Speaking Drums

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Peter Eötvös

General Info

Year: 2012/13
Duration: c. 20:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schott
Cost: Score and Parts - $0.00   |   Score Only - $0.00


I Tanzlied /Dance songs
II Nonsens Songs
III (Passacaglia: Intrada, Saltarello, Bourré, Passepied, Gigue, Allemande, Finale)


Multiple Percussion:


Program Notes

Talking whilst playing the drum is not something unique. We can find it in traditional Indian percussion, and in jazz when musicians accompany their play with "Sprechgesang". This piece goes the opposite way: It begins with the percussionist speaking nonsensically, the emphasis on the rhythm, which he then passes on to his instrument. Like the pure, childish joy of repeating the same word in a different tune, the soloist teaches his instrument to speak until the drums start to talk themselves. The work was inspired by a poem by Sándor Weöres, where each sentence has a more complex form than the one before. Rhythms form words, words form sentences, and sentences create a narrative. (Ann-yi Bingöl)[1]


1.Satz / First movement DANCE SONG

Poem by Sándor Weöres, original titel: Táncdal (Dance Song/ Tanzlied)

panyigai panyigai panyigai
ü panyigai ü
panyigai panyigai panyigai
ü panyigai ü

kudora panyigai panyigai
kudora ü
panyigai kudora kudora
panyigai ü

kotta kudora panyigai
kudora kotta ü
kotta panyigai kudora
panyigai kotta ü

ház panyigai kudora
ü kudora kotta ház
kudora ház panyigai
ü panyigai ház kotta

2. Satz/ Second movement NONSENSE SONGS

- First poem original titel:

ARANY KÉS FOROG (Goldene Messerklinge dreht im Herzen)
naur glainre iki
vobe gollu vá
tian pliteí keumu tié
hom vonnon mi

Second poem, original titel:
BARBÁR DAL (Barbarisches Lied / Barbarian song)

Ole dzsuro nanni he
ole csilambo ábábi he
ole buglo iningi he
lünlel dáji he! jaman!

3. Satz/ Third movement PASSACAGLIA

Original title: Polyrhythmia
Lalitala vangala tápari sílana kómala malaja szamiré
mad hukara níkara karambita kókila kúdzsita kundzsa kutiré
Harir iha viharati szaraszava szanté
n ritjati juvatidzsanéna szamam szakhi virahidzsanaszja duranté




Commercial Discography

Online Recordings

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Music for New York - Multiple Percussion; Soprano Saxophone, With Tape
New Psalm - Multiple Percussion
Psalm 151 - Multiple Percussion (solo), or Percussion Quartet
Speaking Drums - Multiple Percussion; Orchestra
Thunder - Timpani
Triangel (Eotvos) - Multiple Percussion, Orchestra
Zwei Promenaden - Percussion Duo; Keyboard, Tuba

Additional Resources