Contemporary percussion explorations in twenty-first-century Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To be a percussionist active in contemporary music is to be involved in research: designing new instruments and developing new techniques, commissioning and creat- ing new work, utilising and developing technology, and engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration. In the twenty-first century, percussionists and their collaborators are more prolific than ever before, and their creative research leads innovations in contem- porary music around the world. In recent years, the collective community has sought new avenues to share the findings of this creative research. In addition to a wide range of performances, festivals, and short courses aimed at tertiary students or early career artists, percussion gatherings inclusive of conference presentations, round tables and panel discussions have begun to appear in the international contemporary music calendar. Examples include the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Australian Percussion Gathering, and Transplanted Roots Percussion Research Symposium. This is linked with the gradual increase in scholarly publications focused on contemporary percussion activity. New publications have emerged since the 2006 release of Steven Schick’s The percussionist’s art: Same bed, different dreams, the most significant thus far being the Cambridge companion to percussion, a collection of articles edited by Russell Hartenberger 10 years later (Devenish, 2017; Hartenberger, 2016; Schick, 2006). These volumes are representative of the ever-changing field of contemporary percussion that offers a myriad of research paths to be explored. This special issue aims to contribute to the growing discourse in the field by presenting a range of recent innovations in percussion research, and thoughts on current praxis from an Australian perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalContemporary Music Review
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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