Complementary Percussion: A Workbook for Developing Tambourine, Triangle, Cymbals and Bass Drum Performance

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Keith Aleo

General Info

Year of Published: 2011
Publisher: Bachovich Music Productions
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Cost: $25.00


Bass Drum


Dismissing the word "accessory", Keith Aleo's Complementary Percussion is a method book focusing on the instruments that concert percussionists tend to ignore: tambourine, triangle, cymbals and bass drum.

Keith Aleo has written a series of exercises, etudes, and duets for these instruments to help students understand and overcome the technical problems inherent in each. Everything is musical and 'learning-friendly' from a percussionist's point of view.


Organization: A few quotes from other musicians and a brief dedication precede the table of contents which lists a foreword, preface, acknowledgements, introduction, and an interpretation, followed by sections covering tambourine, triangle, cymbals, bass drum, and duets involving all previous instruments. Each instrument section is organized with exercises at the beginning, then followed by a number of etudes. The end of the duet section is followed by a biography about the author and a list of other publications by the publisher.

Content: The foreword contains praise from Christopher Lamb while the preface states the essential purpose of the book. The acknowledgement section contains memories of the author and the introduction stating how the idea of the book came to fruition. The interpretation section gives the reader guidance on how to proceed through the book and what to think about while playing. Each exercise is meant to be replayed at varying tempos and dynamic levels. Each etude is a solo piece for each instrument, with no other accompaniment and contains no descriptions or advice for executing each etude. The duet section is formatted the same way, with no descriptions, just labels for which line belongs to which instrument.

Uses: For a college student wanting to develop their performance on the tambourine, triangle, cymbals, and bass drum, this book would be a great choice. It prepares the reader for orchestral pieces by developing their fundamentals on each instrument, first with exercises to work on technique and then etudes to develop musicality. I would not use this book with a high school student, simply because they will not require this level of development with these instruments with the music they will be playing in their other classes. A professional percussionist wanting something to play out of that is meant specifically for a certain instrument would do well to pick up this book as it accomplishes exactly that.

Rating: While there is not much description given for any etude, these etudes are not meant to be played on stage in a concert setting; in a way, their purpose is the same as the exercises: to develop the musician’s technique. It is hard to come across music that is written only for an accessory instrument, so this book fills a hole that is left between introductory studies and orchestral works. It would have been nice to have some mention of how each etude relates to orchestral works or which aspect of technique it is working on, but as it is, it fulfills its purpose. 4/5. User:Hondogracias

Books for Percussion by this Composer

Advanced Etudes for Snare Drum
Complementary Percussion: A Workbook for Developing Tambourine, Triangle, Cymbals and Bass Drum Performance