 (1.5 MB), Excerpt_4.mp3 (2.7MB)
CURRENTS (1976) for 4 percussion by Howard J. Buss is divided into four main sections and explores various perspectives of the principles of timbral and metric modulation. Timbral and metric currents in the music interact and blend in a manner analogous to currents in physical mediums. In addition, there is an element of implied theater. As the work begins, three percussionists are conducted in the traditional manner by the fourth. Next to the conductor, clearly visible in front of the main percussion battery, is a wooden board bridging two saw horses and a carpenters hand saw. These sit idly through much of the work, long enough to arouse curiosity in the audience as to the role of these prominently displayed construction objects. About midway through the composition the conductor lifts the saw overhead and strikes it. This serves as a cutoff gesture and also establishes that the saw is an extension of the conductors baton. The saw remains idle until the beginning of the fourth division of the work. During the final section it is used simultaneously as a baton and a percussion instrument by the director, who saws through wood, scrapes the saws teeth, slaps it on the board, strikes it with a mallet, and waves it in the air. At the very end of the work the conductor sets down the saw and walks behind the players to play the tam-tam. In doing so, he continues to direct the ensemble through the explosive conclusion. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: 2 anvils (metal pipes may be substituted), 2 cow bells, snare drum, 2 suspended cymbals, tambourine, timpani (1), xylophone & wind chimes; Perc. 2: hi-hat, maracas, 2 suspended cymbals, triangle, large tam-tam, 4 tom toms, and vibraphone; Perc. 3: Bass drum, guiro, marimba, 2 suspended cymbals, temple blocks & triangle; Perc. 4 (conductor): Carpenters saw, a 2x2 wooden board & 2 saw horses. A memorable combination of percussive artistry and theatrical class - The Washington Post. (14) Grade V-VI. Recorded on the Capstone Records CD HOWARD J. BUSS:MODERN TIMES available from Brixton.
CURRENTS Sound Sample#1.mp3 (1MB) CURRENTS Sound Sample#2.mp3 (1MB)
CURRENTS Sound Sample#3.mp3 (1.1MB) CURRENTS Sound Sample#4.mp3 (984K)
DREAM SEQUENCE (1987) for trombone (or euphonium) and 4 percussion by Howard J. Buss was inspired by Carl Sagans poetic observation about dreams: Late at night, when it is very still and the obligatory dreams have been dreamt, the gazelles and dragons begin to stir. Subdued, mystical sections contrast with energetic and rhythmic episodes in a manner resembling a progression of dreams. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Marimba, celesta (muted orchestra bells may be substituted), suspended cymbal, claves, & 2 cow bells; Perc. 2: Vibraphone, maracas, bass drum & temple blocks; Perc. 3: Orchestra bells, guiro & 2 suspended cymbals; Perc. 4: Chimes (tubular bells), bongos, wind chimes, tam-tam, triangle & lion roar. Worth programming and highly recommended. - Percussive Notes. (10)
Dream Sequence Sound Samples:
Excerpt 1.mp3 (1016KB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (964KB)
ESCAPADE (1991) for alto sax and 4 percussion by Howard J. Buss.This colorful and inventive composition explores a sequence of emotional states which develop over a talea, a fixed pattern of time values. Except during the extended sax cadenza, this repeating rhythmic pattern can be heard throughout the work in varying degrees of intensity. At times it is forcibly presented by the musicians moving in rhythmic unison. On other occasions the talea is fragmented and distributed among the players. Frequently this rhythmic pattern is embedded in the presentation of melodic material similar to the technique of isorhythm as it was employed by 14th-century masters such as Machaut and de Vitry. The continuous variation of the unifying talea coupled with the works intriguing melodies and exotic timbral contrasts, make this an accessible and enjoyable concert work. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Timpani (4), temple blocks, snare drum and 2 suspended cymbals; Perc. 2: Orchestra bells, xylophone, maracas, triangle, 2 cow bells, suspended cymbal & chime tree; Perc. 3: Vibraphone, tam-tam, roto toms & claves; Perc. 4: Marimba, guiro & 2 suspended cymbals. By far the nights most memorable piece. - The Los Angeles (1130) Grade IV-V.
Escapade Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (1.2MB)
MODERN TIMES (1995) for narrator, flute, and 4 percussion (words and music by Howard J. Buss) is a powerful and dramatic depiction of life in our time. Provocative, at times mystical, and occasionally humorous, this work addresses an eclectic range of subjects such as taxes, neglected children, team mascots, and the information glut. The tenor of Buss social commentary is somewhere between the witty jeering of Mark Twain and the pithy insights of Sinclair Lewis. In his free verse one finds provocation without violence and intense anger without profanity. - The Tampa Tribune.
The sophisticated music of MODERN TIMES transports the poetry into the dramatic and colorful sound world of the flute and percussion ensemble. The result is a unique and fresh view of the culture(s) in which we live.
The writing is mature and fresh, yet is within reach of a solid college ensemble. - George Frock, Percussive Notes Magazine
This work is well-paced, colorful and accessible to audiences not familiar with complex percussion literature.This is truly one of the finest works in our idiom. Robert McCormick, Florida Percussive News
The 8 movements may be performed individually or in smaller groupings. Recorded on the Capstone Records CD HOWARD J. BUSS:MODERN TIMES available from Brixton.
I. Info Glut (3:34) Sound Sample (996K)
II. Night Tide (2:49) Sound Sample (804K)
III. The Hunt (4:14) Sound Sample (872K)
IV. Five Question Interlude (3:01) Sound Sample (1MB)
V. The Asphalt Blanket (3:11) Sound Sample (1.1MB)
VI. To a Neglected Child (5:25) Sound Sample (1.1MB)
VII. Giggles!?! (1:57) Sound Sample (976K)
VIII. Modern Times (5:26) Sound Sample#1 (1000K) Sound Sample#2 (812K)
Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Xylophone, lion roar, tam-tam, vibraslap, 2 suspended cymbals, Chinese bell tree & bongos; Perc. 2: Marimba, snare drum, bass drum, 2 anvils (metal pipes may be substituted), glass jug or jars (to be broken for the sonic effect), conga drum, wind chimes & triangle; Perc. 3: Vibraphone, roto toms, tambourine, tam-tam, police whistle, shaker, duck call; Perc. 4: Orchestra bells, timpani (4), agogo bells, 2 suspended cymbals, hi-hat, wind chimes, wood block, frog croak (may be imitated vocally), boing box effect (a flexitone may be substituted), triangle & guiro. (30) Grade V.
MYSTERIOUS EXIT (1993) for flute and 4 percussion by Howard J. Buss. The title refers to the inexplicable disappearance of the 14th Century Sinagua Indians who inhabited an area in what is now the State of Arizona. This composition was inspired by the composers visit to the Sinagua pueblo ruins and is a musical representation of how the Sinaguan culture graced the austere and forbidding landscape of the region. The central section of the piece exhibits some of the intriguing rhythmic asymmetry found in Hopi dance songs. Recorded on the CD Premiers Vol. I available from Brixton.
Sound Sample#1.mp3 (1MB) Sound Sample#2.mp3 (1MB) Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Orchestra bells, temple blocks, 2 suspended cymbals, rattle & wind chimes; Perc. 2: Marimba & suspended cymbal; Perc. 3: Xylophone & suspended cymbal; Perc. 4: Vibraphone, tom tom, sleigh bells, rattle, 2 suspended cymbals & a bell tree. (1130) Grade IV.
OVERTURE FOR PERCUSSION (2003) by Howard J. Buss. This colorful, vibrant percussion quartet was composed for Juan Ponsoda and the OSA Quartet de Percussio of Spain. It is an exciting romp through vigorous, yet intricate passages. Each percussionist performs on several different instruments and all have significant solo passages. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Xylophone, 2 suspended cymbals & bongos; Perc. 2: Vibraphone, tambourine & tom toms (5); Perc. 3: Marimba, chimes (tubular bells), 2 suspended cymbals, tam-tam & temple blocks; Perc. 4: Marimba, timpani (3) & 2 suspended cymbals. This is a great concert opener. A traditionally oriented quartet with a lively Polynesian/Oriental flavor, its contrapuntal melodies overlap and dovetail beautifully, as gracious cymbal swells connect each phrase and change of instrument.- Percussive Notes. (6) Grade V. B384 $22.00 Recorded on the Capstone Records CD HOWARD J. BUSS:MODERN available from Brixton.
Score Sample.pdf file Percussion Set-up Chart.pdf file
Sound Sample#1.mp3 (896K) Sound Sample#2.mp3 (928K) Sound Sample#3.mp3 (704K)
SCI-FI PERCUSSIVES for twelve percussion by Howard J. Buss is a riveting fantasy in 3 movements: Prelude to Contact, Alien Probes & Aggressions. I have always been fascinated by the human ability to disregard the tangible in order to embrace the intangible. Whether the intangibility involves the belief in a Deity, the enthusiastic acceptance of a conspiracy theory, or being engrossed in a movie about something as implausible as a Martian invasion, a leap of faith is required to enter the magical realm of the imagination. - Howard J. Buss
Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Orchestra bells, conga drum & 2 suspended cymbals; Perc. 2: Xylophone & wood block; Perc. 3: Marimba; Perc. 4: bongos, 2 suspended cymbals, slapstick, air raid siren; Perc. 5: Vibraphone; Perc. 6: Marimba; Perc. 7: Timpani (4), cowbell & crotales (one octave); Perc. 8: Roto toms, tam-tam, lion roar, bass drum, maracas, 2 suspended cymbals, triangle, bell tree, snare drum & hi-hat; Perc. 9: Orchestra bells, tubular bells (chimes), sleigh bells, guiro, temple blocks & maracas, Perc. 10: xylophone & snare drum; Perc. 11: Marimba; Perc. 12: Bongos, 2 suspended cymbals & ratchet.
Score sample: Mvt.1 Prelude to Contact.pdf Sound Sample Mov.#1.mp3 (800K)
Score sample: Mvt.2 Alien Probes.pdf Sound Sample Mov.#2.mp3 (1.1MB)
Score sample: Mvt.3 Aggressions.pdf Sound Sample A, Mov.#3.mp3 (1016K)
Sound Sample B, Mov.#3.mp3 (732K) Percussion Set-up Chart.pdf
On stage the percussionists are arranged into 3 quartets. Each group consists of a set of pitched and non-pitched instruments. For the most part, the positioning of the players is for the sake of balance; however, there are sections in the music where the parts are choreographed for special sonic and visual effects.This music appeals to all types of audiences: the music is sophisticated , yet because of its programmatic nature and the dazzling and powerful musical imagery, it will speak to anyone who still has a pulse! If you are looking for a large-scale ensemble work (comprised approximately of 75% keyboard percussion) with some parts which will challenge your best players, and other parts that will accommodate your Freshmen - this is it! (18) Grade V-VI.
SPANISH MEMOIRS (2004) for solo trumpet & percussion quartet by Howard J. Buss is an exciting new addition to the repertoire. It is characterized by spicy, zesty Latin rhythms juxtaposed with soaring lyrical melodies hugely influenced by jazz. The music is both accessible and sophisticated, audiences love it! Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: vibraphone, snare drum, conga drum, tambourine & wood block; Perc. 2: marimba, sand blocks & claves; Perc. 3: marimba & guiro; Perc. 4: marimba, bass drum, 2 suspended cymbals, bongos, maracas & tam-tam. (10) Grade V. "...sure to be applauded by soloist, ensemble and audience alike. A melodious trumpet part, an animated accompaniment featuring toe-tapping rhythms, some flashy mallet playing, and the influences of the jazz and Latin idioms will go a long way to ensure the success of this piece." - John R. Raush, Percussive Notes - June 2005.Recorded on the CD Spanish Memoirs by Diego Arias and Yu-Jung Chung et al (available from Brixton). score sample.pdf file performance notes.pdf file
Spanish Memoirs sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3, Excerpt 3.mp3, Excerpt 4.mp3
THUNDER ROLL for three percussion & piano by Zack Browning in two movements: Night Visions is a slow and ethereal with much dramatic contrast. Day Attack is fast-paced in which rhythmic displacement and mixed meters create a compelling style reminiscent of the music of Bartok. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Vibraphone, snare drum & suspended cymbal; Perc. 2: Triangle, tam-tam, bass drum, glockenspiel, xylophone & roto toms; Perc. 3: Timpani (4). This is a well-written piece with audience appeal. - Percussive Notes Magazine (10) Grade V-VI
Thunder Roll Sound Samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (1.1MB)
WHERE NOW RUSTS THE IRON? (1994) Version for high voice, flute, cello and 6 percussion by Howard J. Buss is a dramatic tribute to the composers grandfather who, like many ironworkers in his day, worked under brutal conditions with the dream of making life better for future generations. A moving work touching our communal soul. (8) Grade IV-V.
Where Now Rusts the Iron? (voice and piano version) score sample: Excerpt.pdf (six pages)
Where Now Rusts the Iron? (voice, flute, cello, & 6 percussion version) score sample: Excerpt.pdf (7 pages)
Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Timpani (4), orchestra bells, tubular bells (shared with perc. 2) & finger cymbals; Perc. 2: two anvils (metal pipes may be substituted) & tubular bells (shared with perc. 1: Perc.3: Xylophone & suspended cymbal; Perc. 4: Vibraphone & suspended cymbal; Perc. 5: marimba; Perc. 6: two suspended cymbals, tam-tam, wind chimes & bell tree.
Perc. Set-up Chart .pdf file Text: Where Now Rusts the Iron?
Homes now stand where once the foundry coughed.
Countless tons of iron -
wheels and pans,
boilers and pipes,
latches and plates.
Countless train loads of hardware
shrieked from the pounding, grimy world within.
Iron converted from life itself,
energy given form.
Precious moments, days, and years
poured into molds and sealed
amid the ashes and dust,
always ashes and dust,
suspended in life-stealing air.
The graves of the workers overlook this place,
their famlies spread afar.
Season come and go, yet frozen in memry
are the days of youth spent in toil, hope, and purpose.
Where now rusts the iron once cast by pounding hearts,
releasing the dreams, the souls,
invested in tough, cold metal?
The foundry still stands among the houses,
coughing on smoke-laden air.
Invisible as the iron once made,
its souls as mist remains. - Howard J. Buss ; Copyright © 1994 by Brixton Publications
RENDEZVOUS (1994) for 4 Bb trumpets & one percussion by Howard J. Buss is a flashy showpiece composed for and premiered at the 1994 International Trumpet Guild Conference. The work opens with a stirring fugue (the percussionist performs the subject on the xylophone). Following the opening section are an intriguing series of passages featuring contrapuntal writing and the use of ostinati. The work culminates in an intense, exciting finale. Rhythmically and harmonically, the music is influenced by jazz. Percussion: 2 suspended cymbals, temple blocks, tam tam, 5 tomtoms, and finger cymbals. The percussion writing employs primarily 2 mallet technique with some use of 4 mallets on the xylophone in a passage of repeated eighth note chords.Rendezvous was first performed on June 18, 1994 during the International Trumpet Guild Conference hosted by the University of Illinois in Urbana with percussionist David Collier and trumpeters James Ketch, Charles Gates, Roy Griffen & Craig Hurst. (8) Grade VI. Rendezvous Sound Samples:
Excerpt 1.mp3 (908B); Excerpt 2.mp3 (949KB); Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3 (1.1MB)
THERE IS A SEASON (2008) for Bb clarinet and 2 percussion by Howard J. Buss. The titles of the 2 movements, A Time of War, and A Time of Peace, as well as that of the larger work are derived from Ecclesiastes 3 in the Old Testament of the Bible. This striking work was written during the Second Iraq War is loosely programmatic. The 1st movement is tense and has militaristic character with dramatic proclamations culminating in an exciting solo passage for the percussion. The second movement begins with an atmosphere of apprehension that gives way to a spirited dance-like section. Eventually the disposition becomes reflective, but during the clarinet cadenza the mood brightens and returns to the animated and joyous mood exhibited earlier in the movement. (13’30”) Grade V-VI.
There Is A Season score samples: Percussion setup page.pdf (12KB); Excerpt movement 1.pdf (132KB);
Excerpt movement 2.pdf (168KB)
There Is A Season sound samples: Excerpt, Movement1A.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt, Movement 1B.mp3 (1.2MB);
Excerpt, Movement 2 (opening).mp3 (1.3MB)
THUNDER ROLL for three percussion and piano by Zack Browning. Please see the listing above under percussion ensembles.
New! Spanish Memoirs - Music of Howard J. Buss
Imported from IBS Classical Records in Granada, Spain
All of these compositions are published by Brixton Publications.
1. Rite of Passage* for solo marimba by Howard J. Buss, performed by Yu-Chung Chung 5:38 Listen
2. Incantation for trumpet and one percussion by Howard J. Buss. performed by Diego Arias, trumpet, and Yu-Jung Chung, percussion 8:39 Listen
3. Spanish Memoirs* for trumpet & percussion quartet by Howard J. Buss, performed by Diego Arias, trumpet, and Yu-Chung Chung, Antonio Josè Herrera Molina, Daniel Jesùs Martin, and Jorge Cano Rodriguez percussion 10:14 Listen
4. Night Tide* for trombone and marimba by Howard J. Buss, performed by Mauel Quesada Benìtez, trombone and Yu-Chung Chung, marimba 8:17 Listen
Atmospheres for trumpet and one percussion by Howard J. Buss, performed by performed by Diego Arias, trumpet, and Yu-Jung Chung, percussion
*World Premiere Recording
McDuo Works for Flute and Percussion
James Lewis - Tampanera 7:28
Atmospheres - This significant and exciting new release by the Double Take Duo (Don N. Parker, percussion and Sheryl Linch-Parker, trumpet) is a "must". The CD takes its name from the first work on the recording, Atmospheres by Howard J. Buss (published by Brixton Publications). The CD includes:
Atmospheres (2005) for trumpet and percussion by Howard J. Buss
 Where Sirens Dwell (2006) by William L. Cahn 12:46
Six Interlocutions for Trumpet and Percussion
Capstone Records CD Howard J Buss: Modern Times
Music for flute, percussion, and narrator
Outstanding, brilliant...These works demonstrate
that Buss is one of our more outstanding composers for percussion. The
performances are of the highest quality. -
George Frock, Percussive Notes Magazine, October 2004
Performers: Overture for Percussion: T. Hampton Dohrman, Emory Blake, Grant M. Beiner, Lee W. Hinkle and Robert McCormick, conductor. Scenes from the Holy Land: The McCormick Duo - Kim S. McCormick, flute; Robert McCormick, percussion. Performers for Currents: T. Hampton Dohrman, Emory Blake, Grant M. Beiner, Robert McCormick. Modern Times: Jerald Reynolds, narrator; Kim McCormick, flute; percussion: Greg Graves, Cara Ready, Brad Sharo, Ryan Thomas. Overture, Scenes and Currents recorded at the Springs Theatre, Tampa FL. Modern Times recorded at the Music Recital Hall at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Engineer John Stephan of the Springs Theatre (www.springstheatre.com). Cover art by Judy E. Buss.
Capstone Records CD - Twilight Remembered: The McCormick Duo
Kim McCormick, flute and Robert McCormick, percussion.Works included are Archipelago by Paul Bissell, Esprit Rude II/Esprit Doux II by Elliot Carter, Pipeaubec by Andre Jolivet, Movement of Varied Movements by Ralph Shapey, Still Life With Fruit by David Heuser, Asymptotes by Henri Lazarof, Silver Set by Hilton Jones, Four Phases for Three by Wesley Fuller, Pipe Dream for solo flute by Howard Buss, Night Soliloquy by Kent Kennan, Twilight Remembered by Daniel Adams.The McCormick Duo seems to have carved out a unique corner for intelligent modern music, and its good to spend an hour there, in such varied, sophisticated company. - Paul Ingram, Fanfare Magazine (May/June 2004)
An exquisite recording which is a must for the serious trumpeter or percussionist. Included on the CD is Interplay for Trumpet and Percussion by Murray Houllif, Four Pieces for Trumpet and Marimba by Erwin Chandler, Sonata No. 2 by Anthony Cirone, Suite for Trumpet and Marimba by Alec Wilder, and Incantation for Trumpet and Percussion by Howard J. Buss.
features Kim McCormick on flute and the
extraordinary University of South Florida Percussion
Ensemble. Included are Paul Rellers Black Magic
Flute, Robert Constables Crackhead, Hilton
Jones Time Craft, James Lewis Dr. Time,
Salty Fish Flesh by Brian Benscoter, and
Howard Buss Mysterious Exit
- CD-102 $18.95