Percussion Orchestrations by ProQuest

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									Digital Media Reviews                                                                   619

Percussion Orchestrations. Ed Cervenka. http://www.percorch.com/
(Accessed September 2009). [Requires a Web browser and an Internet
connection. Pricing: $40-$100 per year depending on subscriber level].

   Determining the percussion require-          a small number of Google ads and three
ments for a given work, program or season       main links inviting one to go to the data-
can be a considerable headache for orches-      base, write an endorsement, or visit a
tra managers and librarians. Most catalogs      Facebook group page. The database link
of orchestral music have developed clever       provides three ways to access the database
systems for indicating in a compact form        content: an alphabetic menu for browsing
how many woodwind and brass players             by composer, and two search boxes, one for
must be added to the string complement          composers and the other for titles. Terms
for any given work, even accounting for         entered in the search boxes are searched as
doublings and exotic instruments like oboe      keyword character strings, and the site in-
d’amore or bass trumpet. But often the          structions recommend entering only one
only clue regarding percussion is a nota-       word per search. Despite this limitation,
tion such as “timp, perc.” But which percus-    the database is small enough that result sets
sion instruments are needed? And how            are easily browsed to get to the exact work
many players will be required to cover          one wants to find. The only significant hin-
them? Does the timpanist need two timpani       drance to efficient searching has to do with
or five? Once one has the score in hand,         the handling of foreign-language titles.
one can usually find the answer to the first      Such titles are not consistently presented,
question in the instrumentation list. But it    some being listed in their original lan-
often takes an examination of the complete      guages (“L’Histoire de Babar le Petit
score to answer the other two. Over the         Elephant”) while others are listed only in
years many principal percussionists and or-     English translation (“The Soldier’s Tale”).
chestra librarians have kept personal files      This problem is exacerbated by the lack of
or databases of the percuss
								
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