“Where’s the Triangle?” Strategies for Managing Percussionists and Percussion Instruments Part 3: Setting up the Percussion Section

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Department 1

Conservatory of Music


This is the third article in a three-part series addressing each of the keys to success. In this installment, we examine how the physical setup of the percussion instruments affects students’ performance and effective methods to maximize efficiency and musical results. Many conductors follow a traditional model of setup for percussion instruments in wind bands. Typically this would feature the timpani on the conductor’s right, followed by the bass drum and then the snare drum close to the middle of the ensemble. Cymbals and an accessories station often come next, with a long row of keyboard instruments stretching out around the ensemble to the conductor’s left. [excerpt]